mein eintrag im gästebuch des veranstalters sunworld-safari, da auch niederlassungen in den USA und GB, in englischer sprache abgefasst - in kürze:
eine safari sollten sie sich nicht entgehen lassen !
"Just came back from a 10-days’ safari trip with the Nowak’s Sunworldsafari ex Nairobi (Aug. 7, 2009 to Aug. 17, 2009). We (daughter (26 yrs) and me, my wife not too enthusiastic about ‘authentic’ places ;-) had started planning a safari trip already in September 2008.
When then doing research on the internet among others I stumbled across the Nowak’s Sunworldsafari and was not only impressed by the detailed homepage, but also by the many positive comments. But you know, who would publish negative ones, I thought. So I first got in contact with Sunworldsafari and Mr. Nowak in Vienna responded within 30 minutes – but I would also have accepted a reaction an hour later ;-)
From the first moment on I had the impression that Mr. Nowak not wants to make money by selling me a safari under any circumstances - who, however, wouldn’t want to make money - but, above all, patiently tailor a safari to our very needs and requests.
Our main requests were: individual safari (two people), no tents, good lodges, flight to first and flight from last lodge from/to Nairobi – it’s worth the extra money !!!.
After quite some exchange of emails with a very patient and helpful Mr. Nowak we had a programme that for me at that time looked pretty good – and turned out to be excellent: as a start 3 nights at Samburu Serena Lodge, 2 nights at the Ol Pajeta Ranch House / Sweetwaters, 2 nights at Lake Nakuru Lodge, and finally 3 nights at Mara Serena Lodge, all full-board, with the best available rooms (see also comments on tripadvisor.com).
Lodges: perfect choices, enjoyed the stays; all within the parks, no time and energy (bad roads) lost driving to and from the parks for game-drives.
Transport: jeep (4x4) is a perfect choice, you get anywhere, at any weather you want, even off the main roads in the parks; when it rains roads are quite tricky. after rainfalls mini-busses have trouble staying on the slippery roads, saw various being stuck in the mud; try not to pack too many people in one jeep; a 4x4 jeep is a perfect choice. Mini-busses also have a quite restricted space for passengers, which might be quite tiring on longer drives, and the space when the roof-top is open is quite limited in mini-busses. However, the more people there are on a bus/jeep, the less expensive a tour might get. But from experience we recommend a very small group – then safari drives are more fun, and there are no quarrels about the best photo-positions; remember, the best action on the bus is always blocked by other tourists, when on the smaller, packed mini-busses ;-)
And as you probably don’t do a safari every year make it a perfect one that you enjoy.
Tourguide/driver; we had John (call sign “charlyboy”), felt being well taken care of, always felt safe; tried to find the not so numerously available cheetahs or leopards, did use his mobile phone, the CB radio, did driving AND explaining and guiding at the same time – quite astonishing; we saw the big five, two river crossings (not the spectacular ones seen on TV ;-) which are probably few and far between), lions hiding behind our jeep to approach and then chase a group of zebras, lions crossing the Mara river (a very rare sighting), a cheetah trying to kill an antelope, and many more things, e.g. a gnu crossing the Mara river being chased by crocodiles. When it was safe on the other side there were loud yells of excitement and joy from the numerous tourists at the crossing point.
Safaris: important: only in a zoo you can see the animals you want to see at any time, any time you visit the zoo – safaris require patience, don’t put pressure on your guide, he’s doing his best, most of the times you’ll be successful, if not, don’t be disappointed; just relax and let him do his job – then your safari will be a successful one, even without having seen all 5 of the ‘big five’ group.
By the way, with an individual safari you can do as many safari-drives a day as you want, and stop at any point as long as you want or just drive on. However, best times are mornings before 9, and afternoons after 4.30, else the heat is on, all the animals just hang around, don’t move, and you probably feel hot as well; spend that time at the pool, in the shade and enjoy that time of your safari, as well.
Obvious, but just want to say that: there is lots of dust all days long, be prepared, you can’t escape it, neither can your camera equipment ! roads are sometimes very bad, even mainroads ! so contact your orthopedist, plastic surgeon, and, if already necessary, dentist, before booking ;-)
Malaria: took Malarone, luckily no side-effects; didn ‘t see any mossis, however; but Malarone or the like is probably a good decision – ask your doc.
Summary: Sunworldsafari and the Nowaks are a guarantee for a great safari, you tell them what you want, and they target the safari to your needs, or you simply book a tour offered on their homepage. Mrs. Nowak in the Nairobi office contacted my twice on the safari to find out if everything was ok.
Thank you to the Vienna and Nairobi Nowaks (by the way both Nowaks’ mother tongue is German; but they do speak perfect English as well).
PS: Masai Mara, we think, should be done last, kind of climax !
PSS: blog on whole story at http://kenia2009.blogspot.com/ , in German though. As blog is still updated with pics and links to clips on youtube, check the site again in a couple of weeks.
Clips on youtube – search for user ‘fluglehrer’
PSSS: buy a mobile-phone SIM-card in Kenya, and use it in your phone – a call to Europe is about 45 cents / minute, I guess, a bargain, and there are no roaming fees ! If you need the internet very badly there’s a USB stick for mobile internet, we’ve been told, about USD 50 , no download limit, works wherever you have a telephone signal .
PSSSS: feel free to contact me (in English as well as in German) if you’ve got any questions: fluglehrer(at)yahoo(dot)com"
and, yes, we are looking forward to our next exotic trip: christmas in thailand => blog