Samburu to Sabuk Lodge?

Aug 5th, 2007, 12:28 PM
  #1  
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Samburu to Sabuk Lodge?

We are going to Samburu for 3 nights (is that too much?) on a fly-in. Could I get from Samburu to Sabuk Lodge since I will not have a private guide? How?

Is it worth the trip for a night or two at Sabuk?
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Aug 5th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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Without a driver, you have to fly from Samburu to Sabuk in Laikipia. It's not a scheduled flight, so will be costly as a private charter.

Three nights isn't too long for Samburu, but what does your entire itinerary look like? Where? How many days?
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Aug 5th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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sandi - I am not sure yet. Definitely 3 nights in Samburu and 4 nights in Mara. Depending on how the costs shake out, we are considering an additional 2-4 nights in Amboseli, Sabuk, Nakuru, etc. or just adding more time to Mara (via a different tent/lodge).
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Aug 5th, 2007, 01:17 PM
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timing is next summer when the kids are out of school, likely July.
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Aug 5th, 2007, 01:30 PM
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If you visit Samburu, I wouldn't necessarily also visit Amboseli - both offer the elephant experience. Samburu though with unique species not found at Amboseli; Amboseli though has possible views of Kili.

You can certainly visit Nakuru which is 2/hrs by road from Nairobi. There are no scheduled flights to Nakuru. Closest scheduled airstrip is Lake Naivasha, about 1/hr south of Nakuru.

You can fly to Naivasha and do a day-trip to Nakuru and spend another day at Naivasha.

Sabuk, on the other hand, is a different experience - the area of Laikipia, camel safaris in addition to game drives, fishing, river swimming - but can be expensive. Though depends on the specific accommodations you chose for Samburu and the Mara... it might just be within your budget, except for the flights to/from.
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Aug 5th, 2007, 01:40 PM
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If you're looking for alternatives with scheduled air service, there are scheduled flights linking Meru with Samburu and also Meru with Lewa/Laikipia (high season only) but not Samburu and Laikipia.
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Aug 5th, 2007, 02:57 PM
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We're going for variety and "memorable" experiences. Variety can come in the terms of wildlife, activities, or landscape. We're the kind of people who take the cruises with the least number of sea days and maximum number of different ports because we like to see/do different things. Now having said that, we don't want a shotgun safari either (1 or 2 nights at every single stop) because it will wear out the kids.

We do not want long drives due to the kids (a couple of hours is ok). Originally I was thinking some combo of Kenya and Northern Tanzania, but I have pushed that aside for now because we use too much of our budget getting to/from Tanzania. I then thought about just doing Southern Tanzania, but could not get myself to give up the opportunity to see the Mara.

So, I am back to Samburu and Mara (picked due to variety in landscape and game), but need to fill out a some additional nights. We're not interested in doing the drive to Samburu, nor are we interested in Sweetwaters. I read about Sabuk today and it sounded interesting (camel rides would meet the "memorable" requirement). I just cannot figure out how to get there, nor do I know the proverbial "how much."

I am on the fence with Lake Nakuru. I've gotten the impression it is more a pass through location than it is a destination. Am I being too harsh?

I recently started thinking about Amboseli, primarily because it is a cheap flight from Nairobi and the Tortilis camp sounds lovely. The night drives are a definite bonus. I would not give up Samburu to go here though.

So, now that you know a little more about our likes/dislikes, how would you spend 10-12 nights in Kenya?
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Aug 6th, 2007, 05:23 AM
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The Sabuk rack rate is $540/person sharing; children sharing with parents is $400/per child. Then, of course, the private charter, at least to/from Nanyuki.

Tortilis rack rate is $440/person sharing; children @ $330/per w/parents.

The difference in return air NBO/AMB/NBO vs NBO/SAM/NBO is about $60-$70/person.

But getting between Samburu and Sabuk is a private charter and that is expensive.

You can do:
Day 1 - Arv. NBO - o/n
Day 2 - Fly to Amboseli - o/n Tortilis
Day 3 - Amboseli - o/n Tortilis
Day 4 - Fly to NBO; connect to flight to Nanyuki; connect to private charter to Laikipia - o/n Sabuk
Day 5 - Laikipia - o/n Sabuk
Day 6 - Laikipia - o/n Sabuk
Day 7 - Fly to Masai Mara - o/n Elephant Pepper*
Days 8 & 9 - Masai Mara - o/n Elephant Pepper
Day 10 - Fly to NBO; day-room; transfer to JKIA for homebound flight.

*wonderful small camp, most attentive and great for families w/ children.
Elephant Pepper rack rate $450; children $330.

Provides the elephants at Amboseli; uniqueness of Laikipia at Sabuk w/ camel safaris and the Masai Mara.

I'm sure you agent's prices will be less than rack, or should be.
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Aug 6th, 2007, 06:04 AM
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sandi - thank you! Since there are 4 of us, I don't think we will be able to share in most places? I thought most places charged 50% for one child, but 75% for 2 in a separate room. Do I have that wrong?

I was thinking hard about Governors or Intrepids at Masai Mara and their rates seem to be in the same range as Elephant Pepper, correct?

Speaking of lower than rack rates, Serena offers an air package to Samburu that is $875 for 3 nights, including game drives and air. Seems like a really good deal. Could an agent do similar or better?
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Aug 6th, 2007, 06:20 AM
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Sabuk has bandas specifically for families. Check the East African Trip Report Index for my trip report in '05 and believe my photo link is there... you'll find photos of some of the Sabuk bandas.

As to the % of discount for children sharing with parents, this will vary depending on the lodge/camp. Some discounts that Serena offers, Sopa may not and vice versa. Same with other properties.

What Serena is showing now, I believe are their '07 rates (if I'm in error, I stand corrected), but '08 rates have overall gone up quite a bit. You should leave it to your tour operator/outfitter to pull an itinerary together incorporating all your stops.
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Aug 6th, 2007, 06:38 AM
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Yes, those are based on '07 rates. I believe it works out to be 30% off rack rates. I'm figuring everything will go up ~15% for '08.

I want to figure out my itinerary first based on rack rates or known packages. That way I know my itinerary fits in my budget before I am in contact with agents. It would seem to be more efficient that way for both myself and the agents.
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Aug 6th, 2007, 03:35 PM
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I fell asleep at the wheel this morning and missed those rates for Sabuk. WOW!!!

Any other more reasonably priced places to make a stop in that general area of Kenya?
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Aug 7th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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chacheetah
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Hi, I was reading Sandi's reply to your questions and she mentioned Tortilis rate as 440pp and a t/a should give a better rate. I was wondering what we should expect off a rack rate..is there a percentage that is average? Thank, ChaCheetah
 
Aug 7th, 2007, 10:57 AM
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addisonr,
Have you looked on the Laikipa Wildlife Forum at www.laikipia.org? There's a map of the Laikipia area with links to lodges and camps. In general, Laikipia accommodations run toward the high end, but there are a few reasonably priced places. I've stayed at El Karama Ranch twice, but you need to come with your own vehicle. They're about 1.5 hours from Nanyuki, so you could possibly take a schedule flight to Nanyuki and have your tour operator meet you with vehicle and guide for the remaining road transfer to the ranch. You can go on day/night game drives, walks and horse rides on the ranch. The last time I was there, they also had some camels (mostly used as pack animals for multi-day walking or riding safaris), so you could inquire about the possibility of camel rides.
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Aug 7th, 2007, 01:21 PM
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Appears as though chacheetah and I are trying to make some of the same decisions. I had just about convinced myself to do Amboseli, Samburu and Mara, but then I had to read chacheetah's thread...

So, is Elsa's a good place for children? What's the wildlife viewing like there?
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Aug 7th, 2007, 02:11 PM
  #16  
chacheetah
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...and I yours! Maybe we should get together and get group travel rates!
Good Luck; keep us posted, as I will! CC
 
Aug 7th, 2007, 02:44 PM
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Here are some trip reports (including mine) from last year that include Meru:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34880203

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34914854

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34920145

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34921781

I'm not the best person to advise what's good for kids (OK, that's probably a gross understatement ) but I would think they'd adore the rock hyraxes running around camp. You just need to watch where they go as the camp is located atop a kopje (rock outcropping).
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Aug 7th, 2007, 02:47 PM
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Oh, and in case either of you haven't come across it yet, here's Lynda's wonderful East Africa trip report index thread http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34860283
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Aug 7th, 2007, 04:06 PM
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Patty, thanks - now I just want to follow in your footsteps! Chacheeta
 
Aug 7th, 2007, 05:35 PM
  #20  
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Patty - thanks for the Laikipia link. I think I've read all the trip reports at least twice now .

If I wanted to split my time between Serena and a camp (e.g. Governors), how would I get from one to another?
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