Safari travel deals & vacation types & when to go

I’ve been writing for years about doing a safari but I haven’t made it happen yet. One of the reasons is this advice I got in early 2006 from a safari vacation guy – the best time for wildlife viewing is March, April and May for the Serengeti. That’s low season in Tanzania (maybe Kenya as well?). It’s also when I teach and it hurts me to pay more to go when the wildlife viewing is worse. I could potentially try to go at the end of February since my semester usually begins in very early March…

Bill Morse gave us two great stories, his plan and his experience. Bill went with a company called Private Safari and paid $1600 for a Tanzania / Kenya safari. This included everything except getting to Nairobi. I believe they went in July of 2006 so peak season I guess.

Here’s one current deal I know of and while the timing is limited it sounds like a good deal. This deal is available until May 31 for the following departure dates – Nov. 20 and Nov. 27:

Friendly Planet Travel has shattered the price barrier for exotic Kenyan tours by introducing today an eight-day Kenya Safari Express at only $1,899.

Update 5/4/2010: The $1,899 package sold out – the lowest package available now is $2,029. http://www.friendlyplanet.com/kenya-safari-express.html

The package includes round-trip airfare from JFK’s airport on award-winning Emirates Airlines; accommodations at deluxe hotels and superior safari lodges; game-viewing drives with experienced game spotters with a guaranteed window seat and access to a pop-up roof hatch; a boat safari on Lake Naivasha; comprehensive sightseeing tours in Nairobi by local, English-speaking guides; all transfers and land transportation; many meals, and more.

Here’s a very interesting article on a different kind of safari – the kind where your guide is a Maasai warrior. At least that’s one possibility at Ol Pejeta Bush Camp – the place where the author stayed. The point is there are no 4×4 vehicles so instead of a typical safari experience you hopefully end up with a ‘real’ African experience:

Though I never did spot an aardvark, I saw many great and small wonders during my stay. I walked with the herders…. I came across hyena cubs – a perky couple of lads who gamely yelped at us before losing their nerve and diving for cover. Other times I walked with the gazelles, or just carried on mastering my firesticks….Finding bird feathers, inspecting dung, smelling bark and flowers, maybe chancing on that elusive aardvark, is to me what it’s all about – seeing Africa eye-to-eye.

Sounds good but I could do without one thing the author writes about – stealing honey from thousands of bees and then staring them down hoping they don’t ‘smell’ your fear. At 2300+ GBP for 6 nights the price tag seems fairly steep as well.

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  1. […] They are considerably more expensive and slower. Although the Matatu rides were unusual, the photo safaris in the wildlife sanctuaries/preserves were wonderful and well worth the transportation problems in […]

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