Tanzania/Kenya first time Safari Dec-Jan 2009

Old Aug 4th, 2008, 12:07 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tanzania/Kenya first time Safari Dec-Jan 2009

Hello all,
We have finally decided on East Africa for our first safari in Dec 2008.

We are arriving into NBO on Dec 27, 5am and flying out of NBO on Jan6, 10pm. We have a total of 10 nights in Africa.

(1) We are aware that central/southern serengeti is good at that time of the year for the migration. We are thinking about 4 nights in Serengeti.
(2) Probably one night in the Crater.

I am not sure about how to spend the rest of the nights.
We would like to spend some place which is a good complement to the Serengeti/Crater.
The flamingo show sounds interesting and different from what we could expect in Serengeti/Crater. Which park would be a good fit for the flamingo experience?

Since we are flying into and out of Nairobi, would it make sense to include a Kenyan park to the safari?

Please advise as I dont quite have the knowledge of which park is best at that time of the year.

Our budget is 3-3.3k per person for the trip, so we would be looking for moderate places.

Thanks
Aravind
aravind is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2008, 12:44 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,265
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can see flamingo in the Rift Valley lakes of Kenya. Nakuru is the most popularly visited location to see flamingo as well as other game (particularly rhino) as it's a national park but flamingo are also present in the other soda lakes such as Bogoria and Elementaita. Nakuru is about 2.5 hours drive from Nairobi.

A park in Kenya that would be a complete contrast to the Serengeti/Crater is Aberdare national park. It's a high altitude, densely forested park where you may get a chance to see colobus and syke monkeys, forest hog, etc. that live in this environment. I've also seen black rhino here and there are some scenic waterfalls up in the moorlands area of the park. Because the park is densely vegetated, spotting is more difficult. Some feel that this can be frustrating but I think it's more rewarding so whether you'll enjoy the park may depend on your point of view. From Nairobi to the Aberdares is about 3 hours. This can also be combined with Nakuru and it's about 3 hours from the Aberdares to Nakuru.

Another recommendation would be to head farther north so that you start to see species which you don't find in southern Kenya/northern Tanzania such as reticulated giraffe, grevy's zebra, beisa oryx, etc. The southern most area where you start to see these species is probably Sweetwaters reserve which is a private reserve about 3-3.5 hours north of Nairobi. As a private reserve, you can also go on night game drives. Heading a little farther north (about 4.5 hours from Nairobi), I can also recommend a private ranch called El Karama where I've stayed twice before. It's reasonably priced and offers day/night game drives, walks and horse riding.

Here are two of my past trip reports with photo links that include the areas I mentioned above. You can look through them and see if they're anything that would interest you:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34566072 (Sweetwaters)

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34719569 (El Karama, Aberdares, Nakuru)

Depending on how many days you'll have available for Kenya, you could do one or a combination of these locations. Have you thought about how you plan to travel from Nairobi to Arusha? Flight? Shuttle? The shuttle takes about 5 hours so you'd probably need overnight(s) in Arusha and/or Nairobi. Keep in mind that Xmas/New Years is peak season in East Africa so prices will reflect that.

Good luck with your planning!
Patty is online now  
Old Aug 5th, 2008, 01:08 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Patty provided some excellent ideas for Kenyan parks.

Now, if heading to Tanzania, how you get will add to your budget, especially if a flight into Kilimanjaro (JRO). And, from Arusha (1/hr from JRO) in Tanzania is a good 4-5/hrs to Ngorongoro Crater (there are flamingoes found here, but not the numbers as at Nakuru). Then to the Serengeti, figure 2.5-3/hrs to the Ndutu/Southern area. Here are limited accommodations, only 1 small lodge... the others tented camps. Then you have the return drive to Arusha which will take up most of a day. Finally, there's transport back to Nairobi.

Traveling over Christmas/New Year's is costly with holiday surcharges and at this date, you may be limited in accommodation choices. The $3K budget might be tight.

Not till you contact some tour operator/outfitters will you know how your wishes fit with your budget.

sandi is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2008, 01:25 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Maasai mara in kenya as its a neighbour to serengeti N/P. OR samburu which are rich in all everything.they are also served with good facilities at moderate rates.also consinder,ARK in the aberdare has magifinceint night on nite watch on the floodlite waterhole.
leosaf is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2008, 01:07 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Ark at the Aberdares is currently closed. For how long is unknown.
sandi is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2008, 02:47 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Sandi, Patty and leosaf,
Thanks for your suggestions. This will likely be an only visit in a while to East Africa. We are primarily interested in the big cats, elephants and my wife wants to visit the flamingo place from National Geographic.

We have looked at Tanzania and will be going to Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro.About the logistics, we are taking the shuttle from Arusha to NBO. This will mean that we need 8 full days for the Tanzania leg.



Now the contemplation is, do we keep the 2 days we have in NBO or extend it more.

If we were to keep the 2 days, we were thinking about
Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha (Crescent Island) in Kenya since they seem pretty close to NBO and can be done in a 2 day trip.

If there is any other park which is un-missable in Kenya in End-Dec Early Jan, we could consider extending the trip by 2-3 more days and also the budget by 1k. El-Karama/Sweetwaters/Aberdales sound interesting. But in most of my reading, only Masai Mara and Samburu show up as unmissable in Kenya. Mara is similar to Serengeti, so am planning to give it up. Would Samburu really add that much to this trip? Is it really unmissable in this season?

Another concern we have is whether we will be safaried out? We have never been on a safari and so, if we have 10+ days, would it be too much?

In summary, any suggestions about one unmissable park for Dec-Jan would be a great suggestion to complement the places we are already going to in Tanzania. Do you people think that Nakuru and Naivasha are good additions and Samburu/Mara are more of the same?
aravind is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2008, 03:09 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,265
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Would Samburu really add that much to this trip?

Well, Samburu would give you the species that I mentioned you'd start to see at Sweetwater latitudes and above and more of them. I hadn't mentioned Samburu initially because it's a 5.5-6 hour drive north of Nairobi and given your limited time and budget, I thought that it might be too far to go. There are scheduled flights but that would add to your cost. It would certainly complement what you'd see in Tanzania though. I wouldn't go to the Mara if you're already going to the Serengeti.

Another concern we have is whether we will be safaried out? We have never been on a safari and so, if we have 10+ days, would it be too much?

10+ days would definitely not be too much for me but I can't answer for you!
Patty is online now  
Old Aug 8th, 2008, 03:11 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,265
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here's my trip report and photo link that includes Samburu in early Dec http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34920145
Patty is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Gangurru
Africa & the Middle East
8
Sep 18th, 2011 09:57 PM
karn
Africa & the Middle East
10
Jun 19th, 2010 08:11 PM
MW123
Africa & the Middle East
52
Feb 2nd, 2006 03:35 PM
GGAfrica
Africa & the Middle East
71
Sep 9th, 2005 09:02 AM
alzaloum
Africa & the Middle East
7
May 8th, 2005 06:31 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:17 AM.