Eastern and Southern Safaris

Sep 8th, 2005, 11:04 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 487
Eastern and Southern Safaris


We are considering using Eastern and Southers Safaris to see Kenya and Tanzania in about 9 days.
Has anyone used them? They are offering us 9 days of masai mara, ngorongoro, serengeti, lake manyara, one night stay in nairobi at the Nairobi Safari Club, airport transfers for $1900 per person for two people for mid-december. It is a private tour and we will be staying at the Serena lodges throughout the trip. The whole tour is by road.
Is that a good price?

Any help would be great.
africatravel is offline  
Sep 8th, 2005, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501

I haven't used them, mainly because their communication with me has been terrible -- of the various companies I contacted to arrange a simple week in the Masai Mara they've been the slowest to follow-up and never answered some of my questions. I already knew what lodges I wanted and when I wanted go, so it should have been simple just to quote me a price, but they still haven't done so. Given that experience, I would hesitate to trust them with a more complex operation.

If you post the exact itinerary, we can provide feedback on the logistics (how many nights per lodge, are the drives between lodges too long, etc).

jasher is offline  
Sep 8th, 2005, 01:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,966
I used Eastern and Southern Safaris for our Kenya safari in Jan/Feb of this year and will be using them again for our upcoming trip in November.

Our experience was nothing short of excellent starting from our pre-trip communication with Serah and throughout our safari. We also traveled by road last time and will do so again.

The advantages of traveling by road are cost, being able to see the scenery along the way, and having your own private vehicle and driver/guide. The disadvantage is that some of the drives are very long (about 6 hours one way from Nairobi to Masai Mara) and can be tiring. I think the decision to drive or fly depends on the overall length of your trip, which parks you're trying to visit, and how long you plan to stay at each location.

You're covering quite a bit of territory in 9 days, so a combination of flying and driving might work well. For example, you could add flights between Nairobi and the Masai Mara and save all of the driving for your Tanzania portion or consider doing a one way drive for the Tanzania portion (Arusha-Manyara-Ngorongoro-Serengeti) and add a one way flight back to Arusha at the end of your safari. In the second example, you'd still have your own private vehicle and driver/guide throughout, except you would fly back while your guide drives back. Either of those options might make it a little easier on you.

Will you be flying into Nairobi and out of Kilimanjaro airport or do you need to return to Nairobi to fly out?

I'm sorry to hear of your communication issues with them. Did they ever respond to you? My experiences in communicating with them have actually been quite the opposite. They were the only tour operator out of several that I contacted (including Southern Cross, Wildtrek, Suntrek, 2Afrika) who responded promptly with exactly what I asked for and took the time to answer my questions. Some of the others responded promptly too but left out/substituted certain things or provided a quote without answering any of my questions.

They were also very accomodating with a complete date change after I booked and a last minute accomodation change on my previous trip and have been very patient with my countless requests and changes this time. I'm probably worse than Rocco when it comes to indecisiveness. I just don't choose to share every little detail here I think I started emailing them about this current trip back in March and after much back and forth 'finalized' the itinerary in July (OK who am I kidding, I'll probably be tweaking it until the plane takes off )
Patty is offline  
Sep 8th, 2005, 02:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hi Patty,

I emailed E&S in mid-August about my plans for September 2006. My requirements weren't very complex -- I asked for 2 quotes (3 nights Rekero + 3 nights Little Gov or Kichwa Tembo Bateleur) in early September 2006. I also had a few questions about the activities available at the camps, notably which ones offered ballooning directly from the camp.

I received one email from Serah which didn't contain any answers to my questions, and no follow-up since then.

Southern Cross, on the other hand, have been very prompt and thoroughly answered all of my questions, as have Eco-Resorts and Africa Serendipity. Wildtrek responded quickly, but their prices were so far out of line with the others that I've stopped considering them - higher than rack rate (!)

I was rather disappointed by E&S, after reading good reports about them here. I understand the concept of 'African time,' but Southern Cross is a local company and has been very responsive.

jasher is offline  
Sep 8th, 2005, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,966
That's definitely an unacceptable length of time if they still haven't provided you with a basic quote yet. I can't imagine what's taking so long
Patty is offline  
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