BeatNavy

Trip Proposal, feedback requested! - SEP 2018

23 posts in this topic

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

 

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Seems like a lot of moving around between different regions, with some of those transfers probably taking the whole day.

 

The Serengeti to Ngorongoro crater transfer for example would require a backtrack through Nairobi I believe if you're flying.

 

Also, the Zanzibar Hyatt is smack in the middle of Stonetown. Have you considered a resort that is a bit more quiet, secluded? Stonetown is pretty hectic. No real beach to speak of.

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If you want Giraffe Manor, you need to book it asap.  It books out way ahead.  It's already very booked for September 2018.

 

 

IMG_3858.PNG

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44 minutes ago, Crimson255 said:

Seems like a lot of moving around between different regions, with some of those transfers probably taking the whole day.

 

The Serengeti to Ngorongoro crater transfer for example would require a backtrack through Nairobi I believe if you're flying.

 

Also, the Zanzibar Hyatt is smack in the middle of Stonetown. Have you considered a resort that is a bit more quiet, secluded? Stonetown is pretty hectic. No real beach to speak of.

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

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40 minutes ago, Tulips said:

If you want Giraffe Manor, you need to book it asap.  It books out way ahead.  It's already very booked for September 2018.

 

 

IMG_3858.PNG

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!

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I think people just assume that they will get there one way or another. I routinely book safaris before I can get flights because its too early.

 

I personally wouldn't go to Zanzibar just to visit Stonetown, but that's just me, others might feel differently.

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I book my lodges first because they fill up and because location of the lodge effects flights.

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5 minutes ago, Tulips said:

I book my lodges first because they fill up and because location of the lodge effects flights.

Got it. This is why I am the rookie. Okay. I will try and see what is still available. Thank you!

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19 minutes ago, Crimson255 said:

I think people just assume that they will get there one way or another. I routinely book safaris before I can get flights because its too early.

 

I personally wouldn't go to Zanzibar just to visit Stonetown, but that's just me, others might feel differently.

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.

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Hi

Seems to be quite a lot of movement back and forth between Kenya and Tanzania. e.g. Flying from Entebbe to Nairobi and then just 2 nights in the Mara. Back to Nairobi. Nairobi-Kilimanjaro airport (Tanzania). Then onto Serengeti/Ngorongoro. Back to Kili to Nairobi, Nairobi to Amboseli for 1 night? . Back to Nairobi and then onto Zanzibar (Tanzania). Looks very jumbled up.

I would recommend that after entering Kenya spend at least 3 nights in the mara. Get back to Nairobi and then fly to Kilimanjaro airport. Spend a 3 nights in Serengeti and 1 N in Ngorongoro. Fly directly to Zanzibar from Kilimanjaro. Drop Amboseli.

Or Masai Mara (4 nights) + Amboseli (3 nights) and then to Zanzibar dropping Serengeti/Ngorongoro.

 

Since you have 70+ year old parents and one 3.5 year old child, you are in exactly the same situation as I am :-).  If I were travelling with my parents, my wife and my son, I would just stick to one country. If Uganda is a must, then after Uganda I would probably do Mara + Laikipia +/- Amboseli.

Laikipia would provide some child friendly activities and some relaxation (for you and your parents) apart from wildlife watching. Last would be Zanzibar or even some beach on Kenyan coast.

I would strongly recommend visiting Elephant orphanage at David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi. Your son would enjoy the feeding time of baby elephants immensely. For a small donation you can go for private viewing in the evening when you will be able to get real close to baby elephants.

Instead of staying at Giraffe manor, you can visit the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi (close to Giraffe Manor) and hand feed Rothschild's Giraffes. (Very enjoyable for a 3 1/2 year old)

Just my 2 cents. 

Hope this helps.

 

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Well- since the Giraffe Manor is a deal breaker for mom, get that booked and then go from there. I'm with the others who are voicing some concerns about the back and forth. 3 countries is a lot to cover, but again, this may be part of your mom not wanting to leave any stone unturned :)   So, is there a way to do this by tackling each country and doing what you want in each one before moving on to the next? First, in Uganda, I guess I'd skip the third night if the main reason for being there is to trek gorillas. I'm sure you could find other things to do on the extra day, but that day may be more useful and restful added somewhere else. If all these places cited are necessary, why not Uganda, Kenya (Giraffe Manor, Amboseli, Mara) then on to Tanzania (Serengeti and Crater) then on to Zanzibar last (or throw Zanzibar in at the beginning of Kenya). I don't really know how transfers work and if driving from the Mara to the Serengeti is possible, but it would eliminate more airport runs. Finally, if there are adjustments to places, I'd probably not do Amboseli and spend more time in the Mara and Serengeti (though I don't say that easily as I loved Amboseli).

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Vikram makes some good points.

 

 The other thing to be aware of is the child policy of the lodges and hotels.  Some don't accept children under a certain age. Some won't allow children on game drives and won't provide child care services.

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20 minutes ago, Tulips said:

Vikram makes some good points.

 

 The other thing to be aware of is the child policy of the lodges and hotels.  Some don't accept children under a certain age. Some won't allow children on game drives and won't provide child care services.

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!

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I haven't been beyond Entebbe in Uganda, but are you sure you want to have a 3 hour drive after a 20+ hour journey? Then follow that up with what will likely be a 10 hour drive to the Gorilla trekking the next day?. That's a hell of an ask of a 3.5 year old and elderly parents who aren't going to do much more than baby sit at the end of it while you trek. Personally I wouldn't feel safe driving for three hours at home straight from a long overnight flight, but then I am from the UK and driving anywhere for more than two hours is irritating :-)  I can't imagine what time you might have to leave Clouds to make a flight to Nairobi on the same day. Especially when you'll need to make pit-stops, return hire car etc. Have you considered Rwanda? Whilst the cost of Gorilla permits there are now eye watering it is much more accessible from Kigali and sp you may not need to spend as much time there (although its a beautiful country to spend time in). I'd give some thought to using a local agent to arrange your transfer in Uganda if it is a must do. 

 

My preference would also be to give Zanzibar a miss, but then that's easy for me to say in hindsight of course!

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Whoah there! :D  You kight be taking on a bit more than you think here. It might be your parents' last trip anywhere!!

 

You cannot drive Jinja to Nkuringo. Someone may have done so but they were living dangerously.

You cannot drive Nkuringo to Entebbe and be in the Mara the same day.You would be doing well to make it to Nairobi same day. Actually you would be doing pretty well just to drive Nkuringo to Entebbe in a day, unless you had 2-3 drivers.

 

Drop Jinja and fly to Nkuringo and fly back to Entebbe and then on to Nairobi and you should be able to catch an afternoon flight to the Mara - but you'll need to check that -don't just assume it can be done. If you need to add Jinja, go to Buhoma instead but be prepared for a long and exhausting drive there that will not be fun for anyone - and it will still be difficult/ maybe not possible to get to the Mara same day.

 

Other things are doable. I wouldn't  (especially adding Amboseli and going back to Nairobi, which is going in the wrong direction and will require a change of guide and driver at the border) but they are doable.

 

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Posted (edited)

  • Day 5 I  am not sure how  realistic it is to fly Uganda to Nairobi then connect to the mara flight all in one day
  • for the internal flight to the Mara the luggage allowance per person is 15 kg for checked and hand luggage combined  in a soft sports bag , suitcases are not accepted
  • for Zanzibar perhaps  there would be a place to stay  which is good quality but has more local feel than a branch of an international chain luxury hotel group, perhaps others could advise I have not been there
  • Zanzibar is a cultural experience  amongst very old Islamic buildings
  • if you really want a chain hotel branch  the serena hotel  is in the old stone town and made to look like an old building   please see  http://www.serenahotels.com/serenazanzibar/default-en.html
Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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@BeatNavy 

 

I am afraid to say much as others have said I think your itinerary is well pretty crazy in parts and doesn't entirely work.

 

I've no doubt that Wildwaters is a nice place but if you are basically heading for Bwindi then it seems a bit mad to start by going somewhere that’s in totally the wrong direction, giving you an even longer drive to Bwindi. It’s a long time since I've been to Uganda so I don’t know what the state of the roads is like, but I'm sure that @pault who has been recently, is right that the driving your proposing is too far. Even if he hadn't said so, I would thought it was really too far to try and do in a single day, If you are determined to drive then I think a better option driving from Entebbe to Bwindi NP would be to stop at Lake Mburo NP on the way. This is certainly doable because when I was last in Uganda in we were driven from Bwindi to Lake Mburo NP and then on to Entebbe. Lake Mburo is a beautiful park and you can boat on the lake although I haven’t done this and you can also go horse riding and walking. It’s not perhaps the most exciting of parks as there are no elephants and no rhinos both disappeared long ago and sadly no lions as the local people have killed them all in recent years to protect their spectacular long-horned Ankole cattle. However it is one of the only Ugandan parks where you will see plains zebras, impalas and common elands and the UWA has recently introduced some giraffes, you could spend half a day or a day an half here, you might not want spend longer if you are going on to the Mara. According to the Africa Travel Resource website Mihingo Lodge at Lake Mburo is 

 

Quote

 

Without doubt one of the most alluring and high quality lodges in the country, this place is perched on a hill with broad views from its stylish thatched public areas. 

 

There are several other options in the park, but Mihingo Lodge would seem to the nicest of them but that would of course make it the most expensive. You’d likely need to stop at Lake Mburo again on the way back I don't think it's wise to try and drive from Bwindi to Entebbe in one day even if it is in fact possible, I tend to think unless you have a lot of experience driving in Africa you don’t really want to be driving too much at night and you certainly couldn't do the whole drive in daylight. If Wildwaters and the Nile cruise is something you're desperate to do, you could if you have enough time go from Entebbe to Wildwaters and then from there to Lake Mburo. Not so many people visit Lake Mburo most fly over the top on their way to and from Bwindi, at least the higher end tourists do, because of this the cheaper accommodations at Lake Mburo are mainly catering for overland safaris wanting to break their journey to and from Bwindi, if you were just doing a one night stop then one of the cheaper options might be fine. Flying might well be the better option rather than stopping at Lake Mburo both ways.

 

Although I've visited Bwindi my time there was entirely spent birding as I hadn't been able to obtain gorilla permits for the dates I was there, I have just looked at Clouds Lodge on the Africa Travel Resource website and they suggest that gorilla trekking at Nkuringo can be a lot more strenuous than from Buhoma, that may be a reason to switch to Buhoma, but you may already know this and not be worried by the possibility of a tough trek if you are pretty fit. 

 

On 14/08/2017 at 5:39 PM, BeatNavy said:

I had considered most of the transfers to be overland--is that not a thing?

 

I am afraid no not really unless you are on an overland safari or doing your own trans-Africa self driving safari in your own car or maybe backpacking and using public transport.  

 

Crossing the border from Kenya into Tanzania and vice versa has for a very long time been quite problematic, as relations between the two countries are quite strained at times. Following the collapse of the original East African Community and the demise of East African Airways in 1977, the border was closed entirely by Tanzania, until I think 84, in part in response to the creation of Kenya Airways but also because I believe the Tanzanians were fed up with safari operators based in Nairobi driving people over the border into the Serengeti, feeling that the lion’s share of the money from these safaris was staying in Kenya and they weren't really benefiting. They shut the border hoping that more tourists would start flying to their new airport at Kilimanjaro (built in 1971), to go on safaris purely in Tanzania, rather than always flying in to Nairobi and starting from there. It didn't quite work out that way and for a long time not many people went to Tanzania, that eventually changed and there are no shortage of visitors now. The border is no longer closed, but crossing it is still slightly problematic. I have on one occasion been driven from Arusha to Nairobi, which was a pretty long drive, mind you the Chinese were converting the road into a major highway at the time and rather than work on it bit by bit they were upgrading the entire length of the road all in one go. I would therefore imagine as this was eight years ago, that this road is now pretty good and the drive is not too long, this route crosses the border at Namanga. At the time that I did this our Tanzanian driver took us all the way but I don't think this would be possible anymore, because Kenyan safari vehicles are not allowed to drive in Tanzania and Tanzanian vehicles are not allowed to drive in Kenya. If you are therefore being taken by a Kenyan safari driver/guide to the border, you have to walk across through immigration and meet a Tanzanian driver on the other side. If you are driving yourself in your own car then you can drive across, but I would guess maybe not if you are in a hire car but I don’t know about that. You can only cross the border by car at official border posts and there are none between the Mara and the Serengeti, there was one but the Tanzanians never reopened this border crossing, because they don't want the Serengeti overrun with Kenyan minibuses and other safari vehicles, at least that's what they say the reason is, as far as I know. So you would have to cross at Namanga which is a long way east of the Serengeti or at the only other option Isebania/Migori west of the Serengeti. Taking either route to get from the Mara to the Serengeti will take you a long time, as perverse as it may sound to get to the Serengeti from the Mara it’s actually easier to return from the Mara to Nairobi and then fly to Tanzania than it is to go overland.

 

In September the wildebeest migration should be in the Mara Region either side of the border with many of the wildebeest in the Kenyan Mara, on the Tanzanian side it would depend on how early in September you are there as to whether you would still see wildebeest crossing the rivers, the exact timing of the migration is unpredictable. It doesn't really make a lot of sense to me to do the Mara and then fly to Tanzania and trek all the way back up to the border to catch up with the Wildebeest again, if you've already seen them. You could if you are determined to visit the Crater go on to Ndutu in the NCA because there’s still a good amount of resident wildlife and very few tourists at this time of year, and that might make more sense than going into the Serengeti proper. With the migration up in the Mara Region I'm not sure what merit there is in visiting other parts of the Serengeti in September, you could go to Seronera to look for leopards as they are seen very reliably there, but it may be horribly crowded. Alternatively fly to Kilimanjaro go to the Crater if you must, it's certainly worth seeing once if you've never been there and then drop the Serengeti and visit Tarangire NP instead. To me going to Amboseli and then onto Nairobi to fly to Zanzibar doesn't really make a lot of sense, unless you are desperate to visit Amboseli, it is doable Amboseli is very close to the border crossing at Namanga, but you’d need to have a Tanzanian driver to take you to Namanga and then have a Kenyan driver presumably from a lodge in Amboseli collect you from there. I haven’t been to this park in a very long time, for me besides the well known elephants the main reason to go there is for the spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Otherwise I don't think it has that much to offer in terms of wildlife that you can't find elsewhere, someone who’s been more recently might have a different view, I would favour dropping this part, if Amboseli isn't a must see and after the Serengeti or Tarangire just go to Arusha and fly to Zanzibar from there. From various places around Arusha if you’re lucky and the weathers clear you should be able to see Kilimanjaro and you’d likely see it from the air flying from Arusha. You could then add the time saved from dropping Amboseli either to the Ugandan part at the beginning or to your time in Tanzania.

 

Another idea for Tanzania if you are looking for a different experience would be go to Kisima Ngeda Camp at the north end of Lake Eyasi south of the Crater to visit the Hadzabe people some of Tanzania’s last hunter-gatherers. (They are often called the Hadza but Hadzabe is the correct name because it’s the plural of Hadza) they still try to live a more or less traditional way of live with the men going out hunting with their bows. From Kisima Ngeda you can join them on one of their hunts; sadly almost all of the big game in this area was wiped out by poachers, so they have been left with little to hunt but birds and rodents and other small game. If you are not at all squeamish about the idea of joining a traditional hunt this is a fascinating experience, you do need to be fit because they set off at a fast walk and often break into a run and once they are in hunting mode they won’t stop to wait for you, if you don’t keep up you could get lost. Despite the hardships of trying to live this way in 21st century Tanzania they are a very welcoming and happy people. One of the problems they have always faced is their lands being invaded by other peoples and in this area this has primarily been Datoga pastoralists pushed south by the Maasai. After you have been hunting with the Hadzabe you can go to a Datoga village to visit the blacksmith and watch him turn bits of scrap metal into various objects. This option is really entirely a cultural experience, if what you want is more wildlife then go to Tarangire.     

 

Stone Town on Zanzibar is an interesting place for its history architecture and culture, but it does depend a little bit on how interested you are in such things, it’s not one of the absolute must see sites of the world. If you are not that interested history or culture then you might be slightly disappointed by it, however having an interest in African history I’d always wanted to go there so I found it a fascinating place. Besides Stone Town you should if you’re interested visit Jozani Forest to see the endemic Zanzibar red colobus monkeys, this you can do easily enough from Stone Town. You could also go on a tour of some spice plantations if that’s of interest.

 

Then go from Zanzibar to Nairobi and Giraffe Manor if it’s still available

 

Generally on trips I would always prefer to stay 3 nights at each place keeping 1 night stops to a minimum as far as possible, inevitably though you always have to include a few single nights, but try not to have too many. Aside from not being very restful, too many one night stops can make getting laundry done when you need to a little tricky, I prefer to take as few clothes as possible and rely on putting them in the camp laundry or washing them myself, so that I don't need to take too much clothing, if some of your transfers are by small plane then you will be subject to a weight limit, this is why I always try to pack as light as possible. Besides practical issues like this you don't want to be worn out by then end of your trip, from being constantly on the move, especially given the age of the youngest and oldest members of your group.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with everyone above :) Distances and road conditions everywhere mean that you should at least double the amount of time you think it will take you to get from place A to B, especially if there is a flight to catch at place B!

 

Jinja & Wildwaters is a lovely idea, but allocate enough time - at least 3-4 days to do this. Otherwise, if you want to start on water, consider Pineapple Bay at Lake Victoria. They are a sister property of Clouds & you'll probably get good rates if you do both & it will save you a very long detour to Jinja by road.

 

After that, get a flight to Bwindi. It is simply too long to do this with a young child and older parents in tow. Spend 2 nights at Clouds for the trek and to enjoy the lodge, and then nip over by car into Rwanda - spend a night here near Volcanoes NP and perhaps do a golden monkey trek? Then drive to Kigali and fly directly to northern Serengeti (you can do your hot air balloon here). You will save a lot of time & effort if you do this.

 

Do not drive these Bwindi roads yourself. They are winding, tortuous, slippery and most importantly, they can get very rutted & flooded when it rains, which it often does (almost everyday) in these parts.

 

Then you can certainly do a road safari in Tanzania, including time in the Serengeti, Crater, Tarangire, then cross over into Kenya - Amboseli etc.

 

If you've spent sufficient time in the Serengeti, there is no huge reason to go to the Masai Mara, unless it is a must-do also. Rather, enjoy one of Kenya's lovely private conservancies & do something special & kid-friendly in Laikipia. Then back to Nairobi & Giraffe Manor. Finally, the Zanzi section.

 

But having said all this, I too think this is too many places & will be very exhausting with your family members of such diverse ages.

 

My suggestion is perhaps it would be best to prioritize the experiences, get a budget in place, and then look at the logistics and see how best you can do all the things you really want to do while still having a wonderful family holiday.

Edited by Sangeeta
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Posted (edited)

@BeatNavy

A lot of expert advice already given above.

We were in Uganda about 10 years ago - I do not think the distances you are thinking of driving in a day are possible. We had a driver for our trip - and I would certainly not wish to drive at night on many of the Uganda roads. (In fact I wouldn't wish to drive on them in the day, but that may just be me)

 

Another aspect I an not sure has been mentioned - have you investigated the malaria and Yellow Fever requirements for thse countries? It is something I think you should consider when travelling with a young child.

Edited by TonyQ

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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

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@BeatNavy - If you are booking Giraffe manor this far ahead - you may as well request the "jock" room in the main Manor.  You could feed the giraffe right from your room......

 

If you want to not delay your trip until 2019, you can always visit the Giraffe Centre and it will essentially be the same thing?  

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20 hours ago, madaboutcheetah said:

@BeatNavy - If you are booking Giraffe manor this far ahead - you may as well request the "jock" room in the main Manor.  You could feed the giraffe right from your room......

 

If you want to not delay your trip until 2019, you can always visit the Giraffe Centre and it will essentially be the same thing?  

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 . . .

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On August 19, 2017 at 0:03 AM, madaboutcheetah said:

@BeatNavy - If you are booking Giraffe manor this far ahead - you may as well request the "jock" room in the main Manor.  You could feed the giraffe right from your room......

 

If you want to not delay your trip until 2019, you can always visit the Giraffe Centre and it will essentially be the same thing?  

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

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