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Kenya: Honeymoon Itinerary

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Aug 30th, 2011, 09:42 AM
  #1
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Kenya: Honeymoon Itinerary

I am planning my honeymoon, which will be August 2012, and was wondering what people thought of my first draft itinerary. We have never been to Africa before and want to experience as much as we can (with as much luxury as our budget allows) within our alloted time. We are planning on an 8 day Safari and thinking of spending the first night in Nairobi at the Norfolk. We will then go on the overland portion of our trip, which involves a private guide and vehicle, taking us for two nights at Sweetwaters and then two nights at Chui lodge. The driver then brings us to Kichwa Tembo for three nights in a classic tent. We then fly back to Nairobi. I have gotten quotes on this trip of around $4,000 a person, without international air. What do people think? Thanks so much!

SMB
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Aug 30th, 2011, 10:35 AM
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Hi,

My wife and I just returned from an 8 nights safari trip to Kenya and we stayed in luxurious camps or lodges so you might find my information useful.

This was our itinerary, date of travel July 31 - August 8:

2 nights full board at the Giraffe Manor(Nairobi) in their top suite.
2 nights at Sala's camp(Masai Mara) full board.
4 nights at the Mara Explorer camp(Masai Mara) full board.
Return domestic flights from Wilson to the Masai Mara.
Land transfer from Sala's - the Mara Explorer.
Car and driver for Nairobi.
All taxes, park fees etc.

Total price was $4,600 per person.

We then paid extra for sole use of the game drive vehicles but you don't need to do this. We only visited Nairobi and the Masai Mara because we want to see the great migration and was not interested in the other national parks.

Pictures from our trip: http://khun-pook.smugmug.com/photos/...lbumKey=s5pQ5Q

Good luck!
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Aug 30th, 2011, 10:40 AM
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Also, here's my trip report which you might find useful: http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...ture-diary.cfm
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Aug 30th, 2011, 12:23 PM
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sounds about right for quality providers of repute...

www.zicasso.com good site to get some competitive bids

insuremytrip.com always wise.

Congrats!
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Aug 30th, 2011, 12:56 PM
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Congrats on your upcoming wedding.

Arrival in NBO
Fairmont The Norfolk would be a lovely classic, colonial setting in NBO and in line with a honeymoon itinerary. Good restaurant in the hotel and attractive grounds.

But The Norfolk does not have giraffe sticking their heads through the window in the morning to share your breakfast like Giraffe Manor does. (suggested by Hanuman) Staying at the more expensive GM would be a unique and memorable arrival in Africa for your honeymoon! Something really different.

Hanuman spent 2 nts in GM, meaning the first full day of the trip was in NBO. You may wish to consider spending you first day in NBO too for these reasons:

1) If you are departing for Kenya immediately after the wedding, an extra day to relax and unwind upon arrival is a good idea.

2) Even if your honeymoon is long after the wedding, it’s nice to have the first day to recover from jet lag at a leisurely pace, especially on a honeymoon.

3) If your bags get delayed, they have a day to catch up with you while you are still in the city.

4) In the unlikely case that you are delayed, you have a buffer day.

5) There are lots of great activities to do in NBO. Just a few are National Museum, Karen Blixen Museum, Kazuri Bead Factory, Nairobi National Park, Sheldrick Elephant Orphange.

You might even split the difference and stay at the unique and more expensive Giraffe Manor upon arrival. Get up the next day, share breakfast toast with the giraffes and enjoy the ambiance until checkout, do whatever NBO activities you want and then check into a less expensive hotel such as Fairmont The Norfolk. That’s more moving around, though.

2 nts Sweetwaters
About a 3.5 hour drive. Good plan. Ask for a room with a good view of the waterhole

2 nts Chui Lodge-Naivasha
About a 3.5 hour drive
Award winner of the Good Safari Guide Award for the ‘Traveller’s’ Choice Best Safari "Property in Africa in May 2010”and “opulence at its peak.
Looks like a very luxurious place, fitting for a honeymoon. Naivasha is not an area with the most wildlife, though you’re likely to see flamingos. While the name Chui is Swahili for leopard, probably won't see any there.

3 nts Kichwa Tembo
About a 6-7 hour drive. Lovely tented camp. It is possible to fly to Kichwa Tembo from Naivasha, which you might want to consider.

Price looks right. If you can stay one more night in the Mara, in August it would be worth it.
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Aug 30th, 2011, 02:58 PM
  #6
 
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What is your budget?
And, is 8/days all you have for honeymoon?

While Giraffe Manor is lovely, it's also very expesive, as are most of the accommodations shown on Hanuman's itinerary. Why I asked. Besides, except for the time spent in Nairobi, they only visited the Masai Mara.

August is peak season, so prices regardless where you stay will be at the highest.

For what you pay at The Norfolk, you can stay at the lovely House of Waine with only 11 boutique rooms and great grounds/pool, about the same price.

And while you show a visit only to Ol Pejeta/Sweetwater's and Lake Naivasha/Chui Lodge... you don't have an "elephant" specific park, as Amboseli and Samburu, the latter the favorite of most for unique species here not found elsewhere.

You can certainly drive (4/hrs vs 6/hrs to Samburu to Amboseli (w/views of Kilimanjaro) or a few days, then drive to Lake Naivasha/Chui Lodge and conclude with drive to MasaiMara. But there are other choices other than Kichwa Tembo here, smaller and more intimate and not that much more expensive.

The price about seems to come to about $500/nt/person which can afford you some nicer accommodations.
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Aug 30th, 2011, 03:22 PM
  #7
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Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions so far-- I truly appreciate it--and Hanuman, fantastic pictures!

Unfortunately I only have about 8 days for the honeymoon. We are actually getting married in February 2012 and are waiting until August (when my fiance finishes the bar exam) to take our honeymoon. Our price range was (without international flight) was $3,500 t0 $4,500 per person (with some flexibility).

I really wanted to put together an itinerary that would let me have an old fashioned, romantic safari -- without feeling too much like being in a zoo (or Disney world).

Also, what can I expect to spend on an international flight. I am going to start looking soon and I just want an idea of what is a great rate so that I know to jump on it and not wait for something cheaper to come along. Thank you all once again!

SMB
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Aug 31st, 2011, 09:51 AM
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For August travel, flight schedules won't be available before 330/1 days prior your expected day of arrival in Nairobi... so figure sometime end-Sep/early-Oct to search.

See: Kayak at www.kayak.com for info.
Right now, Turkish Air seems to have the lowest fares (out of JFK) at just under $1K/person, with stop in ISTanbul. Arrival in NBO, however, is at 12:30am where most other carriers arrive either morning (6-7 am)as BA or Virgin, mid-day as Emirates (via Dubai/DXB) at 3pm, and evening between 7-9pm if using KLM, BA, Swiss, others.

When traveling in August it's not unusual for it to feel like a zoo when visiting in the Mara because of the 'migration' and Kichwa Tembo is right smack in the middle of "the zoo"... maybe look at smaller more intimate 6/tent only camps as: Royal Mara, Elephant Pepper (they have a lovely honeymoon tent)... both reasonably priced; a bit higher in cost and also small is Mara Plains. With EPC and MP, you'll also probably have vehicle for yourselves, not shared with others; at KT, you'll be sharing with up to another 4/paxs.

Maybe consider:
Day 1 - Arv. NBO - o/n House of Waine
Day 2 - Fly to Amboseli - o/n Tortilis* Camp
or Fly to Samburu - o/n Saruni* Camp
Days 3 & 4 - Amboseli/Tortilis* or Saruni*
Day 5 - Fly to Masai Mara - o/n Elephant Pepper*
Days 6 & 7 - Masai Mara - o/n Elephant Pepper*
Day 8 - Fly to NBO; dayroom... maybe sightseeing to visit Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Center, last minute shopping... then homebound

... or you can do 2/nts Amboseli or Samburu and 4/nts EPC.

If using any of the camps shown in combo of 6+/nts, entitles you to a 10% discount on daily room/tent rate (averages about 1/free day).

Good luck!
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Aug 31st, 2011, 05:02 PM
  #9
 
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"I really wanted to put together an itinerary that would let "me have an old fashioned, romantic safari -- without feeling too much like being in a zoo (or Disney world)."

Then you'll want tented camps. Tortilis and Saruni are tented camps.

Elephant Pepper is a tented camp in more remote community owned area of the Mara that can control the #s of vehicles. Porini Lion and Porini Mara camps are also in private Mara conservancies with limited vehicles.
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Sep 23rd, 2011, 07:13 AM
  #10
 
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Thank you all once again for all of your help. I have taken all of your advice (or at least parts of it) and have done a significant amount of research. I have tweaked my itinerary and the price and want to know what people think. Is this a good price/value? Will I be seeing diverse areas while maintaining a romantic honeymoon? The itinerary is as follows:

-1 night Nairobi: Norfolk
-2 nights Joy's Camp (flying from Nairobi to Joy's Camp);
-2 nights Lewa Safari Camp (driving from Joy's Camp to Lewa- two and a half hour drive)
-3 nights Kichwo Tembo classic tent (flying from Lewa Safari Camp to Kichwo Tembo, then flying from Kichwo Tembo back to Nairobi)

The total cost (without international air from NYC) is $5,200 per person. Please bear in mind that this trip will be in August 2012 to see the great migration. What does everyone think? Thanks!

Regards,

SMB
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Sep 23rd, 2011, 10:03 AM
  #11
 
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Replied on TA with options in Masai Mara where you can save some money.

Otherwise, good itinerary. But price seems a bit high!
On return to Nairobi from the Mara, are you heading direct to airport or have a dayroom till later departure?

With who are you working on this? Tour operator/outfitter?
It's okay to name names!
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Sep 23rd, 2011, 11:48 AM
  #12
 
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Thanks Sandi. I rather not name the tour operator, but they are listed as one of the top 10 in travel and leisure. I contacted Cheli and Peacock directly regarding elephant pepper and the other two camps, but the price was about $6,000 per person. In addition, the 10% deal does not apply to August. Thanks!
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Sep 23rd, 2011, 05:32 PM
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Excuse me... but the 10% DOES include August!

If the agent is advising otherwise, you've got a problem!
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Sep 26th, 2011, 06:07 AM
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I spoke directly with Cheli & Peacock...
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Sep 26th, 2011, 07:42 AM
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Goodness... I take that back, so sorry!
They changed this discount from previous years.
Aug IS indeed excluded.
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Sep 26th, 2011, 02:16 PM
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I haven't stayed at Joy's Camp but loved Elsa's Kopje which is also Cheli and Peacock. I bet Joy's is just as magical. Likewise any other camp of theirs.
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Jun 21st, 2012, 08:12 AM
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Just thought I would follow-up and let people know what I ultimately decided to do. We booked with &beyond on a 9 night vacation. We have a night at the beginning and end of the trip in Nairobi, staying at the Norfolk. We then have two nights at Ol Pejeta Bush Camp, 2 nights at Chui Lodge and 3 nights at Kichwa Tembo. We have a private guide driving us from Nairobi to Ol Pejeta, to Chui and then to Kichwa. We then fly from Kichwa to Nairobi. The entire cost (not counting air from NY) was a little under $4,000 a person. Please note we will be there in the beginning of August, hopefully in time to see the migration. I will let everyone know how the trip goes. Thank you all for your help!
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Jun 21st, 2012, 09:46 AM
  #18
 
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Thank you for keeping folks on this board updated on your honeymoon trip. I'm just starting the process of putting something together for 2013, probably September, so this has all been most helpful.

Please do a trip report when you return (photos, too!)
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Jun 22nd, 2012, 09:50 PM
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Sblank, thanks!!

That price sounds quite reasonble for 9 nights!! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and honeymoon.
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