Planning first safari to northern Kenya


Jan 2nd, 2011, 03:45 PM
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Planning first safari to northern Kenya

We are a family of five ( kids ages 17, 14 and 11 ) planning our first safari to Kenya. We plan to visit the second week in March 2011 over our Spring Break.

I have visited the website of the Safari and Conservation Company and would greatly appreciate any feedback from fellow travelers that have used this company to help arrange their safaris.

At present, we are considering two nights at Lemarti's Camp, two nights at either Borana Lodge or Sirikoi and two nights at Manda Bay - trying to do a sampling of cultural immersion, typically safari sightseeing and end with water sports. But we are wondering if we would be "missing out" if we did not visit Masai Mara.

Any suggestions, recommendations or cautionary tales would be greatly appreciated!!
kcoleman70 is offline  
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Jan 3rd, 2011, 03:08 AM
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Best for Rift Valley wildlife a do not miss for me.

So I would go with one of the many quality

"Classic" Kenya Safari itinerairies to pick that up.

Do careful research for better experience.

Have fun,
qwovadis is offline  
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Jan 3rd, 2011, 08:43 AM
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Apparently you only have one (1) week and honestly you're moving around too much in the short period.... even with flights between Laikipia (Le Marti's), Lewa (Borana or Sirikoi) and then the coast (Manda Bay), you're spending more time in transit than game viewing or cultural interaction.

Without knowing from where traveling and assuming it's the Northern Hemisphere it's tempting to want to add sometime at a beach, but I wouldn't trade off a "safari" for a beach. And, to skip the Masai Mara... no way!

All of the properties shown are top of the line lux and very expensive, especially Sirikoi, so guess it's what you've budgetted.

However, what I'd do is visit either LeMarti's or Borana for 3/nts and the remaining 4/nts at the Masai Mara, where here too you can find some lovely small lux camps, some may even have a pool.

Bear in mind that Safari & Conservation are offering only those properties they rep, so unless you are specific with others, i.e., in the Mara and they can price for you... you're being limited. Though if using only their properties they may be offering a discount for "extended" stay.

SCC does however, rep Shompole which is a lovely camp located on the border with Tanzania, each open floorplan cottage has their own plunge pool besides the main camp pool. Thus if you wish "water" this might be an option vs flying out to the coast. And, if so... maybe 2/nts LeMarti's or Borona, 3/nts in the Masai Mara (camp to be determined) and then 2/nts Shompole.

If you haven't contacted other outfitters, try Cheli & Peacock who have more properties, also in the lux category, offering "extended" stay discounts... providing more options and can even price the same as SCC if you need comparison.

There's also The Safari Co. who can offer options and competitive pricing.

Good luck!
sandi is offline  
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Jan 3rd, 2011, 11:16 PM
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Hi Mr Coleman,

I represent The Safari & Conservation Company, and would agree with Sandi that what you're planning so far is a lot to cover in just one week. For all this I would say that you should start at Sirikoi or Borana for two - three nights; Lemarti's Camp for three nights and then the coast. But as Sandy says, it would be worth going to the world famous Masai Mara as well!

I would recommend two nights at Borana, followed by 2 - 3 nights at Richard's Camp and then 3 - 4 nights at Manda Bay, which may be extending your stay slightly but very much worth it - especially at Manda Bay where you can relax and enjoy the sea and sunshine. As Sandi mentions, we do also represent Shompole, which is a fabulous property and might make an interesting alternative to Manda Bay if you want heat and water.

Alternatively, if you had a bit more time Lemarti's Camp would offer a fascinating cultural option, and especially for your kids it would be a very interesting experience to see how the Masai live and all their traditions. If you were keen, I would recommend doing it after Borana, and then going on to the Masai Mara. But then you would need a little more time!

Please also bear in mind that we can assist with booking other places if you wish - our Safari Design Experts are on hand to assist with all your planning. If you are interested, Shelly Elkins is here in our Nairobi office and happy to assist with any questions you might have!

Kind regards

ExperienceKenya is offline  
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Jan 4th, 2011, 08:48 AM
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Richard's Camp in the Mara would be a lovely choice... small, great guides, staff, outstanding meals and one of the best camp shops often with items not found elsewhere.

Even if time is short, it would be a shame to travel so far and miss this amazing reserve.
sandi is offline  
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Jan 17th, 2011, 04:28 PM
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With all due respect to Sandi, I would do Borana and/or Lemartis *or* a camp in the Mara plus Manda Bay, but not Shompole (where I think the kids might be bored). SCC have fantastic properties, and you'll be very well looked after!

Richard_Trillo is offline  
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Jan 17th, 2011, 04:29 PM
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"With all due respect to Sandi,"

And to Juliet!

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