Please review Itinerary for E.Africa Safari

Old Jun 21st, 2007, 06:32 AM
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DanaA70
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Please review Itinerary for E.Africa Safari

Well as I said I have the bug and since returning last week have been 24/7 trying to come up with the next trip....this seemed interesting and would love to elicit any comments - pro and con:
Day 1 Nairobi (we have to figure out how to fly there from VA; but that will come
Day 2,3,4 Loisaba Lodge, Laikipia Wilderness
Days 5,6,7 Cottars, Masia Mara
Days 8,9 Ngoro Crater Lodge
Days l0,11,12 Grumetti Camp/Serengeti
Day 13 Serengeti fly to Arusha;Day room til takoff
This was put together with the aid of a friends daughter who lives in Dubai and did it a year or so ago. Havent got a number yet; but was interested in anyone knowing the areas/camps/lodges and if you'd change - add or subtract anything.
Thanks a bunch! D.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2007, 09:09 AM
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I'm interested in how how you travel from VA to Nairobi. Charter? FF miles?
Layovers? Please post when you decide!
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 09:26 AM
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DanaA70
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moondoggie; don't know what part of the world you are living in, but in Chantilly Virginia there is one of the largest international airports in the States (or world,but don't know that for a fact) IAD
Yes, we southerners do get around.
What do you think about the itinerary though? Is Grumetti to far out in the Serengeti to see any game? Thx D
 
Old Jun 21st, 2007, 09:31 AM
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What time of year is this itinerary for, DanaA70? The western Serengeti is a great place to catch the migration in late June/July if that is your intention in heading that way. And depending on what time of year you go, you might want to include either Lake Manyara or Tarangire. Is wildlife viewing your primary interest? Cultural experiences?
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 11:58 AM
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Hi Calo; we enjoyed SA so much the first two weeks of June that we were thinking of going again next year but on this itinerary; we definitely want the safari..live in a big city and the get away from it all was a huge part of our experience in the Kruger private game reserves where we spent most of our time early June. We loved the chilly am's and warm afternoons; it reminded us of our "fall" our fav. time of year. Do you think game viewing is good then? I live in hot humid temps in summer here so definitely do not want to vacation in it! So would you add or subtract from this itinerary..Should I avoid the crater area or is it crucial..Or should I concentrate on Masia Mara? Quite frankly this is exactly how I felt planning the SA trip - CONFUSED...so many areas, so little time! Any input is greatly appreciated. I cannot wait to get back. D.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2007, 12:32 PM
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It is a great looking itinerary that includes the major stops on an east African Safari. At that time of year the inclusion of the Grumeti is a wise idea as the migrating wildebeest are likely to be holding up in that sector before pushing across the mara river into Kenya in July.

With that stated it would be in a way a little repetitive to spend three days in the mara in addition to the serengeti (grumeti) although these are technically two parks, both represent the same ecosystem and as such you should go for the cherry and follow the migration.

If you were looking then to replace those days that you would be at Cottars, i would suggest that you out to the Meru or even into Shaba/Samburu for unique species such as the gerenuk, somali ostrich and so on.

I have stayed at Loisaba, its a great place, while you are there you should spend at least one night at their starbeds camp.

Lastly getting to and from kenya ex VA: KLM code share with KQ is an option, not sure of the frequency of KLM?NW out of IAD or WAS though or another thought would be BA via London, or another that would require a night in JNB , SA. is to go SAA out of IAD to JNB then up to NBO.

hope that helps?
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 12:48 PM
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which month of the year do you want to go?
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 12:58 PM
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Stakerk: thinking of June - because we just returned from SA (Sabi, Chobe, -) loved the weather (no humidity, cool am's warm days, nice eves) and hoped it might be the same -any idea?
Mkhonzo: thanks so much for all your info; I will check into the other areas you recommended - any property suggestions that I can google? thanks so much. Everyone on this forum is so helpful; I have become obsessed in returning to Africa. We were just bewitched by the experience. D.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2007, 01:32 PM
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Agree with mkhonzo's suggestions if traveling in June. For properties, look at Elsa's Kopje in Meru, Joy's Camp in Shaba, and Larsens or Elephant Watch in Samburu. Have fun planning!
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 02:26 PM
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Mara is great year round but best in Aug. and Sep. when Migration. A close call but would probably go to Samburu (Larsen's was great)instead of the Mara for some variety.

If go to Mara I believe Cottars not well thought of here. Better one of the Governor's Camps, or Serena or some place near the Mara Triangle

Sandy would know best. (I believe she likes Loisaba, I wonder if however a bit too arid. Is certainly different though.)

Kevin from California
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 02:50 PM
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Patty and Kevin - THANKS, I will now be re-thinking this itinerary but hey that's what this forum is for - those who know will help out those who do not. So, I guess I will be up tonight checking on your suggestions. Very appreciated. Do you think we should be going in August. We are very flexible; I just don't want to get into a lot of hot weather. I live in it daily and it was so plesant the first two weeks of June. D
 
Old Jun 22nd, 2007, 03:15 PM
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From VA, there's IAD that can easily get you to London or Amsterdam for ongoing flights to either Nairobi (NBO) or Kilimanjaro (JRO). Even via Dubai via Emirates to Nairobi.

June is Fall in East Africa, coming out of the long wet season, with cool mornings and mild daytime temps mid-70s. By August, it's winter, where daytime temps are still mild, but mornings and nights tend to be colder. Even the cold will depend on the altitude of the area you are visiting.

The Crater on the rim at 7,000' is always cold, but inside the crater is rather comfy. The area around Loisaba tends to be warmer than elsewhere on the itinerary you show.

If traveling in June, mid-month forward would be best as the wildebeest herds should be in the Western Serengeti/Grumeti River at that time (this year, however, the wildies arrived early... mid-May, ugh!... but they're still hanging around).

If traveling in August, the Serengeti isn't a must as the action is happening in the Masai Mara, where many choose more days, split between two areas... one camp inside the Mara, the other camp outside on private conservation lands where night game drives can be done. There won't be much happening at Grumeti River in August. However, if you wish to visit the Serengeti during August, it's suggested the area closest to the border w/Kenya, i.e., Sayari, Klein's Camps or Nomad's... maybe CCA Tanzania Under Canvas. There are a number of seasonal camps that can be in this area.

While Cottar's is lovely, many feel it's a bit to far south and east of the Mara, for either June or August; not to say that many don't visit here and find good game viewing. It's all very personal.

There are really so many choices, much depending on when you are traveling. And though you have some good picks, there's also Meru (Elsa's Kopje); Samburu (Joy's Camp or Saruni North); Loisaba or Sabuk in Laikipia (including at least 1/nt at starbeds); Shompole at Shompole on the border with Tanzania near Lake Natron; even to Tsavo (Campi ya Kanzi or Ndolwa House). Lots of choices, depending on whether you wish lodges, permanant camps, how lux or rustic/lux.

And, if for 2008, it's not too early to start planning.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2007, 04:42 PM
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Sandi,
Where exactly is Saruni North going to be located?
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Old Jun 22nd, 2007, 05:44 PM
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Sandi: yeah! I was hoping you'd see this post; you are the best! I have read and re-read many of your postings and appreciate so much what you offer...so now I will look into everything you've offered, get a little more overwhelmed but hey, you are back to get me thru this! Thanks soooooo much. D AND NO MATTER WHAT I AM GOING BACK!
 
Old Jun 23rd, 2007, 04:13 AM
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Patty -

Actual the name (so far) will be Saruni-Samburu, expected to be located outside the park boundary to the west (I believe).

And, Saruni has changed the name of their Campi ya Tembo in the Mara to Saruni-Yaille conservation. Only 3/tents, great for walking safaris - ellees, giraffe that are all resident. The tents look lovely and should be up on the Saruni site any day. You have your own staff - guide, vehicle, housekeeping, chef, askaris. Oh so private and remote... I loved it last year and it looks even better this.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2007, 06:08 AM
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Sandi: I think I rushed my initial itinerary (being so excited about getting back.) Since reading some of the E/A trip reports I have a better understanding of the area - its very confusing to one who has never been and the names are more difficult to remember...so on that we decided June - as we loved this past June weather - cool ams, warm days, and cool eves. Our kind of temps. I think we will concentrate on Tanzania as we both love staying in more "out of the way" places without crowds - which we managed to do quite nicely on our S/A trip - twice we had the vechicle to ourselves. We are into the game drives. We like semi-deluxe (like Ngala Tented but that may have been because our guide there was terrific; we could not wait to jump up and go out with him) - would not do a Singita type where I might run into spa gals. Thinking seeing the crater would be nice but if we just rode by it Id be happy, do not want to be in a long line getting in and out. The CCA people said they could get us in and out with their lodging but I find that hard to believe. Any experience with them? also they are a bit pricey and our first trip we were quite naive about costs and went way over budget; hoping to keep costs down a bit and not stay 10 days instead of two weeks; and maybe just 2 lodges - or 3 if possible in different areas-
Lake Manyara (my DH loves water - even just looking at it) and another spot in Serengeti and then perhaps another park that could be recommended. We would like to put an itinerary together and put it out to some tour operators in E.A. for pricieng as my t/a here just hands it over to someone else to book and I ended up paying three commissions. We cannot come back if we continue that practice. Do tour operators in E/A do the actual booking and will they work with us? Do you have any names to throw out...I looked at GreenFeet(?); maynot not correct name, but read about them in E/A trip reports, and a couple of others I googled. I tried Ebens company but no response and they are here in Va! So any help you could send my way I would appreciate. I know you are the E/A expert and I do appreciate what you post on the forum..if I could contact you I would but don't know if you are in the business or not. Don't even know if I can ask that on this forum. Guess I will find out!I heard that in June the western serengeti was good migrating time, but like I said we just want to go on good game drives. Our neighbors went to Kenya and said there were way too many
vehicles and they were not happy - but liked the Serengeti. Now they are older so it may have just been fussiiness on their part. I loved the idea of Loisaba star beds but could skip it in lieu of spending time in Tanzania. Of course there will be third, fourth, fifth opportunities I am sure to get there! My DH and I are so hooked. But I am the one who has to work on the itinerary and its positively overwhelming. I have not even written a trip report yet onthe first go round! Will work on that today so I can share our fabulous experience with all those who have helped me. thx. again. D
 
Old Jun 23rd, 2007, 06:35 AM
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Dana,

Try www.africaserendipity.com to find Sandi.

CW
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Old Jun 23rd, 2007, 09:51 AM
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Thanks CW!
 
Old Jun 24th, 2007, 02:54 AM
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Dana
Are you looking for Green Footprint Adventures? They are based in Arusha and should come up when you Google the name.
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Old Jun 24th, 2007, 03:28 AM
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Queen- yes, I believe I had the name all wrong - so thanks for the correct one. D.
 

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