Feb Safari Plan with Costs--is this about right?

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Jul 30th, 2012, 04:17 PM
  #1
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Feb Safari Plan with Costs--is this about right?

We've got about 9 days for our first east africa safari in Feb 2013. We've done two safari's in southern africa before and wanted something different. An outfitter is suggesting Kenya, though I'm not opposed to Kenya or Tanzania, and has come up with this plan:
1. Night arrival into NBO
Day2. x-fer to Wilson, fly to Nanyuki, 2 nights in Laikipia camp, Ol Pejeta conservancy (I like this because of the rhinos mainly)
Day4: x-fer Nanyuki to Masai Mara, 3 nights Masa Mara camp, naibosho conservancy.
Day 7: xfer to Wilson, drive to NBO, night flight home.

2 persons. Total cost (exclusive of international flights) $8700.

Good? Bad? Keep trying? Should I temper the outfitter's advice, and really be trying to focus on south serengeti at this time of year?
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Jul 30th, 2012, 08:22 PM
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Let me do some math, $8700 divided by 10(safari days) is $870 per day per person. How many Africa charter flights are required? (Included in that cost of $8700).

regards - tom
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Jul 30th, 2012, 08:54 PM
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I'm confused...I only see 7 days on the ground, 5 days of actual safari time.
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Jul 31st, 2012, 03:06 AM
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You need to get the outfitter to specify exactly *which* properties at Ol Pejeta and Naboisho you would be staying at. Otherwise, hard to judge the value.

Richard
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Jul 31st, 2012, 03:49 AM
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Night 1 is near NBO. The next day we transfer to Wilson for a flight to Nanyuki. 2 Nights in Ol Pejeta (so 2 night drives, 2 morning drives). Then fly to Masai Mara for 3 nights in naibosho (so 2 full days, 2 half days), then fly to Wilson for departure. 3 flights internal.

Richard, the properties are in the first post: Laikipia and Masa Mara camps.
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Jul 31st, 2012, 03:50 AM
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Tom, that's 6 safari days.
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Jul 31st, 2012, 07:41 AM
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Sorry cooper0717, Richard is asking for the actual names of the camps. There are many in Laikipia, as well as in the Masai Mara, though only one or two at Naibosho. And, what does "1/nt hotel near NBO" mean?... name please? Near NBO can be in the suburb of Karen and depending on time of arrival NBO, with early transfer next morning... might not have to spend lots of money just to sleep and have breakfast.

Still it's only 6/nights on the ground, where on return from Mara to NBO, they don't seem to be providing a 'day room' till later flight departure home (unless flight is late-afternoon... at least you should have lunch) and that price seems awfully high when February isn't even 'peak' season.

From whom did you get this quote? The only tour operator/outfitter? Do tell, as that's the only way we can answer.
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Jul 31st, 2012, 06:14 PM
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Yes, specifics are needed. "Near NBO" could probably range from $30 to $1000 per night, depending where. Africa Travel Resource is a helpful site when you get the specific names of places you are staying.


This is an ATR link to Rekero Naboisho--not sure if that's where you are at or not. Need specifics.
http://www.africatravelresource.com/...naboisho-camp/

These rates are not always up to date and you can sometimes get a better deal booking properties in combination or going green season, etc. But it offers a ballpark figure for quite a few places.
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Aug 1st, 2012, 06:35 AM
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I assume it's 870$ for TWO persons per day, ic 435$ pppd.

Still looks steep for Kenya, but as others say; it depends on what is offered. Bit unclear now.
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Aug 1st, 2012, 09:25 AM
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$870 pppd, i.e. 5 safari days ($8700 divided by 10days, 2x5). Question is whether it is 5 or 6 safari days, so $8700 divided by 10 or 12.

regards - tom
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Aug 1st, 2012, 10:25 AM
  #11
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The overnight near NBO is at Fairview Hotel. Though this may be moot as I've found a 10AM arrival flight.

As far as the camps, the names are just that: Laikipia Camp and Mara Valley Camp. I see no other names on the detailed plan sent to me.

I have a Plan B price that I'll post in another post.
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Aug 1st, 2012, 10:27 AM
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And here's plan B from a differnt outfitter:

1) Arrive Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Meet upon arrival and transfer to Wilson Airport for regularly scheduled afternoon flight to Samburu. Meet upon arrival, game drive enroute to accommodation, overnight Saruni Samburu (L/D)
2) Full day Kalama Conservancy/Samburu, morning and afternoon game drives or guided walk, overnight Saruni Samburu (B/L/D)
3) Full day Kalama Conservancy/Samburu, morning and afternoon game drives or guided walk, overnight Saruni Samburu (B/L/D)
4) Game drive enroute to airstrip. Fly to Ngerende Airstrip (Mara North Conservancy). Meet upon arrival. Game drive enroute to accommodation, overnight Saruni Mara (B/L/D)
5) Full day Mara, morning and afternoon game drives or guided walk, overnight Saruni Mara (B/L/D)
6) Full day Mara, morning and afternoon game drives or guided walk, overnight Saruni Mara (B/L/D)
7) After breakfast, game drive enroute to Ngerende Airstrip. Fly to Wilson Airport. Meet upon arrival and transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for outbound flight. End of services.

Cost: $4000 per person.
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Aug 1st, 2012, 12:50 PM
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Somewhat better, especially the price, except as per the air carrier scheduled I don't see an afternoon flight from Wilson to Samburu; last flight to Samburu shows at 10:20am. So I'd verify this.

Both Saruni properties are lovely and by staying a combo of 6/nts you're entitled to a 10% discount on the daily room rate which appears to have been applied However, for stay in the Masai Mara, I'd suggest another one of the camps that entitles you to the same 10% discount, that being Elephant Pepper Camp whose daily room rate is a bit lower than Saruni Mara.

Do you only have 7/days? If longer, maybe consider 2/nts at Meru staying at Elsa's Kopje, 2/nts Saruni/Kalama and 3/nts Elephant Pepper... all would entitled you to the 10% discount on room rate.

And depending on when homebound flight departs, on return from the Mara arriving NBO 12:15pm, arrange for a dayroom - Fairview is a good choice - till later transfer, or consider the afternoon flight from the Mara at 4pm* arriving NBO about 5:15pm thus no dayroom required and can head direct to airport.

*this does entail a late-departure fee and extra lunch, but often worth it.

Who was the outfitter providing the earlier itinerary for which I couldn't find any link to camps with those names? Also, who is this outfitter providing this latest itinerary?
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Aug 1st, 2012, 04:02 PM
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Sandi, by staying with the Saruni group it appears I can get a 20% discount on longer stays. I'll check on the flights. This plan is from Roy's agent in the US. The first plan is from Safari Experts.

Honestly, I also have a plan from Roy's for a Tanzania trip for essentially the same price (very little price difference) for the same dates of travel, staying in Lemala Ndutu and two nights at other camps in Ngo. on the way from Arusha to Seren. I was hoping that Kenya would be significantly cheaper.
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Aug 2nd, 2012, 12:39 AM
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Aaaah, they are Kicheche Camps I'm sure- Kicheche Valley and Kicheche Laikipia.

It still seems a lot- I think Kicheche offer a 6 night trip to those two camps for less than that-
http://kicheche.com/special-offers/k...one-night-free

Offer only valid til Dec 12 at the moment but they seem to run something similar most of the time so I'm sure it will be extended.
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Aug 2nd, 2012, 02:34 AM
  #16
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Well, then I could book directly with Kicheche, couldn't I?

Sandi, do you run a service that does safari work as well?
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Aug 2nd, 2012, 03:21 AM
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You could, yes. I've booked directly with them before. They even have a facility for you to pay online by card, which avoids pesky international bank transfers which you often have to do when using local operators.

There is a nice trip report of the Kicheche Laikipia/Mara combination here-
http://safaritalk.net/topic/7587-ol-...-october-2011/

If you have a choice of the Kicheche Mara Camps, I am not sure I would go with Valley. I visited Valley and Mara in February, and the Naboisho conservancy is lovely and quiet and makes a good contrast if visiting two camps. However, we definitely had better sightings at Kicheche Mara which is in the Mara North conservancy. So if only going to one Mara camp I would choose Kicheche Mara or Kicheche Bush (in the Olare Orok conservancy).
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Aug 2nd, 2012, 08:09 AM
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If you'd like to talk with Sandi, contact Africa Serendipity, http://www.africaserendipity.com/

regards - tom
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Aug 2nd, 2012, 02:14 PM
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Thanks Tom, spoke with Cooper.

Cooper - have to agree with stokeygirl, if it is the Kicheche Camps at Laikipia and in the Mara, while good choices... that first quote is awfully high.

As we discussed, with both a Kenyan and Tanzanian itinerary (from Susan) with comparable prices, I'd select Tanzania which is ideal in February for the 'calving' of the wildebeest.

You're on your way... go for it!
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Aug 3rd, 2012, 03:25 PM
  #20
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Thanks everyone, this forum is simply fantastic. And thanks Sandi!
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