Safari and beach. Suggestions(13 Posts)
Looking at doing a last big holiday with 4 children before the eldest leaves home.
Tied to last 2 weeks in July.
DH and I did a safari on a shoe string in SA over 20 years ago and really enjoyed it.
Thinking of Kenya. Fly to Nairobi. Flight to Amboseli for 2 nights, then flight to Masai Mara for 2 nights, then Zanzibar for 7 nights.
The internal flights make it more expensive but the drives would be very long otherwise.
Is this a good itinerary? Any suggested improvements or changes?
I would not bother with two destinations with two nights each. You really will not see very much because you will be sitting in airports/airstrip shacks. The cost of flying to two destinations also puts the price up without any real gain when it will just be for 2 nights in each location.
The better bet is to just go the Mara. 4 nights will be varied and you will at least give yourself a chance of decent game spotting. Be aware though that the end of July will be expesnive. Its the wildebeeste migration in the Mara. Prices go up - a lot.
It is also way cheaper to go to the Kenya coast after a Kenya safari.
If you want Zanzibar, look at doing a week in Tanzania first. Not so many wildebeeste about but you still have the Ngorongoro crater and look at Selous or the Serengetti. This would normally take a week though, followed by Zanzibar for a week.
If you want a second location in Kenya, the Rift Valley lakes or Samburu are better than Amboselli which is very overcrowded - as indeed the Mara will be in July!
What is the Kenya coast like for a beach holiday. Is it different to Zanzibar? Or would they be similar
In Kenya you can go to Mombasa or further along the coast to Malindi or Diani - which has been voted the most beautiful beach in Africa.
Internal flights in Kenya will be cheaper than flying to Zanzibar and you won't need to get more visas.
The beaches are similar. I'll try and find photos.
Lake Naivasha in the Rift Valley or Mount Kenya both offer something very different scenery wise if you want to add on additional destinations (and there’s lots of wildlife to be seen in both). Mombasa’s coastline is beautiful and the city itself has great markets and an old Colonial fort. The old ruined town at Gedi outside of Mombasa is worth making an effort to go and see!
I remember seeing the most amazing butterflies at Gedi! We also drove into Shimba Hills. No one else there in those days!
I think staying in Kenya is the easiest solution. We have stayed at Malindi and just outside Mombasa. However I’ve not been to Zanzibar. Some people combine the Seychelles with a Kenya safari but I think a week doing a safari is better than 4 nights. However, I love safaris!
I agree with bubbles, 4 nights in one place would be better although in July the mara will be crazy busy. Perhaps you could do 3 nights in the mara then fly to elsewhere for 2 nights. Samburu is a good suggestion and or if you're headed to the coast Tsavo is beautiful and vast you can drive for days and not see another car its also not to far from the coast.
The Kenyan coast is beautiful and it will definitely keep costs down to stay in country. I wouldn't recommend Mombasa as it's a huge sprawling city these days. Gede ruins are very cool and near a town called watamu which has lots of lovely houses to rent and a few big hotels its my favourite patch of the coast small but plenty of places to eat, drink and watersports. Malindi is near by and also has beautiful beaches but is a lot larger and rougher round the edges. Diani gets a lot more international tourists and has a very different feel but if you're after a bit more life with plenty if hotels bars etc then it would be a good option. If you want very isolated beaches then right down towards the tanzanian border is good, although you may have to rent a house and there really will be not alot to do.
I have gone back to Trailfinders to change to more nights in one place for the Safari.
Definitely don’t want big city or rough around edges for the beach. Trailfinders are saying Zanzibar would have a better standard of accommodation and facilities.
I've never been to zanzibar so afraid I cant compare but check out watamu either turtle bay (big family complex) or Hemingway's (more high end) it's a nice little town with mainly Kenyan or expat tourists. Diani I've only ever rented air bnbs so afraid I cant advise on there, you could look at renting a house most come with maid service and can recommend a basic cook so not like UK style self catering.
Another thing to consider is the weather, July is "winter" here and while it'll still be warm enough to swim and could easily be very hot you may also get cloudy days and alot of seaweed. Maybe your travel agent can advise if zanzibar will be better as that might make it worth the extra flight, Visa etc.
If you travel to Zanzibar you'll definitely need a Yellow Fever vac, you might not need it for Kenya alone.
I wasn’t suggesting you stayed in Mombasa itself! The beach resorts are nearby. They are pleasant but nowhere is perfect in Kenya outside the hotels. It’s all a bit rough around the edges! It’s Africa!
If you want a more manicured experience, try South Africa.
Went to SA about 20 years ago so would rather go somewhere else. Also weather would not be good for beaches in SA in July,
We have all had the yellow fever vaccine.
I imagine it will be a bit rough, we have done a fair amount of travelling with our children. But when there are easier options, especially for the beach bit I will go for the easy choice.
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