What would you recommend? Probably want to do 7 days of safari and then go to Zanzibar. Want to know the can't miss parks and any operators that were great.
I did a Tanzanian safari in late May of 2013 and was very happy with my experience. I did a 4 night tour with Zara Tours zaratours.com and it was the perfect amount of time. Great food, excellent guide and clean, comfy three star hotels. Pricing was all inclusive and included breakfast, boxed lunch and dinner each day...along with guided transportation. My tour was very affordable. Each hotel was nicer than I was expecting...especially the tented wild camp I stayed at just outside the gates to the Serengeti. Amazing! You don't want to miss at least two days in the beautiful Serengeti and at least a day in Ngorongoro! Also - try and make a stop at a Masai Mara village for an amazing experience. You can read about my experience (and see my amazing wildlife pics from the safari) at the-tipsygypsy.blogspot.ca. I think you are picking a great time to go...it's the very end of the rainy season and there are less crowds. When I was there at the exact same time last year it didn't rain once.
Zanzibar is amazing! I booked in for a luxurious 3 nights at the 5 star Melia Zanzibar Hotel and got a ridiculous deal based on time of year. Then I did a one night stay at the Emerson Spice in Stone Town - which was absolutely incredible...or as they say in Swahili - baabkubwa. Rates are cheap - around $100 - and the rooms are beautiful. Check out there roof-top 5 course tasting menu...for a steal at $30 and be sure to try the cocktail that features the fresh lime, Pemba Island honey and Konyagi. It's the number one rated dining experience on tripadvisor and would rival any five star meal in LA or NYC. Get there in time to see the sun set over the rooftops...an unbelievable experience!
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I spent 6 months living in Kenya and had a chance to go on several safaris at various national parks while out there. I'll provide my top list based on what I enjoyed the most. A lot of this is also based on personal preference and what animals you enjoy seeing most! In most cases the lodges/hotels are able to arrange transportation for you to get to the park.
Top Kenya Safari List
1. Masai Mara on the southern border of Kenya was by far my favorite safari destination in Kenya. It's the other side of the Serengeti (Tanzania) and has amazing landscape and abundant wildlife diversity (all of the big 5). I stayed at the Base Camp Wilderness Eco Camp and had an amazing time, the food was excellent and the guide provided by the camp was also top notch and was able to always track down the animals we wanted to see.
Getting there: Local Kenyan Airline Fly 540 has a short direct flight from Nairboi to the Masai Mara, otherwise its a 4-5 hour drive from Nairobi.
Recommended duration: 2-3 days.
2. Amboseli National Parkwith Mt. Kilimanjaro to the south has an amazing population of free roaming elephants. When the skies are clear you'll get an amazing view of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background. I stayed at the Serena Hotel Amobseli which had small but clean and mid-level luxury rooms. The food was very good.
Recommended duration: 2 days
3. Lake Nakuru National Park has a large population of birds and is very famous for its huge population of pink flamingos. It's definitely a bird watchers paradise with other animals such as rhino's and water buffalos. The park itself is not very big so one day is usually sufficient to see the whole park.
Recommended duration: 1 day
While I didn't have a chance to visit Tsavo East National Park, some of my friends that visited highly recommend it.
Photo of the Flamingos at Lake Nakuru.
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