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absolute AFRICA Safari Dossier for The Kenya and Tanzania Safari 19 Days Nairobi to Zanzibar Island Dates of Departure in 2009/2010 Departs Arrives Price £ Kitty US$ 8 Nov 09 26 Nov 09 385 760 14 Dec 09 2 Jan 10 385 760 5 Feb 10 23 Feb 10 385 760 4 Jun 10 22 Jun 10 385 760 12 Jul 10 30 Jul 10 385 760 25 Jul 10 12 Aug 10 385 760 10 Aug 10 28 Aug 10 385 760 5 Sep 10 23 Sep 10 385 760 9 Oct 10 27 Oct 10 385 760 15 Oct 10 2 Nov 10 385 760 14 Dec 10 2 Jan 10 385 760 20 Dec 10 7 Jan 10 385 760 SPECIAL DEPARTURE DETAILS: 14 December 09 and 14 December 10 –20 day itinerary, Christmas celebration in Arusha after leaving the Tanzanian game parks 20 December 10 – Christmas in the Masai Mara Introduction A safari which allows you to experience some of East Africa’s premier game parks, to view the extraordinary landscapes of the Rift Valley, with the chance to glimpse snow capped Kilimanjaro, finishing on the barefoot paradise of Zanzibar Island. Trace the origin of man in the Olduvai Museum, learn of the traditional ways of the Maasai and experience the colour of a village market. Be charmed by coastal Swahili culture on Unguja, the exotic Spice Island of Zanzibar and relax on its stretches of white palm-fringed beaches. Snorkel and scuba dive amidst twisted corals and brightly coloured fish in the tropical seas of the Indian Ocean. 2 The sheer number of species in the region is staggering. Come face to face with the heaviest mammal - the elephant, the tallest mammal - the giraffe, the cats - lion, leopard and cheetah, as well as hippo lolling in pools in Nakuru and Ngorongoro, black and white rhino, and many antelope and bird species. Cycle through Hells Gate National Park amongst extraordinary landscapes created by past volcanic activity, trek through tropical Jozani Forest to come face to face with red colobus monkeys or snorkel to meet the dolphins off Zanzibar. Your game drives are in Nakuru National Park with its prolific bird life, leopard and black and white rhino populations, the Masai Mara, one of the natural wonders of the world, as well as the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, both World Heritage sites boasting all the species for which Africa is famous. We stay busy on this safari and see an immense amount. Along the way we enjoy barbecues, fresh seafood braais, fun and lively beach bars on Zanzibar Island and the amazing selections available in the Seafood Markets in Stone Town, as well as sundowners on the terrace at Africa House as the dhows drift by in the harbour against the colours of sunset. If you wish practice your bartering expertise in the Arusha markets and the extensive carving markets at Mto Wa Mbu as well as on Zanzibar. _______________________________________________________________________ The Group kitty The kitty is the group’s money. It is paid to the safari leader in Africa who manages it for the group. Operating a kitty gives the group control over a lot of what happens on the safari. The kitty has been realistically costed to allow you to eat well and also camp in secure sites. Kitty also covers the game parks and some of the other highlights during the safari. The Kitty covers: - Four game park entries – Lake Nakuru National Park, The Masai Mara for the migration, Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. Entries to The Giraffe Park and Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage Maasai boma (village) visit. All camping whilst with the truck. Breakfast and dinner whilst with the truck, with some prepared meals including a seafood barbeque on the Indian Ocean. At lunchtime we encourage you to get out independently to mix with the local community, shop in the markets or try a local cafe which allows you the choice to “do your own thing” for lunch. You will find in many villages when we stop for lunch, the locals will bring lunch to you - samosas, nuts, fruit and hard boiled eggs - all brought to the side of the truck by street vendors and all sold without you having to leave your seat! Or try meat or chicken kebabs or a local favourite, the chip omelette. Drinks are cold and plentiful. Arrangements - Pre Safari We can reserve accommodation for you prior to departure in Nairobi at The Heron Hotel or Wildebeest Camp. The safari departs from The Heron at 8 am on the departure date. Prices for the Heron Hotel are GBP 30 for a single room including bed and breakfast. GBP 20 p/p for a double room or twin share room including breakfast. Triples are also available offering good value. The Heron is payable on arrival in Kenyan shillings or by credit card. Breakfast will be served from 07:00am to 10:00am. Please note breakfast is not provided on day one of the safari. 3 Alternatively Wildebeest Camp offers slightly cheaper accommodation in a dorm, which is 8 GBP, GBP8 – 10 p/p for a budget room or GBP16 – GBP 32 in a deluxe en-suite safari tent. All prices are per person inclusive of breakfast. Do remember you need to be ready for collection by 8 am on the departure date. If you wish we can arrange airport transfers and tours to take in some of the sights of Nairobi. A tour can take you to Karen Blixen’s House, author of “Out of Africa” and the Maasai Bomas of Kenya to experience the traditional life of a local village including traditional dancing. Alternatively a half-day visit to Nairobi National Park can be booked. Nairobi National Park is the oldest park in Kenya. Lion, gazelle, oryx, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, cheetah and leopard are seen regularly as well as rhino. Remember when budgeting for your safari to budget for: The cost of your safari The kitty Optional excursions as detailed below. Your airfare Your visa requirements Personal spending money for drinks, lunch, souvenirs, incidental excursions such as afternoon tea at Elsamere, lunch throughout and dinner on Zanzibar and personal items such as phone cards and email. Insurance and vaccination requirements Personal equipment you may need to purchase Pre and post safari costs Assistance with Flights & Insurance The safari has been designed to work with regular scheduled flights into Nairobi and out of Dar Es Salaam. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like assistance. Current flight costs range approximately from £800 in high season to £500 in low season. Your safety and enjoyment when traveling overseas with us is very important. Travel insurance is essential and so we have arranged insurance with specialist insurance brokers Campbell Irvine, * underwritten by the UK’s largest travel insurer, AXA Insurance (UK) plc . The cover includes a 24- Hour Worldwide emergency Medical Service who are experts in providing friendly and professional emergency help. For further details check out our website. Optional excursions (as at Nov 09 – rate 1.6) Hells Gate National Park £16 Soda Lake £19 Horse riding, 3 hrs £19 Zanzibar including the ferry to Stone Town, 4 nights bed and breakfast Accommodation, transfers to and from the beach and a Spice Tour £125 One way Zanzibar Ferry (Stone Town – Dar Es Salaam) £25 Scuba Diving – 2 tank dive £68 Dolphin boat trip including a visit to the colobus monkeys £28 Snorkelling, Mnemba Atoll £19 Prison Island with the giant tortoise £10 Learn to dive open water package including manual £308 Ballooning in the Serengeti £370 4 Ballooning in the Masai Mara £340 Personal Spending Money We find that clients need to allow £80- £100 approximately a week for personal spending money. Do be aware this amount is always very individual and depends largely on how much you eat, drink and the souvenirs you buy. It is a regularly updated weekly average the crew and recent passengers have provided. Some weeks you will spend more and other weeks less. £160 to £250 spending money is the current recommendation spending money for this safari. Your spending money covers lunch, drinks, souvenirs, and other personal needs including communication with home, postage, pre and post safari accommodation and transfers and toiletries. Regularly “smallish“ optional activities also arise costing under £10 and this money also will cover these. Your spending money is also calculated to cover those times when you don’t eat on the truck in particular your evening meals on Zanzibar Island. Trip Profile In comparison to our longer safaris the distances covered on this safari are not great. However there will be some full days and road conditions vary. We travel through an immense diversity of landscapes. Leaving Nairobi we head across the Rift Valley to come back through Nakuru, a small gem of a game park, close to busy Nakuru town, then out to the wilds of the Masai Mara. On the way we stop in Naivasha, to set off on foot into the Green Crater Lake Reserve or Hells Gate National Park. We break our journey in Nairobi to enjoy a hot shower and night out in one of Nairobi’s popular restaurants, as well as a visit to famous conservation centres including Sheldricks Elephant Sanctuary and The Giraffe Park. To head onto the vast grasslands of the Serengeti and down the steep and winding roads into Ngorongoro Crater we hire land cruisers with local guides. Heading south, the drive reveals increasingly lush and mountainous terrain as we drive towards the coast to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest town, to camp on the sandy beaches by the Indian Ocean. Four days on Zanzibar Island is an ideal way to conclude the safari with time to explore all the island has to offer. Either stay on at the end extending your stay on the Island, or alternatively return to the mainland with the tour leader on the last day. The expedition vehicle is fitted with coach seats and is designed to give you excellent all round viewing with four wheel drive or diff-lock capacity to get to some special “off road” out of the way places. We camp throughout the safari in tents with the exception of the time on Zanzibar Island when we stay in beach bungalows and a lodge in the traditional capital, Stone Town. When camping please be aware that facilities do vary. For this safari be prepared for occasional basic conditions. Camping gear provided includes tents, cooking equipment and storage facilities for your personal effects. We ask that you bring your own sleeping bag and mat for hygiene reasons. There is a driver, safari leader and cook provided for this safari. Itinerary KENYA Day 1 - 4 We meet you in Nairobi on the departure date before traveling to Sheldrick’s Animal Orphanage, famous for its work with orphaned rhino and elephant. Over the years Daphne Sheldrick was the 5 first to develop husbandry techniques and essential milk formulas to keep young traumatised elephants alive through to adulthood. Arriving about 11 am we can view a morning feeding session and all the fun of the elephant play session which is also an essential part of the program for these very social animals. In the afternoon we travel to Kembu, a working upcountry farm, nestled into the Mau Escarpment with sweeping views across the Rift Valley where we spend a night. Nakuru National Park is our first big game park and we head out the next morning for game drives. The park is famous for flocks of greater and lesser flamingo, as well as black and white rhino which have been relocated here for sanctuary. It is also home to zebra, giraffe, hyena, hippo, lion, different species of antelope including water buck, as well as bats, colobos monkeys, otter and springhares. On a lucky day we might also spy a leopard lounging in a tree. Apart from the lake which is fringed by swamp the park is comprised of dry savannah and forested areas. We game drive into the late afternoon, often camping over in the park this night for our first experience in the African bush. The following day we head for Lake Naivasha for afternoon tea at Elsamere. Elsamere is George and Joy Adamson's home, where we view a video about Joy’s life. Afternoon tea is served in the gardens under huge yellow acacia trees overlooking the lake. A troop of black and white colobos monkeys keep us company. A visit to the aptly named Crescent Island, a section of a partially submerged volcano for guided game walks or a day in Hells Gate National Park are our next options. Cycling or on foot we can view volcanic plugs and dramatic cliffs of columnar basalt as well as zebra, buffalo, hartebeest and gazelle congregating at the water holes in this otherwise waterless region. The Maasai Cultural Centre in the park is also worth a visit. We camp on the grassy lawns at Fisherman's Camp by Lake Naivasha. At night hippo come ashore to graze by the water’s edge. Day 5 - 8 It is a dusty drive through to our camp in the Masai Mara in search of the herds of wildebeest, zebra, Thomson’s gazelle and other antelope that regularly drift into the park on migration from mid to late June. The Masai Mara is one of Africa’s most famous reserves. The plains can be full of migratory wildebeest, zebra, Thomson's gazelle as well as impala, topi and giraffe. Also regularly seen are leopards, lions, hyenas, cheetah, jackal and bat-eared foxes. Black rhino are a little shy and hard to spot whilst they can be often seen at a distance. Elephant too can be found on the rolling plains of this beautiful park. Hippo and large Nile crocodiles lying in wait for their next meal can be found in and by the Mara River. We also visit a Maasai village during this time, the tall robed warriors performing traditional dancers whilst we are there. Returning into Nairobi we enjoy hot showers and a night out in one of Nairobi’s famous restaurants. We also visit The Giraffe Park famous for its work with the endangered Rothschild giraffe. You can hand feed giraffe from special walkways that let you get up close to the gentle giants. TANZANIA Day 9 to 14 Crossing the Tanzanian border we arrive in Arusha, the gateway to the northern circuit parks of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater to enjoy a barbecue in the grounds of the Meserani Snake Park. We are now on the way through to the extensive plains of the Serengeti National Park, arriving around lunchtime afternoon game drives take us across the famous Serengeti plains where from December to May during “the wet” the herds disperse and then mass preparing for the migration west and north. Heading south we come to the famous rock kopjes of granite where lion can be often found basking in the sun and on the look out across the plains. Cheetah also may be seen pacing through the grasslands around Simba Hills and leopard might be found lounging in the acacia and sausage trees around Seronera. From February onwards the wildebeest tend to commence calving on the short grass southern plains and the lion prides move south lingering near the 6 abundant herds taking advantage of the vulnerable young enjoying the easy pickings. Cheetah feed on the smaller prey particularly Thomson’s gazelle. By April the big herds tend to start massing for the long trek, and by May to September they can be found mowing down the grasses into the Western Corridor before heading north. It is the crossing of the Grumeti River usually between May to July, that is one of the high points of the wildebeest migration sequence, and a bonanza for crocodiles! This is also the time for courtship when the famous “rut” occurs. Calves, just a few months old, can also be seen amongst the herds, the prodigy from last year’s mating. We camp the night at Seronera village deep in the park often surrounded by herds of up to 10,000 animals at certain times of the year. The following day we are up early to observe all we can in this most extraordinary environment, often surrounded by herds of wildebeest, zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, impala and topi who are followed by the local predators lion, leopard, cheetah, jackals, bat eared foxes and spotted hyena. The park is also home to warthog, baboons, giraffe, some elephant and a small population of black rhino. Leaving the park again passing through Naabi Gate we head for the Olduvai Gorge Museum, which records the work of Louis Leakey who uncovered here the traces of early man. The finding of a 1.75 million year old Australopithecus jawbone in 1959 was the first conclusive evidence that hominids had existed for over a million years and that they had evolved in Africa. Next stop is a visit to the Longooku Masai boma (homestead) where we can also watch traditional Maasai dances. This Nilo-Hamitic tribe whose origins are said to be in the Sudan is probably the best- known outside East Africa. From here we then camp above the Ngorongoro Crater at Simba camp. The following morning we break camp early to descend into the Crater. The name comes from the Maasai word, Ilkorongoro, the name of a particular group of warriors who defeated the previous occupants in the area, the bells worn to battle, sounding like “koh- rohng-roh”. Game in this park is concentrated. The edge of Lake Magadi can be pink with flamingo, hippo lounge in the mud and in the pools, flocks of crested crane gobble seed from the grasses. Across the plains rhino, elephant, wildebeest, buffalo, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle as well as zebra browse. You may also see ostrich and hyena. Lions sit around nonchalantly keeping a watchful eye on all who pass. After lunch we head for Mto Wa Mbu and some haggling for bracelets and carvings in the extensive curio markets before driving through to Arusha to return to camp. The following day we are on the scenic drive to Dar es Salaam, passing Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain (5,895 metres) on the way. Watch from the truck the world coming and going by the road side, women carting water, children herding goats, men cycling over laden bikes, vendors selling chickens, coal, fruit, samosas, carvings and jewellery. We arrive at the Tanzanian coast to enjoy a seafood buffet then fall asleep with the waves of the Indian Ocean lapping nearby. ZANZIBAR ISLAND Days 15 - 19 We travel now by ferry to the Spice Island of Zanzibar to stay for four nights. During our time on Zanzibar we stay in a lodge in the capital, traditional Stone Town and then at beach cottages at Kendwa Beach to the north. 7 Zanzibar offers some great scuba diving and snorkelling amongst beautiful coral reefs teeming with large numbers of tropical marine life. Wander Stone Town, Zanzibar’s historic old quarter and explore the markets. Enjoy dinner in the evening food markets. A spice tour allows you to enjoy the tastes and smells of the island’s fruits and spices as well as experience some of the island’s colourful history with visits to Mtoni Palace and the Marahubi Palace. A walk in Jozani Forest Reserve allows you to visit red colobus monkeys in one of their last remaining sanctuaries. Visit Prison Island with its giant tortoise. Swim with the dolphins. Relax on the long white beaches and unwind. th We return to the mainland on the late afternoon ferry on the 5 day of our stay on the island. When arranging flights do remember to check with the office in regards to arrangements on the final days of your safari to ensure you have time to make your flight. Please note this safari description is given as a guide only and you would be wise to assume some overrun of at least a day with this safari. Your crew can arrange any transfers you might need to the airport, or overnight accommodation for the following day/s after the safari. WEATHER Whilst near the equator, the effect of the tropics is tempered for the greater part by altitude in the regions where we travel on this safari. Temperatures are in general pleasant throughout, and vary o o from 15 C in the Southern Tanzanian Highlands and Kilimanjaro regions to 30 C on the Coast. The heat and humidity of the Coast is regularly cooled by the southeast and northeast monsoon winds. The main rains in Kenya come from mid March to May, with some intermittent “short mango rains” in November and December the later having no real impact on the safaris. The Tanzanian rains come at very similar times from March to May with short rains from October through to November. If you are keen on scuba diving the best months to dive off Zanzibar are usually between September and December. In general the best game viewing opportunities in the parks is from June to October and December to February. HOW TO BRING YOUR MONEY You are asked to bring your local kitty payment and visa payments in US$ cash. You are also advised to carry your money for optionals and personal spending money mainly in cash. A small quantity of traveller’s cheques is also advisable for security reasons. Do be advised that using credit cards in East Africa is not always possible, visa card being the card most regularly accepted. VISA AND PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS With the exception of South African passport holders most nationalities need a visa for Kenya. The current cost is 25 US$. Visas are required for Tanzania for many passport holders. The current costs are British, German, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand 50 US$ South African 60 US$ American, Irish 100 US$ 8 Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months after your intended date of departure. Please note that visa requirements can change without warning. IMMUNISATION REQUIREMENTS It is essential that you speak to a medical professional with expertise in travel medicine before departing. The immunisations usually suggested are: Yellow fever, Typhoid, Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Meningitis, Tuberculosis and Diphtheria. Please note also an International Certificate of Vaccination against yellow fever must be carried on safari. It is also essential to take a course of anti-malarials. Please note the best way to avoid malaria is to guard against being bitten as well as stick to your chosen medication regime. ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT We ask that you carry your possessions in a back pack (65 - 85 litre maximum) or soft hold all. Day to day necessities should be kept in an additional small day bag. You should carry your valuables in a flat money belt which you wear against your skin. You will be required to bring: Sleeping bag (3 season) and a roll mat. Torch. Small medical kit, including anti-malarials, mosquito and insect repellent spray, sun block cream and lip salve/chap stick. As well as your normal clothing and toiletries we would suggest you pack a warm all- weather jacket, a swimming costume and walking boots. Statement - Travelling with Absolute Africa The many countries to which we travel have undergone, and will continue to undergo, significant change. They are also amongst the poorest in the world. With this there are often associated huge challenges - socially, politically and economically, and in this context tourism is often very welcome. We aim to work for positive cross -cultural exchange and to ensure that we honour and respect the hospitality shown to us from country to country. Buying directly and fairly where ever possible from local peoples on the ground is a major way we directly contribute to economies. The financial incentives that come via tourism to protect the environment and foster positive relations can also not be under-emphasised. As we travel careful consideration is given to what we give and leave behind in sometimes fragile and troubled environments. Leaving campsites cleaner than when we arrive, considering carefully what is a fair exchange in transactions, respecting rules and regulations to protect parks and wildlife, and day to day creating a climate of positive open exchange, mutual tolerance, respect and greater understanding are all part of the day to day workings of the company on all levels. We are firmly committed to the belief that by the sharing of ideas and experiences, and with a willingness to get to know and gain understanding of difference, the planet and its inhabitants can benefit. ABSOLUTE AFRICA 41 Swanscombe Road, Chiswick W4 2HL TEL 0208 742 0226 FAX 0208 995 6155 EMAIL email@example.com WEBSITE www.absoluteafrica.com This document is correct as at November 2009. It can be taken as a guide only. Please check our website for any price or itinerary adjustments.
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