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modleski last won the day on July 13

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About modleski

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  1. Amazing photos of lion and cheetahs!
  2. I'd definitely stay in the reserves, and a lot of really good ones are not pricey at all in SA. Maybe take a day trip in Kruger. For our first safari we stayed in Timbavati at the Ngala Safari Lodge (among other places) and thought the guiding and the hosting were great, although maybe we'd stay at a camp rather than a lodge if we were to go again. We also went to Klaserie Reserve and stayed at Africa on Foot, which is ridiculously cheap (like, under $300 per couple per night) and terrific--loved the rondavels (so cute!), the guiding, the hosting, etc. I think a few nights at each of these would be great. I regretted not going to Sabi Sands. The prices seem higher, but your budget ought to accommodate a visit (depending on how long you go for), especially if you stay at lower priced but wonderful camps in Timbavati and Klaserie. We've since stayed at great places in Botswana and are planning a trip to Kenya, but I suspect Africa on Foot will always have a special place in our hearts.
  3. I totally can't wait for your report. Since we just went there is June and had the most fantastic experience ever, we feel a proprietary interest in Kwando LOL. Dying to see your beautiful pictures (and terribly envious about cheetah cubs which are the number one sighting on my list--now that I've seen the wild dogs).
  4. @pault Fantastic report!! Given what you said at the beginning of the report, and knowing what you know now of the unrest in the area, would you go back to Samburu?
  5. It's Offbeat Meru that's closed not Offbeat Mara. I made that mistake myself.
  6. @AKR1 That is exactly my intention--to spend a number of days in the reserve and to visit two or more of the conservancies. I couldn't agree more with what you say. I didn't make that clear to ATR or on this thread. What prompted me to add on to this thread, which I myself started, I may have gotten the impression from a couple of safaritalk members that Porini isn't quite up to par (particularly in relation to the guides), but far more people have had extremely positive experiences with the camps. I note too that in a couple of the conservancies Porini is the only camp in the entire conservancy. So it's not like there's a whole lot of choice. Again, I was not actually thinking of going with ATR but because the agent reached out to me, I simply told her of my plans. She was extremely discouraging--about Kenya as a whole (as opposed to Tanzania) and about Porini in particular. Edited, Matt
  7. I don't know if anybody is reading this thread anymore, but thought I'd add a confirmation of the fact that agents, often discourage folks from Porini. An agent I had worked with early on (I'm now going with a different agent) contacted me yesterday, and I mentioned that we were thinking of going to Kenya and staying in a variety of camps in and around Masai Mara, including Porini Cheetah. Edited: Matt
  8. @sangeeta Yes, people could canoe as the spillway was just starting to fill up, by June 12 when we were there. It was still quite shallow but navigable. There was one trip from the special lunch they had set up for us out in the bush, back to camp which was nearby. Thanks for liking the photos and videos!
  9. @AandA: Just responded to PM.
  10. I second @madaboutcheetah's recommendation of Selinda Explorers. We had an unbelievable experience there in mid June (just before prices went up). AND we got the previous year's rate by booking earlier. It is a fabulous camp with amazing guides, lovely tents, and delicious food. Plus it is a tiny camp, two vehicles split between four tents, so as there were just couples, there were only four in a vehicle. While it seems we saw wild dogs everywhere we went, we actually saw them go out on a hunt at Selinda Explorers.
  11. @Tallybalt @Soukous @douglaswise This is all incredibly helpful. Thank you, and everyone else upthread for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it.
  12. Thanks everyone; your comments have been enormously helpful. Re the advice given me by the agent: of course, Trip Advisor needs to be taken with a grain of salt always. There are ways of reading it, as @amybatt notes that can be very helpful. For Africa, I look closely at quality of guiding and the kinds of wildlife encountered. So very many reviews of the camps go on and on (and on) about the hospitality, the luxuriousness of the accommodations, the food, etc., with barely a mention of the guiding and (at most) a general remark like "We saw so much on the game drives." Those I discount. That said, there are those (such as at Porini Lion) who give a lot of detail about the activities and the kinds of game seen on the drives and who also mention how many safaris they've been on, and how the camp rates compared to others. A lot of people on this thread have mentioned the Kicheche camps here, so I will give them serious consideration. Many thanks for the recommendation. I'd really love to be able to afford the Serian camps--maybe going in June would make it possible. But it would be a stretch, I know.
  13. It's only that I noticed that ATR give quite a few camps which are priced about the same as Porini Lion a higher rating (Offbeat Mara, for example), so I was going by that when I said that ATR had rated it low.
  14. We are starting to plan our next trip though it will probably be in 2019. We've been to South Africa and Botswana, and think we'd like to go to Kenya. I have been looking at reviews of Porini camps and trip reports of stays at Porini Mara and Lion, and they look great (aside from recent controversy over a guide and a phone and one taking a video). Moreover, the price is affordable for us. What I can't understand is why ATR, which many safaritalk members love, give it such a low rating. Also, when I talked to a representative at a well-respected African travel agency about Porini, he wrote, "Porini camps are really rather basic and I’d suggest that while their prices are marginally cheaper, you’d probably be better off looking at companies like Asilia /Kicheche. Porini is almost the “next step up” from a back-packing, overland trip." He also told me that I should take the excellent reviews on Trip Advisor with a grain of salt! We don't want luxury though we do want comfort, and above all we want great guides and sightings. So I would love your thoughts.

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