Big game hunter.....

Feb 17th, 2007, 11:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11
Big game hunter.....

With a camera that is! This is what I'm hoping to get out of my safari and perhaps someone could say whether they think I'm being realstic for a trip beginning in mid-July.

I've got two nights in Amboseli... chosen for the great backdrop but mainly because we love elephants and I'm told that is THE place for fans of these fantastic giants.

Then a flight to Samburu... chosen to sample somewhere a little quieter on the tourist front and ALSO because I've heard it's one of the best places to be to increase your chances of spotting a leopard... my absolute favourite. Realistic hope, do you think?

Then we've saved the best until last by flying on to the Masai Mara for two nights which will hopefully provide a truly fitting climax with a profusion of wildlife across the board. And maybe, just maybe, the first troops in the migration?

Fingers crossed anyway. Am I expecting too much or will it have me booking my next trip before July's even out? We're staying in Serena lodges at all the locations.

It's all finished off with a day in Nairobi before a flight back home to the UK.

I'm hoping the pin cushion arm after the visit to the doc's in advance will be well worth it in the end!
safarited is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 12:20 PM
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Hello safarited,
Except for the quiet tourist front in Samburu, you arenít expecting too much at all and it will be well worth the pincushion arm. Youíll definitely start planning your next trip before youíre home.
Nyamera is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Your choice of destinations to to satisfy your wish list is OK, but I have a suspicion that it could well be a dissapointment for you. In all instances you are entering wild places where mammal behavious is unpredicatble and nothing certain.

I would have advised you to spend twon nights at Lake Nakuru to improve your chances of seeing leopard, rather than Samburu. On the other hand I suppose it is a guaranteed sighting at the baited carcass across the river in front of some of the camps out that way. If you were more sincere about getting away from the crowds then I believe that the Samburu is the wrong choice entirely, perhaps it would be prudent to venture into the Shaba reserve to avoid crowds. By the way I have always seen good leopard in Shaba.

Early herds of the migration by June, doubtful, but none the less you will see some great game there and I would not be surprised to read in your trip repoert that that is where you had your better leopard sightings.

Ele's you will see everywhere. Between now and then try and work on your expectations and I am convinced that you'll return immidiately planning your return.
mkhonzo is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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I suspect mkhonzo is right. I saw leopard (unbaited) at Samburu, but we were immediately submerged in the dust of other vehicles. The leopard didn't stick around.

I was on a mobile safari, able to avoid the permanent camp/lodge crowds most of the time, so I enjoyed Samburu, its elephants and its scenery. While there, we heard about the leopard baiting that goes on in some places and were glad not to be subjected to it.

You'll almost certainly get good leopard sightings in the Mara.

I suspect mid-late July will be a little too early for migration sightings, but you may be lucky.

afrigalah is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 03:04 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Amboseli--good plan

Samburu--as others have stated it is not untouristed and because it is a relatively small park the other vehicles are noticeable. This part may not live up to your expectations. Leopards are always hard to find and upredictable, except a few places in Southern Africa. But I believe Samburu offers the best leopard odds in Kenya. Serena baits for leopard so your chances go way up. Elephant viewing should be good in Samburu as well as Amboseli.

First troops of the migration are likely mid-July. I would stay 3 nights in the Mara.

You may be booking a second trip before you finish this one, but I doubt it will be due to disappointment in what you're seeing.

If you read other posts many recommend doing either Samburu or Amboseli, not both, if time or money is running out. But since you have specific reasons for visiting both you should do both. I really liked my visits to all 3 parks you mention.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 03:56 PM
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You are visiting three reserves in 6 or 7 days, including flights? Sounds rushed. All of that flying means less time looking for game. So if I understand your schedule, I'd suggest you add three more days to your trip.
regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 02:49 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11
Thanks for all your comments and the honesty. As a result I am taking steps to stay on for an extra night in the Mara, meaning three nights there to round off the holiday. It will give us a total of 13 game drives on the whole trip... I reckon just about as many as this safari virgin could handle without needing a fortnight in intensive care to recover!!!

Thanks again for all your help and advice.
safarited is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 03:52 AM
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You'll absolutely planning a return trip if it's Leopard you're seeking. Took me till my 5th trip to see my first, when we were in South Africa. If you're not fortunate on this outing, you've go more safaris to plan

As to flights taking time from game drives - not necessarily. Flights depart early morning to Amboseli and Samburu, where you have a game drive on arriving on way to your lodge/camp. The Mara flights are a bit later, but you can still get an early game drive at Samburu and breakfast before heading to the airstrip for 10am flight. And, here too a game drive on way to the lodge.

With the short time you have, flying is really the only way to go.
Feb 18th, 2007, 06:53 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440

My leopard experience in 2 nights at Samburu in early August, staying at Samburu Lodge, which baited for leopards:

Each evening that bait was put out, a leopard appeared across the river from the lodge. Photos were possible, but they were not good. I saw one leopard in a tree on a game drive. There were quite a few other vehicles around and we had to wait our turn for a view.

The best leopard spots in Africa I believe are the Sabi Sands in South Africa and Mombo Camp in Botswana. I can attest to Mombo.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 07:30 AM
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Leopards = Mala Mala
napamatt is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 08:39 AM
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NapaMatt, I'll be looking for those leopards in June!
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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If you don't see a leopard on your very FIRST drive at MM, I'll eat your Tiley hat!!!!
regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 04:29 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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That would be quite a Tilley tale! You know how owners are supposed swap tales when they meet.
atravelynn is offline  

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