Seeking Safari Advice

Old Feb 21st, 2020, 04:56 AM
  #121  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,863
Originally Posted by Bokhara2 View Post
Hello Songdoc
Hope you two gorgeous people have a great time on safari! And that you will do a Trip Report.

Iíve freed up more time & $ for travel in the next year or so, and as a safari has long been on my wish list, Iíll be most interested in your feedback. No pressure HaHa! Hugs to you both x
As songdoc knows, I'm planning a safari for April/May 2021 - you should tag along!!
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Old Feb 21st, 2020, 09:13 PM
  #122  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 4
CaliNurse, We were there in South Africa and made it to eSwatini, then Swaziland (you can look for our trips on our GeoBeetles page) and Lesotho for a few days too. But I always wanted to go to Kenya. Finally, I made plans to go in March. Seems like a dream come true. In SA, we self-drove inside the parks and game reserves. Is the same thing possible in Kenya? Or is it mandatory to get a tour or safari?
Thanks so much, the information I get here is great!!
GeoBeetles
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Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 03:00 PM
  #123  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4,438
GeoBeetles, i'm not sure why you addressed you addressed the question to me, but I hope others will reply.

My thoughts: Do not self-drive in the Kenya parks/reserves . Very different from South Africa's game parks.

I don't think it's mandatory to NOT self-drive, but for a bunch of reasons, I would definitely not recommend doing so in Kenya.

Kenya is awesome!!!!!!Good luck with your planning!

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Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 03:24 PM
  #124  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 4
CaliNurse,
You're right, I'm not sure either but I'm a new member so I might have just read some of your posts and naturally thought of responding to you. Thanks a lot for those recommendations! We're not going to be driving in the parks then, but will still need to self-drive from Namibia to these parks. Do you recommend I take a safari? Cost was a consideration and since I travel with three young kids, the cost per person adds up real quick real fast. :=(
Or should I just consider hiring a car with a driver? If so, are they available in the hotels?
Thanks, hopefully I'm not bothering you too much and perhaps someone else will help me out as well.
GeoBeetles
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Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 03:34 PM
  #125  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Welcome to GeoBeetles: Just a comment - it is better to start a thread of your own instead of tacking questions to an ongoing thread about a totally different trip.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 04:15 PM
  #126  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9,049
GeoBeetles, search this forum. There are a few reports from folks who have done self-drive in East Africa, including Kenya. I think you will yield more current information if you post this question on safaritalk.net, though.

Here is Canadian Robin's report from over 10 years ago:
Highlights and Photos: Self-drive Kenya & Tanzania August 2009
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Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 09:17 PM
  #127  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
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Thanks, janisj, I'm going to do that right now.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 09:18 PM
  #128  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
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Excellent, Leely2, I'll check that out as well.

Thanks for the tip!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2020, 05:38 AM
  #129  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,863
Your trip

OMG, what now? (For once, the fact that we were so slow in planning turns out to be a good thing, financially-speaking).
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Old Mar 25th, 2020, 10:36 AM
  #130  
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sf7307: I'm glad you haven't booked!

My trip is not until September -- 5-1/2 months from now. I am hopeful that things will have settled down enough so that we will be able to do it.
If not, we will all will have bigger problems than my vacation.

I cancelled my April business trip to teach an event in Nashville, and I will do that online. I cancelled my vacation to Zion and Bryce in Utah (late April/early May) and was able to cancel the hotels and rental cars. I was issued credits for the flights. I doubt I will be able to use the Spirit airlines credit, but it's not more than a couple of hundred dollars. I will use the credits on United and SW. I am expecting that my business trips in June to Los Angeles and British Columbia will be canceled -- and they cannot be done online. But thankfully, I am not in the kind of dire position financially that so many are facing.

FYI, ALL passengers arriving in Hawaii are subject to a 14-day quarantine -- including returning residents. If I were willing to risk flying (which I am not) I would have to self-quarantine when I returned. Most of the condos in the development where I live on Kauai are used as vacation rentals. Almost all of them are empty. The virus is being taken very seriously here because there are only (9) ICU beds on the entire island and very limited medical staff.

It;'s a crazy time, but I trust it will pass.
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Old Mar 26th, 2020, 04:20 AM
  #131  
 
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Originally Posted by Songdoc View Post
My trip is not until September -- 5-1/2 months from now. I am hopeful that things will have settled down enough so that we will be able to do it.
If not, we will all will have bigger problems than my vacation.
.
I'm in the same boat songdoc, leaving late August. The only thing is I have the bulk of my payment due 5/24. Unless the lodges cancel or the Zambian government won't allow me to fly there in August, my cancelling won't be covered by trip insurance, so I'll have to decide in May whether to pay the rest and carry on hoping the trip will happen in August. Or cut my losses and "just" lose my deposit.
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Old Mar 26th, 2020, 09:43 AM
  #132  
 
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I I cancelled my vacation to Zion and Bryce in Utah (late April/early May)
We were supposed to leave Florida in our RV on April 1st. All our April travel (RV, Mexico, New Orleans) has been cancelled. We're holding off deciding whether we will still head West to the national parks come May (or June or whenever). If it's safe to do so, we'll probably go to DC first to give our kids some relief from having a 3 year old and a 5 year old at home full time.

Or cut my losses and "just" lose my deposit
That's what we ended up doing for New Orleans. We would have had to pay the balance, and at that point we had no idea when JazzFest would be rescheduled, so we ate it. $225 per person. Like songdoc, fortunately we are in a position to do that and not think twice about it.
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Old Mar 26th, 2020, 09:56 AM
  #133  
 
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Originally Posted by sf7307 View Post
That's what we ended up doing for New Orleans. We would have had to pay the balance, and at that point we had no idea when JazzFest would be rescheduled, so we ate it. $225 per person. Like songdoc, fortunately we are in a position to do that and not think twice about it.
Well, my deposit is about $3k, so while I wouldn't want to lose that much, it'd be better than losing the entire cost of the safari! It'll be a gamble going ahead with it if we don't know more in May.
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Old Mar 27th, 2020, 11:53 AM
  #134  
 
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It would surely be harder to lose that much! Ours was kind of a no-brainer.
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Old Mar 27th, 2020, 07:59 PM
  #135  
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Ahh ... the deposit. Mine was more than $3,000. I'll have to make my decision in July.

amyb, I don't envy you having to make that decision in May. You need a crystal ball. Under these extraordinary circumstances, I wonder if the companies might be willing to delay receipt of the balance of the payment to maybe one month before the trip. They would probably rather have the chance of making the full amount than only the deposit.
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Old Mar 29th, 2020, 07:22 AM
  #136  
 
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Originally Posted by Songdoc View Post
Ahh ... the deposit. Mine was more than $3,000. I'll have to make my decision in July.

amyb, I don't envy you having to make that decision in May. You need a crystal ball. Under these extraordinary circumstances, I wonder if the companies might be willing to delay receipt of the balance of the payment to maybe one month before the trip. They would probably rather have the chance of making the full amount than only the deposit.
Iíll have a little of on the ground intelligence as 2 of my 4 camps donít exist in the offseason and theyíd need to start building them in May for the season. I follow them online and remember last year the excitement of watching the staff turn up to build the camps. If their bookings are significantly down, I wonder if theyíll bother? Also, Iíll have a better sense of Zambiaís virus situation, whether theyíve let people in and whether Emirates and the internal flights are moving again. A few barometers anyway. Iím trying not to obsess because a lot can happen in 2 months, but I so want to go, not just not to lose the deposit. Maybe Africa Travel Resource will let me use the deposit toward another trip later in 2020 or early 2021. Itís not like Iíll never want to go on safari again!!
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Old Mar 30th, 2020, 05:15 AM
  #137  
 
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We were considering next spring anyway, so we really ought to just keep planning. At worst, we'd put it off until fall of 2021. That assumes things don't continue the way they are for the long-term.
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