Lodging in Kenya

Feb 7th, 2006, 03:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 108
Lodging in Kenya

I don't know what type of lodging to ask for a family of 7. One reader said know what is good and local because some tour companies book according to commissions. Do we want to stay in tents? In houses? We'll be going to Sunmura, Masi Maria, Amboseli and Mt. Kenya, Sweetwaters and the Ark/Treetop. What do you suggest? Thanks. Betty

P.S. How do I respond to another persons message to my question?
betharwein is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 04:48 PM
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Good choice of itinerary.

First you respond to another person's message by using "post a reply to this message", because you are then replying to the reply - make sense? Keep everything on the same thread (that's the series of questions and responses and responses to responses under the same heading, if you are really new to this) so that anyone who comes along later can see what everyone has said and what your responses were - which would be helpful in this case.
Here's link to get both of Betty's posts for those who missed her last one (which Nyamera and I rudely interrupted with my need for heroes and hers for more smileys).

You will certainly get a cheaper deal if you book locally (although you will not then have the security of your deposit going into an escrow account). You should also be able to negotiate a good deal because your party is quite large. Whether you want to stay in tents, houses or lodges is completely up to you! All the places you are going have choices (well, no houses in the parks but there are options that are just as good if you want a homestay. For example instead of Samburu - I assume that's what you mean by "Sunmara" - you could take over a good sized house or a small camp in Laikipia, which has a lot of game too. You would have your own private game reserve in the mountains with a full staff serving your every need (just something to think about - if you were interested you would better ask someone who has been there!).

I think by houses however, you probably mean lodges. These are really more like hotels, but limitesd to 30-60 rooms and usually laid out in cottage style accomodation (sometimes rows of cottages joined together like a very nice motel if you are looking at the less expenssive places). By tents do you mean a camping safari or staying in tented camps. These are completely different since camping safaris are just that (although there are "comfortable" and "luxury" camping safaris
kimburu is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 05:22 PM
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Sorry... missed the " and hit enter by mistake!

Continuing... With your budget you can choose whatever you want. Only the most expensive and exclusive of tented camps will be out of your range in Kenya - you will not have to pay anything like the rack rates with a party of seven.

Here are some threads which have helped others in the past and which are relevant to your question, I think





You should also use the Searxch function above. Type in the following words

Masaai Mara

Also type in "Ark"

You will get hundreds of posts to choose from, but this is absolutely the best advice I can give you.

I will leave someone else to explain the difference between lodges and tented camps

Addition information that would be helpful:
What ages are you all?
Would people in your group be comfortable without fences between them and the wild animals (it is safe but some people might not sleep well with a hippo or lion outside their tent in the middle of the night)?

Answers to those two questions will help narrow it doen a lot, but do the homework I set you as well

kimburu is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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I would never want to recommend lodges or camps since my expereince is limited, but Serena hotels in Kenya are in my experience uniformly nice places in excellent locations and if you stayed at Serenas all the way (swap Mountain Lodge for the Ark and Sweetwaters is a Serena property anyway) you would get a pretty substantial discount I think - if that is of interest. It's a "safe" sort of option.


No need to book with them directly to get the low price.

Just an idea.

kimburu is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 06:46 PM
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Posts: 1,490

Again there is no lake in the program

at least Nakuru NP (soda lake + a million flamingoes) ....
& Consider Naivasha a freshwater lake - seeing hippos from the boat, having a walk among wildlife on Crescent Island, visiting an amazing volcanic crater-lake with black and white Colobus Monkeys decorations on the Acacia forest... etc'

instead of the ~same from the "same kind"
aby is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 07:01 PM
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Posts: 14,440
What a nice trip for your family. The 7 of you have a great treat in store!

Here's another thread that is a useful index for East Africa.


Permanent tented camps are usually a little more expensive than a lodge and offer more personal attention with fewer guests in more remote locations. In sum, they usually are a bit more upscale. But smaller guest houses or cottages, with a solid foundation, are also a little more exclusive and costly than lodges. On a first safari you might enjoy a mix of accommodations.

When are you going?

The parks you mention (Samburu for Sunmara) are a nice mix of environments and animals.

Please continue to post on this thread, using Kimburu's instructions, as your itinerary progresses.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 8th, 2006, 03:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 108
To Kimburu,
Thanks for the help. I am new to Fodor's talk area and had just heard the word thread used recently. Thanks for explaining that, too. I will start reading the websites. I don't believe I am willing to book my own lodging as I have done that in other countries, paid in advance, and had no back up. At least, if I can ask the agent s I work with what I want and pick the lodging that we would like. You've been very helpful. Thanks. Betty
betharwein is offline  
Feb 8th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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Posts: 2,309

The tents at tented camps are just as comfortable and safe as hotel rooms, but it’ll be easier to hear the sounds of the bush at nights. Some tented camps are almost as big as lodges and there are lodges that are small and exclusive. Smaller camps/lodges are usually, but NOT always, more expensive than bigger. When looking for lodges/camps I look for: location, “bush-closeness” (no fences, no platforms, open bathrooms etc) small size, eco-friendliness, and reasonable price – not always in that order.

Have you decided on your itinerary? How many night in each park and in what order?
Nyamera is offline  

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