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How to Plan a Safari Holiday Around the East African Safari Rally
When I was a little boy growing up in East Africa, I used to follow the East African Safari Rally with a lot of interest and enthusiasm. I remember back then I wouldn't miss it for the world! Now if you're a rally enthusiast and want to enjoy the best of both worlds--an exciting safari rally and a fabulous safari holiday--organizers of the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally have unveiled their night stops schedule for this year's competition that will run from November 18 to 29. This article will explore the safari holiday options along the safari rally route winding through the game parks and tourist resorts in both Kenya and Tanzania. So, if like me, you are a safari rally enthusiast, this article can help you get started with planning your trip.
The rally kicks off from the Sarova Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya. Mombasa, an island separated from the mainland by two creeks, Port Reitz in the south and Tudor Creek in the north, is a coastal town steeped in history and the center of coastal tourism with some of the most fabulous beaches and marine life on the East African coast. If a holiday on the beach is what you desire, Mombasa would be an ideal place to enjoy your vacation and watch the rally start early on the morning of November 20. On that very day, the rally will finish deep inside Amboseli National Park at the Kilima Safari Camp... clearly, another location you may want to be at when rally drivers arrive. You can't be at both places on the same day without having to join the race, so you're going to have to choose: either you camp out in the Amboseli National Park to see them arrive and then enjoy a spot of game viewing when they've departed; OR see them as they take off in Mombasa. I like to see the cars in a more roughened-up state, in which case I would go for the latter.
On the second day the rally heads to Tanzania where the roads on this event are the toughest, and breaks at the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha where the crew will spend November 21st and 22nd and then rally under the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro before re-entering Kenya. Your choice of safari holiday therefore, spans two East African countries from the Kenyan coast to the game reserves in both countries.
Arusha, a city in northern Tanzania, is surrounded by some of the most famous landscapes and national parks in Africa. Situated below Mount Meru the city has its own National Park on Mount Meru and is close to the famous Serengeti national park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, and Mount Kilimanjaro. When it comes to what to do and where to go, you will be spoilt for choice. My advice is you consult a tour operator on available options according to your budget and interests, and then please don't forget to make your reservations early.
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Sand Dollar Kayak Expeditions was ranked in the top 50 adventures to do in Africa by Jacques Mares in his book, Great African Adventure: A Guide to the Mother Continents Ultimate Outdoor Adventures.