Rwanda/Kenya honeymoon

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Sep 10th, 2005, 07:08 AM
  #1
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Rwanda/Kenya honeymoon

Hi I am trying to organise my honeymoon for July 2006. I have received a few suggested itineraries. As I have never been on Safari before I am a little unsure if it is covering too many things and may be a bit frantic. I will summarise it below and would appreciate comments if you experienced people think it may be a little bit much. Basically it is 4 days in Rwanda to go gorilla tracking, 7 days in Kenya on safari followed by a few days relaxing (think we'll need this!!) in Mombasa. Here's further details:

Day 1 Fly Nairobi to Kigali
Stay at either Volcanoes Virunga or Gorilla Nest Hotel (FB)

Day 2 Rwanda - Gorilla tracking
Accommodation will be at Volcanoes Virunga Lodge or Gorilla Nest Hotel (FB).

Day 3 Rwanda
Visit the Golden Monkeys or climb the Visoke Volcano, or trek to the remains of Old Karisoke, or visit local communities or simply relax. Acommodation will be at Volcanoes Virunga Lodge or Gorilla Nest Hotel (FB).

Day 4 Kigali to Nairobi
Stay overnight in Nairobi

Day 5 Nairobi to Sweetwater’s
Stay in Sweetwater;s tented camp. visit to the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and evening game drive in the reserve.

Day 6 Sweetwater to Samburu
Drive to Samburu Game Reserve. Stay Samburu Serena Lodge. Morning and evening game drives and visit to Masai village

Day 7 Samburu
Games drives.

Day 8 Samburu/Ark
Early morning game drive. Stay at the Ark overnight.

Day 9 Ark to Nakuru
Depart after breakfast to Sarova Lion Hill. En-route game drive.

Day 10 Nakuru to Masai Mara
Early morning game drive with before leaving for the Masai Mara. Accommodation at the Mara Serena Lodge.

Day 11 & 12 Masai Mara
Early morning and late afternoon game drives. Accommodation at the Mara Serena Lodge.

Day 13 Masai Mara to Naivasha
Pre-breakfast game drive where before leaving for Naivash. Accommodation will be at Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge for overnight.

Day 14 Naivasha to Mombasa/Sheraton Hotel in Uganda
Depart after breakfast to the airport for the flight to Mombasa. Stay at Mombasa Serena Hotel for 3 nights.

Day 15 & 16 Mombasa
Reloaxing at the resort.l

Day 17 Mombasa to Nairobi
Transfer to Nairobi to fly home.

Thanks for your help, any pointers are most appreciated.

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Sep 10th, 2005, 07:12 AM
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Sorry Day 14 should only be headed:

Day 14 Naivasha to Mombasa.
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Sep 11th, 2005, 08:03 PM
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Hello can anyone help?
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Sep 12th, 2005, 06:08 AM
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Hi sparky7, I’ve never been on this kind of itinerary, but I’ll give my opinion anyway:

After Rwanda and the first night in Nairobi:

Day 5 Samburu

Day 6 & 7 Samburu

Day 8 Samburu/Nakuru. Stay at Mbweha Camp. Game drives in L. Nakuru NP. Night game drives. Walks with a guide or on your own – only you two out on the plains.

Day 9 Nakuru

Day 10 Nakuru/Maasai Mara

Day 11 & 12 & 13 Maasai Mara

Day 14 fly the Mara/Wilson airport/Lamu Stay at Salama House or Azania House http://www.lamuworld.com/

Day 15 & 16 Lamu

Day 17 Lamu/Nairobi/home

If you could stretch out your trip with a couple of days you should stay more days in the Mara and on Lamu. Then you could combine Lamu Town with Shela or Manda Beach. For example: http://www.diamondbeachvillage.com/

If you would like to go to Mombasa you could start with a couple of days in the Mara, back to Nairobi for one night, drive to Tsavo East for some days, continue to Mombasa and then fly back to Nairobi.




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Sep 13th, 2005, 02:32 AM
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Thanks for the information Nyamera. I will enquire with the agent and see if the suggested changes can be made.
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Sep 13th, 2005, 02:40 AM
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bwanamitch
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This extra night at Naivasha Simba makes no sense to me. If you leave Mara Serena after breakfast, you will be in Nairobi in the early afternoon and could take a late afternoon flight to Mombasa.

Mitch
 
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Sep 13th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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Congratulations on your wedding and a great honeymoon destination.

Volcanoes Virunga is a nicer, more romantic setting with better restaurant facilities but farther from the gorillas. I've visited but not stayed here. Gorilla Nest has brick huts/houses that are ok inside and a restaurant that requires ordering in advance, at least when I was there. The food was very good. Its grounds have a resident flock of crowned cranes which I enjoyed. It is about 15-20 minutes' drive to where you begin gorilla tracking.

I thought the golden monkeys were marvelous. They did their flying from tree to tree near enough the ground so that no binocs were needed.

In Kenya you are covering a bit of ground, but the areas you are seeing are diverse so you're not just traveling for the sake of moving around.
Yours is a typical itinerary designed to give a good overview of Kenya's key wildlife areas.

Sticking with Serena lodges may give you a price break.

Glad to see 3 nights in the Mara. That should be a great safari finale. As Bwanamitch stated, going back to Naivasha does not seem to make as much sense. Is it necessary to go through Uganda to get to Mombassa? I know nothing of Mombasa once you arrive.

In case you wanted to include a tented camp experience, in addition to your lodges, you could consider a tented camp in the Mara after Serena, instead of Naivasha.

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Sep 13th, 2005, 08:59 AM
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Spark 7, I wanted to reduce the 1-nighters in your itinerary. When I stayed in Mbweha Camp people who had left Samburu in the morning arrived in the evening – after a lunch stop at Thomson’s Falls and an afternoon game drive in Lake Nakuru NP - and left for the Mara early in the morning. I think it’s better to stay for another day and go for a walk and a night game drive. Mbweha Camp is less expensive than Sarova Lion Hill.


An even better choice for Samburu would be Elephant Watch, but it’s a lot more expensive than Samburu Serena.

At Mombasa Serena there are Disney-like “Lamu suites” and at Salama House and Azania House you get the real thing. Mombasa Serena isn’t even in Mombasa but 20 kilometres to the north on Shanzu Beach. I haven’t been in Shanzu, but I’ve understood it is just a touristy beach place. Lamu is more culturally interesting – and more romantic.

The Air Kenya flight from the Mara arrives at Wilson airport at approx. 12.15 and the departure for Lamu is at 13.15. I’m usually at Wilson more than an hour before departure, but most people don’t show up until there’s just about 15 minutes left – so it should work even with a delayed flight from the Mara.

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Sep 13th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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When I was considering going from Samburu to Nakuru, my tour operator advised that this was a 7 hour drive (not including a lunch stop), so I don't think having an overnight stop in between is a bad option either.

I don't understand the Nakuru-Masai Mara-Naivasha order either. If you want to include Naivasha, I would do it after your Nakuru stay.
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Sep 13th, 2005, 10:38 AM
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bwanamitch
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Last year we left Samburu after breakfast, made a short game drive, had two punctures (and no more spare tyres), had to wait for help, made it to Isiolo, patched the spare tyres (fascinating how those people made this with their very simple tools), had the usual stop at Thomsons Falls (you can really pass on this), made some nice photo shots at the equator -- and finally arrived at Sarova Lion Hill (Lake Nakuru NP) for an early afternoon lunch.

So I really don't see why there should be an additional overnight stop.

Mitch
 
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Sep 13th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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Mitch,
Do you remember how long it took in actual hours?

The OP can decide for themselves whether they prefer to break it up or do the transfer in one day.
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Sep 13th, 2005, 11:07 AM
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bwanamitch
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About 7 hours. Subtract 1.5-2 hours for the tyre problems. That makes this a 5-5.5 hour drive, including a stay at Thomsons Falls.

Mitch
 
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Sep 13th, 2005, 11:11 AM
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bwanamitch
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PS: After re-thinking it, I would say the tyre problems were more than two hours. This makes it a 4.5-5 hour drive.
 
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Sep 13th, 2005, 11:21 AM
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Interesting, that's shorter than I thought. I've found that the driving estimates I've gotten from them in the past are either on target or tend to err on the side of shorter rather than longer than reality. Perhaps they were expecting a few tire punctures on the way?
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Sep 13th, 2005, 11:49 AM
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bwanamitch
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Maybe your tour operator's drivers are not so fast?
 
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Sep 13th, 2005, 12:23 PM
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Perhaps so
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Sep 13th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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sandi
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That return trip to Naivasha is very strange. You can drive from Nakuru to Naivasha - from Naivasha there is a flight to the Mara (not sure whether it's thru NBO, or direct).

There is no reason to be backtracking. Most people know I avoid this like a plague, especially when not necessary. It looks more like "a filler" - a day when nothing was scheduled so why not drive to Naivasha! Not!
 
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Sep 22nd, 2005, 02:27 AM
  #18
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I have been away for a few days and have just regained access to the internet and seen all the replies! Thanks for all your help, most appreciated. I will ask the travel agent a bit more about why the Mara to Naivasha leg is where it is and for any suggested changes.

Cheers.
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