One extra day - Nairobi or Arusha.

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Sep 29th, 2004, 08:05 AM
  #1
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One extra day - Nairobi or Arusha.

We have one extra day at the beginning or end of our safari to spend in either Nairobi or the Arusha area.
Which place is more interesting and place to make our vacation even more memorable?
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Sep 29th, 2004, 08:14 AM
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They both have interesting things to offer.

Here are some ideas of what you could enjoy:

Nairobi - visit Karen Blixen's home & giraffe manor...some poeple prefer to skip giraffe manor (too zoo like).

Arusha -game drives in Arusha national park. Visit the local coffee plantations.

Just some ideas...I'm not sure if this helps or makes it a harder decision!

All the best!
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Sep 29th, 2004, 11:19 AM
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sandi
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If you already have your airline tickets, I would consider from where you will be arriving or flying home.
If Kilimanjaro, then Arusha is best; alternatively, if Nairobi, then there.

But where is your first or last stop of the itinerary? Both Nairobi and Arusha have offerings of interest, though I believe there are more options available in Nairobi. Whichever you select on arrival you'd have a day to get over any jet lag, and for departure some time to gather yourselves for the long flight home. I'd stay in the city/town of arrival or departure for that day.

 
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Sep 29th, 2004, 01:22 PM
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I would agree with Nairobi if it fits best with your schedule. We had a very short time there and wished we'd had an extra day to see what Mablevi mentions. Alternatively we ended up with a full day in Arusha and found little to do beyond driving through a coffee plantation and shopping.
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Sep 30th, 2004, 03:53 AM
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Interested to know what the "giraffe manor" is, and where is it? Pls elaborate.

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Sep 30th, 2004, 04:34 AM
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sandi
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alice13 - there is the Giraffe Manor and the Giraffe Center. I believe Mablevi was referring to the latter, but the two are on the same property.

The Manor is the home turned into luxury Hotel, by the family/owners. The Center is just that - where some rescued (by the family early in the mid- 20th century) Rothchild giraffes and subsequent offspring (Daisy and her family) live and grow and studied and available for visitors to see "up-close-and-personal." Food nuggets are available so you can feed the giraffes, placing these right on their long tongues put out to you. There is a large raised viewing stand where one can feed the giraffes "at their own level."

It's was quite interesting to see youngsters as well as adults getting a kick out of this. We visited one time when a group of local Kenyan children were on a "school trip" and it was amazing to watch their faces. The giraffes seem as novel to these Kenyan city children as anywhere else in the world even though as visitors we might think the giraffes would be an everyday sight for them - they're not.

Except for the visit where the school children were present, we never saw more than half-dozen visitors. There are no bars, just a simple 2-1/2' to 3'high stone barracade around a very large property that also include the Manor house.

For those staying at the Manor, they might experience the giraffes sticking their heads thru the second floor windows where guests are having their breakfast. "Tall Blonds" is the name of the book written by Lynn Shur, familiar to those who watch 20/20, after her visit to the Center and other places in Africa.
 
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Sep 30th, 2004, 06:19 AM
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Message: in addition to being able to see giraffe up close and even feed them as Sandi mentioned, one can get quite close to wart hogs. When we were there in June one was allowed into in the small patio area next to the stairway and visitors could feed and check it out. It was interesting to see it kneeling as it fed out of my wife's hand. The drawings, paintings and other items in the education room were also quite interesting as most were done by local Kenyans. I thought the center might be a "let down" after seeing giraffe in the wild but the visit added another perspective to the trip.
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Sep 30th, 2004, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for all the info.

We will be ending our safari with Predators in Arusha at the Novotel Mount Meru Hotel. If we stay there another night I would like to know if this hotels is within walking distance of shopping, interesting sights etc. in Arusha? Is Arusha considered safer for tourists on foot than Nairobi?
I know we could go on a game drive of Mount Meru National Park, but after 10 days of game drives this might not be of interest.
There are 4 of us on this Safari. Two adults and two teenagers.
We are using ff miles to fly to Nairobi. After staying one or two nights at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi we will be taking the shuttle both ways to Arusha to start our Tanzania Safari.
I know it would be nicer to fly to Arusha from Nairobi, but with a family on a budget the airfare for 4 people is not worth the added cost. We will be in East Africa for 12 days beginning July 23 next year.
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Sep 30th, 2004, 10:10 AM
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Message: j747. While I really don't feel qualified to comment on relative safety between Arusha and Nairobi I would offer a comment on one aspect of shopping in Arusha. Maybe it was our attire that suggested we were tourists and fair game for street vendors but we were really hasseled when in downtown Arusha. Our guide took us to a couple of stores to look for a few items and we were swamped with venders from the time we left the vehicle until we returned. At no time did anyone do anything physical or threatening but the three of us (wife, teenage daughter and I) were not comfy. Probably worse than what we experienced in Egypt and Israel. A part of our sortie to a couple of shops involving a distance of maybe two blocks I was very impressed with how many locals addressed our guide. (not the venders mind you). I asked him about it and he said having lived there for twenty-plus years he knows many people. Having said all of the above I would chance it again if on a safari trip tomorrow!!
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Oct 2nd, 2004, 05:37 AM
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Thanks again for your replies.
There are pros and cons to spending a day at either location.
Is the last week of July a good time to do a safari in Northern Tanzania?
Because of family schedules, it is the only time we can go on vacation.

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Oct 2nd, 2004, 05:56 AM
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j747 - In response to

>>Is the last week of July a good time to do a safari in Northern Tanzania?
Because of family schedules, it is the only time we can go on vacation.<<

It should be near perfect. The migrating herds of wildebeest, zebra and antelop are moving north to the Mara starting beginning of July. Though in July these herds are likely to be in the Western Serengeti before moving into the Northern area early August. So either the Western or Northern areas can be good.

Of course, being animals, and depending on the rains early in April/May, no guarantees can be made "exactly" where the herds will be and this can change from year-to-year, so give yourself the option. You won't go wrong with either spot and you'll be in a vehicle to get from one area to another.

 
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Oct 2nd, 2004, 05:59 AM
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j747

If you do decide to spend your extra day in Nairobi one of the most worthwile things you can do is go to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust from 11 - noon. This is where the orphaned rhinos and elephants are raised for their first year and a half of life. Everyday at 11 a.m. the babies are brought out to their mudbath and it is wonderful to watch. They now have six very young elephant orphans and 1 rhino orphan as well as many warthogs for you to see. If you check sheldrickwildlifetrust.org you will see that two babies were rescued this week and are being integrated into the family. The dry season is the most crucial time for all elephant families and it seems more eles are rescued then.

The orphans are moved to Tsavo East when they are about two years old and then taken into the bush each day to play with the wild elephants. Eventually when they are older they return to the wild and only return to the stockades if they are ill or injured. There are about 35 older orphans in Tsavo.

You can adopt any one of these babies for $50.00 a year and our adoption fees go a long way in helping to preserve wildlife in Kenya -not just the orphans.

The visit to the Trust is free, but it is hoped that people will leave a donation.

One of the most worth wildlife conservation groups and one we all need to support.

Jan
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Oct 2nd, 2004, 07:31 AM
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Thank you, Sandi. I know the Giraffe Centre - wonderful, eyeballing a giraffe - and you can, or used to be able to, get to Langata on a bus. But I had never heard of the Giraffe Manor and now I know. Taa.
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Oct 2nd, 2004, 11:54 PM
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Another thought as you may have had enough animal related activities after a 10 day safari.

Go to Nairobi. Stay at a hotel with a pool (Fairview hotel has a great, brand new pool in park-like surroundings. www.fairviewkenya.com). You may be too tired to do much of anything.

Ideas for the day:
- Sarit Center in Westlands,. Short taxi ride from anywhere in Nairobi. I love visiting the huge supermarket on the ground floor and seeing all the products from different countries. There is a bookstore next to the supermarket that has a comprehensive inventory of African culture/travel/art books. Great place to browse for an hour or so.

- Eat at one of the ethnic restaurants. Last time I was there I ate injera at an Ethiopian restaurant in Westlands (Addis Ababa). Your kids would probably have fun because you eat with your hands. Makes for a good story back home.

- Jomo Kenyetta Conference Center. Take the elevator to the top floor. From there you will be escorted to the roof. Make sure you do get to the roof, outside, where the helicopter pad is. The view is amazing. You will see the whole city and countryside including Mt. Kenya. We stayed up there for an hour. There is a small fee, but worth it. I believe it is walking distance from the IC hotel, so you could do this upon arrival. It is memorable.
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Oct 27th, 2004, 03:43 PM
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To Sandi-regarding the kids & Girrafes:
We were told there that most of the kids/schools visiting there are from poor families ,who never get the chance to have a day of pleasure. The idea is to make the day unforgetable. They have a day of fun in the Girrafes center = meal , and beside the fun the purpose is to educate them to traet animals not only as food or enemies, but to start thinking of them as neighbers who are sharring the same planet and enviroment.We donated money for 2 busses to come and visit, which was not a lot of money in our western terms.
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Oct 28th, 2004, 05:19 AM
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sandi
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hamitzer - It was wonderful to see the children the day we visited the Giraffe Center. The ones visiting the day we were there, were obviously from a school in their uniforms and with at least two teachers with them. It wouldn't surprise me if other children are brought here for a visit and that was most generous of you to donate for transportation for other children to come visit. It is so important that in a country with such diverse environments, everyone learn the benefits of living together to the benefit of all.
 
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