Egypt/Kenya/Tanzania in November

Jul 26th, 2008, 09:32 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29
Egypt/Kenya/Tanzania in November

Hi! I just got a trip quote from Africapoint for a trip to Egypt/Kenya/Tanzania in November. A few questions:

- I don't know if the Kenya/TZ itinerary below captures the best areas to be in at that time of year. Should we just focus on one country (Kenya or TZ) or try to hit both? We probably won't be able to revisit Africa for a couple of decades so we were trying to get a sample of each country while we are out, but if one country will have inferior viewing in late November, then we can skip it.

- I checked the accommodation reviews and they all fare from "okay" to "nice." Is it worth upgrading at any of these properties? We were trying to stay under $12k total including all airfare so with the quote below we have some room to upgrade, provided it's worthwhile.

- In Egypt - they have us on a sleeper train for two nights; is it worth paying for the flight instead?

Thanks for your help in advance!!

My current itinerary from Africapoint, $6590 for two people w/o airfare:

Day 1: 21st Nov 08: CAIRO
Overnight in your Hotel in Cairo

Day 2: 22nd Nov 08: CAIRO -ASWAN
Dinner & overnight onboard Sleeper Train

Day 3: 23rd Nov 08: ASWAN - KOM OMBO
Dinner & overnight onboard Nile Cruiser

Day 4: 24th Nov 08: KOM OMBO- EDFU
Dinner & overnight onboard Nile Cruiser

Day 5: 25th Nov 08: EDFU- LUXOR
Dinner & overnight onboard Nile Cruiser

Day 6: 26th Nov 08: LUXOR- CAIRO
Dinner & overnight onboard Sleeper Train

Day 7: 27th Nov 08: CAIRO NAIROBI
Breakfast will be served onboard Sleeper Train. After arrival at Cairo, have a day use room in Cairo. You spend the rest of the day at leisure in Cairo, before evening transfer to Airport for your flight to Nairobi.

On arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport you will be met by Africapoint Staff and transferred to the Hilton Hotel.

Overnight at Hilton hotel based on Bed and Breakfast basis.

Day 8: 28th Nov 08: NAIROBI MAASAI MARA
Dinner and overnight at Mara Sopa Lodge / Mara Simba Lodge.

Day 9: 29th Nov 08: MAASAI MARA
Lunch, Dinner and overnight at Mara Sopa Lodge / Mara Simba Lodge.

Day 10: 30th Nov 08: MARA LAKE NAKURU
Lunch at Lion Hill Lodge; later drive to Lake Naivasha Sopa for dinner and overnight.

Day 11: 1st Dec 08: LAKE NAIVASHA AMBOSELI
Dinner and overnight at Amboseli Serena Lodge

Day 13: 2nd Dec 08: AMBOSELI - ARUSHA - NGORONGORO
Breakfast will be served at Amboseli Serena lodge. 0800 Hrs drive through Namanga border into Tanzania and drive to Arusha town
to arrive in time for lunch.

Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge or Similar

Day 14: 3rd Dec 08: NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA
Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge or Similar

Day 15: 4th Dec 08: NGORONGORO - LAKE MANYARA
Dinner and overnight at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge or Similar

Day 16: 5th Dec 08: LAKE MANYARA - ARUSHA
Breakfast will be offered and later at around 1000 Hrs drive to Arusha. Drop off Arusha at Impala hotel for lunch.

After lunch continue to Nairobi on regular shuttle bus and drop off at Panafric hotel.
alina555 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 10:41 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,877
With only 7 nights on safari, I'd stick with one country. Your itinerary as it is involves a lot of long days on the road with many 1 nighters which can get exhausting. I don't think late-November/early December strongly favors one country over another, though others may disagree, and it's one less connection to fly CAI-NBO vs CAI-JRO, so I'd go with Kenya with your limited time. Both the Egypt Air and Kenya Airways flights on Nov 27 depart CAI in the evening and arrive NBO early morning the following day (Nov 28), so you wouldn't have an overnight in Nairobi unless you pushed the safari departure back one day.
Patty is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 12:41 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Agree with Patty, too many days with long drives.

November is the "short" rain season in East Africa and prices in Kenya are at low-season rates, while Tanzania is still high-season (rather than peak-season). So, I'd stay with Kenya only.

As itinerary shown, drive from Nakuru to Amboseli will take a good portion of the day, about 7+/hrs. Likewise drive from Amboseli to Ngorongoro will easily be 8+/hrs.

Depending on morning arrival time at Nairobi, and since doing a driving safari, I'd head to Amboseli first, then Lake Nakuru, concluding with visit in the Mara.

Day 1 - Arv NBO, drive (4/hrs) to Amboseli - o/n
Day 2 - Amboseli - o/n
Day 3 - Fly to Nairobi (your guide will drive back and meet you after lunch); on arrival NBO sightseeing to visit Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Center and at 11am Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, lunch. After lunch with guide/driver (2-2.5/hrs) to Lk. Nakuru - o/n
Day 4 - Lake Nakuru; afternoon to Lake Naivasha, boat to Crescent Island - o/n
Day 5 - Drive (5-6/hrs) to Masai Mara - o/n
Day 6 - Masai Mara - o/n
Day 7 - Masai Mara - o/n
Day 8 - Drive (5-6/hrs) to NBO, dayroom, transfer to airport for homebound homebound flight.

Yes, there is a flight, but only because otherwise, distances are just too long and roads not always the best. Long drives are very tiring.
sandi is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 11:41 AM
  #4  
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29
Great advice - thanks so much!! I think I will follow it and take out TZ from the mix and go to your recommended areas.
alina555 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 11:53 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,282
alina555 - I would definitely fly to Aswan/return from Luxor - for two reasons

1) it would free up time for you to visit Abu Simbel (a must!! - you could leave Cairo on Day 2 and fly to Aswan and stay in a hotel, then the next morning fly to Abu Simbel and be back in time to board your cruise for a late lunch - that's how we did it)

2) Have an extra day in Cairo (it seems a little tight now) - you could conceivably fly back to Cairo on Day 5 (upon disembarking) which would give you another day in Cairo.

Here's a link to our blog with lots of pics of Egypt..........

http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/l...iro/index.html

(Navigate on the right hand margin for the Nile Cruise portion)

Also - I'd be asking now which Nile Cruise boat they are recommending - there is a very wide range of boats - some of which you wouldn't want.

I'm just planning our Tanzania trip now for January 09 - very exciting!
Elizabeth_S is online now  
Jul 27th, 2008, 12:07 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
You can fly from Cairo to Abu Simbel (maybe w/stop in Aswan), after 2+/hrs at site a flight back to Aswan and board Nile cruiser. With short time, no need to overnight Aswan as Elizabeth mentions above.

sandi is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 01:41 PM
  #7  
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Posts: 29
Yeah, I thought it might be a better idea to fly instead of stay on the Sleeper train so I will ask how much more that option is.

With this more simplified itinerary, is it worth booking it through an agent like Africapoint or better to book on my own? I know I can book the lodges/tents individually, and the flights, but not so sure about getting the right tour guides and airport transfers.
alina555 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 04:41 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Personally, I'd use a separate outfitter for Egypt, and Africapoint in Kenya/Tanzania.

For Egypt, Lady Egypt which has recently received excellent reviews. Another is Egypt Highlights.

Africapoint can then handle all reservations for the transfers, hotel/camp/lodge reservations, flights, etc. in East Africa.

Have one or the other arrange your flights between Egypt and Nairobi. I'm assuming you're arranging international flights from your home country.
sandi is offline  

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