Africa Safari Planning - Need Assistance

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Feb 16th, 2005, 02:37 PM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 6
Dear first tripper: We recently arranged for our first trip to Tanzania/Kenya for 8/05 with Roy Safaris. They were one of the few companies who were flexible enough to customize arrangements especially for us, and were both affordable and sensitive to our individual preferences. Their rep in NE USA is[email protected] The advice we received from fodors.com and from fodorites like Sandi were invaluable.Best of luck
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Feb 20th, 2005, 10:56 AM
  #22
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
Welcome, Connie.
But be careful with the advertising.

Fodors will lock you out for a month if they see this!

Why don't you share some safari tips/ideas on the board so we all can benefit.

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Feb 21st, 2005, 12:22 PM
  #23
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Thanks again everyone. I now have a nice list of tour companies to price my intinerary with. I've been able to locate most of them, but JazzDrew, can you help me find Micatos and Thompsons? As an FYI, the first two companies I heard back from came in pretty reasonable on price.

Also, last question (I hope): For those of you who have been before, how do the beaches of Zanzibar compare to others in the world? I feel I've been to many nice beaches and unless these are extraordinary, I'm wondering if I should cut the trip off after the Serengeti? It seems like a lot of extra travel and I'm debating if that's a good place to make cuts and keep the budget down. What are your thoughts?
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Feb 21st, 2005, 12:52 PM
  #24
 
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IMHO they're not extraordinary beaches if you've already been to some lovely ones. However, we enjoyed Zanzibar primarily because it was unlike any place we'd ever been--very interesting culturally. Different from the mainland.

And Freddie Mercury was born there!
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Feb 21st, 2005, 02:04 PM
  #25
sandi
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lw2117 -

Here's the link for Micato: www.micato.com

They are based in NYC, but have offices in Kenya. For Thompson's, do a google search.

As to Zanzibar and it's beaches - I've seen nicer, and we're rather spoiled in the States with some of the loveliest, but we always find a beach resort a nice way to end certain types of holidays... and a safari is one of them. And as Leely comments, the culture along the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania are different than what most of us are familiar. That's where my personal interest is... culture, architecture, eco-environments, the beach.

When we made our first trip to Kenya I wanted to end with a week in the Seychelles. To this, my partner responded, "a beach is a beach" so we didn't do it. Then, two years later on trip to Tanzania, with a gal friend, we did go to the Seychelles and it was the perfect ending to our time in Tanzania. After that first trip I was disappointed to have traveled so far and not spent time in the Seychelles. And, at that time I didn't know I'd be returning many times over... so if you don't know whether you'll be returning to East Africa (though most do)... spend a few days on Zanzibar or any of the other coastal islands.

Personally, I no longer like to have any "should've" "would've" "could've" - life is just too short. But it has to be your choice.
 
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Feb 21st, 2005, 02:43 PM
  #26
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Like Sandi, I prefer sins of COmission over sins of OMission.

But then, I'd save the beach money for my next real nature outing.

I'd be interested in what you
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Feb 21st, 2005, 04:49 PM
  #27
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 226
lw-

Here is the link to Thompson Safri:

http://www.thomsonsafaris.com/

They are also a US based operator who are limit their safaris to Tanzania.

Before I found this message board I almost signed with them. They and Born Free were my forst copntacts and I learned the basics from them over the phone and emails.

I believe that Thompson's are well respected, but the price is crazy after you look at local operators!

I still read through all those fancy brouchures that feature great photos and rhetoric when I need my Afric fix. I just remind myself that I am going to the same (and some better) places than I read for much less. Makes me smile every time!
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Feb 22nd, 2005, 04:41 PM
  #28
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You guys are convincing. I'm sold on the "culture" elements and the expressed regrets I don't know when we'll be back here so we'll go check it out.

Thanks for the websites - looks like I was spelling both names slightly wrong and that's why I couldn't find them.

Sandi - where is Seychelles? The tours are suggesting either Mnarani Cottages or Ocean Paradise Resort in Zanzibar. I found them on the map but don't see Seychelles.

JazzDrew - when we book I'll let you know when we'll be where and maybe we'll see you and your family there!

Thanks again. The tips here have been invaluable.
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Feb 22nd, 2005, 05:17 PM
  #29
 
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lw2117,
The Seychelles are farther out in the Indian Ocean. On your map look southeast of Zanzibar or northwest of Madagascar.
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Feb 22nd, 2005, 07:56 PM
  #30
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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lw,

I hope you are enjoying the planning as much as I have. I can remember when I was COMPLETELY confused...thought Africa was Africa...didn't matter where we went...it is all the same. Now I can't go a day without thinking about the specific details. I have so much more to learn, but feel confident in where I am as a first timer.

Now going to Africa is a reality and I honestly have never been so excited about a trip before! This reminds me of my first trip to Europe as a teenager. I had images in my head of London and Paris and I was excited then. BUT this is a completely differently level. Being from Iowa, I grew up watching National Geographic specials on tv and wondering what it is really like in Africa. Travel there was never even a possibility. Now I'm going...and taking our 12 year old! He had BETTER appreciate it

Please let us know your itinerary when you book. Wouldn't it be ironic to end up at the same camp another world away!

If you would like, I put together a detailed itinerary of our safari that I would be happy to share with you. I put together a lenghty word document including details for cousins who strongly considered traveling with us, but thier schedules did not line up with ours and they both had to decline. You are welcome to read what I put together for them to help plan your safari.

I beleive that June could be a good time to travel. We are especially excited about the possibility to catch the migration at Kirawira. Our dates are June 18 - July 4. We'll be the family that can't stop smiling!!

Jambo!
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Feb 23rd, 2005, 05:09 AM
  #31
sandi
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lw2117 - The Seychelles - find the Equator. Then go out about 1,000 miles, this group of islands is approx 3- to 5-degrees south of the Equator. A group of granite and coral and island. Their motto "a thousand miles from nowhere" - about a 3-hrs flight from Nairobi.
 
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Feb 23rd, 2005, 01:49 PM
  #32
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Please ignore my earlier post. The Seychelles are actually northEAST of Madagascar and almost directly east of Zanzibar, at least that's where the principal islands of Mahe, Praslin, etc are. The entire island group covers a very wide area. I should really look at a map myself before I start giving out advice :b
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