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Elsa's Kopje or Tortilis

Waterford, Ireland
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52 posts
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Elsa's Kopje or Tortilis


If i was to leave one of these safari's out of our honeymoon, because of budget control reason's, which should it be.

Both are working out the same price wise, and to me it seems a case of accomodation versus safari. The room at Elsa's seems uncomparable, however, i'm sure Mt Kilamenjero in the background would provide fantastic photo opportunities.

Please advise.

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1. Re: Elsa's Kopje or Tortilis

What does the entire itinerary consist of (couldn't seem to find in your other threads) would be helpful in maybe not duplicating similar environments.

Meru and Amboseli offer different experiences. Amboseli especially for elephant herds, but if visiting Tarangire in Tanzania, I'd go with Meru.

The eco-environments in Amboseli and Meru are totally different.

And, yes the prices at both Elsa's and Tortilis should be the same, so the difference by camp to consider:

- Elsa's is one of two camps at Meru

-- not likely to see other vehicles

-- smaller camp than Tortilis, only 10/cottages

-- I think, more romantic for honeymoon

-- rhino sanctuary here

-- more diverse landscapes

-- you do work harder in finding game

-- lots of stairs and hills between cottages/public space

- Tortilis, though in quiet area of Amboseli, when on game drives, lots of other vehicles

-- views of Kili are great

-- 17/tents, which is more than Elsa's

-- also romantic especially (believe tent #8 or 9) with great unobstructive view of Kili, if the clouds are in your favor

-- lots of ellees

-- other game easier to find

-- relatively flat open plains

-- steep hill from public space and tent locations

Guiding, food and other services are excellent at both.

Tortilis was the very first tent camp we ever stayed, 13/years ago and still a favorite. When finally getting to Elsa's this too was a wow. So, having stayed at both and nothing negative at either, if for honeymoon, I'd go with Elsa's.

Waterford, Ireland
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52 posts
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2. Re: Elsa's Kopje or Tortilis

So the last 3 weeks have more or less been taken up with Honeymoon talk. "Serengeti or Mara". "4star or 5star "Mozambique or Tanzania"....

I would like to thank 4sandi, amongst others, for all the answered queries these past few weeks, and helping is get an exciting itinerary together

We didn't start off with a budget, but were always conscious not to waste money. I'm not sure if we suceeded in this case, as the cost of our honeymoon is nearly equalling the cost of the wedding itself, but you only live once is our motto. The years of overtime ahead, will be worth it if we have no honeymoon regrests, which is more imporatant that the wedding day itself.

Here it goes, some final queries:

Night 1 - Palacina

Night 1 - Tortillis

Night 1 - Tortillis

Night 1 - Mara Explorer

Night 1 - Mara Explorer

Night 1 - Mara Explorer

Night 1 - Elsa' Kopje

Night 1 - Elsa' Kopje

Night 1 - Ras Kutani

Night 1 - Ras Kutani

Night 1 - Ras Kutani

Night 1 - Ras Kutani

Night 1 - Ras Kutani

Night 1 - Nairobi somewhere

Firstly, no serengeti for us on this trip. In years to come, hopefully a Serengeti/Mozambique combo will be possible.

Secondly, could anyone recommend if it's possible to do whitewater rafting on the Tana river Meru, if say, staying at Elsa's or should we rule this expectation out.

Thirdly, Hot Air Balloon flight. Going to surprise the wife to be, but wondering if it's possible in the morning, before that flight back to Nairobi Wilson from the Mara?

Also, we're provisionally booked into Ras Kutani, but because there's no diving here, i'm not sold on the beach part of the trip.

Lastly, a private charter has to be down to reach Meru. The price quoted does cause you to blink. Any recommendations, where domestic flights (scheduled or chartered) should be booked through.

Unfortunetly, i fell into the trap of booking directly with the lodges, costly mistake, but i'm sure i could cancel the flights part of it.

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3. Re: Elsa's Kopje or Tortilis

The first thing to pop out to me was going from the Mara to Meru... knew it had to be a private charter (costly). As most scheduled in the mornings, not much choice, unless you consider:

- as you have 5/days on the coast, take 1/day to overnight NBO.

-- you'll arrive Wilson abut 12:15pm, have time for lunch, visit Karen Blixen, Giraffe Center, Kazuri Beads or Utamaduni Crafts - o/n Palacina

-- next morning, take the "scheduled" flight to Meru (less expensive).

-- but then you have to figure out the cost for 1/nt Palacina x 2pp + the scheduled flight fare x 2pp; this might add up to the cost of the charter flight Mara/Meru.


Alternate routing would be:

Days 2 & 3 - Tortilis

Day 4 - Fly to Wilson (arvs 9am); connect to 9:15am to Meru - tight connection, but if they know you're coming they wait; not like you have to change terminals; off one plane/onto the next.

Day 5 - Meru

Day 6 - Fly to Masai Mara (there is no direct flight from Meru, so might need a "charter" or fly into Wilson, get some lunch and fly out to the Mara on the 3pm scheduled flight)

You can certainly arrange the hot-air balloon for the morning you plan to depart the Mara. Lift-off is at 6am, aloft 1/hr, champagne breakfast on landing. So you're finished 9-9:30am. The scheduled flight departs Mara at 11:00am; if a charter it might depart 10am.

-- I suggest scheduling the balloon the morning before last day just in case for some reason (no wind, bad weather), the activity is cancelled. They'll reschedule for next morning.

If you want diving and intent to go to Tanzania, suggest you fly to DAR for flight to Mafia Island, which has great diving. Only 3 or 4 properties here - consider: Pole Pole

-- Ras Kutani just south of DAR, with flight to/from, is expensive

-- remember if going to Tanzania, you will require another Visa, also need Yellow Fever inoc and proof of same to enter having come from Kenya.

Consider staying in Kenya and conclude at Lamu Island, at Peponi or look at Kilanguni (sp) part of Heritage group @ www.heritage-eastafrica.com. Very quiet and private.

Two of the properties at which you'll be staying in Kenya - Tortilis and Elsa's belong to the Cheli & Peacock group - www.chelipeacock.com. Contact them to arrange your flights, maybe even help with the rerouting. C&P can still book the Mara Explorer. They can also book Peponi @ Lamu and flights to/from. Unlikely the prices will be better (though they might), but at least all will be coordinated thru one person.

-- just advise that you booked direct, and have them take it from there.

While some choose to book direct when visiting Africa, for what you're seeking, it's better to work thru an "destination specific" planner. C&P should be able to help.

Good luck!

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4. Re: Elsa's Kopje or Tortilis

We have just returned from yet another trip to Kenya.......a repeat visit to Elsa's Kopje and we will be back again next year.

Nothing more to add....it is superb and a very romantic setting.

Don't leave it out of your itinerary.

5. Re: Elsa's Kopje or Tortilis

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