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In-Country Cost Comparison Among East African Countires

In-Country Cost Comparison Among East African Countires

Old Dec 5th 2006, 7:19 am
  #1  
Pjbphd
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Default In-Country Cost Comparison Among East African Countires

Does anybody know where I can find a cost comparison for visiting and
traveling among Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda on the web. Of course
personal experiences or knowledge you may have is also welcome.

I'm setting up a trip for several friends and one of the many factors as
always is cost. I'm particularly interested in in-country costs for things
like safaris, gas, hotels, food etc... I realize safaris in particular will
vary depending upon where and what one does, but I'm trying to get a general
idea. The only thing I've found so far is a few notes on the costs of local
beer and a hotel in Lonely Planet. We're all Americans so if the
comparisons are in dollars that's bet but I can of course convert from local
currencies.

I'm focusing on in-country expenses because I assume (always dangerous) that
it's cheapest to fly into Nairobi, but I can get flight costs in and our of
Dar, Entebbe etc., from various web travel sites.

Thanks in advance.

pjbphd


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directly please send messages to pjbphd at cox dot net
 
Old Dec 5th 2006, 10:33 am
  #2  
Dave Patterson
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Default Re: In-Country Cost Comparison Among East African Countires

I can offer some of the answers.

In 2006, hotel rates and lodge rates in the reserves
finally went up. The Travel Warning (by the US Govt,
which is still in place) had suppressed tourism for
several years, but people finally started coming back
in greater numbers in 2005, so rates went up.

Use the internet to see rates - and if a site doesn't
include the rates, email them or call them.
International phone cards are cheap enough that it
makes sense to find out some of this directly,
rather than depending on people like us.

Park rates in both Kenya and Tanzania went up
and are generally $40 to $50 a day per person

You may decide that rented vehicles, with or
without a driver, are expensive. Fuel is much higher
than in the US and parts for vehicles are costly.
You should expect to pay $200 a day for van
and driver, which will comfortably carry 6 of you.
The Guide I use charges more: $250 a day.
I think, frankly, you get what you pay for in the
quality of the vehicle and the Guide.

Tanzania is slightly more expensive than Kenya
for just about everything - lodges, park fees.

Cafes and restaurants are about the same prices
as you would find in the US. But in the more
expensive hotels, food is pricey.
 
Old Dec 5th 2006, 1:13 pm
  #3  
Pjbphd
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Default Re: In-Country Cost Comparison Among East African Countires

Sorry I'm a little confused but that's not unusual for me. Are you
referring to Uganda prices in the first couple paragraphs?

Thanks

pjbphd

"Dave Patterson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    >I can offer some of the answers.
    > In 2006, hotel rates and lodge rates in the reserves
    > finally went up. The Travel Warning (by the US Govt,
    > which is still in place) had suppressed tourism for
    > several years, but people finally started coming back
    > in greater numbers in 2005, so rates went up.
    > Use the internet to see rates - and if a site doesn't
    > include the rates, email them or call them.
    > International phone cards are cheap enough that it
    > makes sense to find out some of this directly,
    > rather than depending on people like us.
    > Park rates in both Kenya and Tanzania went up
    > and are generally $40 to $50 a day per person
    > You may decide that rented vehicles, with or
    > without a driver, are expensive. Fuel is much higher
    > than in the US and parts for vehicles are costly.
    > You should expect to pay $200 a day for van
    > and driver, which will comfortably carry 6 of you.
    > The Guide I use charges more: $250 a day.
    > I think, frankly, you get what you pay for in the
    > quality of the vehicle and the Guide.
    > Tanzania is slightly more expensive than Kenya
    > for just about everything - lodges, park fees.
    > Cafes and restaurants are about the same prices
    > as you would find in the US. But in the more
    > expensive hotels, food is pricey.
    >
 
Old Dec 6th 2006, 2:13 am
  #4  
Dave Patterson
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: In-Country Cost Comparison Among East African Countires

pjbphd wrote:

    > Sorry I'm a little confused but that's not unusual for me. Are you
    > referring to Uganda prices in the first couple paragraphs?

No - Kenya and Tanzania are the countries where I have been
operating in east Africa.
 
Old Dec 6th 2006, 4:00 am
  #5  
Bill
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Default Re: In-Country Cost Comparison Among East African Countires

    > pjbphd wrote:
    > Does anybody know where I can find a cost comparison for visiting and
    > traveling among Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda on the web.

Most people would choose between Uganda and Rwanda for mountain gorilla
treks, so maybe contact a couple of companies who set these up and get
quotes. These countries are not general purpose safari destinations
like Kenya and Tanzania, so probably your choice will come down to
Rwanda vs Uganda for gorillas and then Kenya vs Tz for a general
safari.

I've only been to Tanzania (twice, with a third trip coming up soon)
but my understanding is that Kenya is 10-20% less expensive for
comparable services, in part because entry fees are lower and in part
because lodging is less expensive. Again, contact 2-3 companies who
run trips into these countries and ask for their lowest prices and
compare.

Keep in mind the costs vary considerably based on where you go and
where you stay. As an example, the entry fees in Tanzania are $25 per
jeep per day at Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, but a couple
hours up the yellow brick road takes you to Ngorongoro and then
Serengeti and the transit fee at Ngorongoro is $30 per person per day
plus an extra $100 per jeep/day if you actually descend into the
crater, and then you are limited to 6 hours below the rim. So two
people might pay $25 per day at Tarangire or Manyara for all day but
$160/day entry fee at Ngorongoro crater for six hours.

At Serengeti the entry fee last year was $50 pppd for tourists, $6 for
a typical safari jeep (more for larger vehicles) and $1.50 for your
Tanzanian driver or $107.50 for two people. If you are going off track
to say the Gol Kopjes you pay a $10 fee for a guide even though you
won't get a guide (because some dumbass tourists 'rescued' a cheetah
cub temporarily left behind while it's mother hunted).

Then there's lodging costs ... at Ngorongoro you can spend $1,800 per
night for two at the ritzy lodge, with rose petals in your bath water
and a personal butler, or you can spend about $400 at larger, less
personalized Serena/Sopa class lodges for two (with meals and staff
quarters for your driver) or $200 at the Wildlife lodges or probably as
low as $20-30 if you stay in a campground at Karatu near the border of
the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

So you can do an inexpensive safari in Tanzania if you spend less time
in the 'glamour' parks like Serengeti and the NCA and are OK with cheap
lodging ... for example there are inexpensive back-packer type hotels
($10-25) and camping grounds (some quite nice, with pools etc) at the
town on the edge of Lake Manyara, called Mto Wa Mbu ... but it's a
crowded, sometimes noisy market town and "Mto Wa Mbu" translates as
"Mosquito River" :) But inside the park you'll see elephants, buffalo,
tree-climbing lions sleeping a few feet above your head and 200 species
of birds ...

Probably you should contact some outfitters and compare prices, though
of course many are more eager to put you into $400/night lodges than
$25/night cheap motels at Mto Wa Mbu.

Bill
 
Old Dec 6th 2006, 5:18 am
  #6  
Liz Leyden
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Default Re: In-Country Cost Comparison Among East African Countires

In message <[email protected] .com>
"Bill" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> pjbphd wrote:
    >> Does anybody know where I can find a cost comparison for visiting and
    >> traveling among Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda on the web.
    >
    > Most people would choose between Uganda and Rwanda for mountain gorilla
    > treks, so maybe contact a couple of companies who set these up and get
    > quotes. These countries are not general purpose safari destinations
    > like Kenya and Tanzania, so probably your choice will come down to
    > Rwanda vs Uganda for gorillas and then Kenya vs Tz for a general
    > safari.
    >
Uganda is a general-purpose safari destination (e.g. Queen Elizabeth
Park), just not so generally well-known. I haven't been myself, so can
only comment based on hearsay. To be fair, people who have been there
generally say that you don't see so many animals in Uganda, and they
aren't so close. But some people have had great experiences - and
you're unlikely to see too many fellow-tourists.

As you say, it's good (and expensive!) for Mountain Gorillas, and
other primates, not found in Tz and Kenya are found in Uganda. For
example, the Sunbird brochure says there are "11 species of primates,
including chimpanzee" at Kibale Forest.

It's apparently a very good destination for birding (many of the bird
tour companies in the UK have a Uganda trip in their portfolios,
probably because Murchison Falls is the easiest place to see Shoebill,
which is many people's No 1 wish bird - though it's not a dead cert
even there*, and some of the birds have recently been stolen for
sale). I understand the scenery is spectacular and that the people are
especially friendly.

Back to the OP:
I agree with Dave and Bill that generally you get what you pay for,
more particularly, you don't get what you don't pay for, in East
African safaris. IME, it is better not go go with one of the
rock-bottom priced companies.

Slainte

Liz

*It used to be commonly seen at the city dump in (forget which
Kibale/Entebbe, but I don't have recent info)


--
http://www.v-liz.com - Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Galapagos
Photo Gallery:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/g...emberID=165111
 
Old Dec 7th 2006, 5:18 pm
  #7  
Scott Elliot
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Default Re: In-Country Cost Comparison Among East African Countires

My wife and I were in Uganda in August. Prices varied from upscale to very
cheap, depending on the quality of accommodation you want. Most park fees,
and your entry visa are payable in US dollars, no older than 2002. I found
from experience they reject bills from the 90's. Generally the cost are
cheaper than Kenya or Tanzania, but there are limited quantities of things
like gorilla trekking so the charge $375 US for a one hour visit to a wild
gorilla family in a group of 8 trekkers. There were not that many tourists
there in August so it was very easy to get bookings, even at the last
minute.

We did not go to Rwanda, but understand that prices are similar to Uganda.

Consider getting the Bradt Travel Guide - Uganda. It has a lot of
information on prices and travel in Uganda.

There is a local magazine, "The Eye" in Kampala that has a lot of
information and it is often easier to find Uganda telephone number in that
magazine than anywhere else. http://www.theeye.co.ug/

Scott
"pjbphd" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > Does anybody know where I can find a cost comparison for visiting and
    > traveling among Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda on the web. Of course
    > personal experiences or knowledge you may have is also welcome.
    > I'm setting up a trip for several friends and one of the many factors as
    > always is cost. I'm particularly interested in in-country costs for
    > things like safaris, gas, hotels, food etc... I realize safaris in
    > particular will vary depending upon where and what one does, but I'm
    > trying to get a general idea. The only thing I've found so far is a few
    > notes on the costs of local beer and a hotel in Lonely Planet. We're all
    > Americans so if the comparisons are in dollars that's bet but I can of
    > course convert from local currencies.
    > I'm focusing on in-country expenses because I assume (always dangerous)
    > that it's cheapest to fly into Nairobi, but I can get flight costs in and
    > our of Dar, Entebbe etc., from various web travel sites.
    > Thanks in advance.
    > pjbphd
    > --
    > Too many spams have forced me to alter my email. If you wish to email me
    > directly please send messages to pjbphd at cox dot net
    >
 
Old Dec 10th 2006, 6:18 pm
  #8  
Marc Lurie
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: In-Country Cost Comparison Among East African Countires

On Wed, 06 Dec 2006 18:18:00 GMT, Liz Leyden <[email protected]>
wrote:

SNIP
    >probably because Murchison Falls is the easiest place to see Shoebill,
    >which is many people's No 1 wish bird - though it's not a dead cert
    >even there*, and some of the birds have recently been stolen for
    >sale). I understand the scenery is spectacular and that the people are
    >especially friendly.
SNIP

I didn't see shoebill at Murchison, but I did see them at Queen
Elizabeth. I can well believe that you might see them at the municipal
dump in Kampala :-) There's no shortage of marabou's at the dump (or
anywhere in Kampala for that matter).

The Kibale district is very beautiful, and my experience with Ugandans
is that they are amongst the friendliest people on earth. I worked in
Uganda for about 6 months in 2001 and had the opportunity to travel to
every district, and virtually every town in the country. Uganda is
definitely one of my favourite countries to visit.
 
Old Dec 12th 2006, 6:25 am
  #9  
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Default Re: In-Country Cost Comparison Among East African Countires

Marc Lurie wrote:
    > On 11 Dec 2006 23:23:38 -0800, "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
    > wrote:

SNIP

    > Thanks for your input about your car hire problems. I would like to
    > make a comment though. You state that anyone hiring a vehicle should
    > also hire a driver. I can't completely agree with you on that point. I
    > drove myself around the whole of Uganda, and apart from some VERY
    > frustrating traffic in Kampala itself, I didn't experience any hassles
    > that were any different from any other African country I've driven in.
    > Sure, some roads are crappy, and traffic in Kampala is chaotic, but
    > it's just driving... :-)

I understand your point, Marc, but having been through several
breakdowns within one trip in Uganda, it's hard outside Kampala or
Entebbe to find signage for repair shops, supplies, or to identify
where to go for advice. The driving per se isn't the problem, but if
something goes wrong it could present a real challenge (the language
issues aside). We also found that not having to worry about the vehicle
was useful at times if we wanted to venture off by foot for a few
hours.

That's why I recommend a driver -- not very costly when compared to the
car hire and price of fuel, but worth a fortune if something goes
amiss.

I've also driven in/across/through a number of African countries
without a driver, but Uganda was particularly well suited to a bit of
friendly assistance, IMHO.

Kurt
 
Old Dec 12th 2006, 7:49 pm
  #10  
Marc Lurie
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Default Re: In-Country Cost Comparison Among East African Countires

On 12 Dec 2006 11:25:31 -0800, "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
wrote:

    > it's hard outside Kampala or
    >Entebbe to find signage for repair shops, supplies, or to identify
    >where to go for advice. The driving per se isn't the problem, but if
    >something goes wrong it could present a real challenge

Point taken.

Regards,
Marc
 
Old Dec 14th 2006, 6:49 pm
  #11  
Scott Elliot
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: In-Country Cost Comparison Among East African Countires

After our firs experience with a flat tire, breakdown and running out of gas
in the first couple of hours in Kampala we demanded that the driver get a
better car for our travel. He brought three different cars before we found
one that was acceptable, and then we insisted he get better tires. We had
no more problems for the rest of the trip. The drivers rent their vehicles
from a taxi company and have to charge enough to pay for the vehicle and
make enough for themselves. Everything is negotiable.

We had to pay some of our driver charge upfront so that he could pay the
deposit on the car. After that we paid him when he needed money and made
the final payment when we returned to Kampala. The driver will always try
to get paid in advance, but I don't believe that is a very good idea because
it removes the incentive to give good service. A tip at the end is very
well appreciated.

Scott
 

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