Kenya Safari - would you do this?

Jun 17th, 2003, 06:47 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 42
Kenya Safari - would you do this?

Hello. I am trying to decide whether or not this short safari is worth it. I have an opportunity to do the itinerary below for $1900(this price includes everything - my r/t air to NBO from the USA and all accomodations/transfers, taxes etc.)

Day 1-Overnight flight to AMS
Day 2-Fly to NBO (stay at Nairobi Hilton)
Day 3-Day in Nairobi (again at Nairobi Hilton)
Day 4-Drive to Aberdare National Park in morning (overnight at The Ark)
Day 5-Drive to Lake Nakuru Nat'l Park (overnight at Lake Elementaita Lodge)
Day 6-Drive to Masai Mara (overnight at Mara Simba Lodge)
Day 7-Masai Mara (overnight at Mara Simba Lodge)
Day 8-Drive back to Nairobi and depart on evening flight back to AMS, then home.

Last year I went on a fabulous 3 week trip of fly-in safaris through Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and SA... I was not planning on going back to Africa so soon, but I keep watching these shows on Animal Planet - and can't fight the urge!!!

Anyway, is it worth it to do this itinerary? Or should I just wait and do planning for a "real" trip(i.e. more $$, but definitely longer & more locations)?

Kathi is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 328
Hi Kathi:

Action packed but you'll love it, the only long drives (more the 1.5-2 hours) will be days 5 & 8 (which will likely be 4-6 hours). Last October we were 10 days in what you have in 8 with the extra 2 in Samburu at the start so a really long first days drive.

I actually would prefer the driving safaris over the fly-in as you see more of the countryside and when you stop meet more of the people.

But after leaving Maasi Mara, driving to Nairobi then flying home you'll really want a shower.

TravelMaster is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
Hi Kathi! If I could do this jaunt, I would in a heartbeat, but alas, it is not possible at this time. My only suggestion would be to try and see if you can alter the itinerary at all to exchange the full day in Nairobi for another day in the Mara or Nakuru. But if you can't, then by all means do this trip ... and just save your money for a more in-depth safari for next year!!!
SusanLynne is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 12:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
Its a very ambitious trip, but you can never visit the Masai Mara and witness the migration enough, so even though its a short trip, I would do it -- much better than spending same $ for a week in Florida.

In order to spend more time on safari, you may want to consider visiting Nairobi National Park for a few hours on your free day. While not on par with Masai Mara, Nairobi NP is a great place to see rhinos, plus I saw lion, zebra, giraffe, baboons, all sort of antelope -- its a great day and you can take some interesting photos of animals with the Nairobi skyline as your backdrop.

thit_cho is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 01:53 PM
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Yes very ambitious, but also a very good price.

If this isn't a fixed scheduled safari I would pass on The Ark (very touristy and a long ride in hopes some animals will show at the waterhole).

Lake Nakuru is certainly worth the ride, we loved seeing not only the flamingos, but there is a Rhino Reserve here and lots of baboons in the hills.

I'd add the extra day in the Mara, because after the long drive (see below) you'll only have 1-full-day there.

As Travelmaster noted - Do be prepared for long drives from Lake Nakuru to the Mara, about 5-hours usually with a stop Narok for gas and there is a souvenir shop. And again on your return to Nairobi about 5-6 hours.

Kenya doesn't have the best roads, lots of pot holes and lots of roads that just aren't there - if you are a "chesty" person, suggest you wear a sports bra, friends say it saved them during these long rides.

And transiting by land is so much better than fly-ins. Even mentioned to our guide on ride to the Mara (we flew back to NBO) from Nakuru, that if it wasn't for the lousy roads, and no white face, just looking out at the field of wheat, I would think I was driving across Kansas. There are tea plantations and Dole (I'm told) is the largest company in Kenya, growing those wonderful pineapples.

And the best - the children that can hear a vehicle approaching from miles away, smiling and waving just to say hello as you get to them!
Jun 18th, 2003, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 328

Yes, as per Sandi's post the roads (especially to one from Lake Nakaru to Maasi Mara) are bad.

But they were not as bad as I was lead to believe, but thats using a pre Trans-Canada highway reference point were when I was a kid in New Brunswick where ~25% of the ~400km drive from Bathurst to Plaster Rock was on a dirt road, you had to check in at ranger stations at each end of the Renus Highway, ~75% of the drive was through woods with little traffic and where large animals could block your path, and the road was not safe for at least 3 months of the year due to weather ... and I've even been on worse road/trail going to camps/fishing holes in New Brunswick.

And on the flip side, if the roads were better then more people may go which would put further strain a limited ecosystem which would inevadably impact the animals we all want to see.

I'd love to be going back, but alas it looks like New Zealand this fall.

TravelMaster is offline  

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