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**Safari Help/Advice Discussion**

Leeds UK
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**Safari Help/Advice Discussion**

Hello. Forum newbie here.

Firstly i would like to say a big thanks to evenryone who contributes to this forum, my wife and i have found it very informative.

We have booked to visit Kenya in early March 2011, staying at the very popular Vayager Beach Resort. We have had many quotes from safari companies (locally) and have just about decided which one we are going to use.

However......We are unsure as to which actual safari to go on.

At first we looked at the Tsavo East/West 3 day 2 night option staying at Ashnil Aruba and Kilaguni. But now we are considering the Tsavo East & Amboseli 3 day 2 night option staying at Ashnil Aruba & Ol Tukai safari lodge.

What would people advise ??

PS. i have read all the pages on the forum regarding safaris, i just wanted some fresh upto date info/advice.

Thanks

Rich

WALLSEND
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376 posts
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1. Re: **Safari Help/Advice Discussion**

I have been on both of these safaris and are both very nice, but if you want the best that is the Masai Mara. Normally this is a flying one . More expensive but worth it if you can afford the little extra. Are you booking it through your tour operater? They tend to be expensive. When you get there, there are many companies who will do it cheaper. The "Beach Boys" work for reputable companies and you would normally go to their office to pay for it and get your relevant itinerary and receipt. For example I am doing 1 night in Nairobi visiting Nairobi National Park then flying to Masai Mara for 2 nights 3 days with a private jeep then flying direct to Mombasa £645 per person. (at Xmas time) How does that compare with your price?. Any more questions just pm me.

lincolnshire
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2. Re: **Safari Help/Advice Discussion**

Just wondered if insurance covers safaris by private operators.

Have been to kenya several times before(many years ago) & always used the tour operator for safaris,looking to go again in Nov 2011,& i'm searching for different options ,but want to be certain we will be insured whilst on safari as previously had an expensive camera stolen in on of the lodges.

Sue

Leeds UK
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3. Re: **Safari Help/Advice Discussion**

thanks for the info WallsendShorty, much appreciated.

We would love to do the masai safari but unfortunately we are restricted in our budget, which is why were checking out the other ones instead. obviously if funds alow nearer to the time we will contact the safari agents and inform them we wish to alter the itinery slightly :). (fingers crossed). but for now we will have to stick with the 2 mentioned above. which did you enjoy the most out of the Tsavo east/west and the tsavo/amboseli ?? and why ?

Also, why is the masai better ? is it because there are more animals to see ??

Leeds UK
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30 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: **Safari Help/Advice Discussion**

Sue, im not 100% sure tbh. but i will be finding out, and as soon as i do i shall let you know.

My guess is that it will need to be seperate insurance. (unless the safari operators provide this in the price) ? maybe one of the regulars can answer that ?

WALLSEND
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376 posts
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5. Re: **Safari Help/Advice Discussion**

Hi I think both the safaris you are interested in are good. I have no preference either way. The difference with the Masai is that you can go off road whereas the rest you are basically on a track looking at the animals from a distance (or as near as the guide can get) but on the Masai you can drive straight to them and yes I think the chances of seeing the big five are vastly improved, but hey!! any safari is good. Such a different experience.

Leeds UK
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6. Re: **Safari Help/Advice Discussion**

Why is it that you can't drive off road in Tsavo & Amboseli ? and you can in Masai ?

Pickering, United...
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3,298 posts
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7. Re: **Safari Help/Advice Discussion**

If your insurance does not include safaris then CHANGE YOUR INSURER.

There was a rash of posts on this issue a few years back. Some folks had even boguht insurance when booking their packages only to find out later that it didn't include safaris.

We have a family policy 2 adults (46 and 56) plus a child. Worldwide annual cover (including USA, 17 days winter sports, a whole host of adventure activities including safaris, ability to travel individually, etc). They even sent us a letter out of the blue in April to say they were covering volcanic ash if we had been stuck over Easter (don't know if new customers will get that perk!). We pay £90 in total per annum but their lower cost packages for us would start at just under £50. Great service. I'm sure there are others but we use

direct-travel.co.uk/annual-travel-insurance

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
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8. Re: **Safari Help/Advice Discussion**

Travel insurance would normally cover all "standard" activities in the country you're covered to visit. It wouldn't matter who you bought the safari from. And bear in mind that most international tour operators (Virgin, Thomson etc) don't run their own ground operations in Kenya, they sub-contract those to local companies. You can just as easily buy a safari direct with those companies yourself.

On the questions about the Maasai Mara, why is there so much wildlife there? Because the local eco-system makes it an incredibly bio-diverse region, and the soil and rainfall can support a huge abundance of wildlife. That's it, in a nutshell.

As for why you can drive off-road in the Mara but not in Tsavo and Amboseli, the short answer is you can't. Inside the boundaries of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, driving is restricted to marked tracks. However, outside the boundary, on the huge private/community conservancies all around the national reserve, each area has its own rules, and they are generally more tolerant of off-road driving, night drives, game walks, horseriding and cycling etc. But two things: first the Musiara and Sekenani sectors of the reserve are run by Narok council, who do a poor job of revenue collection, reserve rules enforcement etc (so people can sometimes get away with driving off-road) compared with the Mara Triangle which is a tightly run ship (the west side of Maasai Mara) and the Tsavo and Amboseli national parks (not reserves) which are run by Kenya Wildlife Service. Second, the community conservancies are going to have to start enforcing commonsense rules about staying on marked roads/tracks, because otherwise their own grasslands are going to be ruined by vehicle tracks and erosion just as areas of the Narok side of the reserve have been.

In my opinion, everyone should stay on the roads and tracks. It's much better for the animals, and makes the experience a level playing field for all visitors.

Lecture over, soapbox kicked away! Hope that was helpful, anyway.

Richard

Edited: 22 June 2010, 22:11
Southampton, United...
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9. Re: **Safari Help/Advice Discussion**

Hi I can only offer a little help, we went a couple of times years ago and I remember that one Tsavo's was hard to spot the animals as there were a lot of trees around.

We went to salt lick / amboseli but again did this by air which even though is higher in price you spend more time experincing the safari, if you are only doing it this time only go for as much as you can afford as when you are stuck in uk in the cold wet winter you will always have fantatsic memories. It does not matter really you will have a fantastic time.

Leeds UK
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10. Re: **Safari Help/Advice Discussion**

thanks very much for all the advice/discussions.

I think we have decided that on this visit to Kenya we will stick with the Tsavo East & West staying at Kilaguni & Aruba Ashnil.

Hopefully on our 2nd visit we can splash out a bit more and see the mara.