Advice on Africa Point: Egypt & Kenya

Jan 20th, 2007, 08:22 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
Advice on Africa Point: Egypt & Kenya

I'm planning a safari during Sept 2007 for the 1st time and would like to go to Egypt & Kenya. I've gotten a quote from Africa Point.

Has anyone ever used them? I've read a few things about Africa Point and they seem relatively positive except that they sometimes try to pack too much into a trip.

So here's the planned itinerary. Do you think there's too much packed in? Are there other areas that are better safari areas? I apologize in advance for the length.

Day 1: CAIRO
Arrive at Cairo International Airport and transfer by air-conditioned private vehicle to your hotel where our steward will
assist you with check-in.

Overnight at your Hotel in Cairo

Day 2: CAIRO
After breakfast, visit the Egyptian Museum.

Then visit the great Pyramids and the Sphinx.

Overnight at your Hotel in Cairo

Day 3: CAIRO
Breakfast will be served at your hotel. You will spend the rest of the day at leisure in Cairo.

Take a dinner cruise on the Nile - with around 2 hours cruising on the Nile. The cruise includes international buffet dinner and belly dance and folkloric show.

Overnight at your Hotel in Cairo

Day 4: CAIRO
After breakfast at your hotel, rest of the day at leisure. In the evening drive to Cairo airport for your flight to Nairobi departing Cairo at 2325hrs to arrive Nairobi the following day at 0640hrs

Day 5:
You are met upon arrival and drive north to Samburu National Reserve.

You enjoy a game drive en-route to Samburu Serena Lodge, where you arrive at around 1400 hours in time for lunch. After lunch at the lodge, you have the early afternoon free, before going for an afternoon game drive, from 1530 hrs till dusk.

Dinner and overnight at Samburu Serena Lodge

Day 6: SAMBURU
Start your day with an early morning game drive starting at 0600 hrs.

Return to the lodge for breakfast at 0800 hrs. You spend the period before and after lunch at leisure at the lodge. At 1530 hrs you go for your afternoon game-drive till dusk.

Dinner and overnight at Samburu Serena Lodge

Day 7: SAMBURU ABERDARES
After breakfast checkout and head to the Aberdares Country Club where you will have lunch at 1200 hrs. At 1400 hrs, take the short transfer to the Aberdares National Park for an evening of game viewing from the unique tree hotel, The Ark.

Dinner and Overnight at the Ark

Day 8: ABERDARES NAKURU
After breakfast at the Ark, transfer back to the Aberdare Country Club. Then drive to Lake Nakuru in time for lunch at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge.

At 1530 hrs proceed for an afternoon game drive in Lake Nakuru National Park.

Dinner and overnight at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge

Day 9: NAKURU MAASAI MARA
0800 hrs - Drive to via the Great Rift Valley to arrive at Maasai Mara in time for lunch at Mara Sopa Lodge.

1530 hrs - go for an afternoon game drive till dusk.

Dinner and overnight at Mara Sopa Lodge

Day 10: MAASAI MARA
0900 hrs - morning game drive after breakfast. After lunch at the lodge you will have early afternoon at leisure.

1600 hrs - Afternoon game drive till dusk.

Dinner and overnight at Mara Sopa Lodge

Day 11: MAASAI MARA - NAIROBI
0630 hrs- take the opportunity to fly over the Mara in a Hot air - Balloon provided at extra cost.

After breakfast return to Nairobi arriving around 1400 hrs. You will have lunch at the Thorn Tree Restaurant.

After lunch, transfer to the airport for your home bound flight.
Red_Shamrock is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 06:31 AM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
Help! Your input would be greatly appreciated.
Red_Shamrock is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 06:56 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 626
I would cut out a night elsewhere or add a night in the Samburu or the Mara. I believe two nights is not enough at either to really get a proper experience.

I have not been there but I would cut out the Ark.

My humble opinion,

Kevin from California

P.S. Get competitive quotes from other tour operators. Africa Serendipity should be able to assist on both Cairo and Kenya. Southern Cross or Eastern and Southern would be great on Kenya portion only.
stakerk is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 01:10 PM
  #4  
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
You've got 2/days in Cairo with leisure time. Only included the museum, pyramids and sphinx plus a Nile dinner cruise. There are the nearby towns of Memphis and Saqqara, the Khal al-Khalili Bazaar, Old Cairo, and other things. Do you have any idea what you might do? Your hotel should be able to arrange these for you or arrange a taxi/driver to go on your own schedule. I'd figure out what to do with this time, or ask, why spend the time in Cairo, when you can be in Kenya.

Agree with Kevin, espeially for the Mara, you aren't even getting 2/full days, rather 1.5/days. The Mara deserves at minimum 3/days.
 
Jan 24th, 2007, 09:23 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
Thanks for the feedback Sandi and Stakerk.

I've got a friend who has family in Cairo and I think they'd be willing to take us around but I'll definitely do some more research on what to do there.

And I'll see if adding a day in Mara is possible.

Any ideas on airfare? Need to travel from Chicago to Cairo and from Cairo to Nairobi.
Red_Shamrock is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 11:30 AM
  #6  
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Check Egypt Air.
See www.kayak.com where you can search for all flights to/from your destinations. Kayak doesn't book tickets but will direct you to the resource that is offering the flights/fares.
 
Jan 24th, 2007, 11:45 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,448
Hey Red,

I went with AfricaPoint in October 2005. It was a GREAT trip, except for some vehicle troubles. I would go with them again in a second, especially since I know they would QUADRUPLE check the vehicle I am going to be in.

Yes, our itinerary was VERY VERY packed with lots of driving & so is yours.

I am just not a big fan of Aberdares and the tree hotel experience. I would DEFINITELY cut that if possible. head to Nakuru earlier, get another day in the Mara.

TRIPLE check to make sure you will be staying at Sarova Lion Hill in Nakuru. If you have to leave Nakuru to stay somewhere else for the night, things will get ... hectic.

Feel free to contact me off list and also to view a few of my travel videos from our trek.

travelistic.com and search for waynehazle

I can't find the thread where I listed them all


waynehazle is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 10:04 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
Took a look at Kayak for airfare. Have any of you ever used Kenya Airline or Alitalia Airline before? Did you have any problems?

You guys are definitely right and I'm thinking about adding a day in Mara.

What did you not like about Aberdares and why do you suggest another day in Lake Nakuru?

Do you know if Africa Point is willing to negotiate. It's an 11-day trip and we've been quoted approximately $1900 (excluding airfare). Assuming we add another day in Mara what would be a reasonable price?
Red_Shamrock is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 10:23 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,877
If you cut the Ark, you'll have a very long drive from Samburu to Nakuru. I've never stayed at the Ark but there have been both positive and negative comments posted here. Joyce stayed there last month and enjoyed it http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34914854

The Aberdares is a high elevation, forested park and is one of my favorites. It's a very different environment than other parts of Kenya. Because of the heavy forest, the game can be a little difficult to view but you can see some species here which aren't as commonly seen elsewhere like forest hog, reedbuck, Colobus & Skye (blue) monkeys.

When you stay at the Ark, your driver drops you off at the Aberdare Country Club where you have lunch, then take a shuttle to the Ark. Game viewing at the Ark is done from the lodge overlooking their waterhole. As an additional cost option, you can include a short game drive in the Salient on your way to the Ark (vs just the shuttle ride) and I'd opt for this to allow you to experience more of the park. Much of what you see will be dependent on luck.

If you decide not to stay at the Ark and you want a midway stop between Samburu and Nakuru, you can consider Sweetwaters. It's a private reserve with tents in front of a waterhole (try to get a front row tent). There's a chimp sanctuary (rescued chimps) and Morani, a tame rhino, which you can visit on Sweetwaters as well as optional activities such as lion tracking and night game drives.

I would not recommend driving all the way from Samburu to Nakuru and then Nakuru to Mara the following day. Both of those drives will be abou 6 hours and it's hard to do that back to back. If you didn't want to stay at either the Ark or Sweetwaters or another option in between, then I'd stay 2 nights at Nakuru just to give yourself a break from the drives.

How many of you are traveling? My guess is the additional night will cost about +/-$250pppn depending on how many people are in your party.
Patty is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 10:38 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,877
I have some photos of the Aberdares and Nakuru in this album so you can get a sense of what the parks are like

http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...&x=0&y=-r5e7ji

We didn't stay inside Aberdare NP itself but did game drives in the Salient and the following day, drove across the park and out the Naivasha side. There's some beautiful scenery and waterfalls up in the moorland area. You could do this too on your way to Nakuru. It'll take longer than the highway route and of course, you'll need to pay another day's park entrance ($40pp) plus vehicle (8000 KES) fee, but I felt it was well worth it.

I also have some photos from Sweetwaters if you want to see what that looks like http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...&x=0&y=-niug41
Patty is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 10:39 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,877
Sorry, that was supposed to be Syke and not Skye monkeys.
Patty is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 06:42 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
Patty - I took a look through your pics and think I will plan to go through Aberdares. Seeing the various terrains of Africa is appealing.

I see that you flew in a small Kenya Airlines plane. I plan to fly Kenya Airline from Cairo to Nairobi. Did you have any problems with the airline?
Red_Shamrock is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 06:48 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,877
The small plane I flew from the Mara back to Nairobi was Air Kenya.

From Cairo to Nairobi, you'll be on Kenya Airways. I've also flown Kenya Airways between Nairobi and Dar recently, no problems to report.
Patty is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 01:29 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,448
Patty, yours were the Aberdares pictures that made me think "Hey maybe I missed something here."

Perhaps if I had gotten a second day at Aberdares and had gone on a real game drive I would have vastly more appreciation. But to drive up there, sit an a tree lodge and watch elephants and buffalo at a salt lick is not worth giving up a day in the Mara or Nakuru.

And gee I wonder how many more commercials are going to show up here for romaningsafaris

waynehazle is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:14 AM.