Kenya - safari companies and Mombasa hotels advice

Aug 14th, 2007, 10:15 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Kenya - safari companies and Mombasa hotels advice

This is my first post and my first trip coming up at the end of November to Kenya.

I and a friend are flying from London direct to Mombasa and will have a week there. I'm trying to plan an itinerary and want to maximise the time we have, and we would like to do approx half beach and half safari.

What I'd like advice on is:

1) Somewhere a bit off the beaten track to spend our time on the coast - which needs to be not too far from Mombasa given our short time.

I'm thinking we should decide between...

One of the independent cottage complexes at Tiwi (less touristy neach resort, reasonable prices, accessible for Mombasa and Diani centres) - any thoughts or recommendations?

And something a bit more exotic such as Shimoni which is really off the beaten track and we could visit Wasini Island. Although a couple of hours from the airport, I beleive we could fix a taxi transfer for a reasonable price.

2) Short safaris from Mombasa

We will have a max of around GBP300/ USD600 each for this. I really don't know how to play this, in terms of:

- is it much cheaper to take a ready made package?
- if you ask to build a personal itinerary with a company (or a more independently minded hotel) for two people is this possible and does it cost a lot more?
- what are the best parks to visit for game at the end of November?
- what are the best value reputable companies operating out of Mombasa? The two I've found to be reasonable on the net are Sardius Tours and African Memorable Safaris but there is nothing in the way of reviews here on them.

Options I have found include:

A 2 night/ 3day safari to Ambolseli and Tsavo West which seems to cost around USD500 from the cheaper safari companies. The one I've seen with Sardius Tours stays at Kilinguni Serena lodge and Amboseli Serena lodge for example.

A 2 day/ 1 night safari to Tsavo East & West at USD365. With the night at Ngulia Safari Lodge this one is run by African Memorable safaris.

A 2 day/ 1 night safari to Tsavo East at USD 335 with Sardius staying at Voi safari Lodge or Satao Camp.

We could combine this with a day or day and night at Shimba Hills which sounds beautiful and very accessible from the coast - but I'm worried there could be little game to see.

All advice greatly appreciated!

Dee
deeboy is offline  
Aug 14th, 2007, 10:55 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Dee,
For the safari portion, I wouldn't go all the way to Amboseli if you have only 2 nights. It's a very long drive back to the coast. I'd stick with Tsavo East or West or a combination of the two.

Are the prices you've been quoted for private or shared safaris (judging by the cost, I think these would be private)?

You can also contact Southern Cross Safaris located in Mombasa. They're very reputable and actually operate Satao camp in Tsavo East.
Patty is offline  
Aug 14th, 2007, 11:12 AM
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Forgot to say, a ready made package is not necessarily cheaper. The cost of a safari traveling by road depends primarily on two things - how many people are sharing a vehicle and where you stay. If a tour operator already has other guests booked on the same safari and will be adding you to the group, then the cost would be lower as you have more people sharing the cost of the vehicle. On a 2 night safari, this would probably account for less than a $100 per person difference between a 2 person private or 4 person shared safari. If possible, I'd go for the private option. If you do decide to share, I'd try to have no more than 4 passengers in the vehicle. The other factor is accommodation cost which can vary greatly. All of the ones you've listed are reasonably priced.
Patty is offline  
Aug 14th, 2007, 11:20 AM
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One more thing, it sounds like you might prefer a smaller camp to a larger lodge on safari, so I'd look into Ngulia Safari Camp (not to be confused with Ngulia Safari Lodge) or Severin Safari Camp in Tsavo West and Satao Camp in Tsavo East.
Patty is offline  
Aug 14th, 2007, 11:40 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for the quick reply(ies!) Patty - that's really useful. These are private safari costs based on 2 pax. Southern Cross rates looked less competitive but I'll email them.

All other comments on safaris, best parks for game viewing at that time of year, and coastal locations much appreciated people...
deeboy is offline  

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