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Which one to skip (Amboseli, Serengeti, Masai Mara) ?

Which one to skip (Amboseli, Serengeti, Masai Mara) ?

Old Apr 12th, 2013, 04:14 PM
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Which one to skip (Amboseli, Serengeti, Masai Mara) ?

I have a safari itinerary in Eastern Arica, in August. It includes the following parks / lodges, and one of them has to be skipped to meet the time constraints. Which one would you suggest to sacrifice ?

1. Amboseli, Oltukai lodge
2. Serengeti, Serengeti Serena lodge
3. Masai Mara, Mara Sarova camp
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Old Apr 12th, 2013, 06:41 PM
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Amboseli and the Masai Mara are both in Kenya while the Serengeti is in Tanzania so why not stick to one country?

No need then to purchase another visa or get a yellow fever shot if entering Tanzania from Kenya.

The Mara and Serengeti are the same eco system that covers 2 countries.

If the migration is a must for you then check where the herds are likely to be in August.
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Old Apr 12th, 2013, 10:44 PM
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I agree, stay in the same country, it will save time and money

But you propably wanna check were the migration is in august..
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Old Apr 13th, 2013, 07:14 AM
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I would echo @KathBC and @jesron, i would stick to one country.

Masai mara and Serengeti National reserve is an ecosystem, and between July to October the migratory animals (wildebeests,zebras) reside in the Masai Mara grazing the lush green grasses that the earlier rains encouraged.
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Old Apr 13th, 2013, 10:52 AM
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As above, you show two countries and unless you have more than 10/days total and depending on what your 'entire' itinerary looks like, it's not recommended to try to visit both countries, regardless how close they appear on a map. They aren't and transit between the two can be costly and eat up more time than expected.

In August, the migration is in the Masai Mara and though some of the herds don't quite make it into the Mara and remain at the very Northern Serengeti, the Serena Lodge you indicate above is in Central.

Stick with 1/country. Or are you interested in seeing the Ngorongoro Crater which is unique to Tanzania, though very crowded and either gets raves or 'so-so'. If this the case, best to post the entire itinerary - where visiting (park/reserves), lodge/tent, driving/flying, etc and we can figure out whether Ngo can be included and if so what in Kenya might have to be omitted.
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Old Apr 13th, 2013, 08:35 PM
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Thanks Sandi ! You are exactly right, Ngorongoro, as well as Manyara lake, both in Tanzania, are on my itinerary, too. The whole thing is driving only, no flights, and the itinerary is shown below. Please advise what would you skip, in August.

Amboseli, Oltukai lodge
Naivasha, Naivasha Simba lodge
Nakuru, Sarova Lion Hill lodge
Masai Mara, Mara Sarova camp
Serengeti, Serengeti Serena lodge
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Serena lodge
Manyara, Lake Manyara Serena lodge
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Old Apr 14th, 2013, 12:50 PM
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Some itineraries scare me. And what you show below, sorry... is one of them. I'd probably hang myself on a roadside tree than do this.

I assume you arrive/depart at Nairobi? As you can omit something assume this is a 'private' itinerary. How many people in your party? If so and the order you show is how it's planned, and without flights, and not indicating how many total days in-country and/or at each area... at least you should know the estimated drive times, assuming no horrific traffic or accidents, tire punctures, stuck in muck:

NBO - Amboseli - 4/hrs south
AMB - Naivasha - 4/hrs north to NBO; grab a bite to eat; 2/hrs north to Naivasha
Naivasha - Nakuru - 1/hr north
Nakuru - Mara - 5+/hrs south
Mara - Serengeti - 10/hrs southwest then east
- Isebania border, Visa needed and also Yellow Fever inoc and proof of same for entry
Serengeti - Ngo - 5+/hrs southeast
Ngo - Manyara - 2/hrs east
Manyara - NBO - 10+/hrs east/north
- Namanga border crossing
At all borders, change of guide/vehicle from country to country

Some roads are tarmac, most are not (rather dirt/gravel)... so don't expect super highways as you find at home; many formerly good roads are under repair as recent rains in Dec/Jan have destroyed those.

In most instances you won't arrive at next location till after lunch or even later if not by dark. At minimum you have 2.5/days (Amboseli/Naivasha, Mara/Serengeti, Manyara/Nairobi) in full transit only.

Is this the itinerary/places you asked for or what a tour operator provided? Where do you absolutely want to visit? What are your interests? And does your budget stretch to at least toss in a flight or two?
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Old Apr 14th, 2013, 01:41 PM
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Yes, I realize that this is too much for 11 days, that's why I was thinking of cutting it down. Tanzania came up only because of Ngorongoro. Probably it makes sense to sacrifice it, after all, and limit ourselves to a classic safari in Kenia, for 7-8 days. If we really like Africa, next year we could go to south (Botswana, SA), and visit Tanzania with Zanzibar at the end. What do you think ?
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 12:06 PM
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Only 11/days then there is no way to visit all.
You can certainly visit Ngo, but have to omit the Serengeti and maybe Manyara and add a few flights.

You can visit at Amboseli, Nakuru, Naivasha and Mara as a driving itinerary in Kenya and have own guide/vehicle throughout.

From the Mara, transfer to airstrip for flight 11am to Wilson (domestic) airport in NBO; connect here for flight to Kili/JRO in Tanzania; Visa, YF inoc proof for entry; met and transfer for drive via Arusha onto Manyara (for o/n only); continue to Kili next morning for afternoon crater tour - o/n; next morning drive to Arusha for dayroom till later transfer to JRO for flight to NBO and homebound flight, as:
Day 1 - Arv. NBO - o/n
Day 2 - Drive (4/hrs) to Amboseli - o/n
Day 3 - Amboseli; game drives - o/n
Day 4 - Drive (4/hrs) via Nairobi; continue Drive (2.5/hrs) to Nakuru; game drive - o/n
Day 5 - Drive (5/hrs south) to Masai Mara - o/n
Days 6 & 7 - Masai Mara; game drives - o/n
Day 8 - Fly to Wilson; connect to flight to JRO (arriving by 2pm latest); met/transfer (1/hr) via Arusha; continue drive (2.5/hrs) to Lake Manyara (too late for game drive) - o/n
Day 9 - Drive (2.5/hrs) to Ngo; afternoon crater tour - o/n
Day 10 - Ngo; option: morning crater tour; drive (2.5/hrs) to Manyara, game drive - o/n
Day 11 - Drive (2.5/hrs) to Arusha; dayroom till later transfer to JRO for flight direct into NBO/JKIA airport for homebound flight.
--- you'd also have own guide/vehicle for the Tanzania segment.

August is perfect for the migration in the Mara; the Serengeti would be better at other times of the year which can be postponed for another visit which I can assure you will be planning.

If budget allows, you can consider flying as:
- from Nairobi's Wilson airport to Amboseli; from Amboseli to Wilson for flight to Nakuru and now with new flight from Nakuru to the Mara and finally as shown above from the Mara to Wilson before onto JRO.

Discuss with your tour operator. Good luck.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2013, 11:03 AM
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@sandi mi name is cris and im planning a tanzania-kenya trip on February and needed some help. do you think its possible to do massai mara, nakuru, Serengeti and ngorongo in 12 days? if so how would you recommend to do it? Finally i want to do some tribal experience any ideas o recommendation where to do it and which one? Thanks a lot a really appreciate your help.
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