Kruger v. Masai Mara

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Jul 2nd, 2001, 06:41 PM
  #1
steve wilhide
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Kruger v. Masai Mara

We are taking a trip to Africa in mid-May and are trying to decide between two tours. Both go to Capetown and Victoria Falls but then the choice is Kenya: Nairobi/Sweetwaters and Masai Mara versus Kruger Park. Any recommendations? Aloso, tour company is African Travel, Inc. Anyone had any experiences?
 
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Jul 2nd, 2001, 07:40 PM
  #2
jhm
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I have never been to Kruger, but have been to Sweetwaters, which was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had. You sleep in highly-glorified tents, which are Out-Of-Africa-esque in style -- canopy beds with mosquito netting, lovely shower -- and there is a ditch dug around you so that giraffes are only footsteps away. Camel rides are available, and the gamespotting in the evening jeep rides was great. I thought that it was a truly lovely and unique place. Masai Mara was also spectacular -- from flying in on a propeller plane, to the wonderful drives (we saw EVERYTHING -- herds of zebra, elephants, giraffes, groups of lions, and even a few leopards). I thought it was simply spectacular; probably the best trip I'd ever gone on. I don't, however, think you can go too far wrong with Kruger!
 
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Jul 2nd, 2001, 10:44 PM
  #3
local
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I have been to Kruger a few times (I stay in SA) and I think May is a good time to go - not that warm and rain season is over. It is very green during the rain season but the bushes are very dense then and it has happened that I only saw one elephant during a two day period. Just keep in mind that Kruger is a malaria area and you may want to make provision for that. (I do not know about the Masai Mara.) Kruger does not have the flights that Masai Mara have. From reading the previous response, it is a flip of the coin between the two - for me maybe the Masai Mara (Kenya) as it is another country as you have then been to SA and Zimbabwe (or Zambia), although the difference between Cape Town and Kruger Park is quite significant - can't really compare the two from that basis.

We are going to the Vic Falls next month - looking forward to that.
 
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Jul 3rd, 2001, 01:43 AM
  #4
Celia
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Where in Masai Mara? We stayed there several times and I agree with jhm that Masai Mara is a spectacular place but mid-May is the middle of rain season in Kenya and it is not fun.
 
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Jul 3rd, 2001, 07:17 AM
  #5
Sandy
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Sorry, but I must disagree with Celia . . . we were in Kenya at the Masai Mara in May and it was GREAT! We could not have ordered better weather. It drizzled on us for about 2 hours one afternoon and it did not hamper the animal viewing at all. The other times, the weather was warm and sunny and no mosquitoes.

Being off season, there were hardly any other tourists and we saw every animal that lives on the Masai. It was an incredible trip.

We went with 2 Afrika (www.2afrika.com).

Sandy
 
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Jul 3rd, 2001, 09:08 AM
  #6
Myriam
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I have been to Maasai Mara some years ago and I would go back in a minute if I could. I haven't been to Kruger Park but from pictures I have seen from my brother it is less wild than the Mara. Also you are not allowed to leave the (asphalted) roads, whereas in the Mara you (or your ranger) can drive off-road which is much more spectacular.
The month of May may not be the best season but this is valid for both Kruger & Mara.
 
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Jul 10th, 2001, 05:37 AM
  #7
Don
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Frankly choosing between the two is like deciding between Paris and Rome. Both are spectacular in their own right. Masai Mara is less bushy so you see greater vistas but Kruger is very beautiful too and much more varied. The amount of game you see is up to the skill of the ranger/location of the lodge as well as the quality of the reserve you are in. I would plump for Kruger in your case, if only because of the travelling. In Kenya also, prices are generally based on US$ whereas here everything is Rand so it is better value for money (if you can put a prce on such an experience. Really either way you cannot go wrong.
 
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Jul 17th, 2001, 07:29 PM
  #8
john
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My wife and I just got back from our Honeymoon in South Africa. We Loved it! We flew South Africian Airways told them it was our Honeymoon and they upgraded us to Business class. We started out in Capetown at the Mt Nelson Hotel. Its a place that hasnt changed for about 50 years. It was charming it retains a Colonial English Feel. They upgraded us to a suite of rooms with champagne and flowers because of the honeymoon and the fact that winter is there low season. The Mt Nelson Breakfast was the best in Africa, they had cavier, champagne and smoked salmon on the Buffet. Next we flew to Port Elizabeth to a Private game reserve called Shamwari. Also wonderful two nights was just the right amount of time. Flew back to Cape Town and stayed in the winelands for 2 nights in Franschhoek at La Quartier francais, a really nice country inn. They also greated us with champagne. Dont miss the local wineries the wine is good and cheap we shipped a case home for about $65. Next we took the Blue train to Pretoria and yes more champagne. We transfred 2 hours to Sun city Lost Palace Hotel. It was something to see but more like disney than Africa. Sun city could be anywhere in the world, but it gave us a chance to golf and have a massage. Nextwe went to Mala Mala game reserve. The Animals were great and yes we did see the Big five. Finally we flew to Joberg were we stayed the night at the grace hotel in the suburb of rosebank. The Grace was just as nice as all the other hotels and we were told it was sake to walk within a few blocks of the hotel even a night. There was a very nice shoppiung complex there called the zone... we didour last minuet shopping and took in the new Tombraider movie. The movie costs about $8 for both of us. The Grace greated us with more champagne flowers and rose petals in the shape of a heart on the bed. Looking back We can't think of a better honeymoon. The weather was in the 70s in the south and in the 80s in the north in the day. It was cool a night. You will need warm clothes including a coat and maybe a hat for the game drives a night especially if you visit Shamwari. We used trans africa safaris out of cape town. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.


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Jul 18th, 2001, 10:57 AM
  #9
Deb
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As someone who has visited both East Africa and South Africa, there are differences between the two. Note: I visited both in the late Sept-early Oct time period.

I am glad regardless of which you choose, you will be seeing both Capetown which is absolutely gorgeous and Victoria Falls which is just as stunning. Try whitewater rafting down the Zambezi River if you have time. Or if that isn't your thing, go flying in an ultralight over the Falls...

I first went to Kenya (Masai Mara) in 1990. In the Masai Mara, you can go offroading to see the animals and you see vast herds on endless plains. In South Africa which I visited in 1995 (I didn't go to Kruger but to a private reserve right outside), the herds overall are much smaller and the landscape is more bushland. For example, in South Africa I saw a solitary wildebeest; this would have been unheard of on the Masai Mara plain where I saw herds so large I couldn't count them.

[I would recommend that if you choose South Africa, go to one of the private reserves like Sabi which does allow offroading vs. Kruger where you have to stay on the roads.]

Types of animals: Overall, you are more likely to see cheetah if you go to Kenya; if you go to South Africa, you are more likely to see rhinos in the wild (and I saw my leopard there). Also I always thought God had a funny sense of humor when he made zebras have stripes. On the plains of East Africa, the stripes are like bullseyes; however, in South Africa, in the bushlands, zebras do blend in to the bush.

Anyway, whatever way you choose, you will NOT be disappointed.

[If fact, I am going back again this October. I will be visiting the Masai Mara again and also Amboseli which I have never visited (I want to see Kilimanjaro - I figure I've seen and hiked Mt. Kenya - might as well include another mountain).]

 
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