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dar es salaam to nairobi - safari help!

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dar es salaam to nairobi - safari help!

Hi,

I am in the process of planning a trip to Kenya / Tanzania... there is a lot of information online but I can't make sense of it all and know what's reliable in terms of companies... here's the deal:

*flying in to dar, out of nairobi (this may be changeable if you think it's a bad idea - we're using miles)

*have about 9 days on the ground

*totally fine with tent camping etc

*want to see game and relax a little on the beach etc

*currently scheduled for late august

Are there safaris that go from dar to nairobi? Is that a good idea or is it better to go in and out of the same city?

Which companies are best and not too expensive?

Is it better to go in July? or December? Those are the other options

Any advice is appreciated. It's our first trip since our honeymoon so we're eager to make the most of it!

Findlay, Ohio
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1. Re: dar es salaam to nairobi - safari help!

Chudz... You can fly from Nairobi to Dar (and the reverse) on Precision Air. Did this last week. I think the ticket cost was $209 each way, if I remember correctly. Most safari companies will stay within their country (the cost to cross over is quite a bit for them so they stop at the border and pick up another safari company on the other side of the border typically.) If you do this in both countries I might suggest that you get safari companies located in each of the countries and you might save some money.

Some dates in December are the very highest season and the cost will go up considerably. However, after saying that, in July you'll find that it is the highest cost for flying from the US.

san francisco
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2. Re: dar es salaam to nairobi - safari help!

Karl,

Thank you for the response. I probably nee dto move this question to the Nairobi page then - but do you know if there are shorter standard safaris in and out of Nairobi (5 to 7 days) which allow for beach time? And if so, where are the possible "beach locations" that people go to from Nairobi? That was one of the things that was appealing about Dar - proximity to Zanzibar.

Also, on the time of year question - this will sound odd but how much *better* is the game viewing in August time versus December? Cost aside, we prefer December, but given the migration in the summer, if the game viewing is better and it's our only trip to Africa, is it worth making sure we go in July or August rather than December?

Sorry for all the questions - really appreciate your help.

Findlay, Ohio
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3. Re: dar es salaam to nairobi - safari help!

chudz... There are beaches at Mombassa in Kenya, and in Tz there are beach resorts at Pongwe (near Tanga just S. of Mombassa), around Dar es Salaam, and Zanzibar. You can get to all of these from Nairobi or Dar.

By August the migration will almost certainly be up in the Mara. There is good game viewing all year round as most places have a lot of resident animals; but the migration moves as it's name indicates.

Calgary, Canada
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4. Re: dar es salaam to nairobi - safari help!

Check Trek Holidays....they offer "roughing it" kind of holidays, and I know they have safari packages that end up on Zanzibar for a couple of days

Dublin, Ireland
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5. Re: dar es salaam to nairobi - safari help!

I will preface all my comments by saying that I lived in Kenya and therefore have a natural bias towards there rather than Tanzania!!

I would pick one country and stick with it, I don't think there is any real advantage to visiting the two, 9 days is not a long time in an area as vast as East Africa and you can do great safaris and beach breaks in either country.

Should you choose Kenya and you go in August you should go to the Mara where you may catch the migration which is spectacular. The Mara is always great anyway so even if you miss the wildebeeste it's fantastic.

December is the height of summer in Kenya and the weather is the best but it is also high season and a lot of Nairobi decamps to the coast for Christmas/New Year so you may have less choice about where to go. July is not great weather wise and you may find it pretty cloudy.

One option is to do a safari through Amboseli and Tsavo (East and West) and end up in Mombasa. If you go to Mombasa I prefer the south coast to the north.

If you do decide to do a safari in Kenya do it under canvas. The lodges are fine, in some cases very luxurious, but the experience of hearing wildlife all around you through the night is amazing (and completely safe so don't worry). The camps range from the luxury end (think the scene in Out of Africa where Robert Redford/Meryl Streep go camping) to much more basic but all are great. The camping option is not necessarily a cheaper option by any means.

There are a lot of safari/travel companies. Shop around and don't be scared to haggle a bit. I don't think there's any real advantage to waiting til you get there to book the safari.

Finally, if you do decide to go to Kenya and Mombasa doesn't take your fancy then look at going to Lamu. You'd have to fly there as the road is not too safe but it is paradise!

Findlay, Ohio
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6. Re: dar es salaam to nairobi - safari help!

DLM... I see in the newspapers that there was another car jacking near Nairobi in broad daylight. Is Kenya really all that safe?? Whenever I'm in Kenya I never feel very safe.

Dublin, Ireland
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7. Re: dar es salaam to nairobi - safari help!

Karl

I don't want to give anyone a false sense of security which would lead them to being irresponsible about their personal safety while traveling but I have never had a problem in Kenya, that said I know some who have. I do not live there anymore but am still a fairly regular visitor. I take what I would consider to be sensible precautions, when I arrive I ask around about whether or not the area I am in or planning to visit is safe, etc. I don't carry anything like a handbag or camera in the city and wear no jewelry. I wouldn't walk anywhere in Nairobi after dark and there are certain parts of town I wouldn't even go to in broad daylight but I think that's true of most cities. Have your wits about you, talk to the people in the hotel or wherever you are staying and ask advice and I think it's no more dangerous/less safe than most other big cities. I have to say that I haven't spent much time in TZ but didn't feel any safer there or any sense of there being less danger than in Kenya...I suppose what's familiar is more comfortable.

Outside Nairobi I really never felt any sense of insecurity (except one unfortunate occasion when our vehicle was chased by an elephant we had inadvertently cut off from his herd). The biggest danger is the roads where there seems to be a terribly high incidence of serious crashes.

As with travel to any destination keep your wits about you and don't take stupid risks...I was reading on another forum about people who were surprised at being ripped off by beach boys in Mombasa offering safaris...I wouldn't hand over cash to a stranger on a beach at home so why would I do it in another country?? Seems rather foolish to me.

Anyway, I feel I have been adressing all of this to 'you' but what I'm really giving is my general opinion on Kenya. I would encourage anyone to go and to enjoy. By the way I have very young children who travel there with me when I go and they LOVE it. It is an incredibly child friendly country.

8. Re: dar es salaam to nairobi - safari help!

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