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Some advice for first time safari in Kenya

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Bristol, United...
posts: 50
reviews: 173
Some advice for first time safari in Kenya

Hi all,

My partner and I are hoping to go on honeymoon in August 2013 and we know we want to go on a safari to Kenya ever since we got engaged over a year ago.

I have read a lot of information on here and just need a little advice as I feel a overwhelmed by all the possibilities!

Ok so we know we want to spend at least 8-10 days on safari with a small possibility of a few days relaxing somewhere but we are still unsure of this as we aren't beach or poolside people.

We also know we want to spend the most amount of time in Masai Mara but would like to visit Lake Nakuru and Amboseli if possible so Nairobi seems to be the place to fly into.

We want to do the whole holiday in style so I am guessing lodges instead of camping is what we want.

So please can people recommend the best way of doing this? I am not sure whether land or by air would be best, I realise air is a lot more expensive but is it unbearable by land?

I am also not sure which company to book with. Initially I thought of going to a company such as Trailfinders or Explore! just because it's the first time either of us have been to Africa or on safari and didn't want to get it all wrong or it to be stressful trying to negotiate by email or for it to be a disaster!

But then I know these companies don't necessarily offer the best experience especially being crammed in a vehicle with lots of other people.

Any advice on where to start would be great, I already felt like I have left it too late to be booking this!

Thanks,

Caroline

Allentown...
posts: 202
21. Re: Some advice for first time safari in Kenya

A very basic answer to a very basic question. Yes, generally safe just like any other country with the same common sense precautions that need to be taken. Safety is a relative word in today's dynamic world from the streets of Cairo to London riots that happened last year...

The safari and beach sector are generally safe with the exception of incident in Lamu with the french lady and british couple sometime ago.. Few incidents on safari but that's when camps are not safely located within the park or concession boundaries or there is no security on camp..

Common sense precautions when in Nairobi or on the coast of Kenya: dont walk at night - take a registered taxi or transfer services, keep a copy of your passports, use a safe, leave jewelery at home etc..

Would you not want to check the safety of a country aspect before booking it?

Safe travels

Visram

AfricanMecca Safaris

Edited: 9:57 am, September 19, 2012
Kampala, Uganda
posts: 4
22. Re: Some advice for first time safari in Kenya

Hi Caroline, just to throw a complete spanner in the works after all your investigations!! Have you ever considered Uganda??? ; - )

You can see everything in terms of wildlife as you can in Kenya but you can also trek with the only remaining mountain gorillas in the world!! Its a breathtaking country with luxury safari lodges ( a lot with pools ) and also very plush tents! You could also finish off in Jinja at the source of the nile, in a beautiful relaxing location or if you feel adventurous raft down the rapids before you go home!

With Uganda you get lakes, rivers but no ocean/beach - but I think you said you weren't beach people anyway?

Just an idea : - )

London
posts: 3
reviews: 23
23. Re: Some advice for first time safari in Kenya

HI Caroline we have booked to go very soon with freedom Africa for a Kenyan adventure of 8 days safari and 4 days beach as I feel like you, in that I am not brave enough to go it alone there even though that's how we usually holiday! I will let you now how it went when I get back! We are doing all the places you discussed and 4 days in Mombasa just to relax after the hectic safari time!

Leicestershire
posts: 4
reviews: 51
24. Re: Some advice for first time safari in Kenya

Hello, you need to use a specialist operator - we use Safari Conultants, Mary Grimwood. It will not cost any more than using Kuoni or Thompson but the agents have travelled extensively in Kenya & other African countries. They know all the airstrips, where the camps are located, the Mara & conservancies.

You need specialist, expertise - we have travelled to the Mara & Navaisha & Lake Victoria many, many times & you needs an itinerary that is seamless - distances are huge, you do not want to spend oodles of time 'in transit' even though you are in a vehicle it's not the same as game viewing and being on a game drive.

Use an expert, use a fly in option, just one hour from Nairobi and spend the last few days at Mfangano Island Camp at Lake Victoria, an exquisite place with a beautiful honeymoon cottage.

Enjoy!

Haywards Heath...
posts: 15
25. Re: Some advice for first time safari in Kenya

Caroline

I have been to Kenya on three occasions. The first two trips were packages supplied by British tour operators. The last trip I took I wanted to take my young son but no one in the UK would accommodate my needs without me paying well over the odds for a private tour for just me, my wife and son.

I scoured the internet and asked the TA community for advice and in the end i booked my trip through a guy called Shadrack who runs Glorious Safaris based in Mombasa (He also has a contact in the UK). What he arranged and did for us was fantastic and all our needs were catered for. I cannot rate him highly enough. He has a website and his prices are very reasonable (for those of us on a tight budget).

If you'd like to know more please get in touch but if I was going back to Kenya I most definitely would be giving him a call. Incidentley my first two trips were organised using Kuoni, a superb company but Glorious Safaris will always come out on top for me.

All the best

Mutley 65

Oakland, CA
posts: 898
reviews: 143
26. Re: Some advice for first time safari in Kenya

Mutley, GREAT to hear that! I contacted Shadrack recently and all his correspondence has been prompt and relevant.

I hope this encourages the OP to check a variety of companies.

My experience last year with one British based company was not as good. Without revealing any connection, the young woman really, really pushed ONLY Governor's properties, including ones outside the Mara (Loldia) and was quite negative toward ANY other property I enquired about.

27. Re: Some advice for first time safari in Kenya

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