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Old 01-30-2013, 11:18 PM   #1
DLFan123
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Wanyama and Sunrise Safari? Worth it or not?

Hi all,

Would love to hear the experiences of those of you who have stayed club level and had a chance to experience these exclusive safaris. We are considering staying at the AKL for a couple of nights on our next trip, and club level really isn't that much more per night. I woud think it was worth it if we could experience more up-close animal encounters on one or both of these safaris as a result of booking club level. Hope to hear from many of you regarding your experiences, and thanks!
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:18 AM   #2
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Wanyama is available to all AKL guests, so need to book club to do it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was worth the $190 pp price. The dinner after the safari @ Jiko was great. The safari itself is about 1 1/2 hrs. through 3 of the 4 AKL savannas. You get background info on the animals and drive amongst them. One ostrich poked his head in the truck and they warned us to move our stuff, as he might grab stuff.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:15 AM   #3
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The Sunrise Safari was one of the highlights of our trip this past October. We loved seeing the animals in the morning out on the savannas. Our guide was great and full of information. It was a wonderful, relaxing morning, ending with a delicious buffet breakfast that included some unique dishes as well as regular breakfast items. I highly recommend this tour!
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:16 PM   #4
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Thanks to you both for the advice. I didn't realize that about the Wanyama safari (that any guest of AKL can book it). I guess I misread. Was the dinner at Jiko a fixed menu type thing? Or could you order off of the regular menu? And maybe this is silly, but did you sit at your own table, or were you expected to sit with the other safari guests?
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:41 PM   #5
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We've taken the Sunrise Safari several times and yes it's worth it for my family. The behind-the-scenes part at AK is fun, and we liked the slow trek through the KS ride. The bus driver stopped many times so we could take photos. And the CMs hosting the safari have always been very friendly, informative, and eager to answer questions. And the buffet breakfast at the end is nice, too.

Haven't tried the WS due to the price... but I have read many positive reviews.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:55 PM   #6
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Do you get to be closer to any animals on the Sunrise Safari? Or basically just drive the same track as KS but at a slower pace. It's not very expensive, considering you get breakfast. Obviously the Wanyama Safari is a big expense, but at least you get to explore areas of the savannah you don't have a chance to tour without paying at all. I'm so torn about this!
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLFan123 View Post
Do you get to be closer to any animals on the Sunrise Safari? Or basically just drive the same track as KS but at a slower pace. It's not very expensive, considering you get breakfast. Obviously the Wanyama Safari is a big expense, but at least you get to explore areas of the savannah you don't have a chance to tour without paying at all. I'm so torn about this!
I think we stayed pretty much on the ride path, but animals did come closer to us since we weren't zipping though it. We have tried it several times, and each time there was something different or special (one time we got to the lion area just as the lions came out and they were actively prowling around the rock instead of relaxing there, another time we stopped by a baby and mother elephant and watched the baby trying to get a small branch of leaves into its mouth with its trunk, which sounds easy but wasn't working for him). The guides will stop and tell you about the specific animals they like, too. I agree about the price being reasonable when you factor in the big breakfast.

We've seen the WS going through the AKL savanna while we were relaxing on our balcony in the late afternoon. That's the only way I know of to get out on those savannas. There have been reviews on here with photos -- the Jiko dinner was (as of last summer when I was looking into it) a set meal with quite a few choices. And all of the people on the tour ate together. We decided to just have our own dinner at Jiko and skip the tour because of the cost (roughly $600 for us). But I have read rave reviews about it on the DIS, so I would like to try it some day. (BTW, when we were there in June it was pouring rain during the WS, but the trucks were out there anyway).

Have fun planning!
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:49 AM   #8
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Here's a link from a couple of months ago about the Wanyama safari http://www.disboards.com/showthread....wanyama+safari
and this link has pictures http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2762492
You do sit at a table with the others on your safari, I wasn't sure about that, but we had a really nice time chatting with the other people on the safari. The chef came out to the table and described each course to us (there were several options w/ each course) and there were wine pairings w/ each course. Next time I stay @ AKL, I'll definitely do it again.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sndral View Post
Here's a link from a couple of months ago about the Wanyama safari http://www.disboards.com/showthread....wanyama+safari
and this link has pictures http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2762492
You do sit at a table with the others on your safari, I wasn't sure about that, but we had a really nice time chatting with the other people on the safari. The chef came out to the table and described each course to us (there were several options w/ each course) and there were wine pairings w/ each course. Next time I stay @ AKL, I'll definitely do it again.
Great feedback! Thanks! Will check out those links when I get home from work this afternoon.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:14 AM   #10
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Our family did the Wanyama Safari in February. My DS saw the truck from our balcony at AKL a few years ago but he was not 8 so we could not sign up. We surprised him on his 9th birthday. It was expensive for 2A 2C, but the experience was definately worth it for us. Dinner at Jiko was delish for DH and I but the kids did not eat very much. If you decide to do this, make sure to do it early in your stay. The kids loved recognizing the animals from the balcony for the rest of our stay.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Majordis View Post
Our family did the Wanyama Safari in February. My DS saw the truck from our balcony at AKL a few years ago but he was not 8 so we could not sign up. We surprised him on his 9th birthday. It was expensive for 2A 2C, but the experience was definately worth it for us. Dinner at Jiko was delish for DH and I but the kids did not eat very much. If you decide to do this, make sure to do it early in your stay. The kids loved recognizing the animals from the balcony for the rest of our stay.
What a nice birthday surprise! Thanks for the great tip about doing the safari early in the stay. Unfortunately we are doing a split stay and only have 2 nights at AKL (just really want to experience this unique resort), but we will definitely do this our first night if we decide. Since we are only there the 2 nights, I don't think we could take both the WS and the SS. I think we will probably choose SS simply because it is so much cheaper.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:17 AM   #12
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Another option is the night vision safari. Wish I could figure out how to do links (embarrassed) but on the 'number nine is really fine thread' my DD just posted her TR of it. Seemed very worth it.

Two side notes---1) my kids love Jiko. We booked another trip for Oct to celebrate DD's 8th bday and she picked Jiko for bday dinner.
2) if the price difference is feasible, regardless of the safaris I would do CL @ AKL. Out of this world. Love all the CMs, love the croissants, love the atmosphere. Even my 2 yo is addicted.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:04 AM   #13
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Thanks so much! I literally just found a link about the night vision safari online, right before I read your post! Thanks for your advice about booking club level. I think we just decided to DO IT!
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLFan123 View Post
Thanks so much! I literally just found a link about the night vision safari online, right before I read your post! Thanks for your advice about booking club level. I think we just decided to DO IT!
CL at AKL is really wonderful -- from the IPO office to the lounge and snacks -- it's a favorite of my family's.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:17 PM   #15
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CL at AKL is really wonderful -- from the IPO office to the lounge and snacks -- it's a favorite of my family's.
Forgive my ignorance, but what is the IPO? I can't wait! I'm really going to try to take it easy and enjoy the higher level of service.

It reminds me of a recent Nuggets game I attended. I'm a huge NBA fan and I got VIP Nuggets tickets to a recent game as a gift. It was wonderful feeling like a "VIP" for a night. It would be nice to be a VIP every time, but somehow since it is a once in a while occurrence, it makes it that much more special.
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