Kenya & Tanzania Safari

Feb 13th, 2019, 01:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 208
Kenya & Tanzania Safari

We are planning a safari to Kenya and Tanzania for Sept 2019 and are wondering if anyone has stayed at Elewana camps and would you recommend?

We also are looking at the Porini camps. Has anyone stayed at these camps and would you recommend them?

We don't need 5* camps but appreciate some luxury and good food. We don't need private butler or plunge pools. The most important is the wildlife viewing and good guides and vehicles.

Any safari planner recommendations are also appreciated. We've taken 2 different safaris to South Africa and Botwana with Lion World Travel and had good experience on those tours. Not sure if they will customize a tour for us.
TravelerKaren is offline  
Feb 13th, 2019, 03:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,954
I did not stay in those camps but we went to Tanzania last July-August and used Extraordinary Journeys to put together our private custom safari. They were wonderful. I spoke to Pearl, my consultant, on the phone quite a few times and I felt that she really listened to me, and did not just put together a canned tour. My trip report is on here, but I confess to not finishing it (Zanzibar is incomplete, people seemed to have lost interest at that point). It does give you a good description of our safari and there are pictures, including our accommodations. We stayed in semi-luxury tents and camps. Not the most expensive but not the cheapest either.

Out of Africa
laurieco is offline  
Feb 14th, 2019, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,894
Hi TravelerKaren...

I've not stayed at Elewana but over the course of 5 safaris now I've stayed at many of the more common "comfortable but not luxury" accommodations.

My second safari was with Porini and while that was very good then, I have since stayed at far better places. My guiding at Porini Lion was excellent, but all those guides have now left to freelance, so I'm not sure how the guiding was there. I would not recommend Porini Mara. I've twice used guides there and was not pleased. Porini Rhino is northern Kenya was excellent when I was there, but if you're looking solely for rhino, I'd recommend at least a day's worth of game drives in Nairobi National Park, where rhinos are incredibly easy to spot up close and in good numbers.

Other camp families you ought to consider in what I am thinking is your luxury level: Kicheche (known for outstanding guiding), Asilia, Serian (excellent guiding and private vehicle for all parties), Offbeat. Most of these have camps all over Kenya and TZ, so you may be able to leverage long stay discounts if you book the camps within one family.

I've used The Wild Source out of Colorado (as have many here) for my last safari and it was by far the best put together and best executed of them all. I combined time at their camp Enaidura with Offbeat Mara in the Maasai Mara. I'd been to Offbeat before and loved it and was glad I returned and combined it with some time in the Reserve proper. Bill at The Wild Source books in most East and South African countries so he should be able to put something together for you in Tanzania as well. My trip report from last November is on here. My first safari was only in Tanzania, and I booked that and a visit to Rwanda with Access2Tanzania/Treks2Rwanda and was very happy with that experience as well. I have also gotten initial itineraries from Africa Travel Resource, who are very competitively priced and have access to just about everywhere (except Enaidura!) My one complaint with them is that they have places they really like to book into and are very resistant if you want to go elsewhere. This may not matter if you don't know all your options, but it has made me not work with them twice now when I knew where I wanted and they wouldn't put me there.

It might also be worth joining, which has copious amounts of trip reports, photos and lodge reviews, as well as a forum for trip planning. I won't plan any safari without spending loads of time there reading.

Any safari planner worth their salt will talk to you and customize an itinerary to your liking, that is not unique to any safari planner. If you wish to proceed solely via email, that's fine as well. Now that I know what I want, I just shoot an email off and wait to hear back. It's fine to compare itineraries and prices with a few different safari planners, but once you engage one in tweaking itineraries here and there, it's an indication that you're likely going to book with them, so I would not go too far down a road with any I have no intention of booking with.

Hope this helps!
amyb is offline  
Feb 14th, 2019, 08:24 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 208
Laurieco and Amyb- Thank you so much for your input on this. I have read good things about Kicheche and Serian.
Amyb: I will also check out The Wild Source as you recommend
TravelerKaren is offline  
Feb 14th, 2019, 08:29 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 206
I've stayed at several of the Elewana Collection properties in Tanzania over two trips and I found them all very good, extremely comfortable/large rooms, great service and much better food than average for safari lodges. Can't speak to Kenya lodges, have only been to Nairobi. If you have questions about specific camps, let me know.
traveler318 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2019, 08:11 AM
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traveler318: Thank you so much for your reply. Glad to hear that you enjoyed Elewana properties in Tanzania. I found a safari that included those properties and they looked very nice.
TravelerKaren is offline  
Feb 15th, 2019, 11:50 AM
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Out of Africa Trip Report

Laurieco: What a fabulous trip report. I just finished reading it. Your pictures were great too. How lucky you were to see the river crossing.
TravelerKaren is offline  
Feb 16th, 2019, 03:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 120
our 2018 Tanzania trip was through Lion World and I started our conversation with them around a set itinerary trip offered on their website and they worked with me to adjust some of detaisl-number of nights in each place, private vs group, etc.-and it turned out to be an awesome trip. they were very easy to work with.
melproffit is offline  
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