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DETAILS: Kenya

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

GETTING THERE: Flying from Washington Dulles to Nairobi typically takes about 20 hours and starts at about $1,200. British Airways offers the most direct service from Dulles, connecting once in London.

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GETTING AROUND: As with most countries in the region, getting to the wildlife requires a bit of travel from the capital city, and road conditions vary. The new highway from Nairobi to Lake Nakuru is well-paved, for instance, while the road to Masai Mara is bumpy and slow. Safari tour operators will typically arrange transport from Nairobi to the national parks and game reserves. Budget safaris generally transport you throughout Kenya via minivan. Many safari-goers bypass the roads and fly directly from Nairobi to national parks and game reserves.

WHERE TO STAY: Safe Ride Safaris (011-254-20-253129, http://www.saferidesafaris.com) organizes budget safaris throughout Kenya, including tours to Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru. Tours begin at just over $100 per person per night ($350 for a four-night safari) and include a combination of camping and budget motels. Price includes meals, transportation and game drives at each park.

Mara Keekorok Lodge ( http://www.wildernesslodges.co.ke) inside Masai Mara Game Reserve is a popular midrange option. Most people come as part of a safari tour; a typical five-night trip would cost about $1,000 per adult, including game drives, park fees and meals, and would include stays at other lodges, such as Treetops lodge and the Mount Kenya Safari Club. Mara Keekorok also offers hot-air balloon rides.

WHAT TO DO: Kenya has many national parks and game reserves, including Masai Mara Game Reserve, Lake Nakuru National Park, Amboseli National Park and Tsavo East and West national parks. There's also Mount Kenya, the Indian Ocean island of Lamu, and the coastal beach town of Mombasa, popular as a side trip or a base for safaris in southern Kenya.

INFORMATION: Kenya Association of Tour Operators, http://www.katokenya.org.

-- J.J.S.


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