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About BeatNavy

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    I want to see everything
  1. Well, the "Jock" isn't available, but Karen was so we took it and a regular room and now I need to pull myself together for late September/Oct to see what we can accomplish in 2018. Thank you to all. I will read, review, and learn from what you have shared so I can create something that makes my family is happy AND is deemed wise by such thoughtful counsel provided here. I am grateful to everyone who has helped so far. Sincerely, Michelle
  2. Alas, for my mother it is the Manor or bust. My husband and son and I may end up going to Uganda and saving the rest for 2019 . . .
  3. Thanks so much for all the information provided! Since I can't get the Giraffe Manor for the dates we wanted, we are going to regroup to do it in 2019 and, by then, I hope to have a better plan. I appreciate all your guidance and advice! Michelle
  4. Yes, the places we have do allow children, but I know to check. That is always the case which is why we call him Dead Weight during planning stages 🙊. Thank you!
  5. Zanzibar is a sentimental stop in large part due to family imagination/history and not for the destination itself, per se. For comparison, we once spent a miserable day in Galveston because it was an absolute on my mom's list ;-) I guess there are just some inexplicables. I do appreciate the insight, though, and I'm definitely going to let everyone know! Thank you.
  6. Got it. This is why I am the rookie. Okay. I will try and see what is still available. Thank you!
  7. Yikes! I had written them earlier but didn't realize it went so fast! How when flights can't be booked?! I'm on it!
  8. Thank you! I had considered most of the transfers to be overland--is that not a thing? As for Stonetown, we are okay not being near water--my parents live in Santa Barbara, ocean is not a priority; my husband and I do not plan to dive on this trip. Is there anything worth seeing for two nights in Stonetown? Michelle
  9. Greetings! So: I have been reading and stalking and think I have a general outline for what I'd like to do; however, I would appreciate any/all feedback/suggestions. I can't book flights yet (insert eyeroll) so this is the proposal and I hope I'll be able to book the content once the flights open. Anyway, onward! Who: Parents (70s), self and husband, son (will be 3.5). All fairly experienced travelers, all have been to Africa before, none have been to this region. Mom happy to be on the trip, most wants Giraffe Manor and to see whatever there is; Dad is participating because he's a good sport, would prefer not to move too much and too often at a time; husband wants to see gorillas and go in a hot air balloon to see the great migration; I want to see everything and it's probably reflected below. This will be my parents' last trip to Africa and they want to go big. We care most about good food. I don't want to break the bank, but I want it clean and high end. My husband doesn't do "outdoors"--he's a former submariner so "camping" is not a thing for him. Ha! When: September 2018 Proposed plan: Not sure how I will route us from the US, so we'll start counting days from when we land Concerns: - Too much movement? Not enough (i.e. am I missing anything you'd recommend? There is no shame in our tourist game). This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing--my mom won't be able to get my dad to go back to Africa, so she wants to leave no stone unturned . . . - I've found five places we would like to stay (Wildwaters Lodge, Giraffe Manor, Hyatt in Zanzibar, Masa Fairmont, Clouds), looking for feedback on those and suggestions for the rest. Will mention chances of changing my mind on Giraffe Manor is zero since it's my mom's wish ;-) My husband prefers a chain so he has a venue to complain if stuff goes wrong (*sigh*) c'est la vie. -21 days on the ground is probably the max I will be able to get out of my dad so I technically have a few extra, but if we don't use them, that's okay, too, since my husband's leave will be at almost zero . . . Day 1: land in Entebbe, rent car (I'm the driver--have driven in a lot of places so feel comfortable on both sides of road with all types of terrain) to stay at Wildwaters Lodge, sunset cruise on Nile; overnight -- this is one of our only 1 night stops, is that okay or would you recommend 2? Day 2: Drive to Nkuringo; overnight at Clouds Day 3: Husband and I gorilla hike (a must for husband); overnight at Clouds Day 4: Second full day at Clouds--suggestions for what to do? Parents don't want to hike, I think it might be nice to stay 3 nights in one place to ease on movement; however, I don't want to spend a day just to spend a day . . . ; overnight at Clouds Day 5 (Assuming we stay a third night): drive to airport drop off car, end independent travel. Fly to Nairobi and transfer to Fairmont Mara Safari Club Day 6: Masa hot air balloon (a must for husband); overnight Fairmont Mara Safari Club Day 7: Safari; overnight Fairmont Mara Safari Club Day 8: Transfer to Serengeti; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 9: Safari (should we plan a second hot air balloon in the event it's not possible in Masa?); overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 10: Safari; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 11: Transfer to Ngorongoro Crater; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 12: Explore Ngorongoro Crater; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 13: Transfer to Amboseli; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 14: Safari; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 15: Transfer to Nairobi airport, flight to Zanzibar; overnight at Hyatt Day 16: All day Zanzibar; overnight at Hyatt Day 17: All day Zanzibar; overnight at Hyatt Day 18: flight to Nairobi, transfer to Giraffe Manor; overnight Giraffe Manor Day 19: All day Giraffe Manor; overnight Giraffe Manor Day 20: Transfer to airport; flight home Very sincerely thank anyone who reads and/or is able to provide suggestions and advice. Also: I finally got around to uploading the earlier video: Michelle
  10. @Atdahl the company is Cactus Tours. They did a terrific job and were very kind. Be warned--their bank doesn't do AMEX 🙄 And can you believe that is an iPhone shot? Untouched. The place is just that stunning. I would absolutely recommend a charter plane--the roads are terrible and the commercial flights unreliable. If you do a ST trip, it could be reasonable 😬 Also, I'm always fascinated by a "best trip I've ever had" comment when it comes from a well-traveled person. Can you expand on why Pantanal was so wonderful? Finally--if Borneo is worth a return visit, I am intrigued. We had talked about it, but my husband thinks it's less than safe. We would be going with our son.
  11. We spent 10 days in Madagascar over Christmas and ended up chartering a plane because I didnt want to deal with the sketchy flight infrastructure. I can recommend a wonderful tour agency if you end up going independently. I loved the trip and we had a great time 😊
  12. Thank you, @Seniortraveller! This site is a gem and I appreciate the guidance!
  13. Planning a trip for September 2018 with husband, son, parents. In need of as much help as I can get. Would like: gorilla hike (husband) great migration (I) ballooning over great migration (husband) Zanzibar & Giraffe Manor (mom) whateverthehellyouwant (father) Father maxes out at 16 in country days. Son will be 3 but is a good traveler who has been to Africa, India, South/Central America, Europe, etc. No budget per se because I don't know what to expect although I've been told the gorilla ticket price doubled. For pricing purposes, that cost won't be included since it will be considered "sunk". We aim for upscale comfortable, my father for "safe"🙄 and I'm so grateful to go back I'll take it all. We chartered a plane in Madagascar, but would rather go commercial for this trip, driving preferred on tar. Not sure how much should be independent, how much operator. Would love to get input. Open to every suggestion. My my initial thought is Rwanda, Kenya (Mara), Tanzania (Serengeti/Crater), Zanzibar, Giraffe Manor, home, but that's because I am a rookie and have only scratched the surface which means the tourist "route" is at the forefront of my reading. Would love the thoughts of the many experts here, not only for routes but also places to stay where my son will be welcomed. Thanks in advance

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