SAFARIS IN KENYA

 

The chances are that as soon as you arrive in Kenya,you will be looking to join a safari. And even if you are not,touts from the safari companies will certainly come looking for you ! It is possible to arrange everything for yourself if you hire a vehicle,but there are lots of things to sort out and it is esier and cheaper to go with an organised group.There are an incredible number of companies out there offering an incredible variety of itinieraries so it is an good idea to shop around and find a company that best fits your requirements.Depending on your tastes,you can travel by minibus,4WD,truck,camel,cycle,airplane or even on foot in some places.More than a few travellers book the first safari that fits their budget and end up feeling that they should have chosen something else.A  bit of legwork visiting the various companies may save you a lot of time trying to get a refund if the safari is not what you thought you had booked.

Which kind of Safari ? There are essentially two broad types of organised safaris - those were you camp and those were you stay in lodges or luxury tented camps at night .Some budget companies also have their own lodges on the outskirts of parks,which tend to be cheaper,although you will often lose quite a bit of time shuttling between the lodges and the parks. Whatever type of accommodation you choose,safaris typically start and end in either Nairobi or Mombasa,although there are a handful of exceptions to this.Most companies use either large Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps or Nissan Urvan minibus which have hatches in the roof for wildlife viewing,often with some kind of shade over the top.This safe vantage point from which to take photos is something you will miss out on if you are hire your own car.Some of the bigger companies also use open-sided trucks,which archieve the same effect.

A few companies offer you the opportunity to take walking or cycling safaris.As well as transfers to and from Nairobi or Mombasa and also between the parks,safari companies offer two wildlife drives per day .Each drive typically lasts 2-3 hours and the best in terms of sighting animals are those that start at 6.30 am or 4 pm,when animals are at their most active.Bear in mind that if you arrange a half day visit to any park of your safari,the chances are will not be visiting at prime viewing time.As a general rule ,on all safaris,you will be left to your own devices between late morning and mid afternoon(except for lunch),although if you are on a camping safari you may be taken to a lodge to relax over a cold beer or have a swim in the pool.You may also be taken to a lodge after the late afternoon wildlife drive for the same thing before returning to camp for dinner.Either way ,you have got lots of time to kill between wildlife drives so a good book to read will be a life saver.A bit of patience and the ability to go with the flow is the key to having a good time on safari.There is so much wildlife here that almost evryone finishes the day elated at having spotted some animal or other .

Which National Parks ? Once you have decided on the type of accommodation and where you want to leave from you will need to pick your parks.Some travellers choose to maximise their chance of seeing the Big Five :elephant,rhino,leopard,lion and buffalo; by visiting one of the the more open but crowded parks such as Amboseli National Park or Masai Mara .Others prefer to view wildlife in the less disturbed wilderness of the African bush.While they see less wildlife at many of the other parks due to denser vegetation,nothing can beat the sensation of having a pool of basking hippos all to yourself.People who are interested in more specific pursuits such as birdwatching,fishing or tribal culture will find that some parks and companies are better suited to their needs than others.We have tried to give an impression of what you can expect to find at the various parks,but the wildlife is mobile and does not always want to be seen,so there is no guarantee you will see every species described in the wildlife books.You should also give some thought to how far the various parks are away from each other,as it is quite easy to spend half your safari driving between the parks if you are not careful.This is a frequent complaint on shorter safaris or a safari that includes half day excursions.If time is a factor pick parks that are close together,Amboseli and Tsavo East,for example,or both Tsavo East and Tsavo West .   



Which Kenyan Safari itinerary ? Whether you take a camping or lodge safari,there is a plethora of options ranging from two to 15 days and in some cases,up to six weeks,visiting parks in neighbouring countries as well.If possible it is best to go on safari for at least five days or preferably longer, otherwise a good deal of your time will be taken up driving up to and from the national parks and Nairobi or Mombasa.Much more than 10 days and the endless bumby roads and tracks may start to wear you down. You will also see a great deal more on a longer safari and have a much better chance of catching sight of all the major animals.In addition,you may also get a chance to spend some time with local tribespeople on a longer safari.The short trips also make stops in tribal villages,but these are normally just aquick souvenir and photo opportunity,and can be a bit demoralising . A three day safari from Nairobi typically takes you either to Amboseli or Masai Mara.A four day safari might take you to Amboseli and Tsavo,or to Amboseli and Masai Mara or to Samburu and Buffalo Springs, but you will be pushing it to get to three parks in four days.A five days safari could take you to Amboseli and Tsavo,or to Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru,whereas a six day safari may include lakes Nakuru,Bogoria and Baringo plus Masai Mara,or alternatively Lake Nakuru,Masai Mara and Amboseli.On a seven day safari,you could expect to visit at least at least two of the Rift Valley lakes plus Masai Mara and Amboseli,whereas on a 11 day safari you could take in either two or more of the Rift Valley lakes plus Masai Mara,Amboseli and Tsavo,or Samburu and Buffalo Springs,Meru,Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara.Only a few companies build Meru into their regular itineraries ,though.In the high season,many companies have daily or every second day departures to the most popular national parks - Amboseli,Masai Mara and Tsavo - since there is high demand. To the less frequented parks such as Samburu and Buffalo Springs,Shaba and Meru,they generally leave only once or twice per week.In addition,most companies will leave for any of the most popular national parks at any time so long as you have a minimum number of people wanting to go,usually four . Due to the slump in tourism,some companies will only leave if they have the minimum number of clients,especially in the low season.If you are on your own,you may have to hang around for a while to be bundled together with a larger group. It obviously makes a lot of sense to either book ahead or get a group together yourself rather than just turn up and expect to leave the next morning. Advance booking is a good idea for the Lake Turkana safaris since they are heavily subscribed in the high season.It is also essential for the more exotic options .

What is the best time to go on safari ? Wildlife can be seen at all times of year,but the migration pattern of the big herbivores,which in turn attract the big predators, are likely to be a major factor in deciding when to go .From July to October,huge herds of wildebeests and zebras cross from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Masai Mara. Amboseli also sees huge herds at this time. This is propably prime viewing time as the land is parched,the vegetation has died back and the animals are obliged to come to drink at the ever shrinking waterholes.However most safari companies increase their rates at this time . The long rains from March to June and the short rains from October to November transform the National Parks into a lush carpet of greenery. It is very scenic,but is does provide much more cover for the wildlife to hide behind and the rain can turn the tracks into impassable mush.Safaris may be impossible on the lowland parks during either rainy season.

 

Booking a safari in Kenya Many travellers to get all the planning done before they arrive in the country and book fro abroad,either through travel agents or directly with companies.Many safari operators now take internet bookings. However,if you do this,you may have to pay by credit card over the internet or on the telephone - not always a safe thing to do - and you have no assurance that you will get what you have paid for until you arrive in Kenya. There is less risk of being sold something different to what you expected if you visit the various companies in person and talk through the kind of package you are looking for.A good starting point is to visit one of the travel agents in Nairobi or Mombasa and get as many leaflets as you can get your hands on. You can then make an informed choice about which companies to visit.Bear in mind that once you enter a safari company office,the staff may be reluctant to let you walk out without a firm booking.This is more of a problem inthe budget places ,so be firm and say no if what they are offering is not exactly what you are looking for .You can also book directly with the travel agents,although you will usually pay a little more than if you negotiate directly with the companies. A third way, and one which many people are railroaded into , is to accept the help of a safari tout .These people will approach you as soon as you step off the plane in Nairobi and try to get you signed up for a safari then and there. There are not all bad guys and the safari you end up with may be fine,but you will pay a mark up to cover commission,while the experience of being hemmed in on all sides by touts and agents trying to make a sale can be exasperating .At most of the budget companies,it is not even worth trying to enter the office without a tout as they wait by the door and escort every customer inside.The service provided by even the best safari companies can vary,depending on the driver,the itinerary,the behaviour of the wildlife,acts of God such as flat tyres and breakdowns and , of course the attitude of the passengers themselves.It is possible for a good company to provide a bad safari and bad companies do occassionally shine.It is also a volatile market and a company that has a good reputation can go to the dogs the next.You will find a lot of links to safari operators on this site ,but this should not take the place of hands on search once you arrive in Kenya. One thing to look out for is whomever you book with is client swapping.Quite a few companies will shift clients on to another company if they do not have enough people to justify running the trip themselves.This does ensure that trips actually depart on time and saves travellers days of waiting for a safari to fill up,but it does undermine consumer trust.Reputable companies will usually inform you before they transfer you to another safari operator. 


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Gamewatchers Safaris 


 web :Gamewatchers Safaris

Gamewatchers Safaris has been operating in Kenya for over 15 years and offers a range of safaris to some of the best wildlife reserves and parks in Africa.The emphasis is on the more personal and exclusive smaller camps, use of 4x4 safari vehicles for game drives in preference to vans, and the option of air transfers as an alternative to driving by road between the parks. Gamewatchers also runs small and exclusive safari camps in private wilderness reserves.  Adjacent to Amboseli: Poroni Camp, in the Selenkay Conservancy, and in the Maasai Mara ecosystem: Poroni Camp , in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy.  Here you will escape from the crowds and experience the African wilderness without the presence of other tourist vehicles.  Our Porini Camp game drives are in open-sided 4x4 safari vehicles, with expert safari guides, for the best wildlife viewing.Mission Statement: We are committed to helping preserve Africa?s unique wildlife, landscapes and supporting local communities. We believe that the best way to do this is through sustainable ecotourism ventures that benefit the local communities and give our guests a rewarding experience. Our Porini Group of Camps is a sustainable model that practically implements these principles. We are dedicated to providing our clients with exemplary personalized service and strive to have them leave as friends. We will be delighted to assist in arranging your safari in Kenya and will be glad to be of service. 


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Pride Safaris Ltd ( Tanzania )

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We arrange tailor made tours,Wildlife Lodge and Camping safaris, walking safaris,Trekking Expeditions, Religeous mission Trips,Cultural tours,Geology adventures, Business plans, beach holidays and Summer camp. Rich in itineraries for East Africa Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Zanzibar. Welcome at our service. Save time and money with us, for fast replies


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Safari Seekers Tanzania Ltd

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Safari Seekers Kenya Limited Nairobi

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Sports and Adventure Holidays in Kenya with Extreme-Safari.com
 
Extreme-Safari.com specialise in sport and adventure travel in Kenya and the Indian Ocean.
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GREAT HORIZON TRAILS - Introduction to East African Adventures

Kenya Tanzania and Uganda are some of the richest countries in Africa in terms of natural resources including wildlife, forests, lakes and mountains. Valleys that include the Great Rift Valley traverse the three countries creating spectacular sights that are not easily forgotten. web http://www.greathorizontrails.com/ 



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Top Africa Safaris

 

Welcome to the wonderful world of East and Southern Africa Safaris; seethe big five in their natural habitat. Want an adventure in the naturalworld. We virtually guarantee to offer you the holiday of your lifetime,top quality above, most keenly priced and more!

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