Intro – An African Safari With A Little Seychelles Sprinkled In
Part 1: Getting To The Seychelles Via Dubai
Part 2: A Soggy Stopover In Dubai
Part 3: Stunning Seychelles – Praslin And La Digue
Part 4: Stunning Seychelles – Mahe Island
Part 5: Kilimanjaro Bound
Part 6: Tanzania – Beginning The Adventure At The Arusha Coffee Lodge
Part 7: Game Drives in Ngorongoro, Ndutu, Serengetti, Lake Manyara, And Tarangire
Choosing an African safari can be daunting. The prices range from expensive to extremely expensive, with few options for the budget traveler. To top it off, Africa is a big place. Where to go? What to do? What to see?
I had been on the lookout for the ‘right’ Safari for a while, so when a Living Social deal popped up for a 10 day Tanzanian all inclusive package, it seemed worthy of a closer look. I first took a look at the lodging that would be provided as part of the package. Quick back of the napkin math told me that the value of the lodging already met or exceeded the total price. So the guides, transportation costs, game drives, national park entrance fees, meals, and other extras that came with were icing on the cake. Still it wasnt cheap. Just a pretty good value considering. Also, the single supplement was only $200. Sold. I booked comforted by a generous 30 day return policy if I changed my mind. I had the bones of my trip.
Next was figuring out how to get there, and what to do around the adventure. After looking at a whole lot of options for routings, including South Africa, Mauritius, Victoria Falls, etc., I realized those options were more suited to a separate South Africa trip. I decided to stay east and, using 77.5k Alaska miles for a J class 2 segment journey, fly the Emirates A380 from LA to Dubai, stopover, then move on to The Seychelles Islands where I would spend 6 days, 5 nights – 3 of which would be on Mahe Island at aspirational Hilton property Hilton Northolme. I would then use Thank You Points to fly from Mahe Island to Kilimanjaro, where my Safari would originate. To get home, I used 80k United miles to book an all J class, 4 segment flight with a melange of airlines including Ethiopian, Turkish and Air Canada. I was set.