Book a tour after arriving in Nairobi?

Reply

May 15th, 2005, 11:53 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 14
Book a tour after arriving in Nairobi?

I’ve just started researching safari trips, but everyone on this forum is so knowledgeable, I wanted to ask a few burning questions right away. I will be traveling with my parents, husband, and adult sister, likely during low season. My mother is not much of a camper, so we can’t totally rough it, or if we do camp, it would have to have some conveniences that she’s used to. I’m thinking about doing a 7-day escorted safari, but I know that once my mother got over the “outdoor” aspect of it, she is going to be so amazed and appreciative of the wildlife that she wouldn’t mind staying for 10 days. Since there are five of us, I’d like to help find some deals for the family.

I imagine that we’ll have about $10,000 not including flight – what can we get for this?
All inclusive? Private tour for the five of us or a group tour? Camping or lodging or a combination of both? Popular reserves, or smaller/private reserves? At that budget, can we do a longer safari (10 days)?

Could we wait until we arrive in Nairobi to purchase a safari for a group of five? We’d stay one day to research popular outfits. What opinions do you have on Bunson Safaris, Let’s Go Travel and Tour Africa Safaris? Any other recommendations?

Looking forward to your thoughts and suggestions!
fayray is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2005, 01:39 PM
  #2
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
fayray -

Low Season? Which month?

Where are you traveling from?

What have you seen from the tour operators you list that are of interest, where will you be staying - lodge/camps and what are their costs?

For five people you can definitely get an independent itinerary, designed as you wish, staying at properties that would suit all in your party. It will be "escorted" as you wouldn't want to do it on your own. As to "deals" - not really, but prices per person and low season will offer an advantage.

I'm not familiar with the operators you list, but I certainly wouldn't wait until I arrived in Nairobi to find someone to create an itinerary. Nairobi isn't the most ideal place to be running around looking for a tour operator. Being in a rush, you might be sold something you don't really want. Besides, very few in-country operators take credit cards ... you'd have to pay cash or w/travelers checks - do you want to travel like that? And, you'd do as well, if not better, booking beforehand.

Do a search on this board - in the box on the top - enter "kenya tour operators" or "tour operators" - threads will appear on the left and you can read though and see which outfitters many on this board have used successfully.
 
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2005, 01:52 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
$10,000 divided by 5 = $2,000pp divided by 9 nights = $222pp per night. I'd say a private safari for 5 in Kenya in low season is easily doable on your budget. That per night figure is approx. what we'll be paying for a private safari for the 2 of us in November. You can see our tentative itinerary here - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34602040

You can include a mix of lodges and tented camps (which are very comfortable with ensuite baths, not at all like camping) as well as a mix of national parks/reserves and smaller, private conservancies.

I wouldn't wait until arrival to book. You can get comparison quotes and do all of your planning by email in advance. Why waste valuable time and take the chance that your preferred lodge/camp might be booked (some are quite small with less than a dozen rooms/tents)?

Another safari operator that you can add to your list to contact is Eastern & Southern Safaris www.essafari.co.ke
in Nairobi. We used them for our Kenya safari in Jan/Feb. Here's a link to our trip report and photos - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34566072

We plan to use their services again in November. Hope this helps.
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 16th, 2005, 08:27 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5
Thanks for the info, Patty and Sandi! From what I've read, it seems like with a group of 5 for 7 days, we could even get away with less than $2000/pp (are the deals at the reputable operators listed on this site, such as Go2Afrika, for less than $1000 to good to be true?)

It looks like a safari with my parents will have to include Victoria Falls. So Zimbabwe or Botswana it is. It seems like Apr-May (2006) is shoulder season (we want to avoid crowds and get cheaper package rates), but should I be that concerned about the rains? Will it hinder much?

We'll probably go to Vic Falls and then to one reserve and stay for 5 days. Is this a good idea? I want to avoid traveling too much overland with my parents, as well as changing hotels more than twice, but if many have the opinion that we should keep moving to get game viewing variety, I'll take that into consideration.

Thanks again!
fayandray is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 16th, 2005, 09:33 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
If you're talking about going to Zimbabwe or Botswana plus Vic falls, then that changes the picture completely. I thought you were talking about safari in East Africa since you were referring to booking in Nairobi.

I don't have any knowledge of those places other than I keep hearing from others that Botswana is very expensive. Perhaps you should should start another thread with a new title as people won't associate your current title with the areas you wish to visit and those that can provide help/advise may not click on this post.
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 16th, 2005, 11:51 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5
Sorry about that -- I was talking about Kenya at first, but after discussing it with my parents, I realized that they need to see Vic Falls. So yes, it does change everything.

I've been perusing the Botswana boards for more information (still have to go to the Zambia boards). If I have any questions about Botswana vs. Kenya, I'll definitely do a separate post.

Thanks!
fayandray is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 16th, 2005, 02:52 PM
  #7
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Have to agree with Patty - Nairobi sent us in t he wrong direction. But that aside, yes, you can find "deals" so-to-call during the Wet Season - known as the Green Season in the Vic Falls and Bostwana area, but that's it - WET.

In VFA at that time you won't even get to "see" the Falls! You'll hear it and see the mist from miles away, but you'll need rain slickers anywhere near the Falls and you won't be able to use your cameras.

It is also wet in Botswana, and with the long/tall grasses, gameviewing is difficult except for giraffe and elephants that are large/tall enough. And because there is water everywhere, animals don't come to the otherwise only waterholes as would be in other seasons. The reason you see "deals" is because this time period isn't ideal for travelers... they stay home, so the tour operators have to offer some "hook" to attract visitors.

You don't mention from where you're flying, but if from the States, that's a long way to go for only 7-days.

If you'd rethink instead to East Africa - April/May are the "long" rains here as well, and likewise, prices are lower. However, in East Africa is usually doesn't rain as much and many travelers enjoy being in Kenya/Tanzania when it's so beautifully green.

Low season anywhere has it's reason, peoplle prefer not to travel when it's wet and rainy. No only is the air wet, but so are travelers - their tents, rooms, clothing - generally, not very comfortable - your mom might not be a "happy camper" in this environment. So if it's low/shoulder season you're looking for, consider late October/November and June for East Africa. And if Southern Africa VFA, is where you wish to visit, I'd consider another time to travel.

Didn't quite understand your comment re: Botswana board or Zambia board - on Fodor's all of Africa is on the same board.
 
Reply With Quote
May 16th, 2005, 06:36 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
For your board question. You are right that there is only one Africa board. But the title of your post on the board states Nairobi. If you are more interested in Botswana, then start a new thread, with Botswana in the title on the Africa Board. You'll get better feedback that way.
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:47 PM.