I know it’s been a while since the last post about the planning for our upcoming Africa trip so here it goes. . . We were torn between two companies, Intrepid Travel (which we’ve mentioned before) and the Africa Adventure Company. I will admit we love the off-the-beaten-path and budget-friendly travel of Intrepid. The idea of camping in a tent, much like the one we own, and roughing it on the African savannah was tempting and the price point of $3,800 for an eight-day safari is excellent. But in the end, what is the point of being a DINK household (double income no kids) if you can’t spoil yourself?
The Africa Adventure Company is the happy medium; it appears to give us the safari experience we want and the pampering our hard-working selves deserve. The adventure we’ve chosen is the Private Tented Safari for $3,900 per person. The 10-day Tanzanian safari will take us through all the big parks such as Tarangire, Ngorongoro, and the Serengeti. The visit will also be during the Great Migration, the special time of year when the great herds trek north and south through the grasslands.
We’ll only spend two nights in lodge accommodations and the rest of the time in permanent tented campsites. One camp we’ll visit is the Maramboi Tented Camp located on the shores of Lake Manyara. The tents are positioned on wooden decks, each with en suite facilities, electricity and private verandas. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the price — excluding drinks. Yeah, that seems (as Amanda put it) “nickel and dimey” but we’ve reasoned it might be a way to make sure guests have cash on hand so they don’t forget to tip the serving staff.
We will also be visiting a Masi village with our guide, and by “our guide”, I mean the guide that is assigned to us and no one else. The safari has six spaces maximum and we are responsible for filling them (or not). We will be the only clients for the trip. We have put the invitation to out to my parents who are really considering it. The price even goes down if we fill more of the slots. If we get my parents and my sister to join us we could save up to $800 off the original $3,900 price tag for the land portion. But, we travel at our own pace, if we want to sit on the savannah and follow one family of zebra it’s up to us.
The customer service we received has been excellent, too. Elena is our trip advisor; a Greek (yes, we are everywhere) from South Africa based in Florida who has been in constant email and phone contact with us answering our questions and preparing our itinerary as we get our ducks in a row. The responsive customer service is something that has put me at ease planning such a big trip. The tour company is also helping us find a good deal on airfare, helping to keep us on budget.
The research and heavy planning has had me dreaming of Africa and am sure those dreams will be surpassed when we leave in the early spring.