Safari: ever heard of this tour operator?

Feb 18th, 2006, 09:11 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6
Safari: ever heard of this tour operator?

Hi everyone,
I am planning a safari in Kenya/Tanzania and received a proposal from "African Road Safaris"; the company was created in 1959 and they seem to offer a good price and a private safari that corresponds to my request.
The problem is I haven't been able to find any "outside" information about them. Anybody know them?
realcrazysquirrel is offline  
Feb 18th, 2006, 01:07 PM
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Never heard of them. When I went to their website, they appear to be a French company.

Here is a link to East Africa trips taken by Fodorites that may give you some additional ideas.

If you'd like to post the itinerary you were provided, you can receive additional feedback.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 04:36 AM
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Thanks atravelynn.
The safari is 8 nights/9 days and leaves from Nairobi.
Day 1: arrival in Nairobi, Holiday Inn Mayfair Hotel
Day 2: Amboseli, Sopa Lodge (afternoon gamedrive)
Day 3: Tarangire, Tarangire Safari Camp (afternoon gamedrive)
Day 4:Tarangire, Tarangire Safari Camp (gamedrive)
Day 5: Ngorongoro, Serena Lodge (afternoon in the crater)
Day 6: Serengeti, Mbuzi Mawe Camp(gamedrive)
Day 7: Serengeti, Mbuzi Mawe Camp (gamedrive)
Day 8: Lake Manyara, Kirurumu Camp (afternoon gamedrive)
Day 9: Arusha, Nairobi

It is a private safari for 2 people. No limit put on number of gamedrives. No minibus but Landcruiser or Landrover(unlike many other offers I received). The price is 2622 $ per person in March (and I live in Europe, so I can take advantage of the exchange rate). Everything is included but international airfare, visas, tips and drinks.
realcrazysquirrel is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 06:10 AM
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The Day 2 and Day 3 are going to be a big blur. You'll have at least a 4-hr drive to Amboseli from Nairobi; the Sopa lodge, while lovely is way outside the park at the far end. Though it will be game drive through the park on the way to the Sopa, you'll have to traverse back that way to get to the Namanga border (easily 3+ hrs) on your way via Arusha to Tarangire. You won't arrive at Tarangire until late afternoon or later.
Feb 19th, 2006, 07:08 AM
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If this is a private safari, I'm sure you could make the changes per Sandi's suggestions. Also most itineraries do have 2 nights at the crater so you don't feel rushed and to enjoy the view.

atravelynn is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 10:36 AM
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Thanks for the input Sandi; is there another lodge or camp in Amboseli that you could recommend? Or maybe I need to ask African Road Safaris to change the itinerary?
Atravelynn, I read on another forum that 1 night at the N'Gorongoro was plenty, which is why I had chosen to spend more time in the Serengeti but now I am not so sure...
realcrazysquirrel is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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The question is: should I add 1 day or should I change something in the current itinerary in order to spend an extra night at N'Gorongoro?
realcrazysquirrel is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 10:53 AM
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I second sandi's advice about changing your Amboseli accomodations. The Sopa is outside of the park and the farthest away from the Namanga border. Within Amboseli, you'll find Ol Tukai and Serena lodges. Either of those will be better located for a 1 night stay. I've stayed at Ol Tukai and from the lodge there's a great view of the swamp area with lots of game.
Patty is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 12:08 PM
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Lynn, Sandi and others can better answer your questions about Amboseli/extra night at the Crater, but I wouldn't cut a day anywhere. If you can afford it, I would definitely add a day.

And personally, I'd be very, very tempted to add that day to Serengeti.

What time of year are you traveling?
Leely is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 03:55 AM
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Thanks everyone!
Leely, I will be travelling at the end of March.
The outfitter is very responsive and I have already exchanged 4 emails with him since last night (and he really answers my questions)!
The changes:
in Amboseli National Park, we'll be staing at Ol Tukaï (additional cost: 34$ per person); thanks again for the information about the Sopa and the travel time...
for Tanragire National Park, I had asked him about other possibilities and he suggested the Tree Tops (+170$/person/night, a bit too much for me I think, esp. since we are staying 2 nights) and Tarangire River Camp (+30$, much more affordable) on which I read good reviews.
We might also add 1 night in the Serengeti (rather than 1 in the N'Gorongoro) at a total cost of 358$/person.

Additional information for those who are interested in the outfitter (African Road Safari Kibla Ltd): they employ on a permanent basis 30 guides, 3 of whom are French-speaking and 27 English-speaking; no problem to pay with a credit card (Visa or Mastercard, not Amex)on European secure phone lines (no additional cost); this is good esp. if you have a Gold/Premier card, as it provides free insurance coverage for your trip.
realcrazysquirrel is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 08:57 AM
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Thanks for the further information on African Road Safaris. Good move on Amboseli.

Tarangire River Camp is a good choice for location and wildife. Double check that it is not overbooked before you depart. I tried to stay there twice and was not successful either time, despite booking early. Once I got a private mobile tent and once was moved to Sopa instead.

Two nights at the crater is less important with the half day trips that are being required. You'll still see it with one night, just less time at the lodge for the views. If you have only one more day to add, I think 3 nights in the Serengeti is a good choice.

The company certainly appears responsive to you!
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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Great! Sounds like it's coming together nicely.

climbhighsleeplow, who posts on this board, has photos of lodges/camps on his website I think you'll be pleased with the appearance of Tarangire River Camp.

Serengeti is wonderful! You won't regret adding a day there.

Also, Ol Tukai gets mentioned favorably by the Kenya experts on this board quite frequently.

Are you going this March? If so, remember to make an appointment with a travel doc soon (but you've probably already done that).

Have a wonderful time.
Leely is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 02:09 PM
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Thanks for the encouragement!
Yes, we are going this March but no problem for the "health" part (already have all necessary vaccines and my father in law who is a doc will take care of antimalaria tablet).
I have seen the website and indeed it is great!
I will all keep you posted
realcrazysquirrel is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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The only thing is that where you're staying in Serengeti might be pretty dicey for the migration in late March. I don't know if this is a big deal to you--Seronera and environs are always good, especially in you like lions.

I don't think I'd sweat the accommos too much if I were leaving as soon as you are.

Others probably have differing opinions.

Good luck and have fun!
Leely is offline  

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