Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page > If I were able to persuade the DH, what would be my options for a CHEAP safari, likely East Africa, likely <2 weeks?

If I were able to persuade the DH, what would be my options for a CHEAP safari, likely East Africa, likely <2 weeks?

Reply

Jul 31st, 2005, 12:09 PM
  #21
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Kavey,

Here is a quote I got from Shidolya Safaris in Arusha for June 2006--prices are soft, as it was still dependent on 2006 fee increases:

Day 1nbsp; Leave Arusha 9:00 a.m. for Lake Manyara National Park, have lunch before proceeding to the Park for game-viewing.  Dinner and overnight at Lake Manyara Serena / Kirurumu tented Lodge
 
Day 2nbsp;  After breakfast, drive to the Serengeti.  Game-viewing with picnic lunch en route dinner and overnight at Serengeti Serena Lodge .
 
Day 3nbsp; Full day Serengeti tour.  Meals and overnight at Serengeti Serena Lodge.
 
 Day 4: Full day Serengeti tour.  Meals and overnight at Serengeti Serena Lodge.
 
Day 5nbsp; Morning game drive.  After lunch proceed to Ngorongoro via Olduvai Gorge and the museum (optional).  Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge .
 
Day 6nbsp; After early breakfast, descend to the Crater floor for a day of game-viewing with picnic lunch.  Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge.
 
Day 7: After breakfast drive to tarangire National Park for game viewing, dinner and overnight at Tarangire Sopa .
 
Day 8: Full day Tarangire tour dinner and overnight at Tarangire sopa Lodge.
 
Day 9: Full day Tarangire tour dinner and overnight at Tarangire sopa Lodge.
 
Day 10: Game drive in Tarangire, after lunch return to Arusha

$1700 pp for a party of 3.

We have decided to upgrade, go more permanent-tented camps, but I think one could shorten/upgrade + downgrade with some camping and come out at around the same price. I actually may have to go back to something closer to this as I've had some unforeseen health expenses cutting into my "fun money."

We did public camping for 2 nights on our first and only safari. We enjoyed it, but of course private camping would be ideal.

I also think JMT African Heart has something like semi-luxe camping (i.e. cots, not on the floor). Again, I haven't used them but I believe I've read good things about them on the Thorn Tree.

Good luck!
Leely is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 12:12 PM
  #22
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,151
Thank you so much ladies...

Patty, no we'd actually prefer private driver guide and same one throughout too (assuming we get a good one) than to use the ones from each lodge and camp - that way we get our own vehicle, we get to dictate how long we spend at a sighting rather than moving on to make sure that the interests of other guests are satisfied and we can ask our guide to manouvre specifically for our photographic requirements!

I'm happy not to fly provided we don't do any really really long distances in one day - if they are broken up that's fine by me.

I'd rather have an open 4WD BUT if there are just the two of us anyway and also if we're doing some longer trips in it a minivan with pop top would be OK - we'd be able to move right around within it if just two of us so not as big deal as when there are more people in it.

We'd also be happier to stay in larger camps/ lodges if we were still able to have private game drives with our permanent guide so that would bring costs down too.

I'm really starting to think this might be a possibility - thanks for giving me something to get my teeth into.

Before I ask for any operators to put together a quote for me I'd like to narrow down WHERE to visit - Kenya is our first choice for this trip as we have friends in Nairobi that I'm hoping we might be able to meet up with.

THANKS AGAIN!!
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 12:15 PM
  #23
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,151
Leely, I was writing whilst you were posting...

Sorry to hear about your health issues - never fun to be poorly, I totally sympathise and isn't it galling to have to spend money on that kind of thing rather than the fun stuff? I hope your doctors can resolve this for you and that your next trip will still be everything you dream of.

Thanks too for the reco for Shidolya. I'll check them out too!
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 12:24 PM
  #24
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Thanks--nothing serious, but I'm not accustomed to spending money on doctors. I'm half-tempted to start charging things. But I won't!

I really think you and your husband can find something that will work for you.
Leely is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 12:27 PM
  #25
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,151
With all the help here, I'm bound to!
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 12:42 PM
  #26
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,726
Leely,
JMT African Heart was the one that quoted me $285pppn for their private camping option based on 2 people sharing. I haven't used them either. They also gave me really good quotes for Sand Rivers and Selous Safari Camp for November but we decided not to go to Selous this time. Did you use Shidolya last time? I think you mentioned that the guide you used last time is working for another company now, is that correct or am I getting confused?

lisa,
The rates you gave for Wildlife Lodges ($75-$90pppn), I think you mean full board, not including your vehicle and driver/guide which I believe runs about $150 per day per vehicle in Tanzania, right?

Kavey,
The larger lodges don't always save you money so investigate all of your options carefully. For example, at Lake Nakuru we're staying at Mbweha Camp which is costing us less than if we were to stay at Lake Nakuru Lodge or Sarova Lion Hill. Another poster, Nyamera, recently stayed there. She also did a 'budget' trip (budget for Fodors ) so you might want to read her trip report for ideas -

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34652401

I hope that you're able to make this trip happen!
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 12:50 PM
  #27
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,151
Patty, how did you find your chosen camps/ lodges by the way? Were they variously included in itineraries of different operators you found or did you first decide WHERE you wanted to go and then look for accommodation options?

BTW I know of Kicheche - I know one of the owners. Quite independently of his own comments I've heard that it's a really charming camp with excellent staff, good for photographers and those who want longer game drives BUT that it's a real haul from the areas of the Mara in which game is most concentrated. That's a comment I've had both from regular travellers as well as professional photographers who live and do most of their work in Kenya.

That said, I think I'd still like to go there. Don't know if my knowing this guy will allow me to get any discount but I'll give it a go!
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 01:15 PM
  #28
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Patty,
I haven't used Shidolya. I approached them after hearing recs on the Thorn Tree and looking them up on TATO--they've been in business for a good number of years.

I mentioned the confusion (obfuscation?) re: getting "our" same guide on another thread.

Frankly, I got 2 e-mails from him, one of which sounded fake and recommended another company. Didn't sound like the same person at all and they were both answering the same e-mail I had sent him. One said he's still with the same operator, another said "Contact so-and-so at so-and-so company," in much different written English than the first e-mail.

Strange, huh? So I sent him another e-mail asking for clarification. Finally got an answer last week: he knows nothing about this other company and this other e-mail. It was signed "with much loves." So, we think that's him, as we're sure he must love loveable us!

Kavey--sorry for this interruption.
Leely is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 01:20 PM
  #29
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,151
No probs...
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 01:23 PM
  #30
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,726
Kavey,
We had some ideas of where we wanted to go and started from there.

I found Mitch's Safari Portal site a great resource for very comprehensive listings of camps and lodge by area - www.safari-portal.de

Thanks for the comments about Kicheche. I've also only heard positives about the camp and it looks like a place we'd really enjoy. As for game viewing, we're OK with lesser concentrations of game. We really enjoyed our time in Tsavo earlier in the year, where the game density is probably not as high as other parks. For us it was a combination of many factors - the delightful camp, the dramatic scenery and vastness of the park, and the fact that we rarely saw any other vehicles at all - that contributed to our overall enjoyment.

We're actually splitting our stay at 2 Mara camps as I had a hard time deciding so I thought why not both? I'm horrible at decision making and tend to think and re-think and second guess myself. But now my trip is finalized and I told myself no more changes!

Since you know the owner of Kicheche, why not check with him? Does he own other camps too?
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 01:33 PM
  #31
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,151
Coz he works in Sales for a UK tour operator and would just try and talk me into a much more expensive trip, probably booked through that operator!

Thanks for the link to Mitch's portal...
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 01:36 PM
  #32
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,674
wow, the Africa site on fodors gets a ton of traffic! I might have to be a convert sometime...
flygirl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 01:40 PM
  #33
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,151
B, you definitely should, I've been telling you to haul your arse over there for such a long time... take your own pics of those magnificent red dunes? GO OOOOOOOOOON!
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 01:48 PM
  #34
bwanamitch
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Patty,
Thank you!!!
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 04:17 PM
  #35
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,674
Kavey, maybe I will be inspired by your ideas... (already am actually).

more ideas for the map/travel room!!
flygirl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 05:28 PM
  #36
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
Indeed, B -- this place is SOOOOO helpful in planning a safari. And in keeping up your spirits once it's over
uhoh_busted is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 1st, 2005, 06:25 AM
  #37
mv
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 281
Kavey

as far as I recall you haven`t been to Etosha.
A selfdrive to Etosha in September/October would offer faboulous gameviewing. You could probably throw in a night or two at Ongava. En route from Windhoek ther is a couple of Cheetah conservation projects you could have a look at.

MV
mv is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 1st, 2005, 07:43 AM
  #38
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,151
You're right, we haven't...

And it's a good point that this might be a great budget option. I think flights to Namibia would be more expensive but... I will put it on the list of options - thanks for thinking of it.

We're leaning towards East Africa because we did spend a nice long stint in Southern Africa last year (though as you say, not Etosha) and also because it's a shorter flight given we're thinking of just one week or a touch longer.

But thanks for the idea - I hadn't really considered it much.
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 1st, 2005, 02:03 PM
  #39
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,151
BTW Thanks to Sandi for email info in response to this thread.

Topping to ask for input from BwanaMitch. Would appreciat your input also, given your experience with trips to this region.

This isn't anything I'm intending to lock down in the near future as I need to await input too from my friends in Kenya but it's great to have something to get my teeth into and also gives me the great feeling of having an Africa trip potentially in the pipeline!
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 1st, 2005, 02:19 PM
  #40
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
Hi Kavey,

Have you checked with Kibo Safaris in Arusha? They have their own properties in Arusha, Tarangire and Ngorongoro area (see www.africawilderness.com). They run mobile tented safaris into the Serengeti, but, as there are just the two of you, they could put you up in one of the lodges. Contact Josiah at [email protected] and get a quote from him. I've used Kibo a couple of times and have been quite impressed with their lodging and guides.

Sharon
ShayTay is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:35 AM.