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Confused - best way to book a 3 day safari from Nairobi?

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Confused - best way to book a 3 day safari from Nairobi?

I am currently in the U.S., and traveling to Kenya late June/early July for work. I would like to add a couple days onto my trip for a 2 night/3 day safari to Maasai Mara.

I am confused about the best way to approach this:

1. Do I try to find a Kenyan-based tour company to book with, or do I contact a lodge in the reserve directly - it looks like many of them book packages that include transport from Nairobi and game drives, in the same a tour operator would.

2. Am I likely to find a 'pre-packaged' option where I could be traveling with others in a small-ish group, or will I need to book a private tour? I am guessing the latter is more expensive, and since I am traveling alone, I think I would feel a bit odd on a truly "private" tour!

3. I am hoping to stay under $1,000 USD for my budget, and would like to stay at least a 'mid-range' property, maybe something a little more toward the luxury side of things if possible. I will likely be hitting the beginning of peak season with the wildebeest migration - is that budget feasible. I am open to either flying or driving.

4. How in the world do I make sense of all the different options of places to stay - both in and out of the official park boundaries?

Thanks for any advice!

Edmonton, Canada
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1. Re: Confused - best way to book a 3 day safari from Nairobi?

I personally contacted a few tour operators in Kenya and told them what I want (in my case I wanted 2 nights and Samburu and 1 night at Ol Pejeta) and then based on the responses I chose one (I ended up choosing All Seasons Safaris). I have just wired my deposit and will bring the rest of the money when I arrive in August. I will be doing a driving safari but could have chosen to fly to Samburu - I wanted to see something of the countryside. I think you can book directly with a camp as well.

Nairobi, Kenya
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2. Re: Confused - best way to book a 3 day safari from Nairobi?

Hi Susan,

Your budget can do mid range safari and stayed at lodge like Keekorok or Sopa Lodge check your inbox to see recommended company

Nairobi, Kenya
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3. Re: Confused - best way to book a 3 day safari from Nairobi?

1. Book thro' a local TO a complete package that incl transport, accommodation, food/drinks & game drives.

2. 10 Seater Nissan Mini Vans are commonly used for safaris. Bigger the group, cheaper the package. Unfortunately, a solo safari turns out to be very expensive. You will have to pay a 30-50% Single Suppl Fee for a Single Room as Rates charged - "Per Person Sharing".

3. Have a look Sun Africa Keekorok, Sentrim Mara , Mara Sopa & Mara Sarova - good value for money. Google up Mara Aruba, great place to stay also. Avoid budget camps like Enchoro Wildlife Camp. The budget camps are outside the Park,. They offer very basic services like basic food simple beds, no entertainment,etc..

4. Camps inside the Park are higher quality than ones outside. Park Park Entry Fees is $60 Per Person, valid for 24 hours. Normally, the Fees are NOT included in the Package.

PS: there is also the option of doing a mobile camping safari ie sleeping in pitched tents, outdoor latrines, basic food cooked by guides. Google up Best Camping Tours & Gametrackers..

Good Luck

Spain
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4. Re: Confused - best way to book a 3 day safari from Nairobi?

Being a high season period contact some local tour operator and compare apple to apple. Once you get a competitive quote you pre book to avoid last minute booking. All the best.

Milwaukee
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5. Re: Confused - best way to book a 3 day safari from Nairobi?

For December I choose to stay at Offbeat Mara as they do not charge single supplement for solo traveler. I just saw on their Facebook page they are offering for month of June 3 nights for price of 2. You still pay conservation fee on free night. I got similar deal in December for 4 for price of 3. It's located in the Mara north conservancy, I read that conservancy is less crowded than reserve. The camp is small , just 6 tents and unfenced which was another reason I went for it as I prefer smaller camps and wanted unfenced camp. You'd use the camp guides/vehicles on shared game drives.

I contacted them in March for my December trip and Anthony from Offbeat was very helpful and gave a good price. I ended up booking through my operator All Seasons as they matched the price and had helped extensively with a different trip I'm doing this June so I wanted to give them the chance. I was impressed with offbeats responsiveness and I felt the price was fair esp for a solo traveler. I got quotes from Kicheche which were quite a bit more and porini who took awhile and then only quoted me for 5 nights despite me asking for a 10 day quote.

Edited: 07 May 2016, 16:12
Indianapolis...
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6. Re: Confused - best way to book a 3 day safari from Nairobi?

Hi Susan!

My name is Kellie and I, too, am from the United States. I was in the same spot as you when we made our first trip to Nairobi with our missions team. I happened upon a company through tripadvisor and am happy to share my experience with you.

Late June or early July will be a fantastic time to be on safari but do not wait too long as many tented camps and lodges will book up. My husband and I went on a missions trip to Kenya with 14 people and used a wonderful driver and guide, Simon Koech from Dawn in Africa Safaris! We loved him so much and his service was so detailed and amazing that we decided to return with our children and grandchildren.

Simon took care of every detail. Trust me this is not something you will want to do on your own. Too many little things to consider. Also be aware that many companies will take you money but not add all the costs and you will be stuck paying them when you arrive. There is a charge to enter the conservancies of around $75-$80 per person and we have seen several people on our trips there who thought it had been included in their price and it was not, which can be an expensive add on to a family. He will also help you with Visa information, currency exchange, places to stay, etc. He will take care of EVERY detail for you and help you with the timing.

The first year we went with our team our plane was several hours late and I had no way to contact Simon to let him know that it would be after midnight before our arrival. When we landed and got through customs, there stood Simon with a sign with our name on it and a big Kenya welcome! I knew then he was our guy for future trips!

When we took our children and grandchildren he helped work out every small detail based on our budget. I had several things in mind that I wanted to do with our family and sent them to Simon. He helped me work them around to try and fit everything in based on time and budget. We spent a couple of days in Nairobi and went to the elephant orphanage, Kuzuri beads, the Kibera slums, and several other things. Simon was our driver for all of it. He will pick you up at the airport regardless of what time you arrive, and pick you up to drop you off when you flight leaves.

He is well versed on all the camps and lodges. (We personally love the tented camps! It was such a great experience for our family!) I have sent hundreds of people and friends to Simon and many of them take the time to email or call when they return to tell me what a wonderful company Simon runs! He is honest, trustworthy, timely, mindful of your safety, and very quick to respond to emails. You will not be sorry you choose him! My husband and I have traveled all over the world and have used many private drivers and companies and I can tell you NONE compare to Simon! Email is probably best to reach him. Be sure and let him know what you think your budget is and he can work plans around that. He can help you with all of your arrangements.

Here is his info:

Dawn In Africa Safaris

P.O. BOX 21713- 00100,

NAIROBI KENYA

Mobile: (+254) 723376460 (+254) 786461837

info@dawnsafaris.co.ke

www.dawnsafaris.co.ke

Should you have any further questions I am happy to help. My email is

kellie@apologia.com. If you would like to talk via phone send me your number via email. I have lots of information.

Good Luck!

Kellie~

Nairobi, Kenya
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7. Re: Confused - best way to book a 3 day safari from Nairobi?

With $1000 for three days, you can actually do a close to luxury package, all inclusive, minus extras like bush dinner, bush breakfast and balloon safaris. Join an existing tour group by some established safari agents/ tour operators. You can get very good reviews hereon.

R.

8. Re: Confused - best way to book a 3 day safari from Nairobi?

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