Group Joining Vs Private Safaris in Kenya

“ I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy’’ –Ernest Hemingway

Introduction:

Group joining safaris in Kenya are primarily focused for solo travellers and couples who are traveling on a tight budget. Number of clients in a group joining safari ranges from 6 to 9 people from diverse backgrounds.

For customers travelling with children, family, elderly or professional wildlife photographers we highly recommend a private safari, as it would give you a great degree of flexibility, privacy and an overall personalized and delightful experience.

Before you go ahead and make your choice of safari, the information below will provide you a good insight on what suits you best.

SAFARI VEHICLE :

GROUP JOINING SAFARI:
The vehicle used for Group Joining Safaris is a Safari mini Van (Bus) with a maximum seating capacity of upto 9 clients (+driver)

PRIVATE SAFARI
Private safaris use two kinds of transport vehicles.

A) Safari Mini Van(Bus): with a maximum seating capacity of upto 9 people
B) 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser: with a maximum seating capacity of 6 people.  Costs additional compared to Mini Van)

PICK-UP:

GROUP JOINING SAFARI
Pick up will be provided from any hotel within the Nairobi city between 7:30 – 8:00 AM or by 6:30 AM from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International airport.
Clients staying outside the city center transport can be arranged to Nairobi safari starting point at an extra fee.We advice customers to arrive a day earlier as this would provide sufficient time for resting and also for a brief overview of the safari.

PRIVATE SAFARI
In a private safari complimentary airport pick up from city center between 7:00 – 9:00 AM or Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as per your time of arrival. Customers landing on same day can be either taken straight  to the safari after briefing (if arrival time is before 9am) or to relax and refresh to any hotel

DELAYS:

GROUP JOINING SAFARI
In case of any delays due to flight or unforeseen circumstances, group joining safari customers can be provided with private transport to join the group that has already departed at an extra charge.
Note that, depending on delay this could result in customers not doing any game drive on Day 1 of safari.

PRIVATE SAFARI
In case of any delays due to flight or unforeseen circumstances, customers will be provided with private transportation as per the itinerary and will proceed for the safari.

Note that, depending on delay this could also result in customers not being able to do any game drive on Day 1 of safari. (Game drives are only allowed between 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM in all parks/reserves)

SAFARI START TIME :

GROUP JOINING SAFARI
Majority of the group joining safaris begin by 8:30 am local time from Nairobi. Starting time is subject to change based on exact itinerary, road conditions etc and we will update you the exact starting time in briefing on previous day of safari.

PRIVATE SAFARI
Private safaris begin by 8:30 AM from Nairobi but can  be adjusted as per client’s  request. (Subject to being able to reach park by 4:30 PM)

BRIEFING AND BALANCE PAYMENT

Briefing about the safari and the balance collection will be done one day prior to safari start day, but if customers are staying outside the city or arriving on the start day itself, it will be done before the start of the safari.

SAFARI DECORUM:

GROUP JOINING SAFARI
Customers in group joining safaris are requested to maintain group decorum and not cause inconvenience to fellow travelers.
It is highly expected in the interest of all customers to rotate seats during the safari with mutual understanding. Any and all disputes regarding seating will be decided by the driver/guide as per their judgement.

PRIVATE SAFARI
These issues will not exist in a private safari but it is highly expected of our clients and also our guides vis-a-vis to have a sense of mutual respect of views,opinions and cultures

SAFARI/ DRIVE DURATION:

GROUP JOINING SAFARI
Total travel time (transfer + game drive time) for group joining safaris will be about 8-10 hours per day (inclusive of pick up from hotel, game drive, drop back to hotel) and can not be customised.

PRIVATE SAFARI
Game drive timings for private safaris are flexible and as per the request of customers. However note that game drives are allowed only between 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM in all the parks and reserves and your driver/guide would be working for 8 to 9 hours a day which includes game drives + transfer times. Within these constraints, you can customise your game drive hours

LUGGAGE:

Customers opting group safaris are requested to bring only one duffel bag or backpack per client. Having more luggage will cause great inconvenience to fellow travelers and also congest the vehicle.

Add-on Activities:

Customers in private safaris can opt for Add-on activities (at extra cost) while on safari like Balloon safari/Masai village visit in Masai Mara, boat ride in Lake Naivasha e.t.c.
In group joining itineraries, opting for Add-on activities may not be possible as the entire group needs to stick to the same schedule

CONCLUSION:

On the whole private safari and group joining safari have their own pros and cons. If you are looking for a little extra comfort, convenience and your own schedule, Private safaris are the way to go. However, for those on tight budget and traveling solo, group joining safaris are a good value for money.

“The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa – he has so much to look forward  to’’ -Richard Mullin

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