smarTours Kenya Wildlife Safari

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Sep 20th, 2007, 09:28 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 74
smarTours Kenya Wildlife Safari

Hi All,
Looking very seriously at smartTours Kenya Wildlife Safari with the Tanzania extension later this year. Anyone have any feedback on this trip?
Doc
Dr_Ralph is offline  
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Sep 20th, 2007, 09:52 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 105
I don't know about that tour but I'm going on their South Africa trip on Oct. 16th. Did their Vietnam, Siem Reap and Bangkok trip last Fall and really enjoyed it.
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Sep 20th, 2007, 12:39 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Post the itinerary
-where (parks/reserves),
- # of days at each,
- accommodations,
- other

we can then comment.
sandi is offline  
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Sep 20th, 2007, 07:13 PM
  #4
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 74
Waddya think? It looks about as Turnkey as Turnkey can be to this traveler.

Day 1: Depart USA. Your fascinating journey to mysterious Africa begins as you depart on your overnight flight to Kenya.

Day 2: Arrive Nairobi (Kenya). Evening arrival in Nairobi, Kenya's vibrant capital. You'll be escorted to your deluxe hotel. Safari Park Hotel.

Day 3: Today, visit the home of Karen Blixen, a coffee farmer and famed author of “Out of Africa”. Nearby is the Giraffe Center where you'll admire and feed the gentle and rare Rotschild's giraffes. Relax at your hotel this afternoon before attending a safari orientation and welcome dinner with local entertainment. (B,D)

Day 4: Nairobi/Mt. Kenya/Samburu. Over the next week venture into Kenya's most captivating wildlife sanctuaries, set amid the beauty of the surrounding wilderness. This morning depart northward to the Central Highlands where you cross the Equator as you approach majestic Mt. Kenya, a dormant volcano with a glittering cap of snow and ice. After a stop for lunch, continue your drive to Samburu National Reserve in Kenya's semi-desert, rugged northern frontier. Enroute to your lodge enjoy your first game-viewing drive. Settle into your comfortable lodge in the heart of the reserve in time for dinner. Samburu Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Set in an extraordinary region along the Ewaso Ngiro River, Samburu is home to some of Africa's rarest game species. The river's permanent waters abound with crocodile and hippo and attract plenty of wildlife including the Grevy's zebra, the long necked gerunuk antelope, the shy oryx beisa and the Somali ostrich. Leopard, cheetah and lion are also found in the reserve. A full day of game viewing starts with an early morning safari. This is when the animals are most active. Keep your camera ready, your game spotter will lead you in search of the animals and you'll have plenty of opportunities to photograph your sightings. Return to the lodge for breakfast and relax by the pool. This afternoon, venture out on additional game viewing. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Samburu/Mt. Kenya. Depart for Mt. Kenya National Park, a wonderland of dense forests, tumbling waterfalls and abundant wildlife. Arrive at your lodge, the only “tree-hotel” ever to be built on the slopes of legendary Mt. Kenya. From specially built viewpoints you may watch the animals arriving at the floodlit waterhole and saltlicks throughout the evening and night. Serena Mountain Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 7: Lake Nakuru/Lake Naivasha. As you journey southwest today, stop at the impressive Nyahururu Falls and then travel along the magnificent Rift Valley toward Lake Nakuru, world known for its vast population of pink flamingos. Savor an afternoon game drive in Lake Nakuru National Park, one of Kenya's finest rhino sanctuaries and admire the flamingos and other abundant birds dancing along the lake's shoreline. Proceed to Lake Naivasha. Arrive at your lodge, overlooking the lake.
Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 8: Lake Naivasha. A day at leisure to unwind at your world-class lodge, situated on the banks of idyllic Lake Naivasha. Optional activities include a scenic boat ride and a visit to Crescent Island across the lake to view the rich wildlife and numerous bird species. (B,L,D)

Day 9: Lake Naivasha/Masai Mara.Today drive to the fabled Masai Mara National Reserve, rich with wildlife, birds, natural flora and stunning scenic beauty. The Masai Mara is the northern extension of Tanzania’s famous Serengeti Plains. It is Kenya’s premier place of seeing wildlife, and home to a thriving population of predators such as lion and cheetah, as well as hippo, crocodile, zebra, giraffe, elephant, wildebeest and impala. Arrive at your lodge, ideally located on the banks of the Talek River and surrounded by lush landscaped gardens. Enjoy a thrilling afternoon game-viewing drive in this photographer’s paradise. Tonight enjoy a traditional performance of tribal dances by local Masai Warriors. Mara Simba Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 10: Early this morning you may join an exhilarating optional hot-air balloon safari above the Masai Mara’s plains. You may also opt to visit the local Masai Village where you’ll learn more about their culture and customs. Included in today’s program are additional morning and late afternoon safaris led by your game spotter who will take you in search of the Big Five: elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and the much rarer rhino. In between game drives, relax at your comfortable lodge, take a dip in the pool and enjoy the delicious food served. (B,L,D)

Day 11: Masai Mara/Nairobi (Tanzania). After a final early morning safari followed by a hearty breakfast, drive back to Nairobi arriving mid-afternoon. The balance of the day is at leisure.
Safari Park Hotel (B)

Day 12: Nairobi/Arusha. Fly this morning to Kilimanjaro Airport near Arusha, Tanzania. Upon arrival you will be met by your Tanzania guide, enjoy a picnic lunch and drive through Tanzania countryside to Lake Manyara. After checking into your lodge, the evening is at leisure. (B,L,D)

Day 13: Lake Manyara/ Ngorongoro. Lake Manyara National Park offers a rich diversity of scenery and wildlife including the famous tree-climbing lions. This morning enjoy a game drive of the park and hike the Great Rift Valley. After lunch, drive to Ngorongoro, a World Heritage Site. Arrive at your lodge at the rim of the crater in the late afternoon, in time for dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 14: Ngorongoro/Tarangire. Ngorongoro Crater is remnant of an ancient volcano peak and has one of the greatest concentration of wildlife in Africa. On today’s excursion your expert game driver/spotter will lead you on thrilling game-viewing drives by land rover to explore this unique phenomenon. It is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip to East Africa. This afternoon, proceed to nearby Tarangire National Park and arrive at your lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 15: Arusha/Nairobi.
Morning game drive in Tarangire National Park, renowned for its abundant birdlife and plentiful big game. This afternoon travel by road to Arusha and enjoy an orientation tour before arriving at Kilimanjaro Airport. Board your evening flight back to Nairobi, where you'll connect with your overnight return flight home. (B,L).

Day 16: Arrive USA: Your memorable journey ends as you arrive New York early this afternoon.




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Sep 21st, 2007, 05:26 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 323
We took 1 SmarTours to China (they were originally doing China tours because that was their specialty). For the money it was the best bang for your buck. Back then they offered upgrades to business class for a very reasonable price. From Newark - Seoul - Beijing, business class upgrade on Korean Air....$1600.00 per person.

We were very happy with SmarTours and probably would have gone on many more, but we found Tauck Tours and have never gone another trip with anyone else (unless, we booked entirely ourselves - Tz 2007).

Good luck. I think you will be happy with them.
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Sep 21st, 2007, 10:24 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,276
A co-worker of mine took this exact trip with SmarTours a few years back and absolutely LOVED it. We seriously considered it for our first Africa experience, but decided to go to South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana instead. Plus, they don't tend to have June departures (or they didn't when we were looking) and that's when I needed to go. If it has what you are looking for, I would say go with it!
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