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steffid Sep 3rd, 2008 07:28 AM

New Mara Triangle Park Rules and entrance fees
Just to inform everybody, we were a little confused regarding the new park rules on Serena side of the Mara. Last year in June, nobody told us about rules and - I dont know if it was because of the hard rains and the low season - nobody cared about roads. Roads were nearly not there any more (very muddy) and everybody drove off road as soon as an insteresting animal was spotted. We could stay with the animals in an acceptable distance not to disturb them as long as we wanted. For example we stayed with three cheetahs for about 4 hours to see them finally hunting a thomson.

Now, everything changed a lot: entering the Serena side in the far south (new Mara bridge) to stay one night on Serena side, we got the parc rules from the rangers. The new rules are in short as follows:

- no off road
- except sighting of a big five (so no off raod in case of cheetah sighting)
- no closer than 25 meters
- not more than 5 vehicles around lions, rhinos, leopard or cheetah: "when more than 5 vehicles want to see an animal, viewing time is restricted to 10 minutes (!!). Vehicles waiting to see the sightings must wait at a distance of 100 m"
- at wildebeest crossing points no more than 20 vehicles (which is a bit ridiculous and they were fine with more but checked them all 10 minutes)

I dont want to comment these rules, but they are highly patrolling and controlling and unfortunately, everybody (especially the rangers) read the rules in a diffrent way so we had to leave a cheetah while we were on the road and there were only two more cars... The guides were afraid because there have been warnings and punishments all day long, and they take a lot of money even for the first warning (100,000.00 Schillings!). We had big discussion with our guide about this because he was much too cautious and didn't even stop the car while we were staying on the road to watch let's say cheetah...

Even on the Musiara side near the swamps and Governors, they patrolled and chased everybody away because of off-roading. In this part the rules are even stricter, no off raod is allowed at all, not even if you see a big five... and honestly, I dont want to get into trouble with the rangers...

Especially for fotographers, it is getting more and more difficult.

There is another point to mention: the parc entrance fees will be increased soon. Changing areas in the Mara is even now getting very expensive. For example, in case you stay at Interpids in the Musiara part and want to visit Keekerok or Serena side, you would have to pay double for the day (at the moment 2 times 40 USD per person, add. vehicle and guide!). In case you want to go to olololo-part via Mara bridge (north), you would even have to pay three times: you have to cross private concession (Koyaki)and enter Serena/Olololo side: so you pay for only one day: 120 USD per person!! This is getting crazy...


divine54 Sep 3rd, 2008 02:19 PM

that was overdue!
i hope the rangers are going to monitore and enforce these rules despite the photographers difficulties this will involve.
but animals come first and the mara needed these "code of conduct" more than anything else!

thanks for sharing steff!


sandi Sep 3rd, 2008 02:28 PM

Besides the fact that "no offroading" is long time overdue, daily park fees will be higher for '09. These will take into consideration location of lodge/camp, which private group ranch or Mara area and include all transiting possibilities on any given day.

aowens Sep 3rd, 2008 02:48 PM

We were told the "no off-roading" will only be during peak months of August - October. The rest of the year you will still be able to off-road. Don't know if this is true, but this is what we were told in June.

atravelynn Sep 3rd, 2008 05:53 PM

Thanks Steffid!

sallysaab Sep 3rd, 2008 11:25 PM

Thanks steffid, and welcome back.

steffid Sep 4th, 2008 02:10 AM

aowens, it is most likely that they will handle it as you described and will not punish people offraoding in low season. That is perhaps why last year in june nobody complained.

divine54, I agree with you but in this case they will have to built more roads in the Mara at least in Serena area. I dont know if people would accept the rules no offroading while paying quite an amount of entrance fees with the roads they have now. Compared to other parcs where offroading is not allowed the Mara has very few small roads but mostly the big main roads. We will see how they manage especially with the big amount of tourists visiting the Mara every year.

thanks for all your comments!

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