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my head is sore

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canada
posts: 10
my head is sore

After spending many hours pouring over the forum - I'm still not sure what to do. I'll be arriving in Nairobi mid-March and am now considering a tour by Eastern & Southern. Day 1 - fly to Amboseli and stay at Amboseli Serena - 2 nights. Then fly back to Nairobi and drive to Sweetwaters - 2 nights at Sweetwaters tented camp, 1night - The Ark, 1 night - Sarova Lion Hill Lodge, 3 nights Mara Sopa Lodge. The other consideration is African Safari Leader. 2 nights Samburu Serena, 1 night Sweetwaters Tented Camp, 1 night Sarova Lion Hill, 2 nights Mara Serena. Then I would add on a side trip to Amboseli before heading down to Lamu. I would appreciate any opinions on this?

Leicester
posts: 24
1. Re: my head is sore

Oh dear, can imagine your dliemma...why dont you try combining the whole trip altogether...an itinerary for e.g.

day 1: NBO - Amboseli

day 2: amboseli

day 3: Mt. Kenya / Ark

day 4: Samburu

day 5: Samburu

day 6: Sweetwaters

day 7:nakuru

day 8:masai mara

day 9: masai mara

day 10: masai mara

day 11: fly to nbo and you can connect to a flight to lamu.

This way you get to cover all the parks. Mind you on day 3 you will have a long journey as amboseli to NBO will take you approx 4.5 hrs and then to mt kenya another 2.5 hrs. In Mt. Kenya you will have a much better game viewing experience at the serena mountain lodge than the Ark and it's also easliy accesible.

Hope this helps you...

2. Re: my head is sore

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Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
posts: 6,054
reviews: 31
3. Re: my head is sore

The Eastern & Southern tour has a couple of quirks. Flying down and back to the Amboseli Serena and spending 2 nights at Sweetwaters are expensive elements. Mara Sopa is cheap, and rightly so. Hard to figure how the tour operator put these elements together. I suggest looking for a tour that is perhaps all Serenas, plus whatever other lodges are needed, such as one at Nakuru where there is no Serena. And ALWAYS fly back from the Mara. It adds about $120 and is the best money you can spend. As for the African Safari Leader, it has one really tough drive in it - from Nakuru to the Mara Serena is a rugged 7 hours minimum - maybe a little more. All that for one afternoon game drive and 2 the next day, is bad planning.

Buckinghamshire
posts: 117
reviews: 22
4. Re: my head is sore

Hey Bwanadave you really seem to know your stuff. We are considering a 4 night trip as follows ... how would it pan out ... Nairobi - Aberdares (Treetops) - Nakuru (Nakuru Lodge) - Masai Mara (Fig Tree Camp) 2 nights - Nairobi.

Will we have really long driving times on it?? If there is going to be too much wasted time perhaps we would be better with a 2 night masain mara direct from Mombasa (where we are staying) rather than flying up to Nairobi for the longer one!!!

Fancied going to Treetops which was the main reason for the 'extra'.

Your opinion would be valued.

Cheers

Sue

Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
posts: 6,054
reviews: 31
5. Re: my head is sore

For Suet33 - Treetops does have some important history for the British of course. QEII was there when she learned of her father's death. But I feel it is the least rewarding of the co-called 'tree hotels'. Both the Ark and Mountain Lodge are really up in the forests and not as primitive. You asked about driving times, and you certainly have some in that 4 day itinerary. Especially the drive from Nakuru to Fig Tree - much of which is on unpaved road. For a relaxed trip, you would indeed be better off to either fly to the Masai Mara and back.. or, perhaps fly to Samburu for 2 nights and then to Masai Mara for 2 nights. I have never used Fig Tree camp, so I can't comment on its qualities.

Buckinghamshire
posts: 117
reviews: 22
6. Re: my head is sore

Thanks Bwanadave ... that is really useful advice. Really don't want to overdo the driving!!! Just one more question - we could look at doing 2 days Samburu and 2 days Masai Mara - or we could do the Masai Mara one week and the Tsavo the following week for a couple of days. Is Samburu superior to Tsavo - or would we have just as much fun in Tsavo (which is, of course, much closer to Mombasa)?? Thanks again for your advice ... really helpful as we have never been to Kenya before!

Regards.

Sue

Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
posts: 6,054
reviews: 31
7. Re: my head is sore

For Suet33 - Both are good choices, and the 2 days in Tsavo would save you some expenses. If you did Samburu & Mara, you would need to fly to Nairobi in time to connect to one of the flights to Samburu. After 2 nights there, you would fly on to the Mara for 2 nights and then fly back to Mombasa. Doing one visit to Mara only and flying back - and then doing a driving safari for 2 nights to Tsavo would still be pretty good and much less expensive. Comparing wildlife: Tsavo vs. Samburu? I think Samburu is richer, but not in a significant way. If you do go to Tsavo, I recommend Kilaguni Lodge for one or perhaps both nights. Waterholes there attract a variety of wildlife..

Buckinghamshire
posts: 117
reviews: 22
8. Re: my head is sore

Thanks Bwandadave - you have been REALLY helpful (to me and, I suspect, many others looking on the forum for safari advice!!).

Better get on and book it now ... we leave next week!

Regards.

Sue

9. Re: my head is sore

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