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Africa Itinerary- need help with domestic transfers/hotels/guides

Africa Itinerary- need help with domestic transfers/hotels/guides

Jan 18th, 2010, 02:35 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 40
Africa Itinerary- need help with domestic transfers/hotels/guides

I'm planning a 9 week trip to Africa and the Middle East and thanks to the amazing write-ups by fellow fodorites, I have have planned my trip including cities to visit.

I want to know if its better to use a US travel agent to book flights (international and domestic) or if I should work with local tour operators. I also need local tour guides, cars, hotels etc. Not sure if I should work with a US tour guide or find an african tour operator to arrange for all hotels/flights/cars/guides whilst in Africa

Here's my itinerary:
US-Egypt (10days)-Morocco (7days)- Cape Town (10days)-Madagascar (7 days)-Nairobi (10days)- Mumbai India (15days)-Muscat (5days)- US
sarahh_sf is offline  
Jan 18th, 2010, 03:07 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 294
Looks like an RTW ticket might be in order.
napamatt_2 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2010, 05:20 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
There are quite a few US and Africa agents listed in these 2 links, which it appears you are familiar with.

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...port-index.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...port-index.cfm


If you wanted a single agent for both East Africa (Nairobi) and Southern Africa (Cape Town), you might consider

The Africa Adventure Co in Ft. Lauderdale
(I've used them for East and Southern)

Go2Africa in South Africa
(I've only corresponded with them but they've been responsive and professional)

Premier Tours in Philadelphia
(no personal experience but others have had good luck)

It's also possible to mix and match agents in Africa.

For 10 days flying in and out of NBO, I would suggest you head to Rwanda for at least one gorilla trek. You should allot about 3 days for a single trek. It would likely be a highlight of your travels if the hefty fee of $500 for the visit is within your budget.

Please give us an idea of what you'd like to do in East Africa and South or Southern Africa. Or if you have no idea, you can get lots of suggestions.

"I have have planned my trip including cities to visit." You list Nairobi. I'm assuming that's a starting point and you don't plan to spend 10 days in the city. On the other hand, you could easily spend 10 days in Cape Town, and I did.

On to India...
Since I am planning a first trip there mainly for wildlife and tigers, will that be part of your plan in that country?

What an exciting trip.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 19th, 2010, 07:20 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Here's my itinerary:
US-Egypt (10days)-Morocco (7days)- Cape Town (10days)-Madagascar (7 days)-Nairobi (10days)- Mumbai India (15days)-Muscat (5days)- US

For air I'd look into a RTW and work with a competent agent (even if you have to pay supplement for handling this routing) or thru one airline and their partners.

As to on-the-ground, I can't think of one company that can handle all whether Stateside or UK. You can probably find one to handle Egypt and maybe Morocco; another for Kenya/South Africa/Madagascar; and still another for India. Just had a brain dead moment... is Muscat in/around the Emirates... duh!

For Egypt, Lady Egypt has been getting great reviews; they may handle Morocco (doubt) or can refer or search here for operators other have used. Debbie Senters of Casual Cairo Detours @ [email protected] is another great contact.

As above, Premier Tours (Phila) or African Adventure (Florida) or Fish Eagles (Houston) can handle that segment.

Beats me whom for India or Muscat. Post on those forums.

Good luck and keep us posted.
sandi is offline  
Jan 19th, 2010, 04:28 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
If you wanted someone to do the RTW entire trip would A&K be able to do that? I realize that is not a budget option, but just wondering if it's a possibility.

I had to google to overcome my braindead moment and Muscat is on Oman.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 03:09 PM
  #6  
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Hi Everyone,
Many thanks for all your suggestions. Due to time and budget constraints, I have decided to forego Muscat, Oman. Madagascar and India are to visit family so I don't have an itinerary other than to relax, eat, drink and be merry with family

For Morocco, I plan on visiting Fez and Marrakech.

HELP: Am looking for website where I can safely make reservations for Riads- any suggestions? I plan on taking the train from Fez to Marrakech since I get car sick quite easily. Not ideal since I"m a big fan of the desert and will have to forego the desert night (7hrs from Fez)

For Kenya, here's my tentative itinerary for 11 days:
DAY 1: Arrive Nairobi
DAY 2 : Samburu
DAY3 : Samburu
DAY4 : Samburu- Sweetwaters tented camp
DAY5 : Sweetwaters - Lake Nakuru ( Lion Hill )
DAY 6: Lake Nakuru- Masai Mara
DAY 7: Masai Mara
DAY 8: Masai Mara
DAY 9: Masai Mara- Nairobi

Accommodations: At Samburu / Sweetwaterstentedcamp / Masai Mara at Serena Lodges and Lake Nakuru at Sarova lion hill.

HELP: I had a travel agent quote me $3700 for the Kenya portion- does this sound reasonable? Seemed a bit high to me given that Go2Africa has a 6 day package to Amboseli, Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru for $2600

Cape Town: I only have 9 days- am thinking a few days in Cape Town, Robben Island and a drive down the garden route

Egypt: 16 days to include Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, Nile Cruise, Abu Simbel and Sharm-el Sheikh
sarahh_sf is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 03:41 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Are you traveling solo? If so, costs will be higher. Most packages you see are probably based on a minimum of 2 people traveling.
Patty is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 05:44 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Well, Amboseli is certainly a shorter drive from Nairobi (4.5/hrs) vs to Samburu at (6/hrs).

Ideal routing would be Amboseli (2/nts), drive via NBO (4.5/hrs) for lunch; continue (2.5/hrs) to Lake Nakuru (1/nt); drive (5-6/hrs) to Mara (3/nts). What's missing is your day of arrival in Nairobi, so this would be 7/nts and increase the price somewhat.

Good luck!


What accommodations is this revised itinerary offering?

If this is the itinerary you wish, ask the Nairobi outfitter to price, using the same accommodations and then you'd be comparing apples-to-apples. Realize go2africa is a South African based tour operator who will be using an "in-country" Kenyan outfitter to handle your on-the-ground activities.
sandi is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 06:39 AM
  #9  
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Thanks Patty and Sandi.

Patty: I have taken up your suggestion and emailed go2africa and asked them for a quote for the itinerary that I have outlined above. This will give me a second quote and allow me to compare apples to apples.
I'll keep you all posted on what I find out.
sarahh_sf is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 10:08 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,846
I'd also ask Go2Africa if any of their packages are set departures you can join (if you're OK that). I believe another poster here did that, booked one of their packages and they put her together with other travelers.

For a private safari Go2Africa is likely to be higher than Nairobi based operators.
Patty is offline  

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