July/Aug '06 itinerary; airfare questions

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Jul 31st, 2005, 05:55 PM
  #1
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July/Aug '06 itinerary; airfare questions

I have a revised itinerary that we are close to finalizing. Good Earth has come back with the best quote so far. We want Maasai Mara at the end, so GE has us overnight in Nairobi from the Serengeti, before getting to M.Mara. Since we want to stay at Giraffe Manor, we figured it was okay to have it in the middle.
We want to reserve soon, so we can assure our accomodations. Of course, it seems we have to wait until we can reserve a flight?
Any experience on this?

Itinerary:
*Arrive Arusha. Overnight Coffee Lodge. (should we just go straight to Tarangire instead)?
*Tarangire 2 nts (Kikoti) Is Treetops better?
*Ngorongoro 2 nts
*Mbuzi Mawe 1 nt (I think this is to break up the drive from Ngorongoro to Migration)
*Migration Camp 2 nts
*Fly Serengeti - Nairobi
*Giraffe Manor 1 nt
*Maasai Mara 3 nts (Mara Explorer)
*Back to Nairobi for outbound flight

We are flying from either San Francisco or Los Angeles. We want to arrange a layover perhaps in London for 2 days(or nights) before getting to Nairobi.

Airfare Questions:

Should we fly roundtrip to Nairobi and get a hopper flight to Arusha?

Should we try for a flight into Tanzania, and out of Nairobi?

What are the best(economical) days to depart?

Should I just decide on my safari dates and worry about airfare later?

We are planning for the last week of July-first week of August 2006, give or take.

Thanks for any insight.
Jen


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Jul 31st, 2005, 06:34 PM
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Kilimanjaro (JRO) is the international airport in northern Tanzania (about 45 min from Arusha). The only major European carrier that flies into JRO is KLM and they operate from Amsterdam.

BA operates daily flights to Nairobi (NBO) and 3x weekly flights to Dar Es Salaam in southern Tanzania (but you would also need a connecting flight to JRO from DAR). Kenya Airways flies from Heathrow and Amsterdam to NBO. From NBO you can connect on Precision Air to JRO.

BA operates an evening redeye 3x weekly on Tu/Th/Sa from Heathrow that gets into Nairobi the following morning which would allow you to connect to Precision Air same day, so I would plan to fly down on one of those days. Otherwise the daily BA flight arrives in the evening, so you'd have to spend your first night in Nairobi.

Leaving NBO, the daily BA flight departs in the evening so you don't have to time your day of travel, and you can fly same day from the Masai Mara.

I believe the Kenya Airways flights from Heathrow also arrive Nairobi in the morning and depart in the evening so that's an option too, in combination with another carrier for your flight from SFO or LAX to London as they don't operate flights to/from the US.

You can also choose to fly KLM directly into Kilimanjaro and you'll need to depart on a very early morning flight from London (around 6:00am) as their JRO bound flight departs Amsterdam around 10:00ish in the morning. Leaving NBO, the KLM flights departs in the evening also.

I think your best choice if wanting a stopover in London is the BA redeye on Tu/Th/Sa into NBO + Precision Air connection into JRO. Currently there's a Precision Air flight at 8:00am and one at 10:00am. I'm not sure if you can make the earlier one but you should be able to make the 10:00am (gets into JRO at 11:00am) and then it's up to you to decide whether you want to stay in Arusha that night or head straight to Tarangire.

I'm curious as far as the pricing you received from Good Earth, are they tentative prices based on this year's rates?
Patty is online now  
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Jul 31st, 2005, 07:57 PM
  #3
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Thanks Patty.
This is the quoted price from GE for our requested '06 safari, I'm pretty sure based on '06 prices. Note "guarantee price". We are also staying at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge,(didn't mention that previously).

Price (2 people): $5,090/person
Price includes:
-Guarantee Departure, Guarantee Price
-Private safari for 2 people
-Arrival and departure Nairobi / Kilimanjaro airports transfers
-Accommodations and meals (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner) as indicated on the itinerary.
-All park fees, and government taxes.
-Services of Professional English-speaking driver- guide.
-Game drives in Safari vehicles equipped for luxurious game viewing and touring, with a guarantee window seat!
-Bottled water while on safari
-Internal flight Nairobi ~ Mara ~ Nairobi including taxes
-Internal flight: Serengeti~Nairobi including taxes
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Jul 31st, 2005, 09:17 PM
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jenymemo,

We flew Virgin SFO-LHR and then Kenya (KQ?) to NBO, arriving in Nairobi in the morning. I think it was $1700 pp, and an overnight in London would have been another $100.

Patty, does Swiss Air fly Zurich to NBO? I thought I saw a sale fare, JFK to NBO with layover in Zurich for $1300.

(Yes, as you can see I'm already looking at all the angles to make my next trip work.)
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Aug 1st, 2005, 04:24 AM
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Hi,

I live in London but travel to San Francisco yearly to visit family. In my experience, Virgin has by far the best service for what is after all a marathon flight (12 hours). They also tend to have very competitive fares.

Airfares are usually cheaper if you can fly mid-week (Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday).

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 1st, 2005, 06:01 AM
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Leely,
I believe SWISS flies 3x weekly between Zurich and Nairobi and SN Brussels flies 5x weekly between Brussels and Nairobi. The SWISS flights are day time flights getting into NBO in the evening, then they turn around and fly back to Zurich same evening.
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:36 PM
  #7
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Thanks for the airline info.
Any thoughts on what I should do first?
Book safari now?
Or, wait until I can book the international flight first?
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:54 PM
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I would book your safari now with the possible flight options in mind. You can wait and book your air later. I don't think that will be a problem.

The only time I would make sure that air is booked before securing accomodations is when using frequent flyer miles. That's because when it comes to award seats, you may be very limited in travel dates.

If you're buying your tickets, that shouldn't be an issue.
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