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Anyone know anything re tour operator Kimbla Mantana?

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Oct 30th, 2005, 02:12 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7
Anyone know anything re tour operator Kimbla Mantana?

I am considering a safari with two kids with tour operator Kimbla Mantana. They have apparently been in business for forty years but other than the testimonials they have supplied themselves, I have not been able to find anyone who has used them. Has anyone had any experience or heard anything about this company?

The itinerary for our August 06 family safari is as follows:

Day 01: overnight on plane
Day 02: overnight at Nairobi Mayfair
Day 03: overnight at Nairobi Mayfair
Day 04: overnight at The Ark Game Lodge
Days 05-06: overnight at Samburu Intrepid
Day 07: overnight at Sweetwaters
Day 08: overnight at Lion Hill Lodge
Days 09-12: overnight at Mara Serena
Day 13: overnight on plane

This is an all-driving safari, including the Nakuru to Mara and Mara to Nairobi legs.

Any information on Kimbla Mantana would be great. Thanks.
bill_eli_hannah is offline  
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Oct 31st, 2005, 04:51 AM
  #2
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If anyone wants to check out their website, it's www.kimbla-mantana.com.

I'd also be interested in any information on Phoenix Safaris (not Phoenix Expeditions). Their website is www.phoenix-safaris.de.

Thanks again.

Bill
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Nov 1st, 2005, 08:23 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 178
In 2003 I stayed at Mantana camps in Uganda. I was not impressed. The safari was booked through an outfit called Eco-Adventure International (out of Wisconsin) and I would never recommend them or use them again. The Mantana camps we stayed in--Lake Mburo, Bwindi and can't remember the other one--were all, in my opinion, poorly maintained. The driver/guide we had was not very good at all. He was not a naturalist, but a former tour operator. He did not seem to know very much about wildlife! And, he always appeared distracted and bored. I have been on 2 other safaris in the last 4 years and so my opinion about Mantana is relative.
Feel free to email me if you have specific questions or want more info.
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Nov 6th, 2005, 04:57 AM
  #4
 
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My experience with Kimbla-Mantana (4 safaris) stretches over the period November 2004 through May 2005 having taken safaris in both Kenya and Uganda. My preference is the camping option which allows you to get away from the lodges and enjoy the wilderness 24 hours a day without the unavoidable human interference. Camping safaris are more expensive unless you have a group of approximately 6 people when the costs are equal to those of a lodge based safari. Kimbla-Mantana excelled in this area.

There have been significant upgrades at the Kimbla-Mantana Uganda camps from my first visit in November of 2004 and my last visit in May of this year. For instance the Lake Mburo camp has completely renovated all their tents and have them on platforms with beautiful views. The Lake Mburo dining area has also been completely renovated and is also on a platform which allows a great view of the lake. All of the Kimbla-Mantana Uganda properties have been upgraded which should be a consideration for anyone planning a trip to Uganda. While I agree that the Uganda properties needed some upgrades in November of 2004 I would disagree that they are not equal to or superior to anything we saw on our travels this year.

My experience in Kenya was mostly mobile camping (which everyone should experience at least once) and the entire staff I met was extremely professional, knowledgable, and quite engaging. Meeting the owners on my last trip (Lis and Tony Farrell) was also a nice touch since we got to see their home in Karen (outside of Nairobi) and hear some of the stories about daily life in Kenya.

Lastly the staff and driver guides with Kimbla-Mantana were excellent on all my visits and very knowledgable regarding the wildlife and areas. Therefore I would recommend Kimbla-Mantana to anyone planning a trip to Uganda or Kenya.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 11:22 AM
  #5
 
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I will be leaving on January 31 for a three week safari with Kimbla-Mantana (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania). As Charles M indicated I will also stay at the Farrell’s home prior to leaving Nairobi. I have been dealing with Justina Lambert in their U.S. office and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and help she’s provided. I will be traveling by myself and doing the mobile camping as well as lodges. I have attached my safari itinerary for your review.

If you would like I would be more than happy to let you know my thoughts, let me know.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 10:00 AM
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Hi....we recently returned from Kenya/Tanzania where we had a safari that included private tent camping, game lodges, and accomodations at the Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi. The whole thing put together by Kimbla in Nairobi. The private tent camps (in Amboseli and Samburu) were set up and run by Kimbla staff and the service, food and interaction with the camp staff was close to perfect and very comfortable and clean. In other words, excellent. In Amboseli the camp staff introduced us to one of the Masai guards who took the three boys out into the savannah to search for and make walking sticks. That alone was worth the price of the trip. Kimbla arranged the other accomodations at various game lodges and provided an outstanding driver/lguide to take us from place to place. Comfortable 8 passenger Land Rover. There were seven of us. 4 adults and 3 teen age boys. Some of our links were on local aircraft and all reservations and hook ups were seamless. The Kimbla staff really made sure there were no holes in the entire trip. We were met at the airport and taken care of each and every day and on the final day returned to the airport in a timely fashion. We are familiar with other operators, having been to East Africa several times. Probably the comparable operator that I know of is Kerr Downey, an elegant outfitter. I believe that Kimbla is every bit up to those standards (without some of the dresssing) and at a very competitive price. I can find nothing but praise for a most enjoyable, stress free safari. Thanks Kimbla.
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