we have finally booked our plane tickets to go on our first Africa safari this July.
We have choosen the Kenya/Tanzania safari on the Neo Destinations website, having read glowing reviews from TA and friends who travelled to Africa two years back. In summary we have chosen the following safari option from their website. Could someone kindly advice if the long drives are worthwhile or if there are any alternative but cost effective safari routes to use?
We have been quoted £ 1700 Per adult and $1500 for the teens. Is this reasonable enough? we have recieved other quotes including Thompsons £2400 each for the same trip.
Airport transfer with private vehicle and guide. Includes Flying Doctors air ambulance emergency evacuation to Nairobi in the event of serious illness. Neo Destinations donates $50 per person toNeo Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting high school education for disadvantaged kids in remote areas of East Africa. Nairobi is the least expensive arrival city for flights with a full range of hotels and local attractions. Dubbed the "Safari Capital of the World" cool, clear and cosmopolitan Nairobi is the natural departure point for most safari itineraries. A city of contrasts, it is simultaneously the largest, the youngest, the most modern, the highest (1700m) and the fastest growing city in East Africa. High-altitude Nairobi enjoys a pleasant tropical climate all year round. There are ATMs and banks to stock up on cash, great restaurants, and malls where you can purchase any forgotten items. As the only all suite hotel in Nairobi, and a former members-only club, the Nairobi Safari Club is ideal for those wanting a bite out of this city. Close to marketplaces and tourist spots, one can wander around during the day and return conveniently. The hotel provides a number of dining choices, including exotically prepared meats and a selection of North American-style burgers. The buffets are highly commended for variety and quality. The Nairobi Safari Club is recognized for its considerate service, comfort, and enviable location. Rooms are clean and spacious, with lounging and workspace. The hotel offers many facilities at its health centre, including sauna, swimming pool, and aerobics.
Game viewing in Nakuru National Park with your skilled guide. The park is noted for thousands of flamingos which form a brilliant pink covering over the surface. Includes national park fees. Enjoy lunch at your safari lodge or hotel (included in tour price). Sign up for optional activities at your resort (not included in tour price); horse-riding, bird-watching, fishing, water sports, cycling, lake trips and nature trails. Dinner at your lodge or hotel is included in the tour price. Naivasha is one of our favorite places to pause a safari, lush, cool and relaxing - is a beautiful freshwater lake, fringed by thick papyrus. The lake is almost 13kms across but its waters are shallow and thick with hippo. Hell's Gate National Park, Longonot National Park and Mount Longonot are nearby attractions. Boat tours on the lake are popular to observe birdlife and hippopotamus behavior, or explore Crescent Island on foot. Like an African castle in the sky, Sopa Lodge Naivasha spins wondrous safaris from natural treasures below the golden Kenyan sun. It is situated on the southern shores of Naivasha, the largest freshwater lake in the Great Rift Valley. Let this dazzling resort of 21 cottages prepare you for mouth-dropping silence. Feast on the succulent meats and preparations of the hotel's talented chefs. Allow your eyes to indulge in the scenery and wildlife that draws so many to visit this hotel, built for open views of nature's activities at their most untouched. Make sure to wander around the compound. You will be enchanted by the fine architecture, cathedral ceilings, and grand windows. Stroll around the gardens, and take a swim. It's hard to leave this heavenly escape.
Drive from Naivasha to Masai Mara with your private vehicle and guide. Stop along the way at souvenir stands and to purchase snacks and cold drinks. Game viewing in Masai Mara National Park with your skilled guide. Drives are typically done in the morning at 6:30am for a few hours and/or 4pm for a few hours. Includes game reserve fees. Enjoy lunch at your safari lodge or hotel (included in tour price). Enjoy afternoon game viewing with your skilled guide. Masai Mara is the northernmost portion of the larger Serengeti ecosystem and features the best game viewing in the region . The small size funnels animals into a tight space, and park rules allowing off-road driving which means that guests can venture into plains covered with hundreds or even thousands of animals. Take an optional hot air balloon ride over the plains, with the opportunity for amazing pictures of the animal herds below. Defining a wilderness tented camp, this elegant and exquisitely furnished abode is nestled along the bend of the Talek River, just north of the Mara reserve. With hippos grunting and splashing nearby, elephant and giraffes wandering past, this is the epitome of luxurious wilderness. A veteran staff carefully looks after the selected guests in this boutique camp. Dine in the large camping tent, where you will be served three meals daily. Local bush cuisine is cooked to perfection by camp chefs. If weather permits, service is possible on guests' private verandahs on the river bank. Sharing a connection with the local Masai, guests can hike with warriors, visit the local village, dance along with traditional songs, or hear the wisdom of generations from a local elder over the evening fire. Dinner at your lodge or hotel is included in the tour price.
Game viewing in Masai Mara National Park with your skilled guide. Drives are typically done in the morning at 6:30am for a few hours and/or 4pm for a few hours. Includes game reserve fees. Sign up for optional activities at your lodge (not included in tour price); hot air balloon ($460pp), guided nature walk ($40pp), or other. Enjoy lunch at your safari lodge or hotel (included in tour price). Hike with a Masai warrior to the nearby village to meet the people and experience a bit of the nomadic lifestyle. Dinner at your lodge or hotel is included in the tour price.
Transit between Masai Mara and Serengeti. This full day drive includes some game drive through the park, and several hours drive on rough road to the border (TZ visa can be purchased for $50 US cash, or $100pp for US citizens). Picnic lunch near Lake Victoria with option to visit a local fishing village. NOTE: The road is unimproved in places and this is a LONG drive. Game viewing with your expert guide in Serengeti National Park. Includes national park fees. Dinner at your lodge or hotel is included in the tour price. Tanzania's oldest and most popular national park, the Serengeti is massive in size, 14,763 sq km (5,700 sq miles). Famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson's gazelle join the wildebeest's trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers the most expansive game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant's gazelle. A mobile camp in the western Serengeti, this is an intimate connection to nature in the world's finest game park. Look forward to attentive service with five course bush cuisine of the pan-African and traditional sort. Three main meals are served each day in the large canvas dining tent overlooking the plains, culminating with five course dinners ending with coffee or tea under the stars. The tents, appropriately furnished with Masai inspired style, feature campaign furniture and canvas wardrobe. The Masai theme is showcased with evocative headboards, lamps and fixtures. This is a rare opportunity to experience close contact with the world's greatest migration, which has been known to feature twenty or so lion prides and countless throngs of zebras and wildebeest.
Game viewing with your expert guide in Serengeti National Park. Includes national park fees. Enjoy lunch at your safari lodge or hotel (included in tour price). Enjoy afternoon game viewing with your skilled guide. Dinner at your lodge or hotel is included in the tour price.
Includes a stop at the famous Olduvlai Gorge where the homonid "Lucy" and other significant archeological discoveries have been made. Game viewing with your skilled guide in Ngorongoro national park. Includes national park fees. Descend into the Ngorongoro caldera to view the wildlife on the crater floor. Dinner at your lodge or hotel is included in the tour price. "The Ngorongoro Crater is often called ‘Africa's Eden' and the ‘8th Natural Wonder of the World'. A massive extinct volcano, the sheet walls drop thousands of feet to a "Noah's Ark" of animals on the verdent floor below. Large herds of zebra, buffalo, antelope and wildebeest graze nearby while sleeping lions laze in the sun. At dawn, the endangered black rhino returns to the thick cover of the crater forests after grazing on dew-laden grass in the morning mist. The world-famous Ngorongoro Crater is at the eastern edge of the Serengeti in northern Tanzania. Nearly three million years old, the ancient caldera of the once-volcanic Ngorongoro shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth, ringed with towering walls and sheltering forests, grasslands, fresh springs and a large soda lake. Our camps features a select group of 6 tents, each with two queen beds, ensuite toilet, and hand filled hot water shower. A shaded private verandah offers space to read or view nature's beauty. Chefs sample a range of cuisines, serving up African flavors from across the continent and throughout the bush. Offering a much more intimate experience than lodges,
Game viewing with your skilled guide in Ngorongoro national park. Includes national park fees. Descend into the Ngorongoro caldera to view the wildlife on the crater floor. Enjoy lunch at your safari lodge or hotel (included in tour price). Hike the hills of Ngorongoro with your guide. Dinner at your lodge or hotel is included in the tour price.
Drive to Arusha where you can shop for souvenirs. Transit between Tanzania/Kenya at the Namanga border crossing. The road is occasionally potholed but in good condition. Stop for lunch at the Arusha Hotel in this tourism capitol of Tanzania. Shop the local souvenir market. Game viewing in Amboseli National Park with your skilled guide. Drives are typically done in the morning at 6:30am for a few hours, and 4pm for a few hours, since the animals are most active at dawn and dusk. Includes national park fees. Dinner at your lodge or hotel is included in the tour price. Amboseli National Park, is 260 km (160 mi) south of Nairobi, on the Kenya and Tanzania border. It is most famous for its spectacular views of Kilimanjaro. A system of swamps makes this low-rainfall area one of the best widlife-viewing experiences in the world. The park protects two of the five main swamps, and includes a dried-up Pleistocene lake and semi-arid vegetation. Noted in particular for its large elephant herds, Amboseli is the third most visited game area in Kenya after Masai Mara and Nakuru. In the heart of Amboseli National Park, touching the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, the Amboseli Serena Lodge lays its home. The 92 rooms are all equipped with en suite bathrooms and stunning views. Dining offers local cuisine and a choice of continental dishes, while specialty meals allow guests to get in touch with the environment. Take advantage of the game drives, where incredible beasts such as lions, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, baboons, gazelle hippos and wildebeest spend their day in front of your eyes.
Game viewing in Amboseli National Park with your skilled guide. Drives are typically done in the morning at 6:30am for a few hours, and 4pm for a few hours, since the animals are most active at dawn and dusk. Includes national park fees. Includes opportunity to visit local handicrafts market to stock up on souvenirs. Enjoy a family style meal with a sampling dinner featuring indigenous dishes from the region (On request; we can arrange dinner at Carnivore game meat restaurant, though there is limited wild meat on the menu these days) . Depart from Nairobi international airport - end of itinerary.