Monday, May 19, 2008

Kenneth’s Answers: In response to an inquirer, 2AFRIKA's Founder & President offers sound advise: Kenya

MONDAY, MAY 19TH, 2008

Very Good Morning to you Madam – and thank you for Contacting Us!

Based on your questions, I am going to assume that you are reviewing our safari named KENYA CLASSIC which departs every Monday, Thursday and Saturday from Nairobi (and will therefore answer your questions based on that particular Safari although the answers that I give you will be very similar for all of our East Africa Safaris).


The price of $1,399.00 + tax of $95.00 per person is valid for ALL departures between the period April 01 and April 29, 2008 and 2009. For your ease of reference, this would mean that you could choose any Monday, Thursday or Saturday to arrive into Nairobi during that period.

If it is that you are responding to us (which seems to be the case) as a result of my Newsletter dated yesterday (May 14th, 2008) announcing our Safari Sale which started today, then you immediately qualify for a 5% discount per person on the base price of the Safari. Based on $1,399.00 per person, your immediate saving is $69.95 and thus reducing the price per person to $1,329.05 + tax of $95.00. In order to qualify for that price, you will need to make your reservation anytime from today (May 15th, 2008) up till and including July 31st, 2008 and once we confirm your services you have until July 31st to pay for them. Once full and final payment has been received, no matter how the price might fluctuate, you are not affected in any way.

I would like to point out how you can save 10% per person!

Let us assume that you have decided that KENYA CLASSIC is the perfect Safari for you and your party and you reserve it today (this is merely an example). We will have a confirmation for you within 5 working days. The moment we confirm your services, you have 24-hours in which to pay for them. In doing so, your savings accumulate from $69.95 per person to $139.90 per person and thus reducing the price per person to $1,259.10 + tax of $95.00 = $1,354.10. Furthermore, I would like to point out that during the period you have indicated that you would like to travel in, there is NO Single Supplement applicable – therefore if any one person in your party will be traveling solo and requires his/her own accommodation, there are no additional penalties for that person.

The prices that I have outlined for you and valid for Certified Check/Money Order payments OR a major credit card of your choice (except Discover Card).


Your Question – ‘Where in the USA is the departure?’

I am going out on a limb here but I have noticed that your email address is an NJ address. If I am correct, then I am able to offer you service from NEWARK LIBERTY INTERNATIONAL via London into Nairobi. If there are members of your group coming from other destinations in the USA, these are the departure points that they can depart from:


Now, the interesting thing here is that during the period you plan to travel, one can leave from ANY of the cities I have mentioned above at the SAME PRICE! There is no add-on fare applicable for starting at any of the other destinations that I have mentioned.

In your case, your routing will be NEWARK/LONDON/NAIROBI/LONDON/NEWARK and again, during the time that you plan to travel, the round trip airfare is $1,200.00 per person + airline taxes of $396.00 per person bringing the round trip airfare to $1,596.00 per person. Again, the price is valid for Certified Check/Money Order payments OR a major credit card of your choice (excepting Discover Card).

Let’s summarize what we have so far before I continue with your questions!

Based on the assumption that you are traveling in April 2009 and that you have opted to use the instant purchase opportunity, your total price per person will be as follows:

  • Scheduled round-trip air with the services of Virgin Atlantic Airways and Kenya Airways: $1,200.00 per person
  • Airline Taxes: $ 396.00 per person
  • 7-Day Kenya Classic Safari (with a 10% saving): $1,259.10 per person
  • 7-Day Kenya Classic Safari Tax: $ 95.00 per person
  • TOTAL PER PERSON SHARING (or single): $2,950.10 per person

Your Safari routing would read as follows (this is a brief summary for you to understand the bigger picture and I am preparing this as if you were traveling on the Monday April 06th departure from Nairobi . . . reading the table below will show you when you will leave from the USA and when you will arrive back into the USA)!

  • Saturday, April 04, 2009
    9:05AM + 1 (+ 1 = The Following Day)
  • Sunday, April 05, 2009
    6:30AM + 1 (+ 1 = The Following Day)
    Monday, April 06,2009
  • Tuesday, April 07, 2009
  • Wednesday, April 08, 2009
  • Thursday, April 09, 2009
  • Friday, April 10, 2009
  • Saturday, April 11, 2009
  • Sunday, April 12, 2009
    6:45AM + 1 (+ 1 – The Following Day)
  • Monday, April 13, 2009
    6:40PM (April 13)

That is the basic flow of the arrangements that I will take care of for you, but there are a few matters that I would like to point out to you for your consideration!

  1. I live in New Jersey and I know that the NJ/JFK commute is not all together pleasant (particularly IF one can fly directly into Newark Liberty International). However, I want you to look at the times of the flights. Note that on the return journey you will leave from Nairobi close to midnight bound for London. Then, when you arrive into London, you have to remain in transit from 6:45AM until 4:00PM (a period of 9 hours and 15 minutes). You have given me the age range of your party and to be quite honest with you, I would prefer it if you returned into New York City’s JFK International from London. There will be no additional charge for you to do so (alter the flight routing that is) and in doing so, I can get you onto a flight from London Heathrow at 9:30AM which arrives into JFK at 12:10PM . . . the obvious upside to this is that you arrive back into the USA at 12:10PM (6 hours and 30 minutes earlier than if you return into Newark . . . and trust me when I tell you that though 6 hours and 30 minutes does not seem to be a long time, when you want to get home, it IS!) Additionally, this routing will cut your transit time in London from 9 hours and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 45 minutes . . . that is a major plus! The airlines are in pool-partnership with each other and so when you transit through London, they automatically transfer your luggage from one flight to the other for you meaning that you merely have to change terminals at the airport and you’re on your way!
  2. Something worth your consideration! If you or any members of your party wish to actually STOP in London in either or both directions en-route to Nairobi, you can do that with pleasure at the cost of $195.00 per person per stop. This is the airline stop fee and includes no accommodation(s).

I would like you to pay very close attention to what I am about to point out to you now! Refer back to my comments in point 1 above . . . the same applies in London en-route to Nairobi! The layover time in London on the way to Nairobi is 11-hours. Now, generally our passengers hop onto the Tube and visit the city of London during this transit period (remember that you do not need to be bothered with your luggage for the airlines take care of that for you making it simple for you to get into the city for a visit). Alternatively, others choose to purchase the service of a ‘day-room’ near the airport which cost runs to about $190.00 per person. Whichever way you look at it, there is an ‘inconvenient’ space of time en-route to East Africa which cannot be avoided. If one factors in the cost of a ‘day-room’, sightseeing tour, visit to London, additional meals etc. that I think that you will agree with what my next point is!

If we stick to the dates that I have provided above, you ought to know that there is a flight from London to Nairobi which is termed a daylight flight. It leaves from London at 10:20am and arrives into Nairobi on the same day at 8:50pm. Look at the routing below!

  • Saturday, April 04, 2009
    9:05AM + 1 (+ 1 = The Following Day)
  • Sunday, April 05, 2009

Now look at your transit time – it is only 1 hour and 15 minutes! Makes the world of difference doesn’t it? Arriving on April 05th will mean that you will require 1 additional nights’ accommodation in Nairobi but I’d sooner you spend the night in Nairobi as opposed to the ‘transit’ option in London. You will arrive ahead of everyone else and you will wake-up in Nairobi on the morning of April 06th feeling much more acclimated and ready for your Safari!

A nights’ accommodation in Nairobi at the hotel that we start the Safari from is $78.00 per person and includes breakfast. This is by far the better way to go!

Now, let’s assume that you DO take my advice and arrive into Nairobi in time to acclimate, you do have a full day at leisure during which time you might want to do some sightseeing in and around the city. Should this be the case, then you ought to know my following recommendations for sightseeing in Nairobi:

  • Morning Sightseeing Tour to the Karen Blixen Estate and the Giraffe Center: $66.00 per person
  • The Carnivore Restaurant Experience: $58.00 per person
  • Nairobi National Park: $109.00 per person
  • Daphne Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage: $116.00 per person

Now that I have set the pace for your consideration, let me proceed to answer the rest of your questions!

‘What is the weather like in Kenya in springtime?’

Kenya is a year-round destination which never disappoints. Admittedly April is the start of the rainfall season (which lasts April/May) but the rains are not monsoon rains which fall endlessly. Rather they are equatorial thunderstorms which generally occur in the late afternoon bringing relief from the heat of the day. The vegetation is lush and green and there is an abundance of wildlife in which ever direction you look. Traveling on Safari that time of year never disappoints anyone AND the one matter to factor in is that since the guide books talk of the rainy season a lot, travelers are dissuaded from traveling at that time meaning that you pretty much have the ‘place’ to yourself without the hoards of visitors that come in the summer time! That in itself is a major plus factor!

‘How strenuous is the Safari?’

In Kenya, the primary focus is all-about-you. That said, your local English-speaking Driver/Guide will take care of your every requirement from handling your luggage to helping you into the Safari vehicles. That in itself reduces many levels of strain. You have pointed out that your party is made up of people in their 60’s, some with knee and/or back problems – let me comfort you by telling you that the more you tell us about each individual, the better we can place you. By this I mean that if you wish to be allocated rooms closer to the Reception areas of the Safari Lodges to avoid long walks to your accommodations, we will gladly attend to that to maximize your comfort. I honestly do believe that this Safari is very doable for your party for since there are 10 of you, realistically, you will occupy 2 Safari vehicles. That said, you really call the shots! If you want to stop for a restroom break, your Driver/Guide will gladly factor that into the day’s activities. If you are a little too tired and want to shorten one of the Safari Game Viewing Drives, that too will be done. Quite honestly, whatever makes you more comfortable, your Driver/Guide will do!

I will not lead you to believe that the road conditions in Kenya are immaculate – they are not. And particularly the route from Nairobi to the Maasai Mara National Park! It is a bumpy ride for the best part of 5-hours. The pay off however is magnificent. From the Maasai Mara National Park to Lake Nakuru National Park you can anticipate a 5-hour drive on somewhat better roads (the 5-hours will include frequent stops en-route) and then from Lake Nakuru National Park to Nairobi and on to Amboseli National Park, another 5-hours whilst the last leg of the Safari from Amboseli National Park back to Nairobi is only about 3-hours on a good road! Be prepared for a little bumping around and perhaps an Advil or two – but more strenuous than that it rarely becomes. I have no issues with the members of your party with knee problems for other that stepping into the Safari Vehicles (and out), there is no additional strain that they ought to be aware of.

‘Is it possible to add a few days at either end to see Cape Town?’

Indeed it is possible – but not from a practical point of view. To maximize on your inexpensive airfare, we like to keep you on the services of one common carrier (and it’s pool-partner). This means that if you wish to visit Cape Town, you will need to travel from Nairobi to Johannesburg with a continuing service to Cape Town. On the return journey, you would need to do the same . . . and quite honestly, I think that traveling the following routing is not at all comfortable . . . Cape Town/Johannesburg/Nairobi/London/Newark or JFK! By the time that you get back, you would rather be dead . . . and I would prefer you to arrive refreshed and rejuvenated after a magnificent Safari.

If you have a wanderlust and would like to end your already wonderful Safari on a ‘high-note’, I would highly recommend a side-trip to the nearby tropical spice island of Zanzibar. A 3-Day/2-Night extension to Zanzibar during the time you plan to travel would cost $549.00 per person + tax of $95.00. This price would include:

  • Scheduled round trip air routed Nairobi/Zanzibar/Nairobi
  • Round trip transfers routed airport/hotel/airport in Zanzibar
  • 2-Night’s accommodation in rooms with private en-suite bathroom facilities
  • Breakfast daily
  • A Half Day Walking Tour of Stone Town
  • A Half Day Afternoon ‘Spice Island” Tour

Honestly, I find that ‘money-better-spent’ and recommend such a diversion very highly.

Madam, I do hope that this has answered you appropriately. It would be a great pleasure to serve you and the members of your party. Please note that our Safari Sale started today and reservations are being made left, right and center. I would not want you to miss out on this opportunity and strongly recommend that you share this information with your friends as soon as you possibly can so that together you can make a decision as to how to proceed. In closing, I wish to point out one last thing.

I have a no-obligation service whereby I invite yourself and the members of your party to partake in a Telephone Conference with me at a time convenient to yourselves. I know that being the middle (wo)man sometimes can be a little arduous and so rather than having everyone fire questions that you are unfamiliar with answering at you, I am more than happy to offer you and your party this service so that at all times, everyone in the party is appropriately informed and that everyone has the same information at the same time. This way, the other members can also pose their questions relative to matters of importance to them. If you need me for this service, I would be more than pleased to allocate the time.

I appreciate you communicating with us and I look forward to assisting you every step of the way. Please rest assured in advance of my very best and personal attention at all times. I do look forward to hearing back from you at your convenience and to taking the next step with you!

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