Anyone been on a budget camping safari?

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May 7th, 2002, 04:26 PM
  #1
SG
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Anyone been on a budget camping safari?

Greetings. Anyone have comments/suggestions for a 14day budget camping safari to Kenya & Tanzania? Many thanks!!
 
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May 8th, 2002, 07:40 AM
  #2
Colman
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We have been in Tanzania 7 Kenya last year.
We do a budget camping safari, 7 Days Kenya Part and 7 Days Tanzania Part. All that costs as USD: 130 Per Person Per Day. ALL Inclusive.Transport throughout the Safaris, Camping equipments, Service of Professional Driver Guide, 3 Meals a day, Cook. etc
Colman
 
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May 8th, 2002, 07:49 AM
  #3
Liz
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Hi- Yes my husband and I went to Kenya and Tanzania that way. Kenya wasn't camping though. It was better. Now I must say the trip was not advertised that way or we would not have gone. The ground provider in Tanzania pulled a fast one and took small tents and a bad crew. They switched from the lodges advertised and made a new camp in Ngorogoro Crater. Really unpleasant. I would never do it again but we are older and have done both camping and lodges or permanent tents. It can get real tough. The water is the most important thing. I always get a tummy upset because of the water used for cooking and coffee making is just plain not what we're used to. Take lots of medications for that. When your stomach is upset and its 2am and the bathroom is behind your tent in the brush it isn't fun or romantic. Very scary. No lights in the tents, on some trips you even do your own cooking. As I said, age is the most important factor. Younger and with a very strong constitution this could be a trip of a lifetime. Definately not my favorite thing. Liz
 
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May 8th, 2002, 02:08 PM
  #4
SG
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Liz, thanks for the insight. I ponder about the same camping "issues" that you brought up. Safaris are expensive and wanted to shave a few $$s but it wouldn't be worth it if we don't have a good experience. My husband & I will be 30 and can kinda rough it but not sure to what extent. Many times, you get what you paid for. I've also read your other postings and appreciate everyone's experiences.

Colman, what was your trip? Thanks everyone.
 
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May 8th, 2002, 04:32 PM
  #5
Thyra
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My husband and I (30's)just returned from a 7 day safari that was all inclusive (air, meals, game drives, food, bottled water, lodges) eco friendly and only $1,895.00 Per person. The company we went with also offers 14 day safaris' that are around $2,500.00 PP depending upon when you go. (A far cry from the usual $8,000.00 without airfare). We found our dream trip to Africa didn't cost much more then a 2 week trip to Europe. Another selling point is the small group sizes, where Micato has groups with as many as 20 people, 2Afrika has 6 MAX.
 
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May 9th, 2002, 06:53 AM
  #6
Liz
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I totally agree with Thyra. I just found 2Afrika.com through Frommer's. The prices seem incredible. I haven't used them yet but I will. I know about most of the camps and which are good, so all I want is someone who will do it without all the fanfare and $$$$. That place seems to. The President of that place is checking on getting us to Mombo in Botswana. Really seems eager to please. Believe me, I am not a travel agent or anything. I am retired and trying to save money so I can go more often. Never had such friendly service though. Liz
 
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May 9th, 2002, 09:48 AM
  #7
SG
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Thanks everyone for your advise. I will definitely look into 2Afrika. I brought up my concerns to my husband but he wants to commune more with nature and thinks camping is the best way. Just not sure about roughing it for 2 weeks . . .

Eastern & Southern Safaris is offering me a 14day camping safari for $1210pp w/o air. The trade offs are bigger groups, no guarantee of window seat, less comfort.

Can you please tell me about the vehicles they use? What happens if it breaks down or get stuck in the mud or something? Liz, when you are duped into camping in Tanzania, are showers available? Thanks so much.
 
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May 9th, 2002, 10:11 AM
  #8
Liz
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Hi SG- We knew that we would be camping in Tanzania, its just that they said we would have ensuite showers. That means each is connected to a tent. The tents were supposed also to house up to 4 or 5 people although there would be only two in each and they turned out to be like pup tents with tiny cots instead of the beds we were promised. The shower was a bucket of water poured over our head in a make shift shower away from our tents. That did it for us. Whether you are camping or lodging, all you do in Africa on safari is commune with nature. Believe me the only difference between camping and lodging in permanent tents is the discomfort. Actually it costs more for mobile camping than the standard rated permanent tented camps. The standard is fine. They have Standard or Deluxe ratings or something like that. We've gone on both. They are each nice. Standard is cheaper and I like that a lot better than camping. Its actually quite nice. You wouldn't believe it is standard unless someone told you. I don't always want to pay for deluxe, its just that some of the places you want to see in South Africa only have deluxe camps. Not so in East Africa. Sorry I went on in such detail, I hope it explains my earlier message and helps you decide. If not, when you return read this again and you will understand. Liz
 
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May 17th, 2002, 06:01 AM
  #9
Celia
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We've done both a traditional lodge safari in Kenya and a very basic camping safari in Tanzania. I was a bit sceptical about the camping beforehand but in the end I absolutely loved it,and would find it hard to do anything else in the future. Yes it was basic and yes you can't always have a shower because the elephants have dug up the water pipes,but you really feel that you are close to the wildlife and the sounds of Africa. We arranged our trip through a local operator in Tanzania and on the whole it worked out great. We had a jeep and driver and a cook and it was only myself and my husband. The food the cook made for us was incredible considering that he was cooking over an open fire and we never had any problems with stomach upsets.
When the darkness sets you start hearing the animals around you and it is very exciting. The animals walk into the camp after dark and we had hyenas and lions in our camp at nighttime.
If it's a truly memorable experience you are after I would definately camp. We actually mixed our trip with a few nights camping and a few in the lodges. The operators are usually very happy to mix and match according to your wishes.
If you know you have the next night in a lodge it doesn't really matter if you have to skip a shower one morning.
 
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May 17th, 2002, 06:29 AM
  #10
Patricia
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I went with 2Afrika and was part of Thyra's group of 5. We stayed in lodges but met a group of 3 that took a different 2Afrika trip--"Swingin' Safari" that stayed in tented camps. They had nothing but good things to say about it (we talked with them many times during our stay as we kept running into them and then reviewed our respective safaris in the Nairobi airport on the way out of the country). Their safari starts at less than $1800 each from Atlanta or NY. And included everything--RT air, meals, lodging, and I'm sure bottled water, etc. on the trail. 2Afrika can't be beat for price combined with quality. And don't be put off by the name "Swingin' Safari." It was named after the song and is not a swingers trip! Find them on Frommers.com
 
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May 19th, 2002, 11:26 AM
  #11
Celia
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We researched the market quite thorougly before we booked our budget camping trip to Tanzania last year. We decided to book with a local operator instead of going through an agent here in the UK.
I can give you a list of the companies I was in contact with if you wish.
As I mentioned in an earlier posting we had a vehicle to ourselves so there was never an issue with not having a window seat. It was only my husband and myself on the tour together with the guide/driver and the cook. We have done a group safari before but we prefer to travel more private in a small group so you can watch the animals at your own pace and no having to worry about someone else in the group wanting to move on.
 
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May 21st, 2002, 12:29 PM
  #12
SG
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Celia, please post your list of operators and their contact info. Also, in comparison to group safaris, how much was your private guided safari and its terms. Thanks.
 
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May 22nd, 2002, 02:09 AM
  #13
Celia
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Ok-here are details of a few of the companies we were in contact with.

Roy Safaris:
E-Mail: [email protected]
Web: http://www.roysafaris.com

Bobby Tours:
Email:[email protected]
Web:www.bobbytours.com

Bushbuck:
Email: [email protected]
WEB: www.bushbuckltd.com

Safarimakers:
Email[email protected]
Web:www.whiteyellow.com/safarimakers

Savannah Tours
Email[email protected]
Tel : (027) 2505474
Fax : (027) 2505475

Sunny Safaris
Email: [email protected]
www.sunnysafaris.com

Takims Holidays and Tours
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.takimsholidays.com

We choose Bobby Tours in the end. They offered us a very competitive price and were very accomodating to what we wanted to see and do. The cost was $1050 per person for 3 nights camping and 4 nights in lodges. That included the whole safari package with accomodation,equipment,food etc. (but not the international flights)
As I mentioned it was only the two of us in a Land Rover so there was never an issue of lack of space. We had a guide/driver and our own cook. The only extras were tips and drinks.
If you share the vehicle with two more people,or if you camp the whole time, I'm sure it would be even cheaper.
The camping is very basic with long drop toilets and the showers do not always have water,but we really loved it. You really feel that you're in the middle of Africa when the night falls and you hear all the sounds of the animals around you. Yes-it can be scary at times but always very, very exciting.
It was an experience I will never forget.
If you look at mixing camping with lodges the way we did I'd recommend that you stay in a lodge at the Ngorongoro Crater. It gets very cold at night at the rim and we were glad we stayed indoors that night. At Lake Manyara we stayed in a permanent tented camp,Kirurumu. We loved this camp and I'd recommend that you stay there if you plan to visit Lake Manyara. In the Serengeti we camped the whole time and I would find it hard to do anything else if I go back again.
And make sure you fit in a walking safari at some point. They don't allow walking safaris in the Serengeti but we did an afternoon walk in Arusha National Park and it was a amazing experience.
Let me know if you have some specific questions and I'll do my best to answer.

 
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May 22nd, 2002, 10:47 AM
  #14
SG
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Thanks Celia for the info. I'll definitely check them out. If anyone else have recommendations on operators that offer camping safaris combining both Kenya & Tanzania, please let me know. Thanks so much for everyone's great advice.
 
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