Safari & Beach in October 2005

Feb 20th, 2005, 04:04 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354

That's a pretty good itinerary Lorib1. A private safari with some park fly-ins at a good price! Your trip report will be invaluable here.

Beroccstar, I cannot recommend a shared safari with 5 strangers regardless of vehicle!

I am not a fan of white minibuses either, but when it is private at a very good price I may reconsider.

You said you're going in mid-March? Where? When it rains, the roads in some parks are more difficult to negotiate and 2WD minibuses are handicapped.
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 05:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 8


haha - yes, I can imagine there must be various issues with sharing a vehicle, which is why we're contemplating foregoing the 4x4 if it's not a huge issue.

We are planning to fly into Nairobi on March 16 and set out on a 5 night safari around Samburu (2 nights), Lake Nakuru (1 night) and then to the Maasai Mara (2 nights). We chose these destinations because from what I read it seems that both the terrain and culture in Samburu are a little different to that in the South and we're keen to get a good overall experience of the variety that Kenya has to offer (well, as much as is possible with limited finances and time, that is... we wish we could afford more of both, but for now we have to make do with what we have!).

Please do let me know if you think our plans could be better! I read that the rain tends to start in late March so I was kind of hoping we might be lucky enough to miss most of it - again, always pleased to know if I'm misguided!

beroccstar is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354

All 3 are excellent parks. We've always flown between them so I cannot offer advice on recent road conditions especially between Nakuru and the Mara.

I've been to Kenya only during the migration (dry) months and cannot say if the 2WD will be troublesome in late March. Jan and Sandi should know.

In the Mara (even during the dry months), there are marsh areas and since the guides drive just about everywhere I think a 2WD will be somewhat limiting.

On the other hand, your driver will be unable to venture far off the pathways which is actually a good thing since driving in the Mara gets a bit crazy at times!
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 09:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,843
That's a lot of road to cover in a very short amount of time. I know that most package safaris cover the same amount of territory at a similarly fast pace, but keep in mind that it will take a good 5-6 hours to travel between each of your destinations leaving you with really only one full day in Samburu and the Masai Mara. Not saying that it can't be done, just that are you sure that's what you want?

I think 7 passengers is much too crowded for one vehicle. Of course, you could end up with less than that number or possibly even just the 2 of you, but you're taking a risk. Did the second tour operator specifically say that the minibus was not 4WD? We had a 4WD minibus on our safari even though we did not specify. How much additional would they charge if you requested a 4WD?
Patty is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 10:08 AM
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beroccstar - Have to agree with Patty that the drive from NBO to Samburu will take a good part of the day. It takes between 5-6 hrs. hopefully arriving for a late lunch. And while the drive from Samburu to Lake Nakuru isn't all that long, the drive from Lake Nakuru to the Mara is - another 5-6 hrs. drive.

This latter road is a trip in itself, not very well taken car of. There is some black top, but much of the rest is rutted. An time in the Mara should, at least, be 3-nts (giving you 2-1/2 days game viewing). Otherwise, you have 1-1/2 days and I don't believe you should deprive youself of time in the Mara.

As to a minibus/van - even though we've often traveled during the shrt rains season, we've never gotten bogged down on any of the roads, and especially not in the parks.

The flight from NBO to Samburu runs about $155/pp and from Samburu to the Mara about $220/pp. And one of the air carriers has a special fare from Lk. Naivasha to the Mara and back to NBO for about $240/pp. Lk. Naivasha is a short drive from Lk. Nakuru. Of course, air adds to your budget, but it saves your bottom from the long hours on the road, and gets you to game viewing faster. Something to consider.
Feb 21st, 2005, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,843
One more thing, did you also inquire with Raylenne as to what the additional cost would be for a private safari for just the 2 of you (assuming that they offer private safaris)? I feel that it's really worth the minimal extra cost.

I don't know what kind of pricing you've been getting, but another operator that you can contact is Eastern & Southern in Nairobi. Their lodge safaris start at around $200pppn. Email your itinerary and lodge selections to Serah at [email protected] and see what she can offer you. Ask her if all of their vehicles are 4WD. I know we had one but I don't know if that's because we just lucked out or what.
Patty is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2005, 06:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 8
Thanks to all of you for your comments and suggestions, you've been immeasurably helpful!

Eastern and Southern Safaris today came through with a fantastic offer - exclusive use of a 4WD minivan for the same price we were looking at. Yay!

In the light of your comments, we have also rethought our schedule a little and have decided to add an extra day at the Mara.

And now the excitement has set in... I'm shaking as I write this... I think we're almost there!!!

Thanks to you all again and I'll be sure to let you know how we go - only 3 weeks before we're off!
beroccstar is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2005, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222

Just wanted to let you know that your description of your excitement ("I'm shaking as I write this") really put a smile on my face.

I hope you have a wonderful trip to Kenya (I've only been to Nairobi). You're excited for very good reason--you won't believe how amazing East Africa is.
Leely is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2005, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,843
I'm glad to hear that E&S came through for you and hope that you'll be as pleased with their services as we were. See if you can get Julius as your guide and if you do, let him know that Patty & Mark from California asks "Mambo?" and tell him that we are "Poa" Please also give our regards to Serah when you meet with her at the Nairobi office.

I am so excited for you! Please do come back and post a trip report
Patty is offline  

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