Trip Report: GAP Masai Mara Experience

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Oct 26th, 2005, 06:24 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 233
Trip Report: GAP Masai Mara Experience

Tour: 7-day participation camping
Local Operator: Kenya Walking
Tent: 3-person Nylon for 2 people
Vehicle: Van

Day 1 Nairobi to Mount Kenya
Campsite: Mountain Rock Bantu Lodge
Ground: grass
Condition: chilly but not too cold
Lodging upgrade: yes but I donít know the details
Drinks: bar at nearby hotel with fridge
Electricity: at bar
Shower: hot
Notes: Skip the hike to Mau Mau Cave. It is not worth the time/walk/money Ė it is not even a cave. There are plenty of birds and flowers to see at the campsite. We even saw white and black Colobus Monkey on the tree.

Day 2/3 Samburu NP
Campsite: public sites, name unknown
Ground: dirt
Condition: hot and dusty
Lodging upgrade: no
Drinks: no bar, but someone will take your order and deliver cold drinks for dinner
Electricity: None
Shower: Cold but does not feel cold. Be careful as the water can be muddy
Highlights: leopard, baby lions, bathing elephants, charging elephant
Notes: The optional village tour can also serve as an extra game drive at noon. You never know what you are going to see there. We saw 50+ elephants playing in the river.

Day 4 Lake Nakuru
Campsite: Lion Hill, right at park entrance of Lake Nakuru
Ground: grass
Condition: chilly but does not feel too cold
Lodging upgrade: $10 for a basic room.
Drinks: on-site bar
Electricity: yes, 3 outlets total
Shower: hot by electric heater
Highlights: pink lake, rhino family, eating jackal
Notes: When you get a good overview, stop to take photo Ė our driver did not stop

Day 5/6 Masai Mara
Campsite: Amicabre, run by the local people
Ground: grass
Condition: cool and dry, very nice
Lodging upgrade: no
Drinks: yes, but not cold
Electricity: no
Shower: hot
Highlights: eating lion, hyena, cheetah, serval, migration herd
Notes: Be careful with ants at the campsite, they bite.

Day 7 Back to Nairobi

1. Road is often rough. To get to any destination, there is at least 2-hour rough road. Only the first day did not have any

2. Be prepared for dust. The amount of dust you will get is as amazing as the wild life you will see. For clothes, you would want those that do not look too bad with a lot of dust, easy to wash and dry (it took just a few hours to dry in Samburu). For cameras, make sure you have an air brush. I would recommend an air duster. A mask will help you breathe in the vehicle.

3. Get an outlet splitter. It can also help you to make some friends.

4. There are 2 ATMís at the airport. I was not able to get cash because one ATM is broken and the other does not have my network. Cash for drinks: about 150/beer, 50/coke.

5. Airport taxi is KSH 1200 or $17

6. Your need sturdy luggage. They will be tightly packed at the back of the vehicle and will be fully covered in dust. Suitcase is not a good option.

7. Sandals are must. Except that cave, you wonít need any sneakers/boots.

8. There are many small game-drive tracks in the park so normally you can get close to the animal. However, there are places you wonít be able to get close. 450mm 35mm equivalent will be sufficient to get some good close up shots. I had 700mm but I still missed some.

9. Animals do not like big trucks. So do not use big truck for game drive!

I will post the report for Serengeti Experience soon.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
cheerful is offline  
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Oct 26th, 2005, 07:50 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
Hi Cheerful

Wow! You're back already!

I like your summary very much and cannot wait for the Serengeti part - don't delay!

A "big truck"? Were you in a big truck for part of the safari?
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
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Oct 26th, 2005, 09:19 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Wow, cheerful, thanks so much for this report! Can you believe you're back???

I'm really looking forward to the rest of your adventure. Sounds like you were able to get enough electricity to keep your batteries charged.

Welcome home!
Leely is offline  
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Oct 26th, 2005, 10:09 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4
Hi cheerful
Thank you very much for your report. It will be very useful for our upcoming trip in February. It looks like you were fortunate and got to see a lot of wildlife. I'm happy there are also a lot of birds since my wife and I really enjoy birding.
Looking forward to your report on the Tanzania portion.
Richard
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Oct 26th, 2005, 10:28 AM
  #5
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Posts: 233
The luxury tour uses big truck-converted bus for transportation. I think it is more comfortable. Howerver, when they showed up in MM, the animals will start to run away or hide. Ideally, you want the big truck for transfer and van for game drive. You would need to do some quick turn-around in the narrow game drive road to chase a big cat -- the big truck can't do that.

I had 6 sets of batteries with me and used 4 before Lake Nakuru. Due to car problems, we ended up doing the game drive next morning. Otherwise, I would need the 5th set. I brought a 1 hour quick charger with me. That enabled to recharge all the batteries there.

We were pretty lucky. I think it put a lot of pressure on the 2nd leg operator. And then, we got even luckier. It is esp. good that it happened in the right order for us.

If you are a bird lover, you will have a great time. We saw so many pretty birds, many we don't know the names. We will ask for ID on bird forums later.
cheerful is offline  
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Oct 26th, 2005, 10:44 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 391
If you want to email me thumbnails may be able to help with some of the birds.
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