Think a safari is out of your price range? Well, it does cost a bit to get to Africa, no matter how you figure it (unless you're lucky enough to come from continental Europe or even Africa first). This week's Smart Deal looks at 2Afrika's "Make Tracks with Sarova in Kenya" (tel. 866/462-2374; www.2afrika.com), which starts at $1,599 for six nights' lodging, nine game drives, and more.
The itinerary is jam-packed: When you arrive, you'll spend a night at the five-star Sarova Stanley in Nairobi, followed by two nights at the Sarova Shaba Game Lodge in the Shaba National Reserve and two at the Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge in Lake Nakuru National Park. The accommodations are comfortable and designed to reflect their natural surroundings.
Spend your last night at the Sarova Mara Game Camp in Masai Mara National Reserve; it's easily the most well-known of the Kenya game reserves because it's home to the largest number and greatest variety of wild animals in Kenya. Along the way, you'll see the likes of giraffe, herds of elephants, prides of lions, cheetah, zebra, buffalo, hyena, fox, mongoose -- the list is seemingly endless. Bird lovers will also have plenty of reasons to keep the binoculars handy throughout the trip.You can book your flights through 2Afrika, which is using Virgin Atlantic Airways out of the United States into London, where you'll connect with Kenya Airways. According to Kenneth R. Hieber, founder and president of 2Afrika, passengers will get a "common-rating," which means the flight price is the same -- from $1,270 per person (plus up to $495 for air taxes and fees) -- whether you fly from Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York-JFK, Newark, San Francisco, or Washington, D.C.
Trip Type: Fully escorted
What the Advertised Price Gets You: Meet-and-greet services at the airport, round-trip airport-hotel transfers upon arrival and departure, all overland transfers, nine safari game-viewing drives in a 4x4 pop-top minivan; six nights' lodging in standard guest rooms with private bathroom facilities; 16 meals; all sightseeing and park entrance fees; and a sightseeing drive up Great Rift Valley toward Mau Escarpment.
What Else You'll Have to Pay: Visa costs ($50); lunch and dinner on the day of arrival, and flights into and out of Nairobi (round-trip international airfare from $1,270).
Book By: Nov. 30
When: Departs every Monday and Thursday from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, April 2011-June 30, 2011
Other Details: Other departure dates are available now through December 2011; rates will vary depending on availability of services and exchange rates.
All prices are per person and, if lodging is a component of the package, based upon two people traveling together (in this case, there's no single supplement -- the extra fee charged to solo travelers -- if you want your own room). The prices listed are general starting rates; see "What Else You'll Have to Pay" for details about associated taxes and fees. Base-prices, taxes, and fees can vary based on point of departure and time of travel. Blackout dates may apply. Trip add-ons like sightseeing tours and meal plans may also increase the price. Check with the tour operator for additional gateways.
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers on our Kenya Forum.