Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
plambers

considering our 2nd safari-we were bit by the bug!

13 posts in this topic

we loved our first family safari so much! back a month now. kids were 13 and 15. eka for first night, 4 nights ol lentile, 3 kicheche laikipia, 4 kitceche mara and a private sheldrick visit on departure day. 

 

what we loved: the people! ol lentille was a perfect first stop. it was to have been sosian but we had to change. our flight was 25 hours from the us. thank goodness we had access to the admirals club lounges. the one in paris is amazing! we stayed in the captains house (2 br 3 bath) and had our own butler, valet, guide and vehicle. so dry here so not many animals but we loved our camel safari where we met our guide's son, nephew and friends. we also visited a school and did a village visit that was to be an hour and we were there for almost 4! we took pics of the kids, and then family photos and shared them with the villagers. they delighted in them. my daughter and i loved the unlimited spa treatments and we did atv rides where the locals came out and waved to us. we chased a lone bull elephant away from a village. we really got to know our butler, valet and guide and had some very interesting and respectful conversations. dd and i also had some with the women at the spa since we visited it so frequently. we have never experienced such level of luxury, gracious hospitality, amazing views, cultural interaction, fab food etc. it was a great way to better understand the country we were visiting and to rest up before the real safari began. 

 

many of you have done the kicheche camps-we loved the lack of schedule (we typically went out at 6:15 and returned at 12:30 then out from 4 to 7 ish. loved the bush breakfasts and open topped vehicles and wonderful guiding standards. only time we saw more than 1other vehicle is when we witnessed a kill and found a huge pride or lions. small intimate camps that always made my kids feel welcome and included (who knew we'd meet a family from canada who love hockey as much as my son and husband!) my kids had their own tent at k mara and were the last tent and always surrounded by tons of cape buffalo (my son calls them the spawn of satan) and baboons but they knew their askari would keep them safe. 

 

while i wanted very nice accommodations i realized we spent so little time in out tents (not true at ol lentille) so guiding, vehicle, food became most important to me. i could never rough it but don't need an over the top tent bc so little time is spent there. 

 

that said, we want to return and hope to return to kenya. however the sand dunes in namibia also sound so different. was considering namibia and south africa but sa seems so scheduled-a few hours out and then back for breakfast! is this accurate? if so, it is back to kenya for us! as of now, we are considering laikipia wilderness, then a mobile camp in meru that the folks from lwc are opening and then to the mara and hopefully to kicheche bush to see all those leopards? 

 

thoughts? thanks so much.

 

 

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am no authority, and I loved the dunes in Namibia, but kids might not be as enthused about them as say wildlife.  Have you considered Zambia?  I met a family with kids about your age and they were having a grand time.  I'm not sure of the minimum age for walking safaris, but this is something so unique.  From Tarfika I did a school and village visit that was really enjoyable.  You could wind up at Victoria Falls for some pampering and adrenaline producing activities.  And the falls of course.

 

Since you are asking about Kenya vs. Namibia, I'd pick Kenya.  I've been to Namibia, really enjoyed it, but probably won't be going back.  I've been to Kenya twice in a year.  

 

I'm sure others will have different opinions.

 

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

@plambers Glad to hear you had a wonderful time and smiling as I read "we were bit by the bug".  I have to agree with @Pamshelton3932  Namibia is beautiful, but wildlife is (in my opinion) not the draw. Zambia would be a great idea. Botswana is always an option though can be very pricy.

I am also very intrigued by your mention of a mobile camp in Meru? Do you have a little more info on that?

Edited by lmonmm
?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@pamshelton I was thinking the atv rides on the dunes would be pretty cool but that is an expensive ride so namibia most likely out and we don't want to do a self drive either. we did do a walking safari at kicheche mara on our last day. was out for 1.5 hrs with guide and armed ranger. we were told there were tons of cape buffalo around. if we saw one we should either look to climb a tree (they can't climb) or lay flat. well, we did come upon 3 very close to us. we were told to stay still and quiet, which we did bc we were terrified and there were no trees around! the ranger had to cock his rifle twice before they left us alone!

 

one of the reasons we are looking at lwc is the walking safari portion as well as the range of activities and the guiding standard.

 

@ironman, we are priced out of botswana for summer months. i am also awaiting this information on the mobile camp in meru and will share as soon as i receive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@plambers  Yeah- Botswana is expensive. The last couple of times I've gone is their summer so a bit cheaper- I can't afford peak either :( Thanks for sharing the Meru info when you get it. And I do have to say I laughed when I saw my "handle".   I think I like ironman better than lmonmm :)

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thoughts on south africa for safari per above? thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@plambers it may depend on the lodge as far as South Africa goes.  The lodge I stayed at, Tinga, was "scheduled" but they never came in from a game drive if there was something to see.  

 

I don't know if it is like that everywhere though.

 

Would love it if you do a trip report of your Kenya trip.  I leave in 13 days.  

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@plambers Glad your first safari went well and not surprised that the bug has bitten! I think you will find South African lodges a different experience. There are tented options but most have rooms and even if the grounds are unfenced there is not the intimacy with the bush. In my opinion there is more structure generally and morning drives finished by 9.30 - 10 in the three lodges I have stayed at. There were no bush breakfasts but as @Tulips comments we would stay out if at something interesting. 

 

It might be worth considering Zimbabwe - Doug Macdonald could put together a family trip including walking, there are plenty of reports on ST to refer to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks both. i saw that breakfast was at 10 and that caused me pause... we loved our bush breakfasts!! also, maybe i would want those fancy accommodations for our first safari, but when i showed the south africa suggestions to my husband, who was so nervous/apprehensive about our first trip, he responded that he wants a tent!!

 

tulips, i have no idea how to post pics on this board. i had a hard enough time on Facebook. i am happy to answer any questions.

 

i have never even considered zimbabwe so guess i have some research to do. thanks again all.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@plambers I felt that way about wanting luxury accommodations for my first trip.  For my upcoming trip, my lodge in Kenya is luxury, but my accommodation in Rwanda and Uganda is more mid-range.

 

If I want to keep doing safaris, I have to scale back on the accommodation because I can't afford the cost year after year.

 

Ultimately, even mid range is a lot of money and you have to ge happy in the end with what you want.  It doesn't sound like South Africa is for you at this time.  The one thing is though, that the vehicles are completely open with no posts and roofs and the windshields fold down out of the way.

 

It's really easy to add photos.  Just click down by the paper clip, where it says, "click to choose files" and you just choose the ones you want.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh! let me try! 

 

we were also so spoiled with private vehicles (at no extra cost) and understand they jam them in in south africa. 

 

yes, it was the most expensive trip we have ever done thinking it was the trip of a lifetime but now that we want to return, we need to watch the $$ but i am not willing to give much on anything so we will see....

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@plambers I know that feeling.  I'm already looking at a third trip and I haven't completed the second one yet.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to consider contacting a travel agent I used in South Africa to plan a trip there. They are called Rhino Africa, and I used an agent named Bianca (bianca@rhinoafrica.com). She is very responsive and She knows the camps in South Africa inside and out. I'm sure there are camps there with tents. One of the things I liked about her is that she was very good about keeping within the budget I set out (even offering lower priced options). The nice thing about SA is that you can incorporate some non-wildlife things if you want, i.e. some of South Africa's fascinating historical sites. This is what I did on a trip with my then 19-year old son a few years back, and it was a great trip. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


© 2006 - 2017 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.