We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Help needed - Planning for 2019 and feeling overwhelmed

San Diego...
Level Contributor
16 posts
5 reviews
Help needed - Planning for 2019 and feeling overwhelmed

Planning for a 3.5 week trip to Africa for a family of 5 (2 adults 3 children ages 12, 9 and 9). Looking at sometime between June - August 2019 and visiting Maisa Mara in Kenya, Serengeti National Park in Tanazania, Victoria Falls and finishing up with 3-4 days in Seychelles (Denis Island?). Kruger Park in South Africa was also on our list but I was thinking this would be too much for 3.5 weeks.

I’ve researched the internet and am overwhelmed by the number of tour operators. They all seem to have very good reviews so we’re not sure which one to go with. Is there one that can help us book the entire trip through multiple nations? We’d like to go on private game drives and stay in either lodges or permanent tent camps as my wife may not enjoy roughing it in mobile camps.

Our primary interests are wild life viewing, wild life and landscape photography, learning about local tribal cultures, learning about conservation and ending with a beach holiday. We are not interested in visiting any big cities.

Does anyone have recommendations regarding 1. Tour operators 2. Lodges 3. Itineraries?

Thank you in advance!

Man Vu

48 replies to this topic
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
38 posts
339 reviews
1. Re: Help needed - Planning for 2019 and feeling overwhelmed

Most tour companies in Kenya would be able to include Tanzania as well, and possibly the Seychelles. However, not many cover Southern Africa. I would therefore suggest you contact Uniglobe Let's Go Travel, who cover all the places you mention and could suggest a tailor-made itinerary for your family. Then you can compare costs with making your own arrangements (for the Seychelles you could easily book flights and accommodation online and perhaps save money).

Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
34 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Help needed - Planning for 2019 and feeling overwhelmed

Hi,

I’ve just finished planning/booking a multi country trip for myself, husband and three (adult) children (Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and Zanzibar). It was certainly a little overwhelming. I reached out to a few operators, both local and international with my wish list. I must say I was a little shocked how little some operators failed to listen to my requirements. I wanted 3 separate rooms at each property, or a private house (for myself & husband, 25 year old daughter, 21year old son and girlfriend), a number of operators quoted with us for only 2 rooms, or all in a family room. I also wanted to avoid light aircraft flights, even if this meant long road journeys, again some operators ignored this. I also wanted an operator who accepted credit cards (preferably Amex) so I knew I had protection in case anything went wrong.

You should definitely be able to find an operator to arrange the whole thing. My advice would be to reach out to a few and see what they suggest. Discount any that haven’t listened to you wishes straight away, then, compare the remainder for price and quality. You can always pop back on trip advisor with any questions about specific places, or even for feedback on the whole itinerary before booking. (I did several times).

In the end we went with Timbuktu travel. Joanna was so helpful in arranged every bit of our holiday, really listened to our ideas, and had good suggestions for tweaking the intinery. We are doing a days tour of Kigali, tracking gorillas in Uganda, staying at Mara Bush house in Masai mara conservancy (I love the idea of having a 3 bed house to ourselves, with private driver, chef and staff), private tour of DSWT, and staying in a private villa on the beach in Zanzibar.

Good luck with the planning.

Bangor, United...
Level Contributor
547 posts
42 reviews
3. Re: Help needed - Planning for 2019 and feeling overwhelmed

Expert Africa is a well regarded company and covers the areas you are interested in. They organised a recent trip to Kenya for me and coped extremely well with my flights being delayed for days because of snow, plus a change of camp because of flooding!

San Diego...
Level Contributor
16 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: Help needed - Planning for 2019 and feeling overwhelmed

Paula B

Thanks for the reply. I have emailed a few operators and am awaiting thier reply. Your trip sounds like it will be amazing

Man

San Diego...
Level Contributor
16 posts
5 reviews
5. Re: Help needed - Planning for 2019 and feeling overwhelmed

Helen A,

Thanks for the reply, I will give uniglobe a try. Have you used them personally?

Man

San Diego...
Level Contributor
16 posts
5 reviews
6. Re: Help needed - Planning for 2019 and feeling overwhelmed

Senior traveler,

Thanks for your reply. Good to hear that your operator was able to cope with changes mid trip. I’m certain with so many variables, hiccups are bound to happen on any African itinerary. With that in mind, having an operator who can help you navigate these hiccups is invaluable. I will send them an email.

Man

Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
34 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: Help needed - Planning for 2019 and feeling overwhelmed

Just checked, and so far myself and Joanna (at Timbuktu travel) have exchanged 160 emails planning this holiday, as I kept changing my mind! She even managed to change the date on gorilla permits. She must have the patience of a saint😂

San Diego...
Level Contributor
16 posts
5 reviews
8. Re: Help needed - Planning for 2019 and feeling overwhelmed

Paula B,

That sounds like the attention I’m looking for. Does she use specific lodges/guides or did you pick them yourself and then she arrange the booking? So jealous of your planned gorilla trek! We looked into it but found out about the 15 year age minimum so no luck for us.

Thanks again,

Man

Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
34 posts
2 reviews
9. Re: Help needed - Planning for 2019 and feeling overwhelmed

They can book anywhere. I said I wanted a private house where possible and she recommended several, in Mara, Ol Pejeta and Amboseli. With regards to Zanzibar, I had researched and discovered a place called villa turquoise, which wasn’t on their books, Joanna had recommended several suitable villas in Zanzibar, but I had my heart set on that one. She reached out to them and added it to their portfolio, so that is now where we’re staying.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
324 posts
187 reviews
10. Re: Help needed - Planning for 2019 and feeling overwhelmed

Please private message me. Have someone I have used recently for Masa Maura and Diani Beach and was used by people who lived there. He was fantastic and will help.

Reply to: Help needed - Planning for 2019 and feeling overwhelmed
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Masai Mara National...