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Most thrilling experience to witness Himalayan Black Bear in the wild... Thnx to Safarist, me & Ranjith from Safarist who joined for that trip.
The first time we saw the bear, it was at a distance. Maybe, it sensed our presence and moved back inside the forest. These bears love oak trees and come out to forage. We moved away and when we came back 30 mins later, the bear was sitting right on that spot! Face to face with a Himalayan black bear on foot - it is difficult to describe what we were feeling. Nazir Malik sir had instructed us before our trek to move without sound only when the bear was feeding and to click pictures only when the bear is looking at us. We simply followed his instructions and the bear carried on feeding, while exchanging glances every now and then. These are dangerous animals and with the experience of Nazir sir that we were able to react to the situation well.
Kenya Safari | Awareness Post shared by a friend
A lot of us keep contemplating an African trip, and most of the times it seems way beyond our budgets. So we keep postponing it for later. It took me 4 years of yes / no / later to finally go for the Mara migration in August 2015. Unfortunately I was not on Safarist then so did the trip myself and it cost be 2200 USD for a 4x4 all to myself and a very decent stay for a 5 night / 6 day safari ex-Nairobi. I then went to Serengeti, Tanzania next year through a sharing trip on Safarist and it cost me 1500 USD only.
The trick is to negotiate and plan the travel well. Know the market. As my friend says "Picking a ground handler in Kenya who has good working relationships with nice camps is always important and is the first step (and often a difficult one given there are thousands of ground handlers in the region), and once that is in place, it is relatively easy to find a lodge/camp/hotel with fantastic hosts and great wildlife guides within your budget. For example, it is possible to do a 1 week bespoke safari (guided safaris are a different ballgame) to the wildlife capital of Kenya- Masai Mara, in well under 2000$ per person all the while using top notch 5-star luxury camps. Some examples are Sanctuary Olonana, Mara Intrepids, Tipilikwani Mara Camp, etc.
The key is to travel at the right time, to the right camp, and in the right location within the park. November-December, and April-June are periods of the year when it is possible to make full use of green season rates while still barely compromising on the wildlife experience you will have". Also monsoon is shifting in the Mara so often crossings start in June itself.
As of yesterday a deal from the uber luxurious Sanctuary Olonana was for US$ 1,800 for a 5 night/6 day flying safari with everything you can think of included in the price, valid between November 1st and December 20th this year.
So plan, bargain and go :)