Help with lodges/itinerary

Jan 6th, 2006, 10:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 76
Help with lodges/itinerary

I have written previously and have read and listened to as many as I could and between your detailed notes and speaking to tour operators I have come up with a quasi itinerary. Any and all help is welcomed. As I mentioned before we (3 adults) are planning on going to Kenya and Tanzania at the end of June into July for about 2 weeks and adding our own gorilla trek into Rwanda (which we will book in the next day or two).We would like to see as much of the big 5 as possible (although I know it is asking for a lot, but I can hope...) and to be as close as possible to the animals in our luxury tented camps whenever we could. This is our itinerary. Flying into Tanzania (where, not sure as yet) we want to get to the Ngorongoro Crater and hope to stay at the Serena Ngorongoro. I know this is not a tented camp, but I think this is the only exception. Then drive to Serengeti and stay either at the Grumeti River Camp or the Kirawira Camp. Are there others with better game viewing? Drive through the Great Rift Valley and stay in Masai Mara either at Mara Intrepids or Olonana? Are there better game viewing from other places?Kichwa Tembo? Mara Explorer? Governor's Camp? Li'l Governors? If possible we would like to add Sweetwaters Tented camp and Semburu Intrepids. Ideas on that? Either or? Then back to Nairobi, visit for a day and fly home. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also where would I be close to hippos? Any particular camp I mentioned thus far? Assuming time is not an issue, please give me your opinios and when to fly to certain areas or drive. Thanks a lot.
KITTI0005 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Well you should stay at central serengeti,(maybe at the semi-permanent camp,because it looks like u would like a more intimate experience, go to,serengeti,seasonal camps) as the best wildlife viewing is in central serengeti atleast in july, also in july the migration may be in northern serengeti and central serengeti, getting ready to cross in the mara, so that would be a good choice too, like migration camp which is quite luxurious. I would not mind skipping grumeti and kirawira or spend maybe 2 days only as I have been to kirawira in june and the migration was not there and the main herd was much much far definately furthur than july, sometimes when it does not rain in the western serengeti the migration goes directly from central serengeti to northern serengeti skipping kirawira completely, the western part has only a small amount of resident game.the cat sightings was also really ok. I kept seeing the same pride of 10 lions for the 3 nights I spent in the area. I was in serengeti this october and saw 84 different lions, well i stayed for 7 nights in serengeti but 84/7 is a lot more than only 10 lions in 3 days. I did not see a leopard or cheetah in kirawira while I saw 8 cheetahs and 3 leopards in serengeti this trip.
sonali74 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 11:59 PM
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Are you saying that the animals may not always cross the western, but always cross the central to the northern section of the serengeti? If we happen to be in the serengeti the last week of June, would the central serengeti still be a good choice? How would Mbuzi Mave be as far as an option at that time? Thanks for your advice.
KITTI0005 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2006, 12:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,490
Kitti dear
The timing u've chosen is not easy on predicting migration whereabouts. but anyhow u should have an awesome safari !!
as 4 Mbuzi Mawe look at Serena's own maps for June-July
maybe Ikorongo is the ambush site?

as for Mara: usually the "official" migration starts at the second half of July... We r talking statistics, chances etc. Since this is the time u have i guess nobody (on earth) can tell u where to c the commandoes of migration. If i had 2 decide i would probably go 4 governer's - it is top class wildlife area & u can move to any direction following the info:
up north to Kitchwa Tembo, southwest towards Serena or even to Talek area and beyond. TIP: u can take a 06:30 drive with breakfast box (also 4 driver) and do a long game-drive untill noon time then rest & Afternoon g.d. would in the camp's vicinity.
# Samburu is a much loved reserve !!
more than recommended, IMHO a must!
a beautiful place. special fauna u shall not c anywhere
in Africa south of Kenya. good chances for leopard etc' mind u it is far...
# my suggestion is 2 do Nakuru instead of Sweetwaters. Nakuru is again a top site for leopard (Lions elephants etc' u'll get in the other parks). rare Rothschild's Giraffe & white rhino (reintroduced!) but the feathered pink
ones r also an awesome safari experience !
all the best
aby is offline  
Jan 7th, 2006, 01:22 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Well I think you should split your days, depending how many days you have between the moru area,central serengeti and lobo/kleins area. In this way you will definately see the migration. You can always do a game drive from central serengeti to the western region if part of the migration is there, you should check the website which gives you precise month to month location of the migration. I would suggest an itiernary like this, also june in masai mara is not very good. I only saw 5 lions in mara in june 2004 for 2 nights.Samburu (2),lake nakuru(1) sweetwaters(1) should be good in june.

2 nights moru (exclusive mobile camp)
2 nights mbuzi mawe
2 nights kleins
maybe throw in 1 night kirawira and skip a night at moru.
yes at times the herds skip western serengeti, it is all dependant on the rain.Also the zebras follow the wildebeest and the gazelles follow the zebras, so I have suggested moru, as some part of the migration other than wildebeest could be in that area. Also it is easy to spot leopards and cheetahs in this area. I saw 2 leopards in a span of 2 hours around moru in oct 2002.
sonali74 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2006, 01:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Olonana is an exceptionally beautiful luxury tented camp. Mara Intrepids is larger and commercial but enjoys a great central location in the park thus easier for game viewing. Olonana Camp is only 10 mins drive from Kichwa Tembo and thus it would be much nicer to stay here! Mara Explorer is only 5 mins drive from its sister camp Mara Intrepids and also a good camp to stay. In the Mara you would have good chances of seeing at least four of the Big 5. Rhinos are very difficult to spot here and thus recommended park to see both the black and white would be Lake Nakuru National Park.

Sweetwaters Tented Camnp is nice and a perfect stopover when travelling from Nakuru to Samburu. Also just 10 mins drive from Sweetwaters Camp you have the Ol Pejeta Ranch House which is also a very good accommodation option. This house belonged to a former business tycoon Adnana Kashoggi and is now turned into a pleasant retreat for tourists.

Sambutru is a great park to visit offering a diverse landscape and unique animals such as the long necked gerenuk, reticulated girrafe, beisa orynx etc.

The drive from Serengeti to the Mara is very long but you can always leave early with a picnic lunch and enjoy a game drive en-route.

Located on the Mara river, Olonana and Mara explorer / Intrepids are good camps for hippo sightings and there are many hippo pools that you can visit as well.

I have lived in Kenya my whole life and travelled to almost all the parks & stayed in all the above mentioned camps. Let me know if you need any further info.


Sonal_ is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 04:31 PM
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Posts: 76
Aby, I will check out the serena hotel site (not quite sure what you mean by ambush site)and check out Governors Camp a little closer. Do you also suggest more than one nt at Nakuru?
Sonali , I have printed out your recommendations. You see the problem is we are trying to do Sweetwaters, Samburu during the same trip as the Serengeti and the Masai Mara. I was thinking of flying into Nairobi then go north to do Samburu and Sweetwaters, then fly south close into the Ng. Crater and work our way up thru the Serengeti and lastly into the Masai Mara. Is the last week of June ideal to start this trek, given possibly a 12 day safari time for all? From there we can work around our gorilla trek. I have permit dates still available for June and July.
Sonal, we are pretty much set on Mara Intrepids. We have heard nothing but good things about it. Would you recommend more than one nt at Nakuru? How does the problem with Rwanda and the Serengeti work out, knowing I have now put Samburu, Sweetwaters, Masai Mara, Serengeti in the mix with yet attaching Rwanda on either side of it? What time of the month in June or July would be ideal to see the migration and the big 5, if you had to make an educated guess? I know we never know for sure. Thanks.
KITTI0005 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 11:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 544
i think u should fly into kilimanjaro and then do as follows
1) arusha( u can go and spend the night at crater rim to get the next whole day)
2 ngorogoro
3 ngorogoro ( I would leave for serengeti in the afternoon after lunch)
4 serengeti muzi mave
5 serengeti muzi mave
6 serengeti kirawira
7 masai mara
8 masai mara
9 fly to samburu from mara (if I am not mistaken there are daily flights from the mara to samburu )take an all inclusive package
10 samburu
11 fly from samburu to nanyuki where your driver could be waiting at airport to take u to sweet waters
12 leave sweetwater after lunch to go back to nbo. continue to gorillas
If u have any questions pls ask
sonali74 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2006, 07:27 AM
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First, tourist vehicles cannot cross directly between the Mara and Serengeti. You either have to drive from the Serengeti via Lake Victoria, cross border into Kenya and from there to the Mara. Or fly from Serengeti to Arusha (via Nairobi) to fly to the Mara.

What is your budget?

The luxury camps in the Serengeti are running about $400+/pp pn. and there is little, if any space at any of these, depending on your dates. You may find one day here, another day somewhere else, but not likely consecutive days.

You'll do better with Kenya accommodation lodgings/camps, but as of July 1 the prices go sky high - again in the $350-$600/pp/nt. Mara Explorer is up to almost $800/pp/nt at rack rates.

At this point, you should decide what you want and see whether there is any availability in either country and what it will cost. Much of what clients are seeking are already waitlisted.

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