Kenya = post Tanzania trip

Old May 16th, 2006, 04:23 PM
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Kenya = post Tanzania trip

I have a suggested itinerary now for the Kenya portion of our trip. They suggest 1 night in Nairobi, drive via Narok to Mara National Reserve for 2 nights at Serena, drive to Lake Naivasha with 2 nights at Sopa and drive back to Nairobi for homeward flights. Any opinions on this excursion would be much appreciated. I am sure it will be our only trip to Kenya.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 04:34 PM
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When are you going? That would make a difference in the advice you receive.

If this is after Tanzania, posting that first part of the trip would also be helpful. And if you can add the max number of days you are willing to devote to the trip, that would be good too.

Unless you are going at a time when the Serengeti is superior to the Mara, I'd stay 3 nights in the Masai Mara.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 04:48 PM
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Sorry about that..I guess because I am so excited about my trip I think the whole world automatically knows what I am doing. We are going to Tanzania in mid Feb. for 8 days..Lake Manyara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro C. then fly to Kenya where we will stay for 5-6 days.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 04:09 AM
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I have also been considering a couple of days in Mt. Kenya perhaps instead of the Mara. Any opinions ? Thanks.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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Where were you thinking of staying in the Mt Kenya area and what are your interests?
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Old May 17th, 2006, 11:54 AM
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I am really wide open for opinions here. I had considered flying to Mt. Kenya and driving to L. Naivasha and then back to Nairobi. We will have spent a week on safari in Tanzania, so I was trying to see as much of Kenya as possible in such a short time. I have even considered just flying to and from Mt. Kenya and doing the day trips from there to Samburo etc. I don't want to bring my husband home too exhausted..he has to go right back to work. I know some would suggest Lamu or Zanzibar for a rest, but we are not really beach people. So..any opinions ??
I have been reading your trip postings Patty..thanks for the info.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 12:27 PM
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Samburu isn't really within day tripping distance from the Mt Kenya area. From Nanyuki, it's still a 2.5-3 hour drive each way. If you're interested in visiting Samburu, I'd fly there from Nairobi and then perhaps work your way back through the Mt Kenya region.

If you combine Mt Kenya with Lake Naivasha, you could consider driving through Aberdare NP (rather than via Nyaharuru and Nakuru). Beautiful scenery with changes in landscape and altitude, waterfalls, not easy to spot game due to the foliage but you may encounter some species which you aren't as likely to see elsewhere. Bring a picnic lunch as it will take a good part of the day. I have some pics of the drive in this album - http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...&x=0&y=-r5e7ji
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Old May 17th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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Thanks so much for the photos Patty...magnificent. I thought I saw day trips out of Mt. Kenya Safari Lodge to Samburo and other places, but at this point I am not even sure we will choose the Safari Lodge.
Has anyone stayed there ? Any opinions ? We always try to cover too much territory on our trips, but I do like the idea of driving from Mt. Kenya to Naivasha and then onto Nairobi. Would you drive to Mt. Kenya from Nairobi or would you fly ?
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Old May 17th, 2006, 02:00 PM
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The drive from Nairobi to Nanyuki isn't bad, about 3 hours on fairly good road (for Kenya). How are you getting to Nairobi and do you plan to spend your first night there or head straight to Mt Kenya?

Try a search on this board for Mt Kenya Safari Club. I believe there are some older threads which are mostly negative. Their website probably does mention a day trip to Samburu but I don't think it would be enjoyable. You'll spend as much time or more getting to and from the park as you would actually in the park. Plus you'll be driving around the park during the hottest part of the day.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 02:15 PM
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Around the same area, you could consider Mountain Lodge http://www.serenahotels.com/kenya/mo...llage/home.asp - no game drives here, the main activity is viewing game that come to the waterhole. I believe they also offer short walks in the vicinity of the lodge.

Or Sweetwaters http://www.serenahotels.com/kenya/sweetwaters/home.asp which is on a private game reserve. Here you can go on day/night game drives and visit a chimpanzee sanctuary with rescued/orphaned chimps. Also offered are walks and short camel rides. The camel rides aren't really for game viewing, just near the camp area. The tents surround a waterhole with better viewing from the front row tents. Here are my pics from a stay in Jan 2005 - http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...&x=0&y=-niug41
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Old May 17th, 2006, 03:43 PM
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OOps..I forgot to answer this..Our plan is to fly into Nairobi from Tanzania and spend one day and night, then head off somewhere. We are looking at the Intercontinental and also the Norfolk in Nairobi. We will come back to Nairobi the day of our night flight home.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 07:04 PM
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You are going at a time when the Serengeti is superior to the Mara. Therefore, the Masai Mara would not need to be a priority.

If you are thinking Mt. Kenya, I stayed at Lewa Downs and found it to be wonderful. It is a rhino reserve with black and white rhino there.

I know what you mean about thinking the world is well aware of your exciting Africa plans!
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Old May 18th, 2006, 05:47 AM
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Thanks again for more info. I am interested in both the Mountain Lodge and Lewa Downs. Did you go horseback riding while you were there...I think my husband might really enjoy that..he worked on ranches in the Canadian west when he was younger, so an African ranch experience would be fantastic. I really appreciate all the help I have received on this board..what a goldmine !!!
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Old May 18th, 2006, 10:44 AM
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If you're interested in staying at a working cattle ranch that also functions as a private wildlife reserve, there are many, many such ranches in the Laikipia area north of Nanyuki.

The best place to start investigating options is www.laikipia.org

We stayed at El Karama last year and will be staying there again in December. They offer game viewing rides on the ranch (we didn't do that last time but plan to this trip) as well as walks and day/night game drives. They operate on a self catered basis so you'll need to arrive with your own vehicle and provisions which you can arrange through a tour operator in Nairobi. They provide a cook and ranch guide who accompanies you on walks and game drives.

Across the river from El Karama is Segera and they offer a fully catered option if you prefer something more inclusive. They can pick you up from Nanyuki so you can fly and use the ranch vehicle for your game drives. Other activity offerings are similar to El Karama - walks, horse rides, etc.

Going a step up in luxury factor (and cost) is Borana located adjacent to Lewa Conservancy. Horse riding and a number of other activities are offered. I believe they're the ones that offer rides starting from Kisima up to Lake Rutundu cabin on Mt Kenya - http://www.lewa.org/rutundu.php - would be a unique and interesting way to explore Mt Kenya.

That's just a start. There are many more ranches further north. See the map here for locations - http://www.laikipia.org/map-of-laikipia.htm

This would be a great way to spend a few days if you want something a little different than the usual safari circuit.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 04:53 PM
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No riding for me at Lewa.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 05:55 AM
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Thank you once again for all the great information. The latest suggested itinerary is:
1 night Norfolk Nairobi
2 nights Lewa Wilderness (fly up)
1 night Serena Mountain Village (drive)
1 night Serena Sopa Naivasha (drive)
Drive back to Nairobi for flight home

If time is short I may have to give up the night at Serena Mountain Village..do you think I am missing much by doing that ?
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 11:20 AM
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If you skip Mountain Lodge, what would you do with the extra night (or would there not be an extra night)?

There are some comments about Mountain Lodge in this thread (though the thread is more from the point of view of Mountain Lodge vs Ark, another tree hotel in the Aberdares) - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34731657

If you decide to go from Lewa directly to Naivasha, I'd fly back to Nairobi first and drive up.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 03:52 PM
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Hi Patty,
Oh dear, now I am really undecided. I was thinking there would be no extra night (for Mountain Lodge)because of time constraints, but was planning on driving to Nakaru/Navaisha from Lewa, spending one night there and then on to Nairobi. Didn't you drive thru Adares to that area Patty ?
Wondered why you suggested flying back to Nairobi..if we had to do that I might just forget about Navaisha area and fly in and out of Mt. Kenya area. Any opinions ?
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 04:40 PM
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We stayed at a place about an hour north of Aberdare NP, so our total drive including stops in the park to Naivasha was about 5-6 hours. I wasn't thinking in terms of driving from Lewa which is north of Mt Kenya. Geographically, I'd say Lewa is more in Laikipia but all of these labels are rather ambiguous anyway.

In any case, originally I thought you were going to stay closer to Nanyuki, so coming from Lewa will probably be another 2(?) hours farther. If you look at the Laikipia map link I posted earlier, it'll give you a better sense of locations relative to each other. The drive is do-able if you're up for it, but you'll arrive at Naivasha fairly late in the day.

If you're cutting it down to 3 nights and want to stay at Lewa, I'd probably just spend all 3 nights here and fly.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 04:07 AM
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Oh the choices...I need more time (and money)..it is so hard to decide.
We will have had 8 days driving around Tanzania and I am thinking now that maybe driving over to Navaisha will just be cramming too much in. I guess we might see loads of flamingos in Lake Manyara as well.
So now I am really interested in Borana perhaps instead of Lewa Downs. It looks as if horseback riding would be more intensive which appeals to my husband. Perhaps fly to Borana, drive back to Nairobi with a possible night in Mountain Village along the way. I am not a great map reader as my husband will confirm, but it looks like this might work. What do you think ? I really have to quit changing my mind and get this portion booked, but it is all so exciting I want to see everything !! Thanks so much.
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