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Help, Please on selecting tour agency for 10-13 day Ken.&Tz

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Charlotte, NC
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Help, Please on selecting tour agency for 10-13 day Ken.&Tz

We are considering using 2Afrika Inc or predators-safari club. Has anyone used either recently? I have seen a bunch on predators-safari from a couple of years ago, but has anyone used them in the last year? Also we are hoping to do a 10-13 day trip around Kenya and Tanzania at the end of November, is $3500 per person too much for a 2Afrika Inc trip staying in serena or sopa lodges? Is there another company someone has recently used that was good? Thank so much (in advance :-D).

melbourne
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1. Re: Help, Please on selecting tour agency for 10-13 day Ken.&Tz

africaherewecome

I would stick to one country or the other. I would do a Tanzanian for 9 or 10 days then three or 4 days in Zanzibar. I havent used 2Afrika and wouldn't because I prefer a Tanzanian tour operator or company. I know of predators and they have a good reputation. I would consider them but also get quotes from other operators. Operators who people I know have used or have good recent reviews are (not in order) Duma Explorer, East African Safari and Touring Company and Access2 Tanzania. If you decide on one country then check out the itinerary I posted on the deadlymonkey post and see if this suits. This could be a good starting point for discussion negotiation with one of the operators.

You should email about 5 operators and then eventually get them down to one based on price, feel for it, their response and abilitry to suit your needs as the customer.

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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2. Re: Help, Please on selecting tour agency for 10-13 day Ken.&Tz

I will emphasize that you should use a Tanzanian based safari company also. These companies know the territory, they know the differences which happen from year to year and can typically show you a better time then some agency in Europe or America which will sub-contract with a company in Tanzania to actually do the safrari. In addition, it will help build up the economy of Tanzania which is an important thing to do.

$3,500 is not too much for a 13 day safari. I am certain that if you send identical requirements to 4 or 5 companies you will find that you will save some money, get a better feel for what you are going to be doing, and end up being more satisfied.

You should also stick to one country. These are long drives, on some very difficult roads at times, to be going to two countries. For example, if you are in Kenya and go to the Masai Mara (this is really an extension of the Serengeti into Kenya) it's a day's drive to get from there to the Serengeti (because you will need to go to a border crossing to go from Kenya to Tanzania), or drive clear back towards Nariobi in order to cross the border into Tanzania there. Too much driving and a waste of time, not to mention your backside.

To find safari operators do some searching on this forum and everyone has their favorite picks of safari companies. Or you can go to the Member Page of www.tatotz.com and you'll find a lot of operators listed.

nyc
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3. Re: Help, Please on selecting tour agency for 10-13 day Ken.&Tz

The $3500 from 2Afrika is a "group" departure with set dates, is a good price for the 13/days during (low-to-mid-season rates in Kenya and mid-season rates for Tanzania) that covers: Nairobi, Masai Mara, Lk. Nakuru, Amboseli, Lk. Manyara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro & Tarangire before returning to NBO and homebound. But you do have some very long drives.

It's certainly doable, but do you wish to travel with a group. Is there a minimum number of paxs required and if less than, will it depart with just you and does the $3500 price increase.

You can, of course, send to a number (4 or 5) in-country outfitters whether located in Kenya (KATO) or Tanzania (TATOTZ) to price same itinerary or what their suggestions might be. Most likely these will be private itineraries, just for you (and your party whether 2, 3 or 4/pax). Though it is getting late for November travel and some accommodations, especially in Tanzania may already be booked.

No harm checking others for comparison, then It's up to you whether you wish to visit both countries if this may be your only visit to East Africa?

Findlay, Ohio
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4. Re: Help, Please on selecting tour agency for 10-13 day Ken.&Tz

The companies you mention are larger companies who are obviously licensed in both countries. You must be licensed in Tanzania (don't know about Kenya) to operate as a safari company in Tanzania. If you use a Kenyan company which is not licensed in Tanzania (which is most companies) then they will need to sub contract with a Tanzanian licensed company.

Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: Help, Please on selecting tour agency for 10-13 day Ken.&Tz

Karl you arecorrect.So this is why that most companies (even the ones named above) will have a Kenyan contact and do a car swap at the boarder.

Most people will be disapointed as you loose your driver who you have become friendly with (or a bonus in some cases!) and most Kenyan outfitters use the miivan bus for their safaris. So the 4x4 safari car!

I you still wan to do the cross country safari make sure you ask your operators if they will be swapping the cars at the boarder (remember extra money for visa) and also if you ill keep your driver/guide.

Try the following for cross counrty an also just Tanzania:

ET Treks

Maasai Wanderings

Base Camp

Summits Africa

melbourne
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6. Re: Help, Please on selecting tour agency for 10-13 day Ken.&Tz

Under the East African Community all East African citizens will be paying the same to enter the parks in Kenya or Tanzania or Uganda. This has already been introduced. In Kenya for a Tanzanian guide in Kenya he pays the same as for a Kenyan guide to enter the parks and for a Kenyan guide in Tanzania he pays the same as a Tanzanian guide.

Then tourists pay the park fees the same everywhere.

If you are a foreign registered vehicle in Tanzania even if you are a registered tour vehicle you do not need a licence to operate, that is only Tz companies. But the Foreign registered Kenyan vehicle will be charged the same as any other foreign vehicles in Tanzania. ( there are lots of SA and UK vehicles there) ie $ 40 per vehicle per day,as well as road licence and seperate insurance. it is these extra charges that usually mean the vehicles swop over at the border crossings, as well as the lack of local experience of the guides. A Kenya tour operator doesnt need a Tanzanian tour operators licence to operator in Tz. all he needs is to pay the extra costs involved in bringing his vehicle into Tz.

Only a few companies operate cross country because of the costs, but also partly because of the inexperience of the guides. Guides do need to have this extra experience to do the East African Expeditions style safari. Most of the companies mentioned above are all relatively new so they may not have the experience to operate these trips so it is much easier to subcontract.

Findlay, Ohio
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7. Re: Help, Please on selecting tour agency for 10-13 day Ken.&Tz

You obviously had a Tanzanian company which was allowed to work in Kenya, not all are. When I get a car to take me from the Nairobi airport to Arusha, it stops at the border and I switch cars to a Tanzania vehicle. There are costs involved which make it difficult for them to continue.

For the most part, it is best to use a Kenya company when traveling in Kenya; and a Tanzanian company when traveling in Tanzania.

They are trying to change this very slowly in all of East Africa; but it is moving along very slowly. No one wants to give up their perceived edge.

melbourne
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8. Re: Help, Please on selecting tour agency for 10-13 day Ken.&Tz

Any Tz vehicle or company can operate in Kenya as can any Kenyan vehicle or company operate in Tanzania if you pay the necessary fees and charges for a foreign vehicle, insurances and road licences ect. I believe it is better if you are doing a combined Kenyan Tanzanian trip to use the same driver/guide and vehicle also cook if you happen to be on a camping safari.

A customs form and others guarantees are also needed. A lot of companies dont like the extra expense or what they consider hassle and therefore opt to subcontract. This is not anywhere near as good as doing both countries with one driver guide and vehicle. for this kind of trip you need an experienced guide and many companie dont have them.

Isle of Man, United...
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9. Re: Help, Please on selecting tour agency for 10-13 day Ken.&Tz

Linda, the only review I can find has you landing at Arusha and starting your Safari from there. Is there another one somewhere?

10. Re: Help, Please on selecting tour agency for 10-13 day Ken.&Tz

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