Uganda/Kenya questions

Apr 30th, 2019, 04:59 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 34
Uganda/Kenya questions

Hi all. I'm planning a trip for myself and a group of friends for Jan 2020 that will include Kenya safari and chimp and gorilla trekking in Uganda. First, anyone ever work with Phoenix Safaris out of Kenya? Second, the company highly recommends travel insurance for this sort of trip (particularly because the park permits in Uganda are non-refundable). Any suggestions for company's that deal with travel insurance for this sort of thing (and any considerations we should make in purchasing it)? Last thing, we may have an elderly couple with us who can't handle the rigor of hiking involved in the gorilla/chimp trekking. Any thoughts about what they could do in Kenya, following safari, while we split off to do the gorilla/chimp portion of the trip? And for any questions I didn't think to ask, please feel free to offer up suggestions for Kenya and Uganda (things you loved that you would deeply regret having missed out on). Thanks all!!!
hopester is offline  
Apr 30th, 2019, 12:32 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
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Uganda/Kenya Questions

Hello Hopester
I am going on the same trip in Sept/Oct 2019 along with a visit to South Africa. The insurance company I used provided a very comprehensive and well priced package for my husband and I for all of the trip. You can PM me for more info if you like. Also, your tour operator may provide Flying Doctor's coverage in the price of your tour. Ours does. But if not, you can go to their website and purchase it there. It is very reasonably priced and gives extra assurances that you will be okay in the bush (I think it only covers Kenya and Tanzania - check on coverage for Uganda). Otherwise, the insurance I purchased covers evacuation insurance. Have fun on your trip.
Heather
mmmim is offline  
Apr 30th, 2019, 09:09 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,968
Go to InsureMyTrip.com and enter the countries and your ages and it will provide you with several options and levels of coverage. Also ask your safari planner if they have arrangements with a company. Twice Iíve gotten excellent coverage at a discount using my safari plannerís link to coverage.
amyb is offline  
May 9th, 2019, 09:19 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 82
Hi Hopester -

I have never worked with the companies that you mentioned, but I do agree that travel insurance is a really good idea. Not only because the gorilla and chimp permits are non-refundable, but also because you’ll be traveling in very remote locations, it’s a really good idea to have emergency evacuation insurance. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but that’s always the hope when purchasing insurance. Emergency evacuation policies are often really inexpensive ($100-200 per person or less) and are sometimes included in policies that include cancelation coverage (like Travelex’s Travel Select Plan)

Depending on how long you have to travel, I’d recommend that the whole group experience at least a 3-4 night safari in the Masai Mara in addition to your time in Uganda for chimps and gorillas. There are flights available between Entebbe and the Masai Mara to avoid connecting (and overnighting) in Nairobi. In the Masai Mara, there are lots of amazing camps on private land that I recommend such as Elephant Pepper Camp, Richard’s River Camp, or Serian – The Original. These three are more traditional tented camps. Mara Plains would be one of the most luxurious options available if that was of interest to you!

In January, since you won’t see the migration, I’d recommend staying on private land instead of in the national reserve because there are less restrictions on both off-roading and game driving after dark.

If the whole group has time for two safaris (for 3+ nights each) then I’d recommend combining the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy with a private reserve outside the Masai Mara. Lewa is an amazing area for big 5 game viewing, but is also special because of it’s amazing rhino conservation efforts. You are unlikely to see rhino in the Masai Mara, so for those interested in seeing black and white rhino, Lewa is a must! The camp options range from Lewa Safari Camp (traditional tented camp) to Sirikoi Lodge which has amazing tented accommodations, but also a cottage and house that are great for small groups. Lewa also offers a wide array of activities on the reserve such as walking safaris, game drives, camel safaris or horseback riding. You can also visit the blood hounds to learn how these amazing dogs help with rhino conservation efforts. Lewa would be a great place for the elderly couple you mentioned to explore Kenya further while the rest of the group is in Uganda. Alternatively, you can hire porters to carry a chair up to the gorillas. This is a service offered to the elderly and mobility impaired. We have used this service for elderly people in the past and it makes the gorillas accessible. This service, however, is not available for the chimps. In Kibale, the elderly couple can enjoy the lodge (Ndali Lodge would be lovely with stunning views) or go birding in the nearby forest while others are out chimp trekking.

Another option that couple could explore would be Sarara Camp. They offer some of the most amazing cultural experiences with Samburu people. Also, the setting of the camp and the landscape are stunning. If the couple you mentioned like elephants, they would love a visit to the Reteti Elephant Orphanage on Sarara’s property. It’s so special to get up close and personal with the baby elephants. At Sarara there are game viewing opportunities as well, but the highlights for me are the other activities as Lewa and the Masai Mara will offer the exceptional game viewing on this trip!

I hope you have an amazing adventure with your group of friends!

Best,

Kayla Torgerson
TravelBeyond is offline  
May 10th, 2019, 03:22 AM
  #5  
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Kayla, Thanks so much. You provided a wealth of information. We are going to add the safari on the Masai Mara with the flight to Entebbe, as you suggest. And have decided to get the travel insurance (hoping that, if we have it, we'll never need it). I'm so looking forward to this trip. We are booking way in advance to get the gorilla tracking permits...now I just have to wait eight months for the trip. Many, many thanks for your thoughtful reply. Hope
hopester is offline  
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