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Safari

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nh
posts: 18
reviews: 15
Safari

I know this is a lot to ask of someone but I am badly in need of some direction for my upcoming honeymoon safari. Would it be possible for someone to click on the link below and give me a few pros and cons of this trip. I have never been to Africa and need some help. I am dragging my feet before reserving. Thanks so much!

kenyahoneymoonvacations.com/kenya_safari_Zan…

1. Re: Safari

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Removed on: 11:37 am, April 30, 2013
Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
posts: 2,190
reviews: 150
2. Re: Safari

Hello. For a honeymoon, you may want more intimate lodges/camps. The ones suggested can be up to 100 rooms in size, so very large and impersonal.

Also you are doing a lot of driving. I would cut out Amboseli, and add extra nights in the Mara instead.

Also what is your budget?

3. Re: Safari

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Removed on: 12:05 pm, April 30, 2013
nyc
posts: 13,816
4. Re: Safari

The itinerary is a traditional routing, but some long road transits, as Day 4 from Amboseli via NBO to Nakuru; then from Nakuru to Masai Mara.

Although a rather large lodge at Ol Tukai, though nowhere near 100/room... it's been refurbished and rather nice.

For sure 2/nts (1/full day only) in the Mara is never enough.

You don't indicate when traveling, nor your budget. Advise, please!

As rwa, and though I might not omit Amboseli, you can design your own safari and as a honeymoon, the last place I'd want to stay would be the Sopa Lodge in the Mara... that's large and not near as nice as Ol Tukai at Amboseli.

I'd spend minimum 3/nts (4/days) at Masai Mara and select a smaller/intimate camp. And if budget allows, include a few flights to save long drives/transit times.

Edited: 12:58 pm, April 30, 2013
Mombasa, Kenya
posts: 607
5. Re: Safari

I am with Sandi and RWA here. Of course a lot depend on your budget but form the other hand honeymoon is a special holiday, perhaps you can boost up your budget and stay in more intimate and romantic places.

I also think that drives are long, especially Amboseli - Nakuru. By the time you get to Nakuru, last thing you will want is to get into a car for a game drive, you will have had enough by then. I like both Amboseli and Mara, and definitely would increase the number of nights in Mara either by encreasing the length of the holidays or by skipping Nakuru. Nakuru is a nice place but in my books it is behind Mara and Amboseli, but it is definitely a personal choice. Also important to note that there are no flamingoes thesedsys on the lake save for a few, apparently they moved to Bogoria.

Also I think your day of transfer between Mara and Zanzibar is going to be long and basically wasted. Have you thought about the Kenya coast or you specifically want to go to Zanzibar? There are direct flights from Mara to the south coast (2 hours) so you have breakfast and lunch in Mara and tea at the coast - the whole day of holiday is saved! Or if you do a road transfer from Mara to Nairobi, you will have a 40 min flight to the coast, no hustle with visas, international fights, etc. You can find really nice accommodation to fit your budget.

In any case before you book a ready made itinerary, think about tailor made option, it will not necessarily be more expensive but you will be able to fit in what you want rather than take what's given.You will be able to tell your travel consultant which properties you like and they will be able to advise on some similar ones for you too, choose parks, length of stay, etc.

Good luck with your planning and have a great trip whatever you decide on!

Larissa

Tijara Beach Hotel

nh
posts: 18
reviews: 15
6. Re: Safari

Thank you so much everyone for your generous replies! So appreciate your time!!! Here is another itinerary I am contemplating:

5th July ,2013 – Lake Nakuru lodge

6th July ,2013 – olmoran tented camp

7th July ,2013 – olmoran tented camp

8th July ,2013 – drive back to Nairobi

Does this sound better?

Really appreciate your expertise!

nh
posts: 18
reviews: 15
7. Re: Safari

Oops. I forgot to answer your question about budget....since we are teachers we are not wealthy but at the same time this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. With that said we are willing to spend money for convenience and opportunities. We are also traveling in July. Lastly, could you offer your opinion on this , should we book our own lodges/travel plans or is it necessary/preferable to book through an agency? We are really wondering how much we should book in advance or leave to our arrival. Additionally, is it a good idea to do this piecemeal or rely on a package or agency for advance planning? Once again, thanks!

Mombasa, Kenya
posts: 607
8. Re: Safari

July is high season, especially for Mara, so even now you might not have your choices of camps/lodges available as July-September get booked pretty much well in advance. So definitely I would not leave anything to sort out on the arrival and book everything in advance.

You can either use a TO/travel consultant to do it or do it yourself, it is what you prefer and depends on your abilities. I know people who do everything themselves and have fab trips, and people who would not even book their air ticket themselves! There are pros and cons for both options, so you need to weigh them out and see how you prefer doing things. TO definitely have expertise and all the contacts, contracts, etc in place. They also have their people on the ground to sort out issues should they arise during your trip. On the other hand everything is on interrnet this day and age, you can also contact properties you like and first of all ask them if they have any packages or special offers, chances are that they would have their own road or air itineraries and you can book that, so the only things you will need to sort out is your movement between the booked itineraries. Many people also mix and book part of their trip through a TO (a more complicated part) and part themselves - also an option. Certainly there is no rule or requirements. One thing for sure - do everything in advance and for July do it ASAP!

Have fun :)

Larissa

Tijara Beach Hotel

nyc
posts: 13,816
9. Re: Safari

With whatever planning needed to prepare for a wedding, do you really want to be involved with every tiny detail of honeymoon on your own? And for sure as Larissa mentions, during peak season, you won't have (nor is it adviseable) to do so on arrival. Leave it to a tour operator or in-country tour outfitter. They'll be sure that meet/greet and transfers, park fees, game drives and whatever are included so you don't have any surprises.

As to Zanzibar vs the Kenyan coast, you will not only require another Visa, but also a Yellow Fever inoculation and proof of same for entry to ZNZ (this jab is expensive). Many great options on the Kenyan coast and basically the same beach, just a few miles farther north than that on ZNZ. Sand, palm trees and beautiful blue water out in the Indian Ocean.

For time in the Mara during July, spend minium 3/nts.

Re Amboseli, while lovely... it's a long drive from here to elsewhere on safari as above showing almost an entire day to Nakuru. And, as you will see hundreds of elephants, especially in the Mara... maybe pass on this.

Maybe consider:

Day 1 - Arv. NBO - o/n Macushla House or Country Lodge (part of Fairview Hotel)

Day 2 - NBO; sightseeing - o/n Macushla House

Day 3 - Drive to Mt. Kenya/Nanyuki/Ol Pejeta - o/n Sweetwater's

Day 4 - Sweetwaters

Day 5 - Drive to Lk. Bogoria - flamingoes - o/n

Day 6 - Bogoria early, then drive south to Nakuru - rhino, rothschild giraffe, other - o/n

Day 7 - Drive to Mara - o/n

Days 8 & 9 - Mara - o/n

Day 10 - Drive to NBO to connect to flight to Kenyan Coast, or fly to Kenyan Coast - o/n

Days 11 to ??? - Kenyan Coast

Last Day - fly to NBO for homebound flight. (or if you can get a flight from Mombasa homeward)

nh
posts: 18
reviews: 15
10. Re: Safari

Based on your posts (eveyone has been so helpful!), we have narrowed our itineray down to the following. If you wouldn't mind taking a look, we would certainly appreciate any additional changes that you could suggest. (In particular, do you have any suggested changes for lodging? We would love to hear your recommendations.) Again, thank you for your help with our honeymoon!

Day 1 - Arrive in Nairobi in evening

Day 2 - Spend day in Nairobi

Day 3 - depart from Nairobi and drive through the scenic Athi plains to Amboseli National Park at the foot of mount Kilimanjaro.

Arrive at Kibo Safari Camp for lunch.

1600hrs – proceed for an afternoon game drive

1800hrs – return to the camp for dinner and overnight.

Website: www.kibosafaricamp.com

Day 4 -

0630hrs – early morning game drive .

On a clear day you will be able to see Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa)

0830hrs – return to the lodge for breakfat.Rest of the morning hours at leisure

1230hrs – lunch at the camp

1600hrs – afternoon game drive will be provided

1830hrs – return to the camp for dinner and overnight.

Day 5 -

0630hrs – early morning game drive .

On a clear day you will be able to see Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa)

0830hrs – return to the lodge for breakfat.Rest of the morning hours at leisure

1230hrs – lunch at the camp

1600hrs – afternoon game drive will be provided

1830hrs – return to the camp for dinner and overnight.

Day 6 - Depart for for Masai Mara

0700hrs – depart for the famous Masai Mara game reserve (its sheer beauty of wide savannah , rolling hills , meandering rivers ,bountiful birdlife and the big five)

Enjoy a leisurely and scenic drive to arrive at Ol Moran tented camp In time for lunch.

1600hrs – afternoon game drive

1830hrs – return to the Camp for dinner and overnight.

Website: www.olmorantentedcamp.com

Day 7 - Masai Mara

0630hrs – early morning game drive

0830hrs – return to the camp for breakfast

Rest of the morning hours Is at leisure at the camps surroundings plus a visit to the Masai village

1230hrs – lunch at the camp

1600hrs – proceed for an afternoon game drive

1830hrs – return to the camp for dinner and overnight.

Day 8 - Masai Mara

0630hrs – early morning game drive

0830hrs – return to the camp for breakfast

Rest of the morning hours Is at leisure at the camps surroundings plus a visit to the Masai village

1230hrs – lunch at the camp

1600hrs – proceed for an afternoon game drive

1830hrs – return to the camp for dinner and overnight.

Day 9 - Masai Mara

0630hrs – enjoy an early morning game drive ( if desired)

0830hrs – return to the camp for breakfast

1000hrs – check out and enjoy a leisurely and scenic drive with a brief stopover at the view point at the beauty of the Great rift Valley.

Arrive in Nairobi in the afternoon hours.

Day 10

0800hrs check in at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your Fly 540 flight to Malindi departing 0940hrs .on arrival you will be met and transferred to Ocean sport resort or similar for overnight.

Day 11 - Full day Watamu beach

Day 12 - Return to Nairobi

Day 13 - Fly Home