Mara in Sept.-camps?

Old Nov 18th, 2007, 11:40 AM
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Mara in Sept.-camps?

I'm thinking of re-booking my Mara and Rwanda trip for Sept. 08, depending on award tkts. Right now it looks like it would be early or mid-Sept. and am wondering which camp or camps might be best for that month-would prefer open vehicles rather than the pop-top type. Thanks
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Old Nov 18th, 2007, 04:11 PM
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http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...4&tid=34735353

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...4&tid=34994983

These threads remotely relate to your question. Sept. is a good time in the Maasai Mara. I donít know if you can do open vehicles in the Mara. Your budget will also dictate where you would stay.

Good luck!
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Old Nov 18th, 2007, 05:02 PM
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I definitely want a small tented camp like maybe Mara Explorer but don't know if that is in the best area for mid-Sept. Thanks for the threads.
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Old Nov 18th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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Open vehicles - the Governors camps (Maasai Mara, Kenya) use open top/side Land Rovers with a round bar frame up about shoulder height. AND, you are allowed to STAND UP in the vehicle. (That's the way it was for us in Sep 2006 when we were at Little Governors).

regards - tom
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 04:02 AM
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The Governor's Camps - Main, Little or Il Moran, Intrepid's, Explorer, Rekero, Naibor - all in the Triangle area - all use open vehicles.

Right outside the Triangle: Serian, Olonana, Kichwa Tembo, Bateleur, Porini Lion.

Who has space, I can't say, but above are those to consider.
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 04:25 AM
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Sandi can you tell me) why open tops are used in Sabi Sands and in Botswana (or at least in the places we visited) but are not usual in Kenya/Tanzania?

I have always been curious about this and never read the reason..

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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 04:50 AM
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At Sabi Sands or Botswana (the Delta as example) are self-contained areas, in the park/reserve.

In Kenya/Tanzania, where many visitors are doing a road trip, open vehicles aren't allowed to transit between parks around the country. It's a safety issue.

Will you see open vehicles on the roads in these countries? Yes. These are usually owned by individual citizens. There are some "open" vehicles belonging to safari outfitters, but when on the roads between parks, they have sides (wood w/glass panes or heavy plastic sheeting or canvas) that have to be put into place. It would be dangerous traveling at 50mph and having rocks and debris kicking up into passenger faces. Speed in the parks is very low (or should be).

Once in a park/reserve, most of the camps/lodges do use open vehicles. Those who do fly-in safaris have the advantage of open-vehicles for game drives.
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 04:55 AM
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Thanks, Sandi! Would you say that the open vehicles are far better for game viewing?
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 05:30 AM
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I've been in both open and closed (w/pop top roof), been in 4WD and 2WD and have never had a problem, either as to comfort or the ability to take photos.

Whether 4WD or 2WD, in both dry and wet seasons, I've never gotten stuck on roads or in mud.

The open vehicles are the typical image of "safari" but these can also be uncomfortable when it rains, when they take off on the plains and the wind cuts right into your face and chills the body. Even with blankets provided, it's a good idea to have a scarf, hat, gloves and wear socks.

At least with the closed vehicles, you can roll up the windows to avoid the elements.

And, I've found the suspension of the mini-vans much better than other vehicles. I find the Land Cruisers more comfortable than Range Rovers. But there are so many models of all vehicles, that some Rovers have been better than Land Cruisers. Age of vehicle will also have impact.

For me, none have yet been a disappointment for either game viewing or photography purposes.

So many choices!


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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 06:58 AM
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Thanks Sandi for all the info-looks like we'll have quite a few to choose from and just have to determine the location for Sept.
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 07:38 AM
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Hi moremiles, September should be the perfect setting for you to view the migration.

How many days are you looking at ??

I would suggest a tanzania/ kenya combo

You could do the ngorongor crater( the crater lodge is excellent) along with northern serengeti(CCa/ nomad/sayari) and mara(u have been given good reviews already), as the animals migrate between both countries depending on the rains.

Have u ever gone to tanzania ???

best of luck, Sonali

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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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Thanks Sonali-no, we haven't been to Tanzania before, just Kenya, and since we'll be going to Rwanda also, I haven't worked out how many days total in Kenya yet. We'd love to see some of the migration if possible and we should have a total of about 13 days in Africa.
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 09:27 AM
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moremiles,

how many nights do u need in rwanda ???

How many nights to see the gorillas ?? (I have no idea, my passion is for lions)

Do u have a passion for any animal or animals which u would like to see on the trip

Accordingly parks can be suggested
like taragire would have many elephants
Usually a kenya tanzania safari is done together and in tanzania the crater is a beautiful place, specially the views from the crater
rim

I personally feel 1-2 nights is sufficient in the crater and 3 nights each at mara and serengeti,
that leaves some time for rwanda

Sonali
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 01:51 PM
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Here are some pics of vehicles. In East Africa I donít recall the completely open vehicles with no top at all that seem to be the norm in Southern Africa. But as Sandi mentions, I have never felt that an outing was compromised by the vehicle even though I believe the more open the better.

Governorís accommodations
http://www.governorscamp.com/main%20activities.htm
These are the vehicles I recall from Little Govís.

Rekero
http://www.aardvarksafaris.com/camp/...ekero-Camp.htm


Intrepids
http://www.adventuresafaris.com/Camp...aintrepids.htm

Mara Explorer: The pic of the vehicle is near dusk or dawn, so it is kind of dark.
http://www.safari.go2africa.com/acco...frompage~masai


The vehicle at Kichwa Tembo looked more open than some others
http://www.ccafrica.com/destinations...kichwa/act.asp

Serianóvehicle with cheetah
http://www.serian.net/

************************************************** ********

Here are Sept reports with accommodations of at Govís
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34679837
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34882614

Here is a Sept report with accommodations of at Bateleur
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34864322

Here is a Sept report with accommodations of at Keekorok
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34688363
I think I would want to be further away from the entrance than that

Here is a Sept report with accommodations of at Sopa
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...t=0&dirtyBit=1
I think I would want to be further away from the entrance than that

Here is a Sept report with accommodations of at Sarova
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34871408
Some people I know just got back from Africa in Sept and stayed at Sarova. They were thrilled with the sightings, which included a cheetah family. There was a resident dik dik couple at Sarova too.

This report is from Aug but it mentions a mobile camp, Siringet. If you are really concerned about location, you could try this mobile camp approach. But I donít know if Siringet is allowed to locate anywhere in the Mara in order to maintain a close proximity to the migration, or if it stays on the sidelines. That would be something to ask.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34860246

Looking at all the different places people stayed in Sept, everybody seemed very happy with what they saw from what I recall of their reports. Sept is a popular time to visit because of the excellent viewing so I wouldnít delay too long.

If you can afford your own private vehicle and are willing to stay out all day long, then where you stay is not as crucial from a wildlife viewing standpoint because you can drive to the hotspots if you are not booked into a lodge/camp there. You might also consider Serena Lodge because it is not as expensive as some of the smaller more intimate camps and frees up some $ for that private vehicle that gives you mobility. Serena is also centrally located so you can go north, south, east, west and return back to the middle. But it is a large 70+ bed lodge. I liked it though.

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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 04:07 PM
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Wow, thanks for all the threads and suggestions. I will carefully go thru them all. A private vehicle and the ability to stay out all day would be great-maybe I should consider the Serena over a tented camp but I love those tents!
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 04:10 PM
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Sonali,

Forgot to say, we'll probably spend 4nts in Rwanda, maybe 5.
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 05:49 PM
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hi moremiles,

With 9 days at hand in east africa, u should consider doing both tanzania and kenya,

I would recommend 2 nights at crater lodge(it's excellent),or the serena and sopa, at ngorongoro, 3 nights at seasonal camps,(cca,sayari,or nomad) and the rest of the trip in masai mara.

Regearding open vehicles, I would recommend both, but closed vehicles are better for long game drives, because of dusty roads and really I have been on both and the wildlife viewing has been pretty good in both

You actually need a good driver guide,to see better wildlife,

Sonali


Sonali
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 06:37 PM
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Here are a few sites to check prices of accommodations.

http://www.kiliwarriors.com/safari_camps_lodges.htm

http://www.africapoint.com/HOTELS/maasai_mara.htm

The Africa Point seems low, probably the rainy season rates, but you can see a comparision of properties at least.

I think Rekero and some others automatically give you your own vehicle.
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