African Horizons / Kiboko Safari feedback needed

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Mar 8th, 2006, 08:57 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 43
African Horizons / Kiboko Safari feedback needed

A friend is organizing a group Safari mid October. There will be at least 6 travelers, and possibly as many as 12.
I am hoping to get feedback on the itinerary, whether or not October is a good time of year for this trip, how does the price sound - is it a good deal, are there any Fodorites familiar with the company African Horizons etc.
The opportunity came completely out of the blue, so I haven't had a chance to do any research, and of course she is hoping to get confirmations back pretty quickly.
It would be a very big chunk of money for me, and I'm wondering if I would be better off arranging something less expensive through a different company. I also like the idea of staying in tents or permanent tent cabins.
Thanks for your help!

Day 1: Nairobi
Arrive at Nairobi Airport where you are met on arrival and transferred to the Stanley Hotel for overnight.(B&B)

Day 2: Aberdare National Park
Leave Nairobi in the morning to reach the small market town of Nyeri in time for lunch. The founder of the Boy Scouts movement, Lord Baden Powell spent the last years of his life in Nyeri and is buried here. After lunch, drive through the forest game viewing en route to your tree hotel where the night is spent. From the hotel balcony, high above the floodlit waterhole and saltlick, animals can be observed quenching their thirst. Overnight at the Mountain Lodge. (BLD)

Day 3: Samburu Game Reserve
After breakfast, drive north to reach Samburu National Reserve in time for lunch. An afternoon game drive introduces you to the animals peculiar to this area: blue-necked Somali ostrich, Beisa oryx and Grevy's zebra. Overnight at Samburu Serena Lodge or equivalent. (BLD)

Day 4: Samburu Game Reserve
Spend the day exploring this harsh and beautiful reserve, rife with game. Overnight at Samburu Serena Lodge or equivalent. (BLD)

Day 5: Lake Nakuru
Leave after breakfast and drive along the floor of the Great Rift Valley to Lake Nakuru where birds are plentiful. Many species of game can also be observed, such as the elusive leopard or the recently introduced Rothschild's giraffe. Lunch and overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge. (BLD)

Day 6: Masai Mara
After breakfast continue on to the Masai Mara Game Reserve arriving in time for lunch. An afternoon game gets you acquainted with the outstanding wildlife population of the famous reserve. Overnight at Mara Serena Lodge. (BLD)

Days 7: Masai Mara
Spend the day game viewing in Masai Mara one of the best places in Africa to track lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo and many species of antelope. Overnight at Mara Serena Lodge. (BLD)

Day 8: Masai Mara - Serengeti
After breakfast, a full day drive via Isabenia takes you to the Serengeti where you enjoy an afternoon game drive en route to your lodge. Overnight at the Serengeti Serena Lodge. (BLD)

Day 9: Serengeti National Park
Take morning and afternoon game drives within the vast plains of the Serengeti. Witness the immensity of the park and the amazing numbers of hoofed animals (zebra, wildebeest, antelopes…) as well as the predators it shelters during another exciting afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight at the Serengeti Serena Lodge. (BLD)

Day 10: Serengeti - Ngorongoro Crater
Enjoy a final morning game drive in the Serengeti. After lunch, drive to the Ngorongoro area via Olduvai Gorge where remains of prehistoric inhabitants were unearthed. Overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge. (BLD)

Day 11: Ngorongoro Crater - Lake Manyara
Descend into the crater for a half day drive at the bottom of this collapsed volcano, where a variety of habitats shelter an amazing array of wildlife, surrounded by spectacular scenery. In the afternoon, proceed to Lake Manayara where you enjoy an afternoon game drive. Overnight at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge. (BLD)

Day 12: Tarangire National Park
After breakfast, continue to Tarangire National Park. After lunch, set off to explore the park, which supports a wide variety of wildlife and is renowned for its many baobab trees. Overnight at Tarangire Sopa Lodge. (BLD)

Day 13: Arusha - Nairobi
After breakfast, drive back to Arusha for lunch. After lunch you are transferred to the airport for your flight back to Nairobi. Upon arrival at Nairobi's Wilson Airport you will be transferred to the international airport for your flight home, or taken to a hotel in Nairobi for an overnight (overnight not included)(BL)


2006 PRICE PER PERSON SHARING:

Jan 04 to Feb 28, Jun 26 to Oct 31: $4,810
Mar 01 to Mar 31, Nov 01 to Dec 22: $4,410
May 27 TO Jun 25: $4,290
Apr 01 to May 26: $3,975
Single Supplement: $650
Single Supplement: $530
Single Supplement: $250
Single Supplement: $60


INCLUDES:
Accommodation, meals as specified, land transportation, Arusha - Nairobi flights, safari activities, airport transfers and park fees.
EXCLUDES:
Any airfare other than specified above, visa fees, airport taxes, beverages, tips and gratuities, and all items of a personal nature.

Thanks for your help!
Marian is offline  
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Mar 9th, 2006, 04:16 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 705
Marian,
I can't comment on your itinerary, since I have not been to any of those places, but I have dealt with African Horizons. We booked our 2003 trip to South Africa and Botswana with African Horizons, and everything went perfectly with the trip. More recently, we have booked our December 2006 trip to Ethiopia, Uganda and Rwanda with African Horizons. I worked extensively with Marie to get the itinerary arranged and clear through the logistical challenges. I have found her (again) to be very responsive, knowledgeable and professional. So I would recommend African Horizons as an Africa travel agency.
Chris
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Mar 9th, 2006, 06:48 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,252
Seems at least a few hundred overpriced for what you are getting, especially given the number of people. I would also seriously think about going on safari with a group that big; if you like a big group that's fine, but for (less than) that kind of budget you can easily organise your own trip for two and do things at your own pace.
kimburu is offline  
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Mar 9th, 2006, 08:42 AM
  #4
 
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A very overpriced trip with way too many one nighters and long drives in my opinion. I think you can do better in terms of itinerary and cost by customizing your own safari assuming there are at least two of you sharing a vehicle.

Some comments on the itinerary and drive times. Day 2 Mountain Lodge is located in Mt Kenya, not Aberdare National Park, maybe a misprint? Day 5 the drive from Samburu to Lake Nakuru will be around 6 hours as will the drive on Day 6 from Lake Nakuru to the Masai Mara. I think 2 nights in the Mara is too short before you move on, particularly for the time of year as there's a good chance that the migrating herds will still be in the Mara in mid-October. On Day 8, the drive from Mara Serena to Serengeti Serena via Isebania will take around 10 hours. You'll literally be on a tour of the roads of Kenya and Tanzania

With 13 days, I think you should consider reducing the number of locations or adding a few flights in between.
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Mar 9th, 2006, 05:29 PM
  #5
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Thanks for the responses!
Looks like I need to get busy and start doing some research...
Unless someone out there would like to plan the perfect 12 to 14 day adventure for me? At little or no cost, of course!
Marian
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