Upscale Family East African Safari

Mar 14th, 2008, 08:20 AM
  #1  
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Upscale Family East African Safari

Hi! Planning a June 2008 East African Safari with my husband and 6 year old twins. At present I've been looking at itineraries from Abercrombie & Kent, Micato and CCAfrica for Tanzania and Kenya. Our interests are great game viewing, diverse plush accomodations (both lodges and tents) and children-friendly programs.

We are unsure if booking a custom safari or a pre-planned one... Probably leaning to the custom so we can experience private game drives.

Pls advise!
caru is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 10:33 AM
  #2  
 
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Caru, in late June you can witness the wildebeest migration in the western and northern Serengeti. I'd also recommend a 2 night stay at Tarangire Nat'l Park which has huge elephant populations and is a very pretty park at that time of year. The Ngorongoro Crater is a must for anyone interested in great game viewing. My recommendation is to book a private safari so that you can dictate what you want to do and see. The twins would likely enjoy some cultural and walking experiences with the local people. There are plush accommodations in all of the Tz parks and conservation areas, but at this late date you may be pressed to get into them. Many have pools which would be fun for the twins. If you post your proposed length of time and rough budget for the trip, we can provide some sample itineraries.
Calo is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 12:37 PM
  #3  
 
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For this coming June, space likely to be difficult.

Traveling with 6/yr old twins you'll have to be on a private safari and that will cost even more than the group prices if using Micato,, A&K or CCA. You can probably save 25+% by going with independent outfitters and stay at the same or better accommodations. Micato and even A&K often use Serena Lodges which are mid-range when it comes to price. And, CCA is known to offer their lux properties first, before looking at other comparable properties.

You can certainly design your own itinerary, # of days, where, accommodations working with safari planners in your home country or using in-country outfitters. And, get better value for your $$$$.

Why not post the offerings you're receiving from these outfitters so we can comment.
sandi is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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Caru - have you tried Thompson Safaris, they have a nice family safari.

SD
SDtravelers is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 01:26 PM
  #5  
 
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Micato now has a family specific safari just for families. You may want to check into that.
aowens is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 01:27 PM
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But, Thompson doesn't use lux properties. And, with a group you'd have to determine minimum age for children.

Many lodges/camps actually price children "under" 6/years free when sharing with parents. Not sure how they'd price for twins!
sandi is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 08:28 AM
  #8  
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Thank you all for your wonderful ideas! The full picture is:

Travel: anytime June 2008, approx. 17 days
Budget: $45,000 excluding international airfare but including all internal.

I also contacted go2africa safaris and provided them with a list of our desired plans in Kenya/Tanzania and will be working with them on that.

I've also been reading about Selous and Mahale game reserves. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks again!
caru is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 10:47 AM
  #9  
 
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Selous and Mahale are nice options, but traveling with 6/yr olds, they may not even be allowed at the camps here.

For Mahale, it's a good 4/hr flight in small plane with maybe 1/stop for refueling mid-way. 4/hrs is long without a loo on board, especially for little ones. Visiting the chimps here has also been limited the 1x during a 3/day visit which coincides with the regular flight schedules.

Though you have a large budget and there are discounts for the little ones, for these two parks, if not using scheduled flights, the private charters are very very expensive.

Over 17/days, you can cover lots in Kenya and the northern Tanzanian circuit. But June is right around the corner, and little space is available in Tanzania which is at peak season.
sandi is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 02:06 PM
  #10  
 
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I know I'm biaised because I have been twice before with Micato, but really & truly do take a look at that new family safari Micato has that Ann suggested.

They have developed a two week trip around families, with lots of kids type activities, and also have provided separate time for kids so that parents can have some adult time.

When I read about them in their new brochure, before I was even finished reading I was calculating what year I could take the grandkids to Afica on this trip! Mind you, I don't have any grandkids yet, nor will I for a while probably as our one & only isn't married yet, but it just sounded SO fun!

A private safari would be fun for them too, I would agree, but by joining a specific family-type safari, your kids will get to be with other kids, which they may really like, as well as participating in all kinds of age-related activites designed for them.

And, I can tell you by our 2006 safari experience with them, the safari directors do love the kids - we had an 8 year old in our group. He became quite attached to our safari director, Daniel, who didn't mind a bit.

Price for four would be apprx around your budget from what I can see in the brochure. It looks like it would be about 46,910 exclusive of getting there - but keep in mind that the only extra's you need to pay for are tips to the driver & tour director, laundry, souvenirs and adult beverages. All of the rest of the tips are taken care of, as well as all of the water and soft drinks. And, I will bet they would have room even in June, they run the trips each week during our summer holidays.

You can find a full description of this on their website.
LyndaS is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 02:31 PM
  #11  
 
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I'd opt to plan your own trip using many of the same accomodations outlined in the pre-planned itineraries you like.

Grumeti River Camp is a wonderful CCA tented camp in the western Serengeti. I think June would be a great time of year. I was there in July not June a few years ago and gameviewing was fantastic. Not sure about whether it's child-friendly or not, but CCA can answer that question.
Dana_M is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 03:17 PM
  #12  
 
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I sure wish Micato would use better accommodations for what they charge. On this Family Safari at over $46K*, with the exception of Mbalageti in the Serengeti, the others are still not what I would consider luxury. And, looking at Micato's schedule safari, can't imagine being in the Western Serengeti in late August or December.

*plus intl air, visas, malaria meds, inoculations, tips, trip insurance, alcoholic beverages

While Lemala Camp is in the lux category, new and appears quite lovely, my personal feeling is that it's just too darn cold at 7,000', especially for children. hui Lodge though, is a nice deviation in the Rift Valley. Intrepid's in the Mara is lovely, and they do have the Children's Adventure programs, but still a large camp with 30/tents; they do have about 3 or 4 family tents... actually 2/tents with a shared screened breezeway.

For the same (or 20% less) Micato prices, you can truly find smaller, luxury camps that are, indeed, child-friendly. And many of these small lux camps now have family tents, easily accommodating a family of 4.

Oh well!
sandi is offline  
Mar 17th, 2008, 04:49 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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A & K has family safaris--I am hoping to take my grandkids when they are old enough--enjoy!!
sels is offline  
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