Only a fortnight left before we leave!

Aug 5th, 2008, 02:25 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,213
Only a fortnight left before we leave!

It feels like we've been waiting for this trip (to Kenya and Tanzania) for soooo long. Well, I guess we have as it's been about 2.5 years in the dreaming, researching, planning and booking and then the waiting, waiting, waiting!

I'm starting to panic about not being ready but of course, I will be!

here's what we've booked:

1 - Arrive Nairobi (NBO) Kenya (8:45pm); met and transfer for - o/n Serena Hotel (BB)

2 - NBO; booked the day with Kennedy but that was a while ago so will confirm via email tomorrow and book alt if he's no longer available - o/n Serena Hotel (BB)

3 - Transfer to Wilson (domestic) airport for Scheduled Air Kenya 8am flight to Meru; met and transfer to lodging; lunch; afternoon game drive - o/n Elsa's Kopje (LD)

4, 5 - Meru; morning and afternoon game drives daily - o/n Elsa's Kopje (FB)

6 - Transfer to airstrip for Scheduled Air Kenya 8:50am flight to Samburu; met and transfer to your lodging; lunch; afternoon game drive - o/n Saruni Samburu (FB)

7 - Samburu; morning and afternoon game drives, walks, bush meals - o/n Saruni Samburu (FB)

8 - Transfer to airstrip for Scheduled Air Kenya 9:15am flight to Masai Mara; met and transfer to your camp; lunch; afternoon game drive - o/n Serian Camp (FB)

9, 10, 11, 12 - Masai Mara; morning, afternoon or full-day game drives, walks, bush meals - o/n Serian Camp (FB)

13 - Transfer to airstrip for Scheduled Air Kenya 11am flight to Wilson; connect to Scheduled Air Kenya 12:40pm flight to Kilimanjaro (JRO), Tanzania; met and transfer - o/n Arusha Coffee Lodge (BB)

14 - Drive to Tarangire; game drive to - o/n Oliver's Camp (LD)

15 - Tarangire; morning, afternoon or full game drives - o/n Oliver's Camp (FB)

16 - Drive to Lake Manyara; afternoon game drive - o/n E-Unoto Retreat (FB)

17 - Lk. Manyara; early game drive; drive to Ngorongoro; afternoon crater tour - o/n Sopa Lodge (FB)

18 - Ngorongoro; morning crater tour; afternoon option: Crater Rim Walk - o/n Gibbs Farm (FB)

19 - Transfer to Lk. Manyara airstrip for morning flight to Kogatende; you'll be met for transfer to camp - o/n Sayari Camp (GP)

20, 21- NWSerengeti; morning and afternoon game drives daily - o/n Sayari Camp (GP)

22 - Transfer to airstrip for flight to Arusha; connect to flight 1:45pm to Wilson in NBO; met and transfer to day-room Serena Hotel; evening transfer to JKIA for homebound flight (BA #64, 11:25pm) (B)

Seat in shared camp vehicle/guide at Meru and Samburu
At Serian Camp, exclusive use of camp vehicle
Exclusive use vehicle - Tarangire, Lk.Manyara, Ngorongoro
Game Package - Sayari Camp

Any extra advice?
Kavey is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 03:07 PM
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Here's my advice: Have a great trip!
Marija is online now  
Aug 5th, 2008, 03:13 PM
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happy travels and landing!
for me: it's too much camp hopping except for the mara!
looking forward to reading your report!

divine54 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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Hi Kavey,

Your itinerary looks wonderful! When you (hopefully) see Kennedy, please say "Hi" from Sharon and her sister Linda. He took good care of us last year when we were in Nairobi. If Kennedy doesn't do your transfer, he may send one of his guides like Joe... nice guy!

One thing I notice is that, on Day 22, you're flying back to Arusha from the Serengeti, then are catching a 1:45pm flight to Wilson. This seems to be a tight connection, as most flights from the Serengeti/Seronera don't arrive back in to the domestic airstrip in Arusha until around Noon or after and the flights to Kenya usually depart from Kilimanjaro/JRO, a separate airport that's an hour and a half away. Check with your outfitter about this; you may have an earlier flight back to Arusha than the usual ones I'm familiar with. What airline are you flying back to Kenya on?
ShayTay is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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Thanks Marija!

Div, yes I know some prefer to spend more time in less places which I can completely understand. But as this is an introduction to the region (I have visited both countries 20+ years ago as a kid and the Mara once more recently; my husband hasn't been to either) I really wanted to cover a reasonable spread of parks/ reserves on this one. Our next trip to East Africa will likely focus on just two or three locations with longer spent in each. There are some 3 nighters in there along with the 5 nighter at Serian and the 1 and 2 nighters make sense to me in this itinerary!
Kavey is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 03:18 PM
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Shaytay, haven't a clue re the flights, will check with Sandi!

We've booked a day tour not a transfer with Kennedy and booked it on the basis of doing the tour with him not one of his staff/ associates so, unless he's not been able to keep the day for us as agreed, we'll see him and pass on your message!
Kavey is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 04:09 PM
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Kavey have a wonderful, wonderful trip. I am guessing Roy's will be taking care of you in Tanzania?

jules39 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 04:33 PM
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jambo kavey
asante sana for your explanation!
i am sure you will love ELSA's in particular and the italian fare!
maybe you have the chance to visit elsa's grave...........just ask the guide if you are interested in that.
the landscape is fantastic and the elephant grass should be shortER now!

enjoy every minute of your safari!

happy landings!

divine54 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 06:26 PM
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Safari njema, Kavey! No advice, just warm wishes for an exhilarating trip.

I do, of course, expect some phenomenal photos upon your return.

Have fun.
Leely2 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 06:41 PM
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Have a great time Kavey! Be safe!
matnikstym is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 06:46 PM
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Have a fabulous trip, Kavey!
Patty is online now  
Aug 5th, 2008, 07:47 PM
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Wow, cool, it's almost time before you go, I am SO excited for you! It looks like a wonderful itinerary and I am sure that kennedy has the day marked in his book - please give him a big hug for me & tell him I will see him next year - which reminds me, are you up for a supper one night in May? Maybe we can take in that Chinese place we were supposed to meet at last year! One my plans solidify I will email you.

Have a WONDERFUL trip & I can't wait to see your photos & read your report!

LyndaS is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 09:13 PM
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I share your utter excitement, as my husband and I are leaving from LA in a little over 2 weeks - 8/20. We'll be at Ngorongoro Sopa 8/29 and Sayari for 3 nights from 9/1-3. Any matches? I'm sure you're as excited as we are!! Have a safe flight.
hymjr is offline  
Aug 6th, 2008, 02:35 AM
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If I were you, would spend a couple of nights inside the Mara in their mobile location. Ofcourse, you can opt to do this even after you get there - but, keep this option open .......

Have a good trip!

HariS is offline  
Aug 6th, 2008, 03:05 AM
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Thanks so much everyone! I'm really excited and most of my friends, whilst happy for me, don't share the passion or understand what it's all about. It's great to have friends who totally get what a big deal this is and can share my anticipation!

Jules, yes we'll be with Roy's in Tanzania. After reading so many recommendations for them here on Fodors I'm feeling confident and relaxed about booking directly though I know some of my non-Fodorite friends have expressed doubt about not booking through a UK agent/ operator!!

Divine, we're already planning to ask to visit Elsa's grave, partly because of my own desire but also on behalf of a friend of mine.

Leely, I'm sooo awful with photos, I'm taking thousands and am about 3 years behind processing them!!!!! I've set aside some time this year (as the contract I have is only part time) to try and work through the backlog!

Dennis, Patty, thanks for your well wishes.

Lynda, I shall pass on messages to Kennedy. Also, would love to meet up in London. Do drop me an email so we can get a date into the diary sooner rather than later!

hymjr, we're not in Sopa till second week of September and in Sayari about a week after you, I'm afraid! Sorry we won't have any crossover! BON VOYAGE to you too!

Hari, I took strong note of your Serian trip report and, although I haven't arranged anything in advance, I'm definitely planning to enquire about the options on our arrival.

Woo hoo!
Kavey is offline  
Aug 6th, 2008, 07:54 AM
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Kavey yes people do look at you with a bit of fear in their eyes when you tell them you are booking directly with a Tanz op! Our first trip to Tanz we booked with a home based op but once there I looked how things worked & for our next trip I booked directly with Roys after checking with a few diff ops. We had a fantastic 2 1/2 week safari with them & are in the process of booking another trip with them! I can imagine how excited you are I concider the pre trip excitement all part of the trip.

Happy & safe travels.

jules39 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2008, 08:01 AM
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My main worry today is that I am unable to contact Kennedy and we didn't finalise any of the arrangements. He did say he'd definitely booked the day for me, to be toured by himself not one of his team/ associates and we loosely discussed itinerary but we didn't pin that down nor get onto discussions of where we're staying, what time he'd meet us and so on.
Emails are bouncing back, his website is down and I have no contact phone numbers.
Kavey is offline  
Aug 6th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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Looks outstanding Kavey, have a tremendous safari! I'll be excited to see your photos.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Aug 6th, 2008, 08:30 AM
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I hope it's as outstanding as I'm anticipating!

I know there are often "discussions" here about the relative merit of rustic versus luxurious accommodations and most of our choices tend towards the luxurious but my main criteria for selection has actually been location and maximum capacity of the camp - we prefer smaller capacity camps with a more intimate feel. The exception to small is the Ngorongoro Crater Sopa which I chose because of it's use of the quieter access road down into the crater. Of course, I can't pretend we won't enjoy the various extravagant accommodations we have in our itinerary - I don't feel any need to rough it - but I'm mostly extremely excited about the wildlife!

Oh and I just spoke to Kennedy on the phone so hopefully that will be finalised soon.
Kavey is offline  
Aug 6th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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Kavey, Have a wonderful time in Africa! As Hari mentioned, try to get one night at Serian's mobile camp at the Talek.
I very much like your itinerary, going to be a fantastic.
Send my regards to Riccardo at Saruni Kalama, and to the guides Wilson and Lemeria. No doubt you will enjoy the incredible vastness of Kalama. Please take some pictures of the mess area and the pool as it must be ready when you are there. At Serian my best to Alex, Isaac and everyone!
Alejandra is offline  

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