Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page > gameviewing for 4 or 5 nights before seeing the gorillas in Rwanda?

gameviewing for 4 or 5 nights before seeing the gorillas in Rwanda?

Reply

Aug 23rd, 2012, 04:40 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 993
gameviewing for 4 or 5 nights before seeing the gorillas in Rwanda?

Hi everyone

Had to change dates slightly for my gorilla treks in Rwanda in June of 2013. Now will have some nights, maybe 4 or 5, to go gameviewing beforehand. We (my sister and me) will be outside of Nelspruit working in an animal rehab facility so we could go in a few places I guess. Trying to avoid overnighting anywhere, which seems impossible, so as few places as possible. This will be my sister's first safari experience.
I am wondering Sabi Sands somewhere, but to the Masai Mara is where the travel agent is suggesting but a lot of one nighters in this.
Any suggestions? We are tied to certain days due to flights in and out of Kigali.
If we do head to the Mara, to stay where at this time of the year, which will be mid June.

Kind regards
Kaye
KayeN is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 23rd, 2012, 07:17 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8,290
If you go to Masai Mara, you might stay in one of the conservancies. I was in Mara North this past June and Olare Orok in June a couple of years ago. Both were great (high grass, though, of course). I like Kicheche camps myself, but certainly there are more luxurious options.
Leely2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 23rd, 2012, 07:23 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8,290
Oh, have you looked into Tanzania? The Serengeti should be good in June--migration and all.

I think it will all come down to flights, but if you decide on Kenya or Tanzania, it would probably be good to go just to one park/conservancy given your time limitations and all the other activities you have planned. I stayed four nights in the Mara and could have stayed longer.
Leely2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 23rd, 2012, 10:21 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Leely and I are of the same mind. My first suggestion would be to make your way to Nairobi/NBO Kenya from where by road (minimum 5/hrs on some nasty roads) or as a fly-in (about $300 return/pp), go to the Masai Mara.

June is still early for the crowds that arrive from July forward for the migration. And, though the migration was late this year, during the 2/years prior (when Leely and I did meet up to bend elbows and jibber-jabba ), when the herds arrived early... a surprise to everyone.

However, there is more to safari than the migration as there are always resident wildebeest herds and all the other game - lion, cheetah, giraffe, elephants, baboons, monkey, rhino, hippo, even leopard (if elusive)... and so much more, not to be missed. Besides during June most prices are still at mid-season. Back to NBO for a flight to KGL.

Alternative would be to Tanzania, arriving Kilimanjaro/JRO where migration is in Western corridor of Serengeti, again spend the entire time here on a fly-in/out (about $425-450/return/pp). But here, as 1st June prices go into peak season so will be higher for lodge/camps than if in Kenya. From Serengeti you have two choices for getting to KGL.
1) Coastal Air from the Serengeti at about $650-700/one-way/pp, (ouch!) but no backtracking to JRO, or
2) if from JRO, there is a Rwandair flight (not daily) even if about $250/pp lower fare.

It's sure faster/shorter using Coastal.

Neither country will disappoint, so you have choices.

Let us know what you decide and how plans progress.
sandi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 23rd, 2012, 11:39 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
I was just in the Mara North conservancy at Offbeat Mara Camp. It's a gem... great camp, location, managers and guides.
ShayTay is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 24th, 2012, 04:27 AM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 993
Thanks Ladies for your replies.

Considering Tanzania now - western corridor thanks Sandi!

I know each season is different, but if going to plans this sounds an ideal area to be in mid June. I had a exceptionally disappointing trip with 2 nieces there in Jan 2001 and haven't been back so this may be the time to give it another shot. Especially liking that I can go directly to Kigali from here as well, though as mentioned, incredibly expensive. Have no idea of camp rates as yet, but am really liking the look of Mbalageti Tented Lodge, Serengeti Soroi Lodge and Kirawira Tented Lodge. In the Mara, liked the Royal Mara Safari Lodge but haven't really looked for here as yet.
Have to see how easy it is to get from Nelspruit to Kilimanjaro then onto the lodge, would love to do that in one day if possible as hate wasting days in airports, on planes or in a city if I can possibly avoid it.
Travel Agent was not in today so have no further suggestions from her, but if anyone has anything to add please do so.
I hope to work for one month in the animal rehab before this trip and the gorillas, my sister only 7-10days as she is unable to take the holidays that I can, so will be looking for a bit of luxury on this portion of the trip as expecting the gorillas to be hard work as booked to do 3 treks in 3 days which will be easier for my sister as she does a heap of hill/mountain walking while I hate it and have rheumatoid arthritis and my knees have seen better days!
Thanks for you help again, Leely, Sandi and ShayTay.
Kind regards
Kaye
KayeN is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 24th, 2012, 05:02 AM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 993
I am certainly hoping so freefooddeal, otherwise it is going to be a very costly exercise to do some fairly tough mountain walking!

Just tried looking at flights from Nelspruit to Kilimanjaro - what a nightmare that is going to be, I can't find any direct flights from Joburg to Kilimanjaro, could that be right???

Kind regards

Kaye
KayeN is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 24th, 2012, 07:54 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,802
I don't think there are any nonstop flights between Johannesburg and Kilimanjaro. They all stop/connect in Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam or even Kigali. I don't think it's feasible to go to Nelspruit to either the Mara or Serengeti in one day.
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 24th, 2012, 09:26 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Nelspruit is most unlikely for flight to JRO. It'll have to be out of JNB to either NBO/Kenya or DAR/Tanzania.

If visiting Kenya, the first is easy enough but flights to the Mara are only in the morning (2) and afternoon (1), but there are two carriers flying this route.

From DAR, which is Southern Tanzania would require a flight to JRO or Arusha/ARK the domestic airport and from either, an ongoing flight onto the Serengeti. But even to Serengeti, there's only morning and afternoon flights... a few carriers fly these routes.

Can't see how you'd do this in 1/day, whether Kenya or Tanzania.
sandi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2012, 01:22 AM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 993
Hi Sandi

No I realised I would never get from Nelspruit to Kilimanjaro, but only mentioned it as that is where I have to start.
So Kenya would be Nelspruit - Joburg - Nairobi - Mara

and

Tanzania would be either Nels - Joburg - DAR -JRO or ARK - Serengeti,

is this right?

Is there a flight to Kigali direct, from either Nairobi or JRO or ARK?

Anyone know of those lodges/camps that I mentioned above?

If we have to overnight, and it does look like i do Patty and Sandi (sadly) then do I do that in Nairobi or DAR, then fly into the Mara or the Serengeti the next morning?

Kind regards

Kaye
KayeN is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2012, 06:08 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 60
HI Kaye,

We were in the Serengeti mid-June 2012 and stayed at the Kirawira Tented Camp for 2 nights.

We loved Kirawira--the food, the accommodations, and especially the staff. It sits above the plains and the views are beautiful.

It is not far from the Grumeti River which makes for interesting game viewing. From there (Serengeti airport), we flew to Kigali (via Mwanza) on Coastal.

After visiting the gorillas for 2 days (Mountain Gorilla View Lodge) and overnights in Kigali (Serena), we flew on Kenya Airways to Nairobi.

I too have RA (thank goodness for Humira!) and had no trouble visiting the gorillas--Susa and Kwitonda group.

I hope this helps.
Happy planning!

PD
pollydill is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2012, 08:02 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,802
There are nonstop flights from JRO to KGL but not daily. There are daily nonstop flights from NBO to KGL.

I would overnight in either Nairobi or Arusha depending on whether you plan to head to the Mara or Serengeti the following day.
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 27th, 2012, 01:37 AM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 993
Hi PD

Shall look at that camp again, thanks. I am loving that direct flight to Kigali, that was mentioned before so a big plus.

Have already booked the gorilla portion so am now booking this trip from the end to the beginning, which is a bit odd but no choice as we are doing 3 gorilla walks and I wanted that booked and confirmed before doing anything else. My sister has not been to any African country before while I have been a number of times now, so am wanting her to see a bit of variety but when you do that we will be country hopping which I don't like as huge waste of time and money but in saying that it will give her an idea if she ever wishes to return.
I am also on Humira and other stuff, and while not in peak condition at the moment, am hoping to by the time that trip comes around! In fact hoping to be by the time the next trip comes around which is in 4 weeks!
How long in hours were those 2 weeks? Di is a good hill/mountain walker, so I will be the problem!
Hi Patty
That is good to go direct at the end of this little gameviewing adventure as seems an time consuming effort to get there, although I have no doubt (I hope) that it will be worth it!
Many thanks again ladies for your help!
Kind regards

Kaye
KayeN is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:24 AM.