Masai Mara in Sept, best place to view migration?

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Jul 25th, 2005, 06:01 AM
  #1
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Masai Mara in Sept, best place to view migration?

Which is the best location/camp to view the migration at this time? Trying to plan an Africa trip for Sept 06 and want to include Gorilla treking also.

Originally we wanted to go to Botswana but it's so expensive.
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Jul 25th, 2005, 06:32 AM
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Kenya's better.

For a reasonably priced lodge, you may want to look at Mara Serena (its very reasonable and is situated in the best part of the Masai Mara). I stayed there on my first safari in August 1999, and I have since been on four other safaris, and my game drives from the Mara Serena were the very best of any national park (Chobe is a close second).

I also posted a trip report on gorilla trekking which you can find by clicking my screen name and scrolling down (I posted it in Aug 2003, when I was in Rwanda after having been to Uganda).

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Jul 25th, 2005, 07:05 AM
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24 Lisa-
The area around the Mara Serena is the best at that time of year. Thit Cho is right on.
When the migration gets to Kenya the feeding starts at the crossing area and gradually moves over towards Governors and the other camps in that direction. Generally it is closer to November before they are that far though.
Since the Serena sits high on a hill overlooking the crossing area be sure to bring your binoculars and you'll enjoy the view even from the lodge.
There are other smaller camps closer by that are more private but the views of the crossing area wouldn't be as good. We were there in 2003 and stayed at Governors main camp and wished we had stayed closer to the river. Liz

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Jul 26th, 2005, 02:20 PM
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Are there any tented camps/lodges in that area. I would really like to experience Africa from under canvas.

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Jul 26th, 2005, 02:53 PM
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bwanamitch
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24Lisa,

I have a page online where all the websites of camps and lodges in the Masai Mara are listed.

If you want to see the migration, you should concentrate on the following areas:
Mara Triangle (south-western part of Masai Mara NR),
Masai Mara National Reserve,
Kimintet Group Ranch (north of Mara Triangle) and
Koiyaki Group Ranch (north of western part of Masai Mara NR).

Tented camps are marked with 'T'.

You can find it here:
http://www.safari-portal.de/Lodging.KE.MasaiMara.d.html

Mitch
 
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Jul 26th, 2005, 02:55 PM
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sandi
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On the opposite side (East) of the Mara River is the Mara Explorer and Mara Intrepids. The former more expensive then the latter. Both are part of the Heritage Hotels group.

Most visitors prefer the West side of the Mara River where there are more private conservation lands with access to the Mara itself and intimate (smaller) camps. However, there is Kichwa Tembo (the larger w/40 tents) Mara River Camp, and others... but not so well positioned as the Serena Lodge mentioned above.

But smaller often brings higher prices especially in September which is high-season. Your budget may very well determine your accommodations... and can be as expensive as Botswana in this season.
 
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Jul 26th, 2005, 03:21 PM
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bwanamitch
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Here are two maps for orientation, with the location of some of the lodges and camps:
http://www.shoortravel.com/masaimaramap.html
http://www.kenyalogy.com/eng/parques/mapmmldg.html

The Mara Serena really has an unbeatable, central location in the Triangle.

Mitch
 
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Jul 27th, 2005, 05:32 AM
  #8
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How are game drives organized at Serena due to the large size of the lodge? We don't need a private safari but with 70 rooms at the lodge, how does that work? Thank you for all of the great information. It has already been very helpful.
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Jul 27th, 2005, 05:48 AM
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sandi
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If you are on a private safari and arriving at the Mara with your own vehicle and guide/driver you will go on your game drives with your guide/driver. If you are on a group safari, your game drive will be done with the group and a guide/driver assigned to the group.

Only if you fly to/from Nairobi/Mara/Nairobi, will you be assigned a vehicle from the lodge or camp where you are staying. In this case, you will probably have at minimum two or four other lodge/camp guests joining you for game drives. With luck it may only be you.
 
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Jul 29th, 2005, 08:59 PM
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If you are looking for a tented camp in the same area as the Mara Serena Lodge, consider Little Governor's. I stayed there, and they offer THREE game activities per day if you use the lodge's driver/vehicles; and land-rovers that are more open than the minibuses! Usually the mid-day game drive was the one we drove down to the river and saw wildebeest and zebra crossing the river. Against all odds this was considered AFTER the migration season, mid-November. But in September, you will be smack in the middle of the migration season and most certainly see river crossings! Little Governor's has 17 tents, is unfenced, and it is not uncommon to have elephants come into camp; the closest and most exhilerating elephant encounter I've ever had (not from a vehicle). I don't know how it compares price-wise with the Serena - I do know though that you may have a hard time with availability at either the Serena or Little Governor's.

The best of luck!
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