Tanzania or Kenya for safari in late July?

Mar 16th, 2007, 11:25 AM
  #1  
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Tanzania or Kenya for safari in late July?

Forgive me if this seems basic but I am a total safari novice! I have heard that the goal for a safari around that time of year (mid/late July) is to catch the wildebeest migration - is there any way to know where that usually is around that time of year? We are trying to plan a safari for probably the last week of July, but we have no idea whether we should do it in Kenya or Tanzania. Are we likely to see a lot of the same wildlife either way? Thanks for any advice some of you safari gurus can provide!
mp413 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2007, 01:50 PM
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following is link to Eben's migration maps:

http://www.go-safari.com/Serengeti/serengeti.htm

Every year is different but in late July the Migration is usually beginning to move over the border from Tanzania into Kenya. If you can find a place to stay, a big if booking this late, you could split time between both places. Weird, though you have to cross the border elsewhere. Most folk fly from Mara back to Nairobi then to Arusha.

Others more expert will soon weigh in

Kevin

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Mar 16th, 2007, 08:06 PM
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"Are we likely to see a lot of the same wildlife either way?"

Yes.

Depending on your amount of time, you can even visit both the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara.

Either country will provide you a wonderful trip.

When you have the # of days post again for more help.

This July is filling fast so don't delay.
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Mar 17th, 2007, 06:08 AM
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We're planning on doing a camping safari since we're on a very low budget, and probably for only 5 or 6 days. I doubt that's long enough to do both Tanz. and Kenya?
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Mar 17th, 2007, 06:28 AM
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Stakerk thanks a lot for the link to the maps. Do you mean that there's no way to drive over the border? So if we were going to see both Mara and Serengeti we'd have to fly?
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Mar 17th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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You can cross at a land border but not directly between the Mara and Serengeti. The closest would be Isebania but it's a bit out of the way, taking around 10 hours from the Mara and the central Serengeti. Depending on how many are in your party, it may or may not be less expensive than flying as you'd do a vehicle/guide switch at the border (vehicles/guides generally do not cross over with you) and you'd probably be paying for two guides to drive empty one way. And if you choose to overnight somewhere in between to break up the drive, there would be that added expense as well.

With 5-6 days, I'd stick with one country. You're still likely to see a lot of wildlife even if you miss the migration. Kenya is slightly cheaper than Tanzania if budget is an issue.
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Mar 17th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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sandi
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With such short time for your safari, even the land crossing at Isebania cuts a day off your trip.
 
Mar 17th, 2007, 12:49 PM
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With 5-6 days, just one country. I'd stick with whichever country worked best for international flights.
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Mar 17th, 2007, 04:59 PM
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Thanks a lot all, it sounds like one country is the way to go. We're overlanding around Africa both before and after the safari so we could probably do either country - we'll be in Zanzibar immediately before hopefully which might lean toward Tanzania, although I bet we can fly almost as cheaply to Nairobi as to Arusha. Is Maasai Mara as near to Nairobi as Serengeti is to Arusha?
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Mar 17th, 2007, 10:04 PM
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We were in Tanzania and Kenya during the last week of June and first week of July and the migration was moving from Tanzania to Kenya. Accordingly, last year the migration would mostly be in Masaii Mara towards the end of July. Of course things change, but I just wanted to let you know where the migration was last year around that time.
Given the short amount of time and the fact that you want to see the migration specifically, I would lean towards Masai Mara.
Nairobi to Masai Mara by road is around 5.5 hours of very bumpy road. We took the $200 round trip flight which got us there in 35 minutes.
The perks of going to Tanzania is that 1. you can go to the Serengeti where you may catch the tail end of the migration
2. see loads of animals in Serengeti itself
3. see the Ngorongoro Crater where the animals are NOT part of the migration but are restricted mostly to the crater so your chances of seeing the big 5 in a smaller area are greater.

I hope I have not confused you further.
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Mar 17th, 2007, 10:08 PM
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Another thing, if the animals have NOT gotten into Masai Mara by end of July, just know that the grass will be kinda tall (the migrating animals will eat that grass) and it can be hard to see other animals.

Just wanted to mention that because my husband once went to Masai Mara and had a hard time seeing too many lions, etc because the grass was pretty tall.
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Mar 18th, 2007, 03:35 AM
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Flight price from ZNZ/NBO will be higher than to Arusha/Kili, by about $50-$70/person (close to $200 o/w), then a transfer from JKIA (Int'l airport) to Wilson (domestic) if flying to the Mara. Drive time NBO/Mara is shorter, by far, than Arusha/Serengeti which would be almost a full day.

The high-grasses mentioned is primarily inside the Mara triangle, where outside, they always seem to be lower. But there are also areas where the grasses always seem to stay higher... game don't seem to get here or like the stuff. Beats me... animals. It's the zebra that eat the higher grasses, then the wildies and antelope the lower.

If budget allows, to save time, if doing the Serengeti, consider flying to/from, or to the farthest spot, having your guide/vehicle meet you and work your way back via Ngorongoro and Manyara or Tarangire, by road.
 
Mar 18th, 2007, 06:57 AM
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Thank you so much for all these responses. We aren't glued to the idea of seeing the migration per se, I was just under the impression that migration = wildlife. If it's possible to see lots of wildlife even after the migration's passed, that's fine too. Our next destination after safari is Rwanda, which made me think Serengeti b/c it's sort of between Zanzibar and Rwanda, but I don't know if there's any way to get from Serengeti to Rwanda overland without going back to Arusha. Any thoughts on that? It is definitely a bummer that the drive is that much longer to Serengeti than to Mara...we'll have to consider that. Also transport to Arusha from Zanzibar will be cheaper than to Nairobi, as sandi points out. I really appreciate all this advice, please keep it coming!
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Mar 19th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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Don't know about an overland route from the Serengeti to Rwanda, but if you end up flying, it's a bit easier to get to Kigali from Nairobi (2x daily flights) than from Kilimanjaro (3x weekly flights, may be able to route through NBO on other days). There's also a Serengeti-Kigali flight but it's expensive at $600 one way.
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Mar 19th, 2007, 05:30 PM
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If this is a budget safari, you might also want to weigh in the US$50 visa fee required for both Kenya and Tanzania. If you're going to be in Zanzibar anyway, you can avoid the Kenya visa fee by staying in Tanzania. Just a thought.
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