Went on safarri in July 2011 as part of our Honeymoon. We booked a 2 week all inclusive holiday with Hayes & Jarvis, our was in Mombasa and booked the rest by internet. If you book your safarri as part of your hotel package, you have to vacate your hotel room and take all your luggage with you. You can save a shed load of money by organising things from over here. We booked a 3 day safarri to Tsavo East, Amboseli then Tsavo West, a day snorkeling on the Pili Pipa dhow (firstname.lastname@example.org.) and a day at a nature reserve, mombasa and an orphanage.As we were on our honeymoon we paid a bit extra for our own driver and Landcruiser as we didn't want to be in a minivan with others incase we didn't get on. Our trips cost the same as a 3 day safarri in a shared minibus booked in the UK, so for the same money we got our own vehicle and guide plus two extra day excursions. Everything was booked through http://www.juliustsafaris.com - check out his website and tripadvisor reports , absolutley top quality service.
We had 3 days at our hotel to chill out,on our 1st day we were contacted by Julius ( of JT safaris) to confirm all bookings and times. On day 4 we were collected at our hotel by our guide for 3 days Boniface, what an brilliant guide. Day 1 was a drive to Tsave East and within ten minutes of being in the game park we had pulled over to watch lions basking under a tree, then onto giraffes, elephants, antelopes, hundreds of different birds etc. We stopped for lunch at the lodge then out for a late afternoon drive which ended at a waterhole with around 70 elephants around us as the sun set - magical and MrsGixer started crying because it was such a beautiful momemnt. Back to the lodge and sat on our verandah listening to elephants trumpeting away by the waterhole, lovely meal then crash out listening to all sorts of wildlife noises.
Day 2 early breakfast and on the road to Amboseli - this is when having your own guide and vehicle paid off as Boniface got a bit bored driving on the "highway" and asked if we would like to take a bit of a cross country route - we both said deffo and he pulled off the road - the next 4 hours were exhilirating and frightening as we traversed a riverbed and tracks that i thought would be impassable, simply amazing. we arrived at amboseli and had a bit of a drive around looking at hyenas, warthogs, elephants, hippos etc before going to the lodge to get dinner. Then an eraly evening drive around the reserve - again wathcing the sunset over a waterhole - more food, bit of relaxation then crash out. early morning rise and a convoy drive to Tsavo West reserve - nice drive with Mt Kenya and Kili on our right hand side. At Tsavo West we had a walk on a lava field then to the Lodge, when we got to reception we were informed that we had been given an upgrade to the Kilimanjaro Suite as we were on honeymoon - what an amazing suite - 20ft wide sliding balcony windows which looked over the plains to Kilimanjaro - stunning. We just stood there watching monkeys playing, birds swooping, giraffes gamboling, then the elephants trumpeting as they came to the waterhole as the sunset over Kilimanjaro, we just stood with our arms around each other in awe - we knew we would never get a better room or location ever again.
Next day was an amazing blast around the reserve chasing lions and leopards, Boniface had his race head on and it was the most thrilling car chase i have ever been in
Next day back to our hotel in Mombasa and a few days chilling again, then a day out to the city and a nature reserve, crocodile park and orphanage. Another couple of days chilling at the hotel then a day snorkeling on the Dhow - lokking at a rainbow of fish, manta rays, giant tortoises, octopus, dolphins etc.
Then back to the hotel for the last few days of rest and relaxation. We did not weant to leave at the end of it, amazing country with brilliantly friendly people. If you book the safari through JTSafaris, you do not have some European middleman skanking him for a big percentage, it is all going to the local economy.
We took hundreds if not thousnads of photos when we were there, from hipposm fighting elephants, to us feeding giraffes, to monkeys with massive bluse bollocks, sea eagles, hyenas, ostriches, leopards etc, etc. Just do it.