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-   -   new itinerary for Kenya September 2009 (https://www.fodors.com/community/africa-and-the-middle-east/new-itinerary-for-kenya-september-2009-a-423587/)

leerob Sep 2nd, 2008 07:49 AM

new itinerary for Kenya September 2009
 
Thanks for all you input. Here is a new itinerary. We are going to concentrate on Kenya and save Tanzania for another trip even though that means giving up the Crater.

1 night Nairobi, Fairview Hotel
1 night Mt Kenya
3 nights Samburu, Serena
1 night Sweetwater, Tented Camp
2 nights Lake Nakuru/Naivasha,
4 night Masai Mara, Sarova Tented Camp
back to Nairobi

should we add Ambrosili for 2 nights?
should we stay 2 nights Sarova and 2 nights in another area in the Mara
Which night viewing lodge in Mt.Kenya?
I welcome your comments.

Patty Sep 2nd, 2008 08:22 AM

AFAIK there's only 1 night viewing lodge at Mt Kenya, Serena Mountain Lodge. There are/were 2 in the Aberdares, Treetops and the Ark, but I believe the Ark may still be closed?

If you add Amboseli would that be in addition to what you already have or in lieu of something else on your itinerary?

leerob Sep 2nd, 2008 09:43 AM

Thanks Patty, Depending on budget, we would add Ambrosili if enough difference in what to see unless you recommend something to leave out and include Ambrosili in its place. I know you get views of Mt. Kili.

Patty Sep 3rd, 2008 10:43 AM

I wouldn't cut anything else out in your itinerary in order to add Amboseli. Your current itinerary is well paced (I'm assuming this is all drive?).

I can't think of anything you'd see at Amboseli that would be different except for the view of Mt Kili (maybe others will disagree) and it's a bit out of your way. If you did add it on top of your existing itinerary, I'd do it at the beginning. It would mean a longish drive to Mt Kenya (4.5 hours back to Nairobi, stop for lunch, continue to Mt Kenya) or you could take the morning flight back to Nairobi and continue to Mt Kenya by road.

sandi Sep 3rd, 2008 02:10 PM

I'm with Patty.  If you choose to add Amboseli, then visit here first.  Though, gaming is more diverse as Samburu, if possible views of Kili are aren't a must-see, then you might want to add the 2/days to the Mara... at another camp. Splitting 6/days with 3:3 at two camps.

Otherwise, looking good!

leerob Sep 3rd, 2008 02:45 PM

Thanks so much. How much of this can be done in two days?
Leave Sweetwaters in AM.
Tour Mount Kenya Orphanage.
Tour Solio rhino breeding facility.
Game drive thru the Aberdare to Lake Nakuru.
Overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge.
Am game drive around Lake to see flamingos.
Drive to Lake Naivasha with afternoon boat ride and visit to Lake Cresent.
Not sure where to Overnight.
Next day on to the Mara with a drive thru Hells Gate.
I am not sure of the exact geography of the area i.e. where Lake Nakuru Lodge is in relation to the gates at Aberdare and if Hells gate is on the way to the Mara.
I just know there is this many things to do and see.
Please help me edit the activities.
Also, if you could recommend a place to stay in a different area than Sarova Mara Tented Camp. Thanks.

Patty Sep 3rd, 2008 03:32 PM

<i>Leave Sweetwaters in AM.
Tour Mount Kenya Orphanage.
Tour Solio rhino breeding facility.
Game drive thru the Aberdare to Lake Nakuru.
Overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge.</i>

I think you really only have time to do 1 out of 3. Maybe if you were quick and left early, you could do Mt Kenya orphanage and Solio and arrive Nakuru by late afternoon, but I don't think you could do the drive through the Aberdares <i>and</i> one of the others. We spent a morning driving through the Aberdares, stopped in Naivasha for lunch and got to Nakuru around 4:30pm and immediately started our afternoon game drive. Mutubio gate where you exit on the other side of the Aberdares is closer to Naivasha than Nakuru.

If you're only planning to do one game drive at Nakuru, you could also consider spending both nights at Naivasha and doing Nakuru as a day trip. That would mean a little less travel time on the day you leave Sweetwaters if you plan to drive through the Aberdares. If you decide not to drive through the Aberdares, I'd keep the order Nakuru, then Naivasha as you'll reach Nakuru first if you take the road via Nyahururu.

Patty Sep 3rd, 2008 03:36 PM

Or since you possibly have another night or 2 to play with, why not add a night in or near the Aberdares, then you'd have time for all 3.

leerob Sep 3rd, 2008 04:04 PM

Thanks Patty. Sorry for so many questions
Are the rhino breeding facility and the orphanage near each other and inbetween Sweetwater and Aberdare?
What is the cost of each and which would you recommend if you could only see one.
Do you need to book them ahead of time or can you just show up if time allows?
Where to stay in Lake Naivasha?
Where to stay near the Aberdare if I add a night. It really doesnt need to be a night viewing lodge as we are doing that at Sweetwater and Mt Kenya. (thinking of the budget)
If we stay at Naivasha for two nights could we do Lake Nakuru game drive in the am and the Naivasha boat ride and Cresent Island in the afternoon?

Treepol Sep 3rd, 2008 04:34 PM

Hi leerob,

have you considered Elsamere as accommodation at Lake Naivasha? It was once owned Joy Adamson and is now managed by the Elsa Trust, so there is a return to conservation.

I've not stayed there myself, but I'm intrigued. More information at
http://www.elsatrust.org/kenya_safar...s/default2.asp

Cheers,


Pol

Patty Sep 4th, 2008 10:57 AM

<i>Are the rhino breeding facility and the orphanage near each other and inbetween Sweetwater and Aberdare?</i>

Yes, they're sort of in between Sweetwaters and the Aberdares but not that near each other (depends what you mean by near). MKSC is just outside of Nanyuki which is the closest town to Sweetwaters. Figure about 1/2 hour from Sweetwaters to MKSC. Solio is south of Sweetwaters but I believe you may need to enter through the main gate which is on the west side of the reserve (not far from the entrances to Aberdare NP) but not through any of the east side gates which would be closer to Nanyuki but I could be wrong. If I'm right about having to enter through the main gate, then it will probably take you at least 1-1.5 hour to reach Solio from Nanyuki depending the route you take. If there hasn't been heavy rain, you can take the road that goes from Naro Moru through Lamuria as a shortcut. This road actually runs along the border of Solio and you can see rhinos through the reserve fence. If the road is wet, you may want to stay on the highway which means going down to Nyeri and back up. So the order of yous visits should be Sweetwaters-MKSC-Solio-Aberdares.

<i>What is the cost of each and which would you recommend if you could only see one.</i>

In late 2005, we paid 1600 KES per person plus 500 KES for the vehicle to enter Solio. In late 2006, we paid 1000 KES per person for the orphanage plus 630 KES per person for a day membership to MKSC. I don't know the current prices. The two are really entirely different experiences so it depends on what you're looking for. Solio is a private game reserve with a primary function of serving as a rhino breeding facility. You'd do game drives there just as you would at other parks and reserves. It has probably the highest rhino density of any park or reserve and there's also game other than rhino. The other one is a orphanage and also a bongo breeding facility. This is probably the only place you'd see bongo (I've never seen them in the wild) and there are a variety of other animals here some of which you can feed or pet.

You may have seen these already but in case you haven't here are my pics that include Solio http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...&amp;y=-r5e7ji and the MKSC orphanage http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...0&amp;y=drl4tc

<i>Do you need to book them ahead of time or can you just show up if time allows?</i>

No bookings needed, just show up and pay.

<i>Where to stay near the Aberdare if I add a night. It really doesnt need to be a night viewing lodge as we are doing that at Sweetwater and Mt Kenya. (thinking of the budget)</i>

Outside of the park, I stayed at Sandai in February www.farmurlaub-afrika.de. I've stayed with Petra twice before when she operated another place before moving to Sandai. It's just down the road from Aberdare Country Club (which I believe is still closed). It takes about 1/2 hour to get to Treetops gate at Aberdare NP from here and probably about the same time to get to the Solio main gate. You could do something like leave Sweetwaters, visit MKSC orphanage in the morning, visit Solio in the afternoon, overnight Sandai, the next morning start your drive through the Aberdares maybe taking a picnic with you, arriving at either Naivasha or Nakuru in the late afternoon. This would be a fairly leisurely pace and not so rushed. IIRC we paid 70 EUR per person full board in Feb.

There is also Sangare tented camp www.sangaretentedcamp.com. Sangare borders on Sandai so distance wise it's almost the same to either park, perhaps slightly closer to Aberdare NP and slightly farther from Solio. Another poster stayed at Sangare recently and posted comments in this thread http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=34603624

Inside the park, aside from the night viewing lodges are two self catering KWS accommodations, Tusk Camp http://www.kws.org//tusk-camp.html and Fishing Lodge http://www.kws.org//fishing.html. Tusk Camp is rented out to just one party at a time and Fishing Lodge consist of only 2 houses. They're a bit rustic but fine for an overnight. As it's self catered, you'd need to bring food and drinks and a cook if you want one. Your tour operator can provision you and provide a cook. Tusk Camp is located in the salient and Fishing lodge is located in the moorlands area of the park. Both are at high elevation (approx 8000 ft for Tusk and almost 10,000 ft for Fishing lodge) so it will be colder at night than staying outside the park.

Here's my trip report from Feb when we stayed at Sandai http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=35112503 I also gave descriptions of Tusk Camp, Fishing Lodge and Sangare in my report.

<i>If we stay at Naivasha for two nights could we do Lake Nakuru game drive in the am and the Naivasha boat ride and Cresent Island in the afternoon?</i>

I haven't done it myself but I think you should be able to.

Finally, the Rough Guide map of Kenya is excellent and a good investment if you're trying to figure out where everything is.


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