Kenya-Tanzania-Rwanda safari

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Apr 15th, 2012, 12:03 PM
  #1
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Kenya-Tanzania-Rwanda safari

We would like to book a Kenya - Tanzania safari and Rwanda gorilla tour for the two of us for two weeks between July 21 and August 5. We understand that the price for a gorilla tour includes permits.

We would like to catch the migration of the wildebeest and zebras and photograph the larger animals, including elephants, lions, leopards, giraffe, rhinocerous, hippopatamus, etc. We would also like to see gorillas and monkeys and photograph birds.

We are thinking to go to Masai Mara, Tarangire, the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara, Tsavo, Amboseli, and Rwanda. We would prefer to spend less time traveling from park to park and more time on game drives so we would like to know if it is possible to spend an extra day or two at each location.

We would like to book a vehicle with driver for 2 people. Of course, we will stay in group camps.

We would like to budget around $5,000 per person, not including RT airfare from the US and Nairobi - Kigali.

Can anyone recommend a tour operator that you have used for the type of safari described above. NO TO responses please. Thank you.
dac10012 is offline  
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Apr 15th, 2012, 12:14 PM
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What's a "NO TO" response?

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
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Apr 15th, 2012, 12:27 PM
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"Tour Operator"?
Elizabeth_S is online now  
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Apr 15th, 2012, 08:08 PM
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2 weeks might be stretching it with your budget as gorilla trekking will take a good chunk of it. Permits are increasing to $750 per trek as of June 1st.

I also think you're trying to do way too much in 2 weeks particularly since you mention you'd like to spend less time traveling and more time on game drives. If you went to all of the places you list, you'd be moving almost every day.

I would suggest limiting yourself to perhaps Rwanda and Kenya. I also find Kenya slightly less pricey than Tanzania which will help stretch your budget.
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Apr 16th, 2012, 05:02 AM
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I agree with Patty that you're trying to accomplish too much in 2 weeks, especially with your budget which will have shrunk considerably after paying for gorilla permits.

I would suggest eliminating Amboseli and Tsavo right off the bat, which leaves only the Mara from your list of places to visit in Kenya. Then, perhaps going to both countries is possible. However, with only 2 weeks to accomplish everything, you'll have to incorporate regional flights within Kenya (Nairobi - Mara) and then a flight from Nairobi to Arusha. This also burdens your budget.

I am also concerned that your planning is coming late in the year to find accommodations during peak season of July/Aug, so I encourage you to settle on a plan soon and get booked.

So, I guess I agree with Patty's other suggestion that you pick one of Kenya or Tz to visit after your gorilla trek.

OR
After your gorilla trek, return to Nairobi, drive to the Mara for a few days, drive from the Mara to the Serengeti via the Isabania border crossing (a long, rough drive), drive to the Serengeti for a few days, then do the crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire, ending up in Arusha. That might be doable, albeit rushed.
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Apr 16th, 2012, 05:28 AM
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Another issue... your timeframe is fast approaching and availability of the gorilla permits and lodging will be an issue.

You can go between the Mara and the northern Serengeti via flights and drives. I think the air carriers are Tanganyika Flying Co. in Tanzania and Safarilink in Kenya. That cuts out the usual overnight stay in Nairobi.
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Apr 16th, 2012, 12:32 PM
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As others, the budget is tight. The Rwanda segment will eat up half the $5K including permits for 3-4/days.

I'd suggest you check first whether there are permits available for the dates you want and then work the remainder of safari around those.

Also if visiting Kenya and Tanzania, you'll require Visas for each country and for entry to Tanzania, also a Yellow Fever inoc which is rather expensive. I'd concentrate then on Kenya with visit to the Mara and maybe another park or two traveling by road or air between.

Of course, if only Kenya this omits the Ngorongoro Crater, and while unique to Tanzania, this stops is always the busiest place and receives mixed reviews. Besides, by the time you arrive here, you'll likely have seen all the game possible to see. And for a July/Aug visit you can omit the Serengeti as you'll encounter the migration in the Masai Mara.

You may have to consider increasing your budget.
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