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plambers

what is a mobile camp like?

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we are considering a mobile camp in meru run by the folks that run liakipia wilderness camp. it would be our first stop for 3 nights on our second family safari next summer.

 

after meru, we'd do laikpia wilderness for 4 nights and then offbeat mara for the last 4..

 

our other option is to repeat ol lentille for first 4 nights and then do lwc and offbeat mara.

 

price is pretty much the same for both options. 

 

my biggest worry is that we will be really tired from the long flight from the us and we'd go right to safari rather than the soft landing that ol lentille gives you. our only option from charlotte is an 8 pm arrival in nairobi (which was an hour late so we got to the hotel around 10:15 pm and had to be up at 7 am. 

 

thoughts?

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" price is pretty much the same for both options."  I was going to state a higher price for mobile as the big drawback.

 

" it would be our first stop for 3 nights on our second family safari next summer."  I thought you had already inquired here at length in the past and gone.  That didn't take long for a return. 

 

I saw your other thread which tells me how long it took for you to plan again.  4 weeks

 

1st trip"ol lentille, kicheche laikipia and kicheche mara.

 

next trip will either be a new mobile camp in meru for 3 nights, liakpia wilderness for 4 and then offbeat mara for 4 

 

or ol Lentille for first 4, and then lwc for 4 dn offbeat mara for 4"

 

 

is this too repetitive? we are repeating mara north again...has anyone else done this? we tried to book other conservancies but could not find any deals with kicheche or asilia. price matters as there are 4 of us.. is kicheche similar to offbeat in regard to guiding, vehicles, tents and food?  I have no experience with Offbeat or Kicheche camps, but in general good quality safari camps (which these are) have a very similar level of guiding and food. just want it to be as wonderful as the first trip.

 

I am the Queen of Repeats and often go back the next year to the same place, but usually with a little more of a variation added into the mix.  I see you included the teens' viewpoints of another Kenya safari in your other post: 

"my daughter wants to try something differern, like bali or thailand, and my son is perfectly content to stay home, so we shall see!!"

 

The warning from @AmyT against seeking perfection a second time is worth heeding.

 

 

So my 2 cents would be:

 

A) If you are set on these parks in Kenya, I'd go for the mobile this time to add variety. 

The mobiles I have been in were quite comfortable and would allow you to nap in the afternoon and enjoy other amenities for a softer landing.  But 3 things to consider: 

 

1) In this case does mobile mean that the camp moves seasonally or every few weeks?  If so, you have all the comforts that count of a permanent tent with the added adventure of a small camp and more secluded location.  If this is a several day experience where your camp itself moves from place to place each night, then your concern of being deprived of a soft landing is more valid.  Finally, you are not the mobile element here, walking or driving from bushcamp to bushcamp, right?  Just want to be sure.  I tried to find this Meru mobile camp by googling Laikipia Meru Mobile but I don't think I hit on exactly what you are  considering so I could not pin down the type of mobile.  Unfortunately "mobile" can mean different things. 

 

2) Tse tse flies are a consideration in Meru, unlike other places in Kenya and I can attest to that.  Ask if the mobile location is in an area that is better or worse for tse tses.  Location definitely made a difference in the # of these annoying biting flies.

 

3) Meru is a favorite, especially among seasoned safari-goers (and I loved my 3 nights there in the month August) but the amount of wildlife here is not as high as other places.  One rare species that Meru is known for is the Lesser Kudu, which you will not likely see in the other Kenya destinations you have.  But you need to be prepared for lower #s of mammals. However, the mammals you do see will likely be in gorgeous settings.

 

 

B  )  Given the reactions of your kids and the risk that perfection may not be duplicated, you could opt for something different than last time, but still on the continent.

How about Tanzania in East Africa?  You could include Zanzibar for some non-safari variety, but where nature still abounds--underwater with snorkeling opportunities. 

Or Botswana on a mobile safari where you move from location to location within Botswana?  Maybe South Africa with Cape Town added and Great White Shark viewing either in the submerged cage or with equally good views on the boat?  Perhaps the gorillas and back to the Mara or to Serengeti?  The options are really limitless.

 

Good luck and what a wonderful dilemma to have.

 

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On 7/10/2017 at 7:01 PM, Pamshelton3932 said:

I'm not sure how to describe Meru.  I absolutely loved it, but when I think about WHY I loved it, I can't come up with a reasonable explanation.  It wasn't the most prolific in terms of game, in fact no cats were seen.  It was the most dense brush we encountered and thus the Wildlife was usually viewed in bits and pieces-a head here or a tail there.  But for some reason, Meru stole my heart.  Was it the vistas?

 

 

Or or that I finally saw my favorite tree for the first time in Kenya?

 

Or or maybe because I had a wonderful close up encounter with a monkeys during our bush breakfast.

 

Maybe it was watching a hippo lumber down the river bank and plop,himself into the river.

 

Or or maybe it was the landscape that at times seemed surreal.

 

Whatever it was, Meru is one of my all time favorite places to be,  We were only there for two nights but what a great experience.  

 

 

In case my post above was not sufficeintly complimentary to Meru, check out these accolades.

Full report below.

Fu

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@Atravelynn  I too tried to find out more info on this possible new venture through LWC in Meru and could only find a small mention in a FB page- unfortunately not  a lot of details. They did have some fabulous photos of striped hyenas though- I would looooove to see one of those.

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5 hours ago, Atravelynn said:

In case my post above was not sufficeintly complimentary to Meru, check out these accolades.

Full report below.

Fu ?????

That Fu was inadvertent, I swear!  Not sure how that flew in to the post.  Oh dear!

 

 

4 hours ago, lmonmm said:

@Atravelynn  I too tried to find out more info on this possible new venture through LWC in Meru and could only find a small mention in a FB page- unfortunately not  a lot of details. They did have some fabulous photos of striped hyenas though- I would looooove to see one of those.  Me too.  So it is not just my googling skills.

 

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i have yet to see photos of tents etc. i don't think we would move once established. 3 nights here. tse tse issues being addressed. 

it would only be us on this-what is this like?

 

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@janzin has a recent trip report with a mobile camp ... but it's probably better to ask your travel agent about the one you are considering, to avoid disappointment. 

 

I'm heading to two mobile camps in Mana Pools in November and they are much more basic... dome tent at Chitake Springs.chitake.jpg.996dee04078cf71f67d56472d7fed773.jpg

 

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The tents shown above are not necessarily the norm. Chitake has restrictions on the size of tents due to the small campsite. I would have thought it much more likely that the tents will be Hemingway style which are larger. You  can stand up and walk around, have comfortable beds in and a private attached bucket shower, toilet and wash stand. A mobile camp which is essentially set up for your stay is my favourite type of Safari. If it's a private camp then snap it up. After that experience you might never want to go back to a permanent tented camp or lodge. 

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@plambers mobile camp means it can be set up for that period only. i.e brought in for your use and then removed once your trip is over. Depending on who is providing the tents and the space available it could be a @AmyT describes for Chitake  (very small, secluded site) or could be a larger tent as @ld1 describes. 

 

Note that normally they now all have beds rather than sleep on the floor mattresses.

 

I suggest you contact Laikipia team direct to find out what exactly they are using (tents/bedding) and to check if the facilities are en suite. 

 

I would be happy with any of the above, even for a first night on safari but knowing exactly what is on offer will help you decide. 

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thanks all again. it did not take us long to decide to return and happy to say the kids are now on board!

 

tse tse flies concern me so i shall ask.

 

i am still waiting for pics of the tents. annabelle is in london so i need to wait for her return. she sent us pics of meru, which looks lovely-quite tropical.

 

yes this camp is set up just for us. i too am leaning towards the mobile tent option for something very different. i have been told lwc is also very different.

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My wife and I did a similar trip in January 2016.  This was when Off beat had a camp in Meru and Sosian was in operation in Lakipia.  We finished up at Offbeat Mara.  

We loved Meru.  It feels very isolated and is a unique place.  Very few other tourists.  You get to see Rhino, gerinuk, and other northern species.  I would not be too concerned with the mobile camp offering.  They will surely be en suite.  There are not many places to stay in Meru so you should take advantage of the opportunity.

 

There were no Tse flies while we were there in January.

 

Offbeat Mara is a great camp in a great location.  Good guiding and plenty of wildlife. 

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That did not take long for your kids to come around!

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i am happy to report the tents look lovely! there is a bathroom attached and then a separate tent with a shower.  their meru tented camp is very new and it does sound exciting and very different. there should be enough time in the afternoon to nap and catch up on local time. we were told steve would set up the tent near a river and we would not be near tse tse flies. 

 

summer is not the ideal time to visit thailand and i read such mixed reports on bali. i think daughter wanted these bc some of the very well traveled guests with teens we met on safari had gone there. all she knows is what the photos show on pinterest!!! 

 

this is the last year the kids would receive any sort of discount so they said they want to return. too expensive with all of us paying full rates. 

 

we are still a little torn on whether it is too fast to return but our safari planner is saying that this will be a very different trip from the first. lwc seems like alot of fun too-good activities for the kids and my daughter hopes to bake with annabelle. 

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That sounds lovely :) @plambers Looking forward to hearing all about it when you get back.............particularly the Meru section.

 

BTW it is never to fast to return to safari...................

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@plambers I agree with @wilddog.  It's never too early to return.  Also, if this is the last year for a children's discount, why not take advantage?

 

 

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this is shaping up well. we will have steve as our guide at both the meru tented camp and lwc. we are just waiting for a few more resolutions but i thank you all very much. ol lentille was so wonderful but it really is all about the animals, isn't it??

 

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5 minutes ago, plambers said:

but it really is all about the animals, isn't it??

Absolutely, Plambers!  Although I don't know if I could go as far as a mat on the ground for a bed, absolute luxury, is not a necessity if it means more trips to Africa!

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On 8/24/2017 at 6:46 AM, plambers said:

i am happy to report the tents look lovely! there is a bathroom attached and then a separate tent with a shower.  their meru tented camp is very new and it does sound exciting and very different. there should be enough time in the afternoon to nap and catch up on local time. we were told steve would set up the tent near a river and we would not be near tse tse flies.  great!

 

summer is not the ideal time to visit thailand and i read such mixed reports on bali. From sheerly a weather standpoint, you made the right decision, assuming you'd go late June, July, or Aug.  i think daughter wanted these bc some of the very well traveled guests with teens we met on safari had gone there. all she knows is what the photos show on pinterest!!! 

 

this is the last year the kids would receive any sort of discount so they said they want to return. too expensive with all of us paying full rates. 

 

we are still a little torn on whether it is too fast to return but our safari planner is saying that this will be a very different trip from the first. lwc seems like alot of fun too-good activities for the kids and my daughter hopes to bake with annabelle. Only too soon if the budget does not allow it.  If you can swing it financially then there is no such thing as too soon.

 

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Posted (edited)

On 20/08/2017 at 6:29 PM, mapumbo said:

My wife and I did a similar trip in January 2016.  This was when Off beat had a camp in Meru and Sosian was in operation in Lakipia.  We finished up at Offbeat Mara.  

We loved Meru.  It feels very isolated and is a unique place.  Very few other tourists.  You get to see Rhino, gerinuk, and other northern species.  I would not be too concerned with the mobile camp offering.  They will surely be en suite.  There are not many places to stay in Meru so you should take advantage of the opportunity.

 

There were no Tse flies while we were there in January.

 

As a Meru lover, I totally agree with you.  We were there six months ago and not troubled with Tse tse, no more in July 2 years before, just some from place to place. There are many tse tse flies trap.

Laikipia has just post photo of their mobile camp a few hours ago,   it's looks quite comfortable with ensuite bathroom., https://www.facebook.com/Laikipia-Wilderness-Camp-303280249856762/,  

you can have very nice sightings in  Meru Np and the landscape are gorgeous. Take a look at Tom Keillie trips reports_D4F7764Cowexif-2.jpg.5802bb91f91cbcdfe083ed71db7544df.jpg_N5D5876LRfb-2.thumb.jpg.5fd844ebb0ed3ae6a8f6ab7022b36c1b.jpg_D6N6857LRfb.thumb.jpg.a3cf9762f0c01276ebf5b08ef697da50.jpg_D6N6838LRfb.thumb.jpg.ab252545f5f6a20ea55304a4adf1bdaa.jpg

Edited by Ben mosquito
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yes those are the pics. meru does look lovely and so different from laikipia and the mara. am getting excited!!

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