Maasai Mara Questions

Jul 18th, 2007, 07:34 PM
  #1  
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Maasai Mara Questions

Can anyone tell me is this place like a little city of its own? In other words are there little places to eat and places to purchase things if needed? Is this area guarded at all by security? and If need be, can a traveler leave by taxi to go back to Nairobi if it isn't a comfortable environment for that person? How would they get a taxi? Should they put a back up taxi number in their cell phone maybe just in case? I know I sound ignorant with these questions, but I just want to know. Thanks
cwoods is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 08:41 PM
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There are no stupid questions.

I certainly didn't see any city like atmosphere in the Mara. No little places to eat and purchase stuff. No Starbucks. Buy things in Nairobi. Bring snacks if you need. Food should be provided by where you are staying. I am not aware of any market within or conveniently around the Mara.

You really are out in the wild. If someone is truly frazzled and must leave, your tour company MAY be ale to provide some transport, but it will be really really expensive. The Mara is HOURS from Nairobi on bumpy roads. This is not a Disneyland Adventure, where you joke around that you are "in the wild" but right around the corner are modern conveniences. (I am not trying to be snobbish here.)

While there is SOME catering to the tourist crowds, part of the point is getting away from all that.

I don't suppose you can leave that person who may not be comfortable at home?
waynehazle is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 08:57 PM
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As Wayne said, there are no dumb questions. It would be dumb to end up in the Maasai Mara not knowing what to expect and feel panicked and want to leave. Questions up front can prevent that.

They may be able to fly back to Nairobi if they wish to leave. There are a couple of scheduled daily flights, if there is room on the plane. It is also possible to charter a plane out.

Wherever you stay in the Mara, there will be ample food. Meals are provided at every camp or lodge. I don't recall any shops. The only cities are Maasai Manyattas or groups of their huts in a circle surrounded by a fence they have constructed of brush and branches.

Guarded? I think some of the camps/lodges have their own security. You would be walked by to your tent if you stay in a smaller, more remote location. The accommodations range from small tents to lovely permanent tented camps to lodges with four solid walls. I know there is some kind of patrol because my guide and I rode with them one night when we had a vehicle breakdown.

I would do some investigating into where you'd be staying in the Mara so whoever is uncomfortable has full info. I'd suggest that person do some soul searching to decide if that is really the trip they want.

In general the Mara is a wonderful place that a wide variety of people enjoy. You do not have to be a camper, backpacker, fearless adventurer to have fun in the Mara.
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 09:05 PM
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Use the internet. Do some searching for Maasai Mara. Get a clue.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 03:06 AM
  #5  
 
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Hmmm, careful with authorative wrong answers friends!

The truth is there ARE towns at the outskirts of the Masai Mara proper very near at least 2 gates!

This is one of the big misconceptions of the Masai Mara that most tourists do not realize when they visit!

Sekenani town is rather big actually with a few places to eat and sleep (for locals mostly, but I have eaten there a few times).

Talek town has less to offer but there are shops to buy supplies and snacks.

Even the town north of Musiara gate has a few bars and little shops! You drive through this town from Kichwa Tembo and others!

The locals travel mostly by scheduled minibuses from these towns to Narok and then on to Nairobi with many different buses, etc. Just go to Talek or Sekenani towns and ask someone for help. It is very easy!

There are several taxis going back and forth to Narok. If one breaks down (common) the next one will stop and help. Crowded yes, but the system works!

The area is generally safe. Talk to the locals and be vigilant.

climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 03:14 AM
  #6  
 
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Here is a pic of Talek town very near the gate - http://www.go-safari.com/Masai%20Mara/MaraShots7.jpg
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 08:47 AM
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Well I absolutely stand corrected!

Although I do say that it is best to pick up most conveniences in Nairobi and not to count on being able to pick things up in any shops outside the Mara... especially if there is someone who you feel may be missing more Western style conveniences.

In Nairobi I went to a supermarket called Nakumat's which was pretty comparable to any American supermarket. Now I could be wrong, but looking at that picture of Talek town, I would not expect a fully stocked supermarket to be there. Yes you may be able to pick up some things but I still advise try to stock up before getting to the Mara.

waynehazle is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 09:13 AM
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I’ve seen in another post that cwoods has an 18-year old daughter volunteering in Kenya and is looking for a safari for this daughter. I’d say the risk of finding oneself in an “uncomfortable” situation would be a lot higher volunteering and maybe staying with a Kenyan family than being on safari with tourism professionals. The daughter will be more babied and looked after than she’s ever been (or maybe not as cwoods sounds rather extreme )
cwoods, you’re worrying about the wrong things. You’re daughter will not have to escape from the Mara. The risk is she’ll not want to return home.
Nyamera is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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wow, thank you very much for the advice, great to know she should get snacks before leaving and that little town would probably be great for the locals, but Nairobi sounds good to me too Wayne. Thank you.
Also, you can believe I am very extreme about my only girl, but with the high alerts and warnings out, I feel comfortable with that level of concern. I do believe you are right about the safety with so many tourist around. I just want her to be included with the right group and tour guide and I am trying very hard to arrange that from here in Florida which has proven to be quite difficult. I am thinking seriously about having her just go to Nairobi and try to arrange it rather than me doing it for her, I just didn't want her to stress over it and wander around lost not knowing where to go. Any advice is greatly appreciated, yes I have listed some options presented so far on another post. Thanks to everyone for the help. This whole experience is something I am sure she will never forget or regret!
cwoods is offline  
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