If Kenya travel plans must change...

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May 16th, 2003, 09:50 PM
  #1
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If Kenya travel plans must change...

...can anyone offer recommendations? My party of 9 was headed for Nairobi 17 August but are on alert re: the new US state department advisory for east africa (travel.state.gov/eafrica-announce.html). Travel agent says not to panic but is gently suggesting (and researching) alternate itineraries. I had my heart set on safari in Kenya, but one of his suggestions is South Africa. My concern is that this will be much greater travel distance (we're staying only 2 weeks), more expensive, and lower quality safari experiences. Have read other posts on Fodors about E. Africa v. S. Africa, but any input would be appreciated. I guess specifically I would ask, is it better to just put the original Kenya trip on hold until cautions have been lifted or go with a S. Africa option that will eat up more of our time in air travel and probably more of our money?
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May 17th, 2003, 05:05 AM
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OffToAfrica - the experiences are different, not that one is better than the other. Depending on where you're flying from the actual flying time can be an even-wash. When we traveled to Kenya we left NYC via Frankfurt with a layover and another 9-hrs to NBO, total about 19-hrs. When flying NYC to JNB, it was 16 hrs, then 2-hrs. to CPT. While So.Africa can be more expensive, it doesn't have to be. You can stay in 4* hotels in CPT, and don't have to spend $600/nt.person (as we did our only splurge) at Singita in Sabi Sand at Kruger.. there are less expensive camps on different reserves.
I'm sure your travel agent can find accommodations to meet your budget.

As far as air, there are consolidators who can get you flights that are very reasonable priced to SA, as well as intra-country flights. We paid only $1000 JFK-JNB-CPT, then another $100 to return to JNB, and about $200 to/from Kruger... contact Premier Tours out of Philadelphia and ask for their Air Dept., they do tours and air, we used them for air only and they are very reputable and you can accrue freq. flyer miles on the SAA flights into a Delta Plan, if you wish.

You can then go to Kenya on another trip when things quiet down. Keep the faith, you'll get it worked out.
 
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May 17th, 2003, 09:58 AM
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Thanks for the advice Sandi!
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May 17th, 2003, 03:41 PM
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I wish I could make a decision. Like you, we are scheduled to leave on 8/17. We thought about going to South Africa, but planned for this date specifically to see the migration in the Mara. I know that SA would still be a great trip, but the thought of not seeing the migration is very disapointing. Right now, our plan of attack is to re-book our tickets and spend 9 days in Hawaii. (Northwest has relaxed their change policy). We'll see how our tour operator (2afrika) will be with the change. Who knows...by tomorrow we might change our minds again. Good luck! Marcy
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Jun 24th, 2003, 11:42 PM
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Dodgers Mom, I hope you're just gonna go. We are. We think our chances of car accident or homicide at home are far greater than troubles abroad. What's your itinerary? Maybe we will cross paths since we are both leaving Aug. 17th.
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Jun 25th, 2003, 09:16 AM
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YesItIsYesItIs
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I can only hope you are able to go, and I offer our best wishes for a fun and safe vacation.

If you cancel, I believe you'll regret it. Yes, there are risks if you go. I was in as dangerous a place abroad immediately after 9-11, and people encouraged me to stay home. It meant everything to go, so I went, and nevre had a moment's fear. Fear changes once you're actually underway.

Looking back, I made the right decision.

There are nine of you. Any chance of individual decisions?

If you heart is set on Kenya, then Kenya is where you must go.

Safe Journey.
 
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Jun 25th, 2003, 11:26 AM
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If you have your heart set on Kenya, then go to Kenya. I have to beg to differ with Sandi - as far as Americans and travel plans, I don't think things will ever "quiet down." European and Middle Eastern travelers have had to live with the threat of terrorism for many, many, many years. If my trip was scheduled for Aug. 17 or tomorrow, I would still go. Call me a fatalist or just plain stupid, but if it is time for my number to be up - then I would rather it be in Africa than anywhere else.
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Jun 25th, 2003, 03:12 PM
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Agree with SusanLynne, if it's my time to go, it's my time.
We are forging ahead with the plans and YesItis, there are now 10 of us. No one has bowed out, even my sister-in-law who is not much of a traveler. It's a family trip and we talked my 65 y.o. mom into bringing a friend who has been dubbed "MDD" - Mother Distraction Device. If she gets cranky or doesn't want to go one safari one day, she'll have a companion to occupy her. An excellent development, we think.
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Jun 26th, 2003, 04:47 AM
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OffToAfrica: Good for you! I am so glad to hear that you will be going ahead with your trip. It will be an unforgetable experience and one that, as a family, you will all share. "MDD" plan is absolutely brilliant!!! but I think she will be too awestruck to complain very much. While on your journey, keep those of us in mind who have to wait a year or so to return. Boo-hoo!
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Jun 26th, 2003, 06:27 AM
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YesItIsYesItIs
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I second that, OffToAfrica!!! Ten hardy souls. You'll have a great time, and afterward, you know the drill. POST!!!!!
 
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Jun 26th, 2003, 08:38 PM
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Thanks for all the encouragement! Susan Lynne, my mother claims to be a wimp but isn't at all, has traveled all over the world. I agree she'll be awestruck on safari, but it will be nice for her to have a companion when my siblings and I want to have a beer in the bar before retiring. It's amazing that we could get so many people's scheules together -besides mom and MDD, it's me and four siblings ages 30 to 40 something, two spouses/partners and my 14 y. o. daugher who is as excited as anyone. Because the trip was mom's idea, we are traveling on her kind of itinerary, all lodges, but I figure I can do tented camps on a later sans-mother trip since I suspect I will fall in love with Africa like many other people on this forum. Mara Serena, Sarova Lion Hill, Mountain Lodge and Mt. Kenya Safari Lodge are on our schedule.
And YesItIs I will definitely post a report afterwards!
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Jun 27th, 2003, 04:59 AM
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OffToAfrica: For your next trip, try to spend some time in the permanent tented camps or do some mobile tent camping. There nothing quite like it. Have a wonderful trip!!!
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