educate me about safaris

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Jan 21st, 2006, 08:16 AM
  #1
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educate me about safaris

Please educate me on safaris. I am considering a safari as a family vacation sometime this year. I live in Italy, so we were thinking about going to Kenya. SOme of my questions -
1. How long does the typical safari last - are you moving from location to location during a safari or is it possible to do "day trips". For example, could we stay at a resort in Kenya and do a safari trip from there?
2. what is the best time of year to visit Kenya - we were hoping for April but I understand it can be rainy then
3. what are pricing structures for a safari - I'm not quite in budget category but perhaps moderate.

any information and advice on how to plan a safari including logistics would be appreciated.
bethinmilan is offline  
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Jan 21st, 2006, 08:34 AM
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"Please educate me on safaris"

Oh boy have you come to the right place. I'll let the experts take over from here...

Matt
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Jan 21st, 2006, 10:24 AM
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beth,

Start by browsing the East Africa Trip Report Index:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34725679

In particular you might be interestd in philw's trip, with his daughters and wife, to Kenya this past summer.

1. Depends on how long you want your trip to last, of course. I don't know about day trips, but I thik someof the camps/lodges canc ertainly feel like resorts.

2. Not sure. Probably I'd avoid April b/c of the rains.

3. Again, pricing structures really vayr depending on what you want, season, etc.

Good luck!
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Jan 21st, 2006, 10:28 AM
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Sorry for all the typos.
Leely is offline  
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Jan 21st, 2006, 01:40 PM
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1. I don't think there's a 'typical' length. A safari can last however long you want from one day to a few months. If you're thinking of staying at a beach resort in Kenya, like around Mombasa, and starting your safari from there, the easiest parks to reach would be Tsavo East, Tsavo West, and Amboseli. You could spend a few nights in each park. The only day trip possibility I can think of (from Mombasa) would be Shimba Hills which is close enough.

2. April is the start of the long rains season. Whether or not it will actually rain is anybody's guess.

3. April is low season for safaris in Kenya. Pricing will be affected by many factors. How many people will be traveling? Do you prefer group or private? Camping, lodge or tented camp? Fly or drive?

The following are just some very general pricing guidelines. The more people you have, the lower the price. The cheapest safaris are budget camping safaris traveling with others in a group. That said, the additional cost of a private safari isn't that much more if there are at least 2 of you and is well worth the minimal extra cost. Staying at lodges or tented camps will cost more than budget camping. The range of accomodation is quite broad and much of your safari cost will depend on where you choose to stay. Flying will cost more than driving.
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Jan 21st, 2006, 05:19 PM
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1. Day trips are not feasible. Take a look at some set itineraries for companies like A&K, Micato (they are very expensive) or Overseas Adventure Travel, Mountain Sobek, or Globus/Brendan to get an idea of what is typically offered and for some costs. These companies are skewed to US clients, but would give you an idea. For many, the budget dictates the amount of time you can spend.

As Leely mentioned, look what others have done. That newly created East Africa trip report index is a wealth of info.

2. Best time for wildlife is most expensive with the most people. April is not what most people consider best so you'd get deals and likely rain. Here is a link to a chart for the best times to view animals.
http://www.africa-adventure.com/dsp_besttime.html

3. To get a rough idea of lodge/camp costs go to www.e-gnu.com. Of course this does not include transport between locations.

The logistics would be taken care of by your agent or operator. That is why most of us use an agent/operator for Africa.

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Jan 21st, 2006, 07:39 PM
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Warning: relative novice posting

I think a lot of people stay at resorts and do a safari from there, but personally I think you would be nuts to go to Kenya and then do safaris as day trips. Kenya has fantastically beautiful scenery and is packed full of mountain and bush resorts with locations to absolutely die for. The beach is not the only option for a fantastic base. There is no need to feel that a safari is an exhausting pursuit .. the word simply means a journey and you can decide the pace of it yourself.

Keep in mind you will see animals regardless of the time of year...

Give a few more details of what you have in mind and the folks here will tell you everything.
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Jan 21st, 2006, 10:04 PM
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1. How long does the typical safari last - are you moving from location to location during a safari or is it possible to do "day trips". For example, could we stay at a resort in Kenya and do a safari trip from there?

Yes, It's possible. For example there are a few places you can do as day trips from Mombasa (Shimba Hills, Tsavo) and others from Nairobi (Nairobi Park, Naivasha and Lake Nakuru). However you can also take shorter safaris, just a couple of nights... for example a trip to Tsavo from the coast. Safari is Swahili for journey.... journeys can be short!


2. what is the best time of year to visit Kenya - we were hoping for April but I understand it can be rainy then.

The rains are generally localised, and bring their own joy to a trip. What could be more fun that trying to get a vehicle out of the mud in the middle of a game park! One of you acting as lookour like a mire cat. Seriously I've not had problems, and did Tsavo East and West end of April/beginning of May a couple of years ago.





3. what are pricing structures for a safari - I'm not quite in budget category but perhaps moderate.


please email me and I can put you in touch with people who can give you some ideas of reasonable prices... but here are some examples of day trips...

Day Trip to Lake Nakuru Lodge
Depart Nairobi in the morning and drive to the floor of the Rift Valley stopping to marvel at the views of the escarpment along the way. Arrive Lake Nakuru National Park for mid-morning game drive. Proceed for lunch at Lake Nakuru Lodge. Another short game drive as you get out of the park, and drive back to Nairobi arriving early evening.
Price: Per person US$165
(Daily departure - minimum 2 persons)


Tsavo East National Park

Pick up from your hotel at dawn. As day breaks, drive along Mombasa-Nairobi Highway for a distance of 140 km entering Tsavo East National Park through the Bachuma gate and start your game viewing. Wildlife in the park include the "red" elephants, lions, buffalo, giraffes, zebras and other plains game. Lunch will be at Voi Safari Lodge followed by another game drive as you depart to return to Mombasa arriving early evening. Drop at your hotel.


Price per person: US$140


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Jan 21st, 2006, 10:11 PM
  #9
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THis is such useful information - thank you. Especially the map of viewing dates and the info on day trips. I'll continue my research but most of you have persuaded me to go during a better season and to plan to spend the money for the best experience. Thanks!
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