ChaCheetah's Seach in Mara

Aug 11th, 2007, 10:40 AM
  #1  
chacheetah
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ChaCheetah's Seach in Mara

Hello all, now that I have a sense of the geography of Kenya with the help of Sandi and and Patty, I am on to the 3rd area of my - hopefully 2008 trip - The Mara. Mara Intrepids and Explorer continue to come up on postings and I know Intrepids is larger with updated tents, etc. vs. Explorer's smaller more intimate camp. Does anyone know if there is an extreme difference in price and if not is it just the choice of large vs.small, or are the guides better known for their skills at one or the other. I was reading up on a tented camp outside of the masa reserve region and it was known for its "silver badged" guides. What does that mean? I know they go to schools; is this a merit badge or something? Anyone in fodorland know about this, and the price difference at Intrepids and Explorer? Thank you once again! CC
 
Aug 11th, 2007, 11:59 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Chacheetah, here you can read about the silver badges: http://www.safariguides.org/index.html

On Ebenís website, the rack rates for the 2006 peak season are shown as $385ppn for Intrepids and $532ppn for Explorer. I paid less than that this year for Intrepids and donít know what price I could have got for Explorer. I tried to insinuate I should get upgraded, but it didnít work.
Nyamera is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 12:28 PM
  #3  
chacheetah
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Nyamera, how ironic that you posted a reply; I was just thinking of you and your teaching situation. With as much knowledge as you have accrued about Kenya and your obvious love for it I would suggest you work towards your passion - perhaps getting in with a travel/safari group in Kenya even if you have to start in the backroom. You could eventually lead groups or set itineraries; I am sure you would be very good at it. Your interest and level of knowledge reflects your passion and thats is where your heart should follow. Just an idea.
Thanks for the link to the guide's school; very informative! CC
 
Aug 11th, 2007, 12:34 PM
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Based on those 2006 rack rates, Explorer is almost 40% higher than Intrepid's.

Now those are 2006 rates... so if you figure approx 15% annual increases, then for 2008, rack rates may be $510pppn @ Intrepid's and $700pppn @ Explorer.

Your tour operator should be able to get you better than rack rates. But, you won't know unless you submit in inquiry. Till then, it's all guesswork.

sandi is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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Chacheetah, donít read that thread! Itís becoming a bit nasty, but then I am a nasty kind of antelope. As it doesnít even have an entertainment value, Iím thinking about asking the moderators to delete the whole thread. Thanks for having such nice thoughts about me! Itís officially impossible for a foreigner to get a work permit for a job that a Kenyan could do, but Iím always scheming. My heart is already in Kenya, so if I want to survive I have to move my body there. And, if it has to be done through the mistreatment of innocent children, so be it.
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Aug 11th, 2007, 01:56 PM
  #6  
chacheetah
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Sandi, thanks for the rate tip. I think I will be looking at other camps! But then again, maybe the entire country is out of my league. I have had a few inquiries sent out on my behalf (those that are paying quite frankly!) but of course I did not even know where to think of getting rates of any lodges. Thanks again to all of you for leading me to the right track (or post, as it were!) A couple of t/a's responded with "the rates are not out yet for 2008" so I thought I'd use the forum to at least find out WHERE I may want to go and stay. I do want to go the Mara of course, but we are not in the $700 plus rate (for one -yes, two-no way)But thanks for all information that has been shared. I will keep at it too! Though I am not much of a camper and was hoping for a semi-lux lodge - in the $400-500 pp a night. I thought THAT was high living; I guess I've been away from the real world too long! CC - JUST NOTICED I MISPELLED SEARCH! OMG.
 
Aug 11th, 2007, 02:08 PM
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Cha -

Don't write off small camps yet, and anyone who tells you '08 rates aren't out yet, don't know what they're talking about. Find other operators. The rates for most every property in Kenya have been available since June.

And while I show you the rack rates, the actual proposal you receive may show rates at maybe 15% less.

Again, until you get a real proposal with actual prices, you won't know. Don't try figuring it our yourself. As I recall, the budget you have to work with is doable... if not all lux properties, certainly nice, with good guides, food, amenities... even some that are listed on the Conde Nast 100 Best List.

sandi is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 07:43 AM
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CC - to Sandi's point, and just to give you additional idea...I'm staying at Explorer in Jan 08. The rate was only $40 more than Intrepid's, and MUCH lower than the rack rate that Sandi found. You really do have to ask your TA to price it out.

Shane
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Aug 13th, 2007, 09:39 AM
  #9  
chacheetah
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Shane; thanks and if you would be willing to share your t/a's name? I have had so many tell me they don't know the individual prices (yet Eben does) and they are "lumped" together. How did you find someone who would do that for you....if you'd pass along a name or two I'd appreciate it. Even at l5 percent less, by the time they add their l5 or 20 percent fee, it's back up there! I certainly would pay comissions; I just want to know how much I am paying for lodging, ground transport. etc.
Thx for your help. CC
 
Aug 13th, 2007, 10:59 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Interesting info Sandi. I've been exchanging emails with Heritage (owners of the Intrepids properties) within the last week and they indicated their 2008 rates were not yet available.
addisonr is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 02:49 PM
  #11  
chacheetah
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addison - I'd check again if I were you; I just got an email saying Explorer was mostly booked for next summer! If they book it, they must know the prices...Good luck...CC
 
Aug 13th, 2007, 04:50 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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I just looked at my email and got things backwards. Heritage has their 2008 rates now, but not their air packages. It's the Serena properties that said they would have their 2008 info at the end of this month.

FWIW, I have about convinced myself to do South Africa and maybe a little Botswana instead.

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