Help selecting a 4-day Safari in July from NBO

Jan 18th, 2007, 05:18 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Help selecting a 4-day Safari in July from NBO

Hi,
We're two late 20's, early 30's safari virgins planning our first trip, and hoping can give us some advice!
We will have a 5 day laover in Kenya (Nairobi) in early July (July 5-10, 2007) on our way back from Seychelles, which leaves us enough time for a 4 day / 3 night safari. Here's what we're trying to decide:
1) Kenya or Tanzania? Right now, we're focusing on Mara, because that seems to be the best place to be for 3 days to view the Big 5 (and hopefully the start of the Migration).
2) Which campsites/semi-permanent tents/lodges are located in the park (minimizing the drives), and around $150 pppd? At that price level, we're willing to forgoe some comforts, but would be willing to spend a little more for lodging that's more special/worth it
3) Is there a large price premium for a landcruiser versus a bus? Is it worth springing for the Landcruiser?
4) Which low/mid-range safari companies would you RECOMMEND?
5) Are we late planning our July trip now (January), and do you think many of the tour companies will already be booked up?
Thanks so much for your help,
Bostonbali
Bostonbali is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 07:07 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 641
Contact Kennedy in Nairobi; he'll fix you up.
Waymark Safaris Ltd,
P. o. Box 1408 - 00515 Vision Plaza,Mombasa Road Nairobi Kenya.Tel : 254 20 828759 / 20 828204 Fax : 254 20 828760 Cell Phone(s) :+254 722 702769 / 733 362140 / 722430093
Email : [email protected]
Website : www.waymarksafaris.com
safarimama is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 02:19 PM
  #3  
 
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1) Kenya would be easier from a logistical point of view since your stopover is in Nairobi and you wouldn't need a long shuttle ride or extra flight to get to Arusha. Mara is probably the best choice if you're hoping to see the Big 5, but no guarantees.

2) The Serena lodge is well located and moderately priced but I don't know exactly how much. Keekorok lodge may also be a good location for early July. I assume the $150pppd is just for accomodations and doesn't include transportation, park fees, etc. July is high season.

3) Usually there's a price difference. From a very old quote I received a Landcruiser was an additional $50pppd on a 2 person private safari, but again that's from a couple of years ago and not current. Only you can decide if it's worth it. To some yes, to others no.

4) In addition to the above recommendation, you can try the following tour operators which are based in Nairobi -

Eastern & Southern (no Landcruisers)
Gametrackers (yes Landcruisers)
Gamewatchers (yes Landcruisers)

Don't confuse the last two.

5) As long as you're not too picky about your accomodations, you should be OK booking at this point.

Good luck!
Patty is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 03:07 PM
  #4  
 
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I agree -- I would spend all that time in the Masai Mara, and the Serena is an excellent choice (it has the best location in the park).
thit_cho is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 05:17 PM
  #5  
 
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Forgot to say you could also fly from Nairobi to the Mara. If you fly, you'll use camp/lodge vehicles for your game drives on a shared basis with other guests. These vehicles will all be Landcruisers or Landrovers. Flying is more expensive than driving but perhaps the differential isn't that great if you were planning to hire a Landcruiser for a driving itinerary. Plus it will save you time. Driving takes about 6 hours each way.
Patty is offline  
Jan 20th, 2007, 06:52 AM
  #6  
sandi
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$150/pp day is tight for July. As Patty mentions, there are the daily park fees of about $40/person/day. Driving will save you a few dollars, but it takes time.

So check the outfitters above to see what they can offer and what maybe available.

Or check Africa Point, located in Nairobi, a wholesaler, who seems to have competitive pricing on the budget side.
 
Jan 20th, 2007, 10:04 AM
  #7  
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 21
Thank you all, great feedback. We're OK with spending $150-200 PPPD, hopefully that's a reasonable low-end budget for July.
Before I go any further with my research/bookings, I really need to decide where to go in Early July. Should we go to the Mara, and most likely miss the Migration, or spend time in the Serengeti in order to catch the tail end of the Migration. As I understand it, budget accomodations are more common in the Mara than in the Serengeti, is that true? If so, that may sway our decision towards the Mara.
Thanks for the help!
Bostonbali is offline  
Jan 20th, 2007, 01:05 PM
  #8  
sandi
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In early July, Serengeti would be a better bet. There is budget camping available in Tarangire, Manyara and the Serengeti. Also available at Ngorongoro, but it's too cold on the crater rim.

Problem with only 4/days in the Serengeti, if trying to save money and driving to/from Arusha* will take up at minimum 1/day (8-10/hrs) each direction. The option would be to fly in/out, but adds to your cost.

*not taking into consideration that you have to get from Nairobi to Arusha. There is a shuttle bus (inexpensive), but this too eats into your time.

The Mara would be easier all around.
 
Feb 8th, 2007, 12:54 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7
I am going in July. Locally I would call Brendan tours. They are middle priced tours. We booked a 13 day trip with them. But they short trips all over Keynam and Tanzina. They were professional. July is the hardest time to get a safari so you better work on it now.
stephanie1957 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 07:17 PM
  #10  
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Thanks. I looked at Brendan tours, seemed reasonable, but will still look for some lower-end (camping) safaris. So far I received quotes from Nairobi Backpackers and Africa Point, trying to decide between those two...
Bostonbali is offline  

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