Where to see elephants in June in Kenya?

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Mar 6th, 2012, 05:49 AM
  #1
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Where to see elephants in June in Kenya?

My 17 yr old daughter and I are going to Kenya in mid June and we'll be staying at Governor's Camp. I know the elephants aren't there in Aug/Sep/Oct and was told they may already be gone by June. Where can we go to be sure of seeing elephants? Budget in the $300 pppn range. I know that's low but that's all we can do this time. Plus we'll have transfer expenses. I wish we could just spend the whole time in the Mara but Africa without elephants is just wrong.
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Mar 6th, 2012, 08:09 AM
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When we went in September, eles were still present, certainly we saw many of them in the conservancy, we stayed at Serian. And actually, what am I thinking, we saw a lot in the Mara too, a large herd came right to the mobile camp...
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Mar 6th, 2012, 08:19 AM
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Wonderful to hear you guys are heading back to Africa! As for no eles in the Mara in Aug/Sep/Oct, I seem to remember a few outside our tent one night! You just never know... Outside the Mara, I'd say Amboseli would be your best bet. It's possible to do a road transfer there from Nairobi, which might cut down on costs.
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Mar 6th, 2012, 08:46 AM
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Have seen elephants in the Mara in June/July, also Amboseli, which really isn't all that far by road from Nbo. I agree with you, how can you come to Africa and not see eles? Good luck!
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Mar 6th, 2012, 03:26 PM
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Hi Sundowner,

We've been to Kenya a couple of times in June and have always had good elephant sightings in the Mara triangle and in the central section of the Mara (Governor's area). I agree with Geetika - we saw tons of elephants in Amboseli (pun intended). Have a great trip and don't forget to post some pictures and a report when you get back!
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Mar 6th, 2012, 05:41 PM
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I replied to this at lunch time - I wonder where the post went??

Sharon, yes we had eles and buffalo and hippos at our tent (almost in it!)! What month were we there? I can't remember. I know there weren't many eles in the Mara in Sep11 or when we were there in 09. Jim & Gus are going with a bunch of friends on a guys trip so Katie and I are doing a trip, too.

Kavey, I have seen elephants in the Mara in those months but only a small number compared to what I saw in February but I've never been in June.

The mgr at Gov said - they could still be around in June, but maybe not because they tend to disappear when the crowds of Wildebeest come in from the Serengeti. My guide, Samuel, also told me the elephants don't like the wildebeest so they leave.

I guess it all depends on the wildebeest. Flip a coin - heads they will be there and tails they won't. Do I gamble or make a plan to be sure to see them elsewhere. Decisions, decisions....
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Mar 7th, 2012, 10:04 AM
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Sundowner, we were at Governors September 25 - 28, 2009. Perhaps we were just lucky, since the Migration herds were all around the camp. Amboseli is known for being the best place in Africa to see elephants, so I think it would be your best choice in Kenya. Cynthia Moss' elephant research is conducted there. www.elephanttrust.org. From Amboseli, you "should" have some nice views of Mt. Kili, too, although clouds sometimes obscure the view.
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Mar 7th, 2012, 10:13 AM
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I've been often in May and June and always saw lots of ellees. Whether I've been in the Reserve or Triangle areas and also on the private conservancies.

Even if the wildebeest arrive early, they're rarely that far north in the Reserve, so shouldn't sway the ellees from being around.

The Main Governor's Camp 'rack rate' in June is $385/ppnt + $80/ppnt in park fees. An agent should be able to knock maybe $40/ppnt off the rack rate.

Of course, for ellees there is always Amboseli in the south or Samburu in the north, with the latter also having species not found elsewhere. However, the travel time to Samburu by road is almost 6/hrs and difficult to split with the Mara without a flight between the two. As to splitting the Mara with Amboseli, the transfer between the two is also rather long if you do not fly. By road, it's not even recommended to drive from Amboseli to the Mara in one day... also way too long.

Still, as everyone who has been more than once... there is no guarantee of particular game sightings from day-to-day, hour-to-hour and exactly where. They're always on the move.
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Mar 9th, 2012, 09:57 AM
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I can assure everyone, there are elephants in the Mara at *all* times of the year! They don't migrate. I think you'd be very extremely unlucky (<5%) not to see any at all.

I was in the Naboisho conservancy last month - there were hundreds of elephants right across the area and we came across large herds several times over the space of three days.

Richard
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Mar 9th, 2012, 12:58 PM
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@sundowner - Noticed your comment "I know there weren't many eles in the Mara in Sep11" - what area were you in? I was in the Mara Triangle area 9-25 Sept 11 and it was the most concentration of ellies all over that I have ever seen since visiting this area for the past nine years. I was in absolute heaven seeing all those beautiful creatures. Hope you get to see tons--lol on your safari.
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Mar 9th, 2012, 08:09 PM
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I didn't mean for people to think there weren't ANY elephants.

I was at Governor's Sept 18-23, 2011 and September 25-28, 2009 and at LG for 5 nights in mid Feb, 2007. February was the only time I saw what I thought was a large number of elephants.

In both September trips I saw what I consider a small number of elephants. Maybe they were avoiding me? In February they were everywhere. In September there would be a few here and there. Definitely not enough.
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Mar 10th, 2012, 09:27 AM
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There are lots of elephants in Tsavo. And I've only flown over, but seemed like there were buckets of 'em in Amboseli.

I'll be in Kenya in early June, so we'll miss each other. Have great trip!
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Mar 10th, 2012, 11:44 AM
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Elephants have rarely been scarce anywhere, sometimes more/less, but hey... they go where they wish/when.

No two days or visits are ever the same, but ellees have never been an issue. Rather the leopards or cheetah, and even some visits, lion. You take Afree-kah, day-to-day, visit-to-visit.

Hey Leely, June... we might be able meet up again. Get in touch!
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Mar 11th, 2012, 12:49 PM
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Sandi, I will. Haven't narrowed down dates/places yet, but it's definitely beginning of June! Hope to bend elbows in Nairobi again.
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Mar 11th, 2012, 03:31 PM
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Leely, where all are you going?

Here is the itinerary I'm looking at. Sandy, Sharon, Leely, anyone - comments? Is it too long at Amboseli? I just don't know. I hate trip planning.


Day 1 - Nairobi
On arrival transfer from JKIA to your hotel.
Overnight at southern sun Mayfair on Bed and breakfast.

Day 2 - Amboseli
Depart Nairobi and drive south to Selenkay Conservation Area (a 4 hour journey of 102 miles), arriving at Porini Camp before lunch. Following afternoon tea, you will be escorted on a walk by Maasai warriors to a village to get an insight into their fascinating culture and way of life. Return to camp for a shower, dinner and overnight. Do I want to ask about game drive instead of village visit?

Day 3 - Amboseli
Awake to the noisy calls of the birds. After an early breakfast, we drive through the bush on our private track into Amboseli National Park, for a full morning of game viewing. Following a picnic lunch in the park, we return to Porini Camp later in the afternoon. In the evening you will go on a game drive in Selenkay Conservancy, stopping for a sundowner at a scenic viewpoint, followed by a night game drive to look for nocturnal animals such as aardvarks, serval cats, caracals, bat-eared foxes, African wild cats, and other species. Return to camp for dinner and overnight.

Day 4- - Amboseli
Awake to the natural sounds and calls of the local birdlife
Game drive within the Selenkay conservancy.

Day 5 – Masai Mara – Ol kinyei conservancy
Awake to the natural sounds and calls of the local birdlife. After breakfast transfer by road to Nairobi for lunch at the famous Carnivore Restaurent. Then transfer to Wilson Airport for the afternoon flight to the Mara, arriving around 15,45.
Transfer to Mara Porini Camp. Afternoon game drive, followed by a sundowner and night game drive on the way back to Camp. Dinner and overnight Mara Porini Camp.

Day 6 - Masai Mara – Ol kinyei conservancy
Game drives in 4x4 vehicles within the game rich Mara ecosystem followed by a sundowner. Overnight and full board accommodation at Porini Camp.

Day 7 - Masai Mara – Ol kinyei conservancy
Game drives in 4x4 vehicles within the game rich Mara ecosystem followed by a sundowner. Overnight and full board accommodation at Porini Camp.

Day 8 - Masai Mara - Olare Orok Conservancy
After breakfast leave camp and spend the day game-viewing in the famous Masai Mara Reserve with a picnic lunch in the park and then moving on to Porini Lion Camp arriving in the late afternoon.

Day 9 - Masai Mara - Olare Orok Conservancy
After early morning tea in your tent take a dawn game drive in the Olare Orok Conservancy. Return to camp for breakfast then enjoy a morning nature walk escorted by Masai warriors. Return to camp for lunch. Join an afternoon game drive in the Conservancy - stopping at a viewpoint for a sundowner - then a night game drive as you head back to camp for dinner and overnight. I will ask about game drive until lunch and skip the walk. I'm all about photography, you know.

Day 10 - Masai Mara - Olare Orok Conservancy
After early morning tea in your tent take a dawn game drive in the Olare Orok Conservancy. Return to camp for breakfast then enjoy a morning nature walk escorted by Masai warriors. Return to camp for lunch. Join an afternoon game drive in the Conservancy - stopping at a viewpoint for a sundowner - then a night game drive as you head back to camp for dinner and overnight.

Day 11 - Depart
Early morning walk in the Conservancy with Maasai warriors, followed by breakfast. Take a game drive within the conservancy,
before lunch. After lunch you will b etransferred to the airstrip for your flight to Nairobi departing t 1600hrs.
1730hrs – On arrival at Wilson airport transfer to JKIA. (Dinner on own arrangements)
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Mar 11th, 2012, 03:47 PM
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Leely, I see where you don't know where you are going yet. I wrote my post before you said that and I forgot to "submit" it. (Just so you don't think I can't read.)
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Mar 11th, 2012, 05:58 PM
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I think the Village visit on Day 2 should be okay. The camp is outside the park, so going on a game drive that afternoon would require payment of fees. Your daughter hasn't experienced the Maasai culture and it will be interesting for her. The Selenkay Conservancy seems to be some distance from Amboseli itself, so it looks like you only have one day in the park, Day 3. If it doesn't look like you've got much game in the Conservancy, you might ask to go back to the park on Day 4 if you liked it. I guess you'd have to pay extra for the park fees.

It also looks like most of your "Mara" game viewing is outside the Reserve in the two Conservancies where Porini has their camps. Other than the one mention on Day 8 when you change camps, it doesn't look like you go into the Masai Mara at all. Perhaps some of the other posters could chime in as to the quality of the game viewing in the Porini conservancies in June.
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Mar 12th, 2012, 05:22 PM
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I was at Kicheche Bush Camp on Olare Orok June 2010--the conservancy is game rich and tourist poor (meaning not many people, very nice). I had sundowners one evening and my guide asked, "Lions or elephants?" I chose elephants and we sat having a drink as a large herd milled all around us.

Sundowner, see if you can dig up abranz's report. She went in June of last year and stayed at the Porini camps at Amboseli and the Mara.
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Mar 13th, 2012, 05:50 PM
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Thanks, Sharon and Leely.

Sharon, Bill xxx (brain poof and can't remember his last name) has been to these Porini camps 3x and recommends them so I'm going on that. I don't think June is the best time to go anywhere so I'll just have to hope for the best.

Wow, Leely, Kicheche sounds pretty good if you get to choose between lions and elephants for sundowners. I think that's where Hari just returned from and his photos tell that it was a great trip. And I looked for a report from abranz and I found where she said that's where she was going but didn't find a trip report but thanks for the suggestion.
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Mar 13th, 2012, 06:23 PM
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Sorry, sundowner, I thought abranz had written a report but perhaps she just answered individual questions after her trip. She very kindly had me over for dinner to look at photos, so we spoke about her experiences, and if my memory serves me correctly (um, I hope it's still okay...?), she really liked Porini.

If you haven't read crosscheck's classic and hilarious report, give it a go. I think they traveled a few weeks later in the year than you will be traveling.

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...-adventure.cfm
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