Honeymoon in Kenya
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Oct 28, 2012 5:30 PM Last Post By: travelmaven
Oct 2, 2012 12:19 PM
Honeymoon in KenyaHello fellow travellers,
We're planning a trip to Kenya for our honeymoon from 15th to 24thNovember. we need some advice on two issues we are facing:
1)*Costing of our itenary* (this is our primary cause of concern)
Tour operator packages are a little over our budget so we were thinking whether we shud book our hotels and camping sites on own which will help us save some money. Is that a good idea? However if we do bookings on our own we will also have to figure out car renting, internal transportation, airport transit, local guide etc on our own. Is that manageable? Because this seems to be a major hitch and the only reason for going through a tour operator.
2)*Places we want to visit*
After going to through all the forum topics we have decided on these place in kenya
*Lake Bogaria& Lake Baringo
We r planning a 10 day trip as mentioned, is this a best way to cover kenya? Please suggest.
Also please keep in mind we r travelling to kenya for the first time.
Oct 2, 2012 1:45 PM
1Kenya is not a cheap country. If you are worried about costs then it is probably better to book a holiday with a recognised company. Next best option is to book with a reputable tour operator - thay can get the best rates in country. Its not an easy country in which to to travel independently.
Also your itinerary is probably too ambitious for 10 days. I would say drop Samburu and stick with the Mara - roads aren't great and that would be a heck of a drive. Flights between parks would be an option but not on a budget. I'd say Nakuru, Mara and then the coast is doable in 10 days. This is a typical tour and you should be able to get a package that would be cheaper than trying to do it yourself.
Oct 2, 2012 10:08 PM
2Congratulations for your upcoming honeymoon, Kenya is one of the best destinations to visit, you will have all kind of experience, from wildlife to the sandy beaches. There is a safari for every budget in Kenya. Being the first timer it will be hectic moving from one point to another since you will require a map, transfers and a car hire.
It is advisable to get a reputable company. clarify to them what you want and your budget and they will advise options for selection.
Remember cheap might turn to be expensive. Let a professional handle your honeymoon not to spoil that memorable experience. Unless if you are going for an adventure.
Safari Africa Guide
Oct 3, 2012 2:49 AM
3I think you will end up with higher costs if you try to organise the trip on your own - most hotels give rather hefty discounts to the big companies organising packaged trips like beach/safari combinations. I was comparing rates when I had family visiting and although I get resident rates in Kenya it would have been more expensive than having them book a package from Europe. Also, depending where you come from, if it is your first time in Kenya, driving might prove rather challenging,especially in Nairobi.It´s a bit of survival of the roughest.
Something you might do is approaching hotels and asking them whether they would organise you a round trip to some of your destinations and how much it would cost. For example, Sarova has hotels in Samburu (or rather Shaba Hills, but safaris there cover all three reserves), Mara and Nakuru NP, Serena (but they are expensive!) are in the Mara and Samburu, as are Ashnil. You could then compare the rates with those you already got and see what fits your budget best. you can easily get a flight from Nairobi to Lamu on your own. If you plan to go to Hells Gate anyway - try the nearby Crater Lake Camp. They even have a honeymooner tent in a private little sanctuary about a 40 minutes drive away from Hells Gate.
However, I think you might consider to cut your itinery - for ten days, it is quite a rush and might be a rather stressful honeymoon. Or plan to stay longer, if that is possible.
Oct 3, 2012 9:19 AM
Can you give us an idea of your overall budget (excluding airfare)? That would make it easier for the people here to help you with suggestions.
For example, you can camp quite cheaply provided you are outside the parks, but safaris are about $150 per person and up for each day. Start by calculating how many of these safari days you can afford, then fill in the remaining time with cheaper activities and accommodation.
Since you are only in Kenya for 9 days, you may be better off with an all-inclusive package (airfare plus safaris) sold in your country. Everything will be arranged in advance and you will not have to spend valuable time in Kenya trying to figure out your next move. It could be worth the extra cost (and I'm not even sure if it is more expensive that way). African holiday package prices usually add a "local payment" in US dollars, so check the fine print in the pricing info. The local payment covers park entry fees and other such things.
Oct 3, 2012 3:33 PM
You will definitely need the services of a good tour operator, it will not be easy without one :(. Just finished our Kenya trip a week ago. We booked our flights from the Netherlands and the rest was arranged through plan safari ltd.
Flights cost us euro 760 each to Nairobi return. Safari for 10 days visiting Meru, Samburu, sweetwaters, Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha and Maasai mara was Euro 2300 each. Total cost Euro 3060 including flights for each one of us. We stayed in middle class accommodation and had a vehicle and driver to ourselves.
10 days might be not enough to visit all the places you have outlined, maybe you may drop a few places from your itinerary.
would recommend Plan Safari ltd : http://www.plansafari.com
Good luck with planning your honeymoon
Oct 3, 2012 8:38 PM
As #5 said, 10 days is a short time for a honey moon in Kenya covering 'safaris' and the coast.
I did a 30day trip and still longing to stay a little longer.
Anyway try this,
1. Stay a day or two in Nairobi - you can see most of Nairobi in a day or two. 16 to 40 Euros should get a decent room for 2. You don't need airconditioning as Nairobi weather is cool at night. A short stay in Nairobi will help the both of you acclimatise to a new country, get forex, supplies, etc. Book before arrival, the choice of accommodations in the LP Guide is OK.
2. Do a 'safari' to Masai Mara NP and Nakuru NP a 4D 3N trip is more than enough to have seen wild animals in the wild. Cost about $450 per person. I organised mine through the HI YHA in Nairobi after arriving in Nairobi and found it very challenging to do a DIY Safari.
3a. After the Safari head to Navisha to do the Hell's gate (can be organised on your own) and one of the other Lakes you mentioned. Organise it yourself, by now you should be familiar with buses and matatu mini buses that will take you all over Kenya!
3b. Head to Mombasa for a day then to Diani Beach or Watamu. 40 Euros per night could get you a little luxury villa for 2 with good breeky, a resort swimming pool and close enough to walk to the beach, yet quiet enough for the honeymoon. We stayed at Villa Watamu. Book on arrival and bargain hard failing which 10 to 15 euros will get you a backpackers type accommodation in Watamu town.
The above should take about 10 days
Roads in Kenya are not that great; Journey from Nairobi to Watamu takes a day or so.
Price in Euro since 1 Euro is about 100 Ksh. You can pay in USD or Ksh.
Oct 4, 2012 10:22 AM
7just a brief remark to penfold´s post - I don´t know when you were in Kenya, but this is supposed to be a honeymoon trip! yes, you can get a room for the prices you mentioned, but not the honeymoon stuff. Frankly, even with the resident rate I would get only the kind of rooms I would not recommend a couple who wants to remember a trip of a lifetime (and not suffer from paperthin walls, failing electricity, water and a/c, not to ,mention foam matresses that are already following the bodyshapes of the previous room tenants).... plus, prices have gone up quite a bit in the past two years, not just for accomodation, but also for wining and dining
Oct 4, 2012 8:01 PM
8#8 Askari I was in Kenya in September 2012, a couple of weeks ago.
Villa Watamu is an ideal place for a honeymoon. Villa rate of €40 per night with a good breakfast was 1/3 published rate of €120 per night. The room had airconditioning, TV, fridge and ensuite. Service was excellent. The resort was isolated and ideal for 'romance'.
In Nairobi, we stayed at Hotel Afrika (see LP guide) paid €16 per night with free brekky, room was OK but noisy in the morning. Don't care as Nairobi was just a transit place.
€40 could get you a double room near Jevanjee Gardens which is much better area where Hotel Afrika is located.
We met many helpful Kenyans but there were two Kenyans in Nairobi who seem to insist we must use their taxis instead of walking to contribute to their coffers! One even insisted we went to the very expensive Carnivore Restaurant when we were both vegetarians! Needless to say, be careful of people who expect you to pay up because you are 'mazungu'.
Oct 6, 2012 8:32 AM
Thanks a lot for all your advice. As suggested by u'll we have droped the whole Great valley rift lakes and instaed planning to take a trip to Mombassa.
so basically just gng to be visiting masai mara samburu hell gate and Mombassa.
Negotiating with tour operators for a good deal.
Just a quick question guys
My budget for the trip is 3900 USD all included so how much money should i get converted into USD and how much in ksh?
maybe 60-40%(60 usd and 40 ksh)
This might be a stupid question but still wanted to know since the Migration is over now will the wildlife still be seen very easily i have been told that the wildlife is not so great in november?
last question is We both are big foodies :) so please suggest a few places in nairobi where we can have amazing food!! (Besides Carnivore have read abt it a zillion times)
Oct 6, 2012 9:20 AM
10you can easily pay hotels etc with credit cards, so there is no need to convert too much money. For the cash you need around, you can use ATMs, for example at Barclays Bank which has a number of branches. Restaurantwise, don´t give the Tamarind seafood restaurant a miss while you are in Mombasa. What kind of food do you usually prefer? much depends on where you decide to stay, because traffic in Nairobi can be a problem, and if you have to cover a big distance with a cab (a must in the evening), it can quickly get quite expensive. But just to give you an idea - Angithi in Westlands is an Indian place with great food, Furusato (Japanese) is also a good option in Westlands. If you are in the Upper Hill/Hurlingham area, Osteria dell Chianto and Casablanca (for drinks) are nice places, the microbrewerie near Junction mall, and the mediterraneo and Phoenix restaurants at Junction.There are also good places in Karen/Langata which can be woven in during sightseeing in the area, but it might not be worth the expensive cabride if you are at the other end of town. If you want to try some real African food, try the Ethiopian restaurants - my favorite is Habesha on Argwing Kodhek Rd, not far from Yaya Center.
As far as wildlife goes, no need to worry, personally I prefer the Mara outside the migration season as it is less crowded. And I have seen lots of wildlife in Samburu in November/December. One more thing - if you go to Samburu by car, tell your guide/driver you want to stop for lunch at the trout tree restaurant on the way from or to Nairobi. It´s about 8 km south of Nanyuki, and they have great smoked or grilled trouts. The restaurant is only open until 4pm or so, and set in a huge tree. If you like good food, I´m sure you will enjoy the place!
Oct 23, 2012 7:03 AM
Oct 28, 2012 5:30 PM
12We just got back from a 14 day trip to Kenya. You can read my trip report above.
I booked all of our accommodations without the help of a tour company with the exception of those for our safari and in Lamu. We took taxis from the airport to our accommodations.
I used Lamu Homes and Safaris to book our Lamu package. It was much cheaper than booking separately.
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