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laslaff Jan 6th, 2008 11:21 AM

what to do in 7 days?
We are going to Tanzania the first two weeks in July and want to spend our third week in Kenya. I for sure want to go to Masai Mara and Ambolosi, but can't decide between Lake Nakuru or the Samburu Reserve for my third choice. Any suggestions?

atravelynn Jan 6th, 2008 01:20 PM

To help you with Kenya, could you post your Tanzania plans? If you are at Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater, then you will have already seen 2 lakes and likely some flamingos on at least one of the lakes, though not the numbers usually found on Nakuru.

Amboseli for views of Kili I presume?

Lake Nakuru has the flamingos and a good chance to see rhinos. There are also leopards around. A different species of giraffe lives there--Rothschild's. A one night stay in Nakuru is typical if you are running short on time. Two is fine too.

Samburu has the second most abundant wildlife next to the Maasai Mara. It is more desert-like and there are several unique species: Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk (giraffe-like antelope), Oryx (antelope), Somali Ostrich, and Grevy Zebra. It is common to see most or all of these species while in Samburu. Samburu is one of the best places to see leopards, especially at the places that put food out for them at night, a somewhat controversial practice. A two night stay is typical here. One night is not typical.

You can see how Nakuru and Samburu work logistically. Nakuru is not as far out of the way as Samburu in the north. But you can fly to Samburu.

On my first trip to Africa I went about when you are going and did Kenya & Tanzania and spent time in both the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara and wanted it that way. But there are pros and cons of doing both.

There are not animals you will see in one spot but not the other. Going to both may mean you do not get to spend time in other unique environments with unique animals such as Nakuru or Samburu.

Going to both increases the chances you will see the wildebeest and zebra herds that make up the migration.
Early July is prime time in the Serengeti and the Mara is always good, even when not at its peak migration time.

Good luck!

laslaff Jan 7th, 2008 08:23 AM

Thank you so much for the detailed response. I am almost positive I am booking with Naipendi. Here is my itinerary:
Day 1 - Arrive Mt. Kilimanjaro Airport, Tanzania, meet and greet at the airport and transfer to Arumeru River Lodge for overnight

Day 2/3 - To Tarangire National Park - private mobile tented camping
Day 4 - To Lake Manyara National Park for game drive, village visit and walks at Mto wa Mbu, Overnight Kirurumu Permanent Tented Lodge

Day 5/6/7 - Private Mobile camping atop the rim of Ngorongoro Crater. Day 8 - To Serengeti National Park via Ol'duvai Gorge - walks at Ol'duvai and Shifting Sands, overnight Ndutu Safari Lodge while camp moves to Serengeti.Day 9/10/11 - Private Mobile tented camping along the Grumeti River - morning and afternoon game drives. Day 12 - Overnight one night at Mbuzi Mawe Permanent Tented Camp while campsite moves to Lobo Northern areas.

Day 13/14 - Morning and afternoon game drives at Lobo area - overnights private mobile tented campsite in Northern Serengeti
Day 15-21 in Kenya...was thinking Masai Mara, Amboseli and either Nakuru or Samburu.I heard the other day that there were MANY rhinos last week sighted at Nakuru.

Nyamera Jan 7th, 2008 02:27 PM

There are always many white rhinos seen in Lake Nakuru – and some black ones in the bushes. It’s a small, fenced park (permeable fence) very close to Nakuru Town. <b>Considering that</b> it has a quite impressive variation in landscapes and wildlife, not to talk about the flamingos, but for me 4 nights is an absolute minimum for Samburu while1 or 2 would be fine for L. Nakuru - and 3 parks in one week sounds too rushed. How are you going to Kenya from Northern Serengeti? The “usual” way is to return to Arusha and then take the shuttle or fly to Nairobi. If you’re going to combine Amboseli and the Mara, you first have to go to Amboseli and return to Nairobi and then to the Mara and return. You could go to Amboseli for a couple of nights, then to L. Nakuru through Nairobi and then to the Mara. Or, for more variation, first Aberdares, then Samburu and then Nakuru/Naivasha.

atravelynn Jan 7th, 2008 05:02 PM

The Tanzania part with Naipendi looks fantastic.

With one day for transport back to Kenya, that leaves 6 days for whatever you decide.

laslaff Jan 11th, 2008 06:41 PM

After much research, I'm thinking we would like to book a customized safari something like this:
Leaving the Lobo area, drive to Il Moran in Mara for 2 nights, (drive or fly?) to Tortili Camp in Amboseli for 2 nights, drive/fly to a private camp in Lake nakuru. Any suggestions on which outfitter could accomodate us?

sonali74 Jan 11th, 2008 08:14 PM

Hi, laslaff, you have a wonderful trip planned.... what I would suggest is that as you are staying in manyara for a night.. the crater is very close by.... so I suggest that you do 2 night private camping at ngorongoro(enough to view the crater) and spend an extra night in the lobo region.. as in july the migration viewing chances would be better there, or you could do 2 days private camping at ngorogoro, then do the camping at lobo and lastly do the camping at grumeti...and cross via the isebania border into kenya and mara which is closer from grumeti.....

Also I would suggest you stay maybe at a more central location instead of ndutu, central serengeti is the core area of the park, and atleast one night there would be great....

Have you finalised and booked, even if you have you can request naipenda... lastly I would recommend a split between the mara and amboseli and nakuru, first to the mara via isebania border(you will save a day) 3 nights mara, 1 night nakuru and 2 nights amboseli, leaving a day free for managing your flight connections....

Hope this helps, because the crater is very small and 2 nights would be more than sufficient....

my 2 cents....


laslaff Jan 12th, 2008 01:52 PM

Thanks SO MUCH. I am going to study all of this is so time consuming, but I know will be worth it!

sandi Jan 12th, 2008 02:09 PM

I believe the Lobo area is too early for the migration. Beautiful landscapes and resident game, but... Personally, in July, I wouldn't go farther north than the central Serengeti (Mbuzi Mawe is good). Also, from Lobo it's an even longer drive via the Isebania border into Kenya. At least from Central it's somewhat shorter thru the west.

If you choose to fly, it's the cost, but you can do it easily in 1/day and be in Kenya in time for afternoon game drive in the Mara. By driving it's a full day (and maybe even an overnight at Speke Bay, Lake Victoria) before arriving in the Masai Mara.

From central you can fly to Arusha where with a private vehicle/driver head to the Namanga border, have another guide/vehicle meet you for visit to Amboseli for a few days. Then drive or fly via Nairobi for flight to the Masai Mara.

Have the outfitter work it out, but remember the distances, quality of roads and the time it takes to get from Point A to B.

Everything looks close on a map - not!

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