Africa Plans for 2005

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Dec 31st, 2004, 06:25 AM
  #41
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Hi Sandi, I know what you mean but I live in Europe, in Lisbon. Here the airfares go down in the beginning of January. Until now KLM has the least expensive fares at 3.400 euros, pp. So, it won't go up. Thank you anyway
Happy New Year to you, may it bring all your wishes come true.

Teresa
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Dec 31st, 2004, 07:12 AM
  #42
sandi
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Tere - sorry about my assumption. I must say that 3400 Euro is very very high, no wonder your question. I would still contact the site listed in previous post and see what they might be able to do for you from Europe - just the leg between LIS and NBO. Otherwise, I would suggest you check for Consolidators in Spain or elsewhere in Europe who might be able to assist. For direct airline connections, besides KLM, check BA out of Heathrow and check Emirates Air out of Dubai who have a number of flights daily to NBO.

We have found for all seasons, even if say flying from the States to Europe (London, Frankfurt) on frequent flyer miles, that fares between Europe and NBO run in the range of USD$650 - USD$1000, so 3500 Euro is certainly way too high. Let us know of any success with lower fares.
 
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 02:34 PM
  #43
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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We'll be in Africa in Sep/Oct 05. Zimbabwe for 8 days (Makalolo Plains, Mana Canoe Trail, and Chikwenya), 1 day in Victoria Falls, then on to Botswana for 9 days(Savuti, Little Vumbura and Chitabe Trails). Air (using frequent flyer Delta miles on SAA) and camps have been confirmed. Very excited!!! Looking forward to everyone's trip reports. Happy New Year all.
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Jan 3rd, 2005, 10:09 PM
  #44
 
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Just paid the deposit for our 2-week honeymoon in Namibia in May. (My family are teasing me saying I'm more excited about the honeymoon than the wedding!!)

- 2 nights at Okonjima Bush Camp
- 2 nights in Etosha park
- 1 night at Ongava lodge
- 4 nights at Impalila Island Lodge (Caprivi, right on the border with Botswana - hoping to include a day trip to Vic Falls)
- 2 nights at Little Kulala (Sossusvlei)

I absolutely cannot wait! We have not had much real holiday in the last 12 months except for a very short trip to Morocco, as we have been caught up with moving house and planning the wedding.
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Jan 5th, 2005, 06:23 PM
  #45
 
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We're off 16 January to Kenya-Tanzania-Zanzibar: 21 days on private safari with Eastern & Southern Safaris, followed by a week on the beach. It's our first trip to eastern Africa - and the information on these boards (plus emails from Serah at E&SS) have been invaluable.
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Jan 6th, 2005, 01:40 AM
  #46
 
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I'm heading back to Tanzania and Kenya in May/June. Two weeks in Tanzania with my hubby, then on to Kenya for a week without him (He has to return home before me as he only has a certain amount of vacation time each year.) As always, anxious to get my feet back on that intoxicating African soil!!!
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Jan 6th, 2005, 02:04 AM
  #47
 
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The latest Big Cat Week is on at the moment and each time I watch it I feel a physical yearning to be there.

It's such an intense longing it's driving me nuts.

Still, I got Big Cat Diary: Leopard for Christmas and today's post brought me Big Cat Diary: Cheetah (which I ordered with Amazon tokens that I got for Christmas).
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Jan 6th, 2005, 03:32 AM
  #48
 
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SusanLynne-
That is fantastic! And so soon. The time will fly and it will be here in a flash. I shall be waiting to hear all the details and I know that the Mara will open up and offer you all that you can imagine. Liz
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Jan 6th, 2005, 03:55 AM
  #49
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10 days in Botswana in September/October revisiting Kwando Lagoon/Lebala and Kwara
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Jan 6th, 2005, 08:26 AM
  #50
 
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Hi Liz!!! Thanks for the good wishes. Yes, the Mara in all her glory. Tanzania is going to be a few days golfing at the new course that opened at Ngurdoto Lodge, outside of Arusha and at the Gymkhana Club in town. Then we head for one night at Swala Camp in Tarangire (most of you know why the stop in Tarangire is a must despite it not being the best of game-viewing seasons), before we head to the western corridor, Kirawira. Am also thinking of throwing in a night at Ngorongoro Camp, at the Crater. Most important will be time spent with friends in Tanzania. Then on to the Magnificent Mara ... at least that is what the Kenya portion of the trip looks like for now!

Kavey: I will have you know, my friend, that your Big Cat notation did not go over very well with me, as the show is no longer aired on Animal Planet! Saying that you were watching it was like rubbing salt on an open wound! Ouch! Ouch! It hurts!
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Jan 6th, 2005, 09:18 AM
  #51
 
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Around 3 weeks in SA in (most likely) August as part of our (first I hope) RTW. Still working on details, but most likely (SYD)-JNB-DUR, layover to recover near Durban, then drive to Kruger via KZN, maybe on to Madikwe, then back to JNB, fly to CPT for a few days (yes, I know it's not the best weather), then on to London.
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Jan 6th, 2005, 09:20 AM
  #52
 
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Congratulations to all of you planning a trip this year. I don't have one planned for 2005. My first trip in July 2002 created this insatiable desire to return to Africa. There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't think of Africa at least once. So I went again in August 2003. I thought that would satisfy that need to return. It didn't. Africa was always on my mind. So I went again in September 2004. When I got home after the last trip I finally felt satisfied and thought that my "love affair" with Africa was finally over. Finally. It felt so good to be released. Then I opened this post and now there's this little sensation inside me... It might not be over after all.
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Jan 6th, 2005, 10:01 AM
  #53
 
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Will be traveling to Tanzania for the first time this month. Doing the requisite Northern Circuit-- Arusha-Tarangire-Lake Manyara-Ngorongoro-Serengeti and back.
My initial excitement in starting to plan this trip has been considerably dampened by my extremely negative experience with the travel agency that organized this trip. My warning to anyone new to planning a safari is this: take time to contact as many agencies as possible and trust your gut feeling about someone. Don't just simply go with the agency that is well known (or has some famous book out). The agency I worked with is very well known, and they were very accomodating at first, but once the deposit was paid, I realized I was dealing with belligerent cowboys (the initial agent disappeared and I had to deal with the “boss” thereafter ) who were unbelievably hostile and rude. I had a more complex custom made itinerary to work out -- perhaps if I had gone with a set formula, it would have gone more smoothly. I realized too late (once the deposit was placed) that I had made a mistake. The itinerary was not finalized when they demanded payment in full --they told us that if if we didn’t they would cancel, in effect keeping our 40 percent deposit. So I complied. I was afraid that once it was paid in full, they would stop working on my itinerary and alas that was exactly what happened. They dropped us like hot potato and did not honor any of our further requests (email responses were half hearted at best). Its been one costly mistake and I certainly learned my lesson. At this point all I can hope for is that I will so thoroughly enjoy my travels through Tanzania that I will have completely forgotten this negative experience by the time the trip is over.
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Jan 6th, 2005, 10:11 AM
  #54
 
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Well...God willing and health (and funds) holding out, I'm hoping to get to the great continent twice this year.

I'm leaving the second week of Feb. for a Gorilla Trek (thanks to thit_cho's great reports) to Rwanda and Uganda for 12 days and then wrapping it up in the beautiful Mara in Kenya for 3 days.

In July I'm hoping to conquer Kilimanjaro and then add on a safari hopefully to Zambia (thanks to all you Zambia lovers...Rocco!) Or maybe Botswana. The details of the post- Kili Trek have yet to be worked out, as you can see.

I can't wait to get back to Africa. Maybe one day I'll remember that there are other continents and that I don't forget to get back to my passion of scuba diving. Until then...Africa...here I come! TWICE

By the way, this forum certainly isn't helping ease my obsession of Africa, even when I try to take a break from reading the posts. Aaargh! Help...I'm sooo addicted!
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Jan 6th, 2005, 01:35 PM
  #55
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ladida -

I believe I know the tour operator of whom you are refer. I had the same experience with them back in the mid-90s when planning my first safari. They were very nice and attentive until such time as I started asking detailed questions and inquiring about modifying the itinerary - whether the number of days or accommodations.

Yes, you're absolutely right in re-emphasizing that it is important to take ones time when planning a safari, (really, any trip) and selecting a tour operator, so I'm sorry to hear about your recent experience.

However, I'm certain once you are in-country all will go well. Spend the time till you depart concentrating on the trip itself - if any questions, we're here to answer and help in any way. Positive thoughts only! And you'll return with fine stories... and do know that we expect a trip report.
 
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Jan 6th, 2005, 01:45 PM
  #56
 
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Ladida,

So sorry to hear that your trip has become a headache for you. We recently paid our deposit and know how you feel in terms of concerns that all will work out. We are using Roy Safaris for our trip this summer. I am curious if you feel that you could name the tour operator (I hope it is not roys!) that you are having issues with so that others can avoid similar concerns.
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Jan 6th, 2005, 01:54 PM
  #57
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Ladida, I think it would be very helpful if you named the operator, so that we can base any decision to use them in the future, in part, on how well they address the issues you raised in your post.

My hunch is that they are a US-based operator, and that's just a hunch, but in my experience, and I have been on five safaris, you get much more attentive and personal service with a local, highly recommended operator. With the internet and email, I don't see the benefit of using a US operator for a trip to Africa; in fact, many of them sub out the trip to a local operator and add their fee on top of the quote.

So, please share the name of the operator -- you are shielded behind the anonymity of your screen name.

Thanks,

Michael
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Jan 6th, 2005, 04:19 PM
  #58
 
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Ladida & Sandi,

I would also be very interested in knowing which agency did not meet your expectations. Also, please let us know how the trip actually went.

Thanks
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Jan 6th, 2005, 05:35 PM
  #59
 
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Two more weeks to go gang! Then off for a week at Ol Tukai in Amboseli, three nights in Samburu at Elephant Watch Camp, one night in Mombasa and five nights at Satao at Tsavo East. Hope to see many elephants (but not get charged this time)! I can't take many more adrenaline rushes at my age so hope this trip will be great with no big surprises.

Jan
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Jan 7th, 2005, 12:41 AM
  #60
 
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Sundowner, it will NEVER be over!
Divewop, the obsession will NEVER fade!
Susan, I am thinking of buying a DVD writer in which case I may be able to make a copy of the programmes for you - they are recorded on my Sky+ box (a TIVO-based system) and won't be being deleted anytime soon. It won't be for a while though...
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