Budget travel

Dec 28th, 2005, 10:51 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 89
Budget travel


First of all thanks for all the wealth of information you guys share on this forum. I have really learned a lot and laughed a lot during the six months I have followed it.

One thing that I wanted to ask though, is do you have any tips for budget travels in Tanzania/Kenya? Not that I do not appreciate the luxury tented camps and good food, but I have been thinking that I would rather go every year to see moore of the wildlife and country. So if that means sleeping on a matress then that be it....

So I would be very happy to get your best tips on how to have a great and safe wildlife experience on a tight budget!

Thanks in advance, and my apologies for the bad language.

Greetings from the Åland Islands!
basto is offline  
Dec 29th, 2005, 04:00 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,077
There are loads of European based companies offering budget trips to East Africa - alternatively, there are (were) many organisations based in Nairobi too. That's for group travel. You can also organise your own safari ex nairobi with car, driver, tent, etc. but obviously it is best if you do this with other people to keep the costs down.

It's not hard to travel in E Africa by public transport - to the coast, to Kisumu, to Mt Kenya, etc. - but it is almost impossible to visit wildlife this way (though I did manage to get to QE Nat Park in Uganda by shared taxi and hitching, and once there, you can take advantage of river cruises and game drives, etc).

You might do better to post on the Thorn Tree (www.lonelyplanet.com) for budget travel.

Trying to place the Aland islands - Denmark I think?

All the best for 2006.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Dec 29th, 2005, 05:00 AM
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Thanks for the answer. I still think that it´s worth the money to have a private vehicle. Perhaps I am wrong but it feels better to do things in my own tempo, stay to look at an animal for an hour if it feels right, and so on.

Thanks for directing me to Thorn Tree, I´ll try to post there and see what happens.

Denmark is a good guess, but not quite right...

The Åland Islands is a "semi"-independent island between Finland and Sweden. We belong to Finland, but have our own government regarding domestic issues, but no foreign policy. Hopefully we´ll get the rights for taxation to ourselves soon

basto is offline  
Dec 29th, 2005, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Hello Tom,

Group budget camping is the least expensive kind of safari, though it’s still very expensive. On this kind of trip there’s a risk you’ll share a minibus with 5 other people. Personally I hate budget camping since experiencing it as a child on Åland and in the worst kind of group – family. I don’t mind sleeping on the ground or not eating gourmet food, but I need a tent with a bathroom, especially now when I’m older and uglier. Your best choice, presuming you’re a natural beauty, would be a private budget safari with your own group of selected people. There are lots of safari companies in Nairobi that do budget camping. Gametrackers http://www.gametrackersafaris.com/ get good reviews on Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree, but it’s not the most inexpensive company.

In towns and on the coast there are lots of hotels (with ensuite rooms) that cost a fraction of the ones recommended by travel agents.

Nyamera is offline  
Dec 29th, 2005, 10:18 PM
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Posts: 89
Hello Nyamera,

And thanks for answer. I am sorry to hear that you have a camping-trauma from Åland... Pls come back so we can put that right.

Not a natural beauty, but I do have the advantage of not having so much hair left, which makes things easier ;-)

I guess the way to go is to convince my friends to come along, and put together a private budget safari.
basto is offline  
Dec 30th, 2005, 03:18 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Basto - apologies for not getting the location of the Aland Island quite right. I visited Helsinki for the first time this past (northern) summer) so I really should have known better.

I just wanted to wish you luck and also to suggest that if you stay in other than the big bucks hotels, you might easily meet up with folk who want to do what you want to do. And then you can set out to organise your own safari.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Dec 30th, 2005, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
Åland wasn’t that bad. I even had an “interesting” wildlife experience when I picked up some bladderkelp (think it’s called that in English) and thousands of little baby shrimps filled the rubber boat.

Another way to keep costs down is to travel in April or May.

The Åland Islands are really important. Because of them you can buy tax-free spirits on the cruise ferries between Sweden and Finland. Maybe you should call yourself “Fuzzygeography” instead? (next year I’ll become a nice person)
Though it was clever to get to QE NP without your own vehicle. Where did you stay?

Happy new year
Nyamera is offline  
Dec 30th, 2005, 01:02 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,148
Consider also www.imaginative-traveller.com. We have traveled with them in Asia and they also run Africa trips on a similar budget and philosophy.
laurie_ann is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 02:31 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Nyamera - thanks for your kind words.

Where did I stay at QE? - well at the cheapest possible option, of course. I believe (it was a while ago) it was in an annex to the main lodge. So food in the lodge restaurant but bed in a separate block. I remember two things above all else about that section of my trip. First - seeing the chimps; second, on the way there I waited a long time for a lift, and when one finally came along it was a saloon car and was full. But still room for one more. One of the three guys in the back seat was wearing a "BBC" T-shirt. Turned out he had won a competition for writing short radio plays, and the shirt was part of the prize.

Africa - don't you just love it?

Re your "fuzzygeography" quip - I could have got the atlas off the shelf and looked up the Aland Islands before I posted - I just thought I'd be absolutely up front. And look, as I was ignorant I learned something I didn't know as a result.

Actually my geography is pretty good. How's yours? I have a little test for you. You can cheat or not as the mood takes you. Where are the following places:

Christmas Island

Over to you, and have a terrific 2006.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 06:36 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309

Thanks for the QE answer.

I knew Bangui - capital of the Central African Republic …

Ajanta - India, mountain range with very famous Buddhist cave monuments. It sounded Indian but I had no idea.

Chimanimani – Zimbabwe, village and mountains. I’m very focused on East Africa, but I thought I could at least place geographic names in other African countries. I had no idea.

Christmas Island – I’d heard about these islands belonging to Australia, but I would have placed them somewhere to the northeast of Australia instead of south of Java.

Pakse – Laos. I had no idea.

Mirambel – Maestrazgo, Teruel, Aragón. The most embarrassing of all since I lived in Spain for 14 years. I thought “no idea, sounds like the Philippines” and then I looked it up.

I’m not calling you “Fuzzygeography” anymore. It’s 2006 and I’m nice and I don’t know what I would have to call myself.

Now I have a test for you. I’ll take only places I’ve been to and that are of some interest to travellers.


Nyamera is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 03:37 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,077
greetings Nyamera,

Your challenge is accepted - and I have been enlighted while doing it, as you intended - and as I intended too when I posted my quiz for you!!

Guimar. Thought it must be hispanic but didn't know where. Don't have mega Times Atlas of the World to hand, and it wasn't listed in the small bookshelf offering I do have. To the net. It's a place in TENERIFE in the Canary Is. I had never heard of it, and the only time I have been to the Canaries was when I was six years old and we stopped at Las Palmas on a sea voyage (when such things were still possible).

So Pyramids in the Atlantic - fancy that - and thanks for the new info.

Ukunda - had to be E Africa and I knew it was buried deep in the memory banks, but I couldn't find it. The net again - small village at the turn off to Diani Beach. It's 30 years almost to the day that I was last at Diani (and wow was it beautiful) though have passed down that road to Dar since without stopping.

Coïn - Hispanic again. No idea. Turns out to be near Malaga.

Mariehamn - this one I knew. Cos I sailed with Viking Line from Tallin to Helsinki just last October and read their company history. I've never been there, but it is in FINLAND.

Rungsted - clearly Scandinavia somewhere and another name I knew I knew but couldn't place. Turns out the connection is Karen Blixen. I lived outside Nairobi for a while once - in Karen. And have read "Out of Africa" - but couldn't place it rightfully in DENMARK.

Kiserian - absolutely and totally no idea. Thought it sounded Germanic. But turns out it's a small place somewhere near the Ngong Hills in Kenya.

Now if you'd chosen Karen, or Langata, or Ngong, it would have been familiar territory.

That was fun!!

Thing is, of course, the places you have visited become part of your geographical cache.

I've never been to Christmas Island - otherwise you and I have played by the same rules.

All the very best.

fuzzylogic is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 391
My advice.... haggle over everything!
Even if you can't get a lower price you will get better value for money. More often than not you will get better value at a lower price!!

There's an expression where I come from "Shy bairns get nowt." (Shy children get nothing).
Pumbavu is offline  

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