Friendly Planet - Kenya Safari

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Nov 8th, 2005, 05:48 PM
  #1
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Friendly Planet - Kenya Safari

Has anyone tried Friendly Planet's - Kenya Wildlife Safari?? Looks can be deceiving on a website. We are looking for a 10-15 day trip and this seems like an amazing deal as it includes airfare from New York, even though we would be starting from the west coast of Canada. Any other options would be greatly appreciated.
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Nov 9th, 2005, 01:26 AM
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Hi cmma! Sorry, don't know anything about Friendly Planet, but that's certainly no negative as there are many, many, and even more manies travel agencies that I know nothing about. But, I checked their website and the cost of the trip certainly appears reasonable to me as my son and I are paying almost that much next June just for our airline tickets to Tanzania! You're being really smart to check it out, though, and this board has many people who regularly post who can give you good advice about it. Hope it works out and is as good a deal as it appears on the surface! Jack
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Nov 9th, 2005, 11:54 PM
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Hi. I also have been looking at the Friendly Planet Kenya Safari. We have friends who have traveled with them before to Vietnam and loved it. I did find out that the reason it is reasonable is because they use lodges rather than tented campgrounds. The lodges are like hotels. Also a group trip is also cheaper than a solo trip. The price seems so good that we have not eliminated it. I am told that the accomodations are like a *** hotel, but the animals you see are the same no matter how much you pay for lodging and food. Hopefully some other people can comment on this trip. The website is www.friendlyplanet.com I will post after our friends get back at the end of January. There must be something good as so many of their trips are sold out.
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Nov 10th, 2005, 08:04 AM
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How many of you are traveling? Is your preference for a group or private safari?

I probably sound like a broken record, but a private safari for 2 people organized through a Kenya based tour operator may not cost much more than a group tour package. It depends on what you can get for airfare on your own.

I'd send this itinerary to one or two Kenya based tour operators and see what they come back with and price your own airfare. Compare that with the total cost of the Friendly Planet tour plus your air add-on from western Canada.

If you decide to go with Friendly Planet, I would ask them which tour operator they use in Kenya. You may be able to find some comments here once you know who the ground operator is.
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Nov 10th, 2005, 07:42 PM
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It will only be my wife and I going on this trip with a very slim possibility of another couple joining us. If there are other options that compare we would love to here about them.

Thanks for the info
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Nov 14th, 2005, 07:12 PM
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I used Friendly Planet for a trip to Egypt and have had relatives go on several of their trips. Very good service and got much more than we expected for the price. Our group ended up being larger than we would have liked but no one complained.
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Nov 14th, 2005, 08:07 PM
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PRchick
My question about Friendly Planet is what kind of hotels etc. do they use. Are they 4*** properties and in the case of Africa are they 4*** or 4paw camps. Their pricing just seems to inexpensive. When you said there were to many people in your group how many were there actually. How were the guides etc.?

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Dec 19th, 2005, 07:57 PM
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Can anyone give me additional information on Friendly Planet as asked for in my previous post. Thank you
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Dec 20th, 2005, 08:14 PM
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Our hotels were five star hotels in Egypt. The guides were wonderful. Very professional and very attentive to their duties. I was surprised also. There were 49 people in our group. There were only supposed to be around 25 but I guess something happened that they had to combine two groups. We all got along well and they managed to get us all moved around without a hassle but I prefer small groups or private tours when possible. Like I said, my brother has traveled with them on other tours and the groups were smaller.
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Jan 15th, 2006, 04:02 PM
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Unfortunately my trip to Egypt with Friendly Planet didn't even come close to expectations. They made significant changes to our itinerary about 2 weeks before leaving, ie (1)switch from an in-country flight & staying in a 5 star hotel to taking an overnight sleeper train one night (2) switch from a direct flight to/from Cairo to an overnight layover in Zurich. We weren't reimbursed for any of these downgrades.
Problems continued while touring (1)our tour guide "forgot" to meet us at the airport (2) we consistently fell behind schedule & didn't see all the sites
The guide was ok, but not excellent. Meals and accomodations ranged from 3 to 5 stars.
I wouldn't go on another Friendly Planet tour because of their inconsistent service.
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