2 -3 Weeks?

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Jul 31st, 2003, 01:44 PM
  #1
vwr
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2 -3 Weeks?

We are planning for Kenya/Tanzania in 2004 and can visit for 18 days. The earliest we can leave is the end of the first week of June with the latest return at the end of the second week of August (school obligations). If you were to go, what 2-3 week period would you choose? Is there much difference in what we will see if we pick June versus early August? I've been told that in early August you may see the migration but that if you go early June it's less crowded and you'll see almost as much wildlife. Maybe I'm making too much of a big deal with the date and you can tell me so...lol.
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Jul 31st, 2003, 02:09 PM
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LizFrazier
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No you are not making too much of a deal about the dates. The whole thing depends greatly on the rains that no one can predict this far away.
This year has been pretty true to expectations. June the Wildies went through Seronera (central Serengeti) on their way north towards Grumeti in the Northern Serengeti. Then they should be crossing into Kenya now or be approaching the Mara. In August they will fully be in the Masai Mara doing river crossings and what it is they do. I am going to be there in early September at Governors Camp and will spend the full week there for the express purpose to just be among them. It is one of the most wonderful experiences you can have in my opinion.
I've never caught them in the Northern Serengeti, but Sandi has and she'll fill you in I'm sure as will SusanLynne who saw a river crossing on the Mara River in the Masai Mara. Its a blast. Good luck. Liz
 
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Jul 31st, 2003, 03:12 PM
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I am completely biased about the Mara, but I can't help but put my two cents in this discussion. "Less crowded," IMO, depends entirely on where you stay in the Mara. The western part is less crowded than the eastern part of the park, simply because those people who drive to the park from Nairobi stay in the eastern part. Most people who fly into the Mara stay in the western part. Considering we were there during the peak of the migration, I did not find the Mara crowded at all. The most vehicles we saw around any animal were six or seven, and that was around a magnificent leopard - a real treat for wildlife enthusiasts. Almost any time is great for wildlife viewing in the Mara. It truly is a magnificent place.
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Aug 1st, 2003, 05:43 PM
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vwr
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Thanks, Liz and Susan Lynne. So your recommendation, Liz, would be to go as late as possible? and Susan Lynne, anytime?
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Aug 1st, 2003, 06:33 PM
  #5
LizFrazier
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Yes, as relates to the Mara and the migration. The Migration isn't there yet this year, so August for this year works best. You really must watch the weather each year to find out when. I shall not be so daring as to predict next years migration.
SusanLynne pointed out the different areas of the Mara and said that the Mara "always" has animals and she is absolutely correct. You'll always find things going on there. I've never caught the migration on the Mara yet but I've always been excited when I've been there. Just enchanting.
All that considered, I would wait for August. Saying that, one year the migration crossed over to the Mara and then turned abruptly around and went back to Tanzania. Gulp. Some lucky folks got to see double river crossings. I think it was in June. I think Sandi was there then and saw it. She can post you about that.
So good luck and read, read, read. Its still a lucky guess as relates to the migration. Liz
 
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Aug 1st, 2003, 07:23 PM
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Hi there!!! Yes, I personally believe the Mara is phenomenal any time of the year. However, if you can time your trip when the Migration is at its peak in the Mara, you will have an experience that is nothing short of awe-inspiring. August is usually a good time, but as Liz pointed out, so much depends on the rains. Having said that, I think that if it is your first trip to the Mara, then August will leave you with some fantastic experiences and memories. I can't recommend enough, however, that you try to stay in the western part of the park. There are some wonderful tented camps - and there is nothing like experiencing the Mara under a tent. Where in Tanzania are you planning to visit? My recommendations would be Tarangire and Selous. The Crater is interesting, but if you are concerned about crowds, let me tell you - you will see them in the crater. By virtue of it being an "enclosed" area, it cannot be helped that you see other vehicles and throngs of them at interesting animal sitings. Also, the park is very, very, very strict about not allowing off-roading. Subsequently, you are traveling around the crater floor in almost a giant "figure 8" pattern, trying to avoid other vehicles. Anyway, Tarangire is a true gem and Selous, well, if you really want to experience the feeling of being out in the bush, Selous will do that for you. Just food for thought. Have fun planning your trip - we'll be in Tanzania and Kenya in August/September 2004 as well!
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Aug 2nd, 2003, 06:25 AM
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sandi
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We were in the Mara in late November when we saw a reverse Migration (normally migration is between July/Aug alot depending on he grasses and need for water).

The reverse migration was due to fires in the Seregeti causing the wildes and zebra to return.

When in the Serengeti, again end November, we saw migration in the Western Serengeti as there always seems to be water in the area - except, of course, when the Grumeti runs dry. And when it's not dry then the animals have to worry about the crocs who are always waiting for breakfast or lunch or dinner.

When we met a photographer from National Geographic, he mentioned that as often has he's been there to get current photos of the Migration regardless where - and they wait for hours/days - he's only seen one in over five years.

Another friend was in the Mara (for 10-days) during the so-called peak time for a crossing and barely saw the animals "dip" their toes into the Mara, they never ever crossed.

So it's a combination of weather, grasses and animals - while it is know when Migrations and a Crossing "usually" happen, there still aren't guarantees. And then you can be surprised at times (like November) when nothing much should be happening.

But during the supposed Migration, rates are higher.
 
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