What can you see in 9 days?
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Mar 10, 2012 3:16 AM Last Post By: pia2am
Mar 6, 2012 6:17 PM
What can you see in 9 days?We are a group of 4 and plan to organize a self drive safari from May 6-May 14 from Nairobi. Our initial itinerary looks like this
Day 1 - Nairobi-Masai Mara
Day 2 - Masai Mara
Day3 - Lake Naivasha
Day 4 - Lake Nakuru & Baringo
Day5 - Somewhere on Lake Victoria shore - just to see the lake
Day 6-7 Samburu NP
Day 8 - Mt Kenya NP - just to see the mountain and do some short walks in the area
Day 9 - Drive back to Nairobi
Looking at the map I think we will have to backtrack Day 4 & 5 but my husband insists he needs to see Lake Victoria. Is it worth the backtrack?
Day 8 - Mt. Kenya NP - is there anything worth spending one night if you are not going to do the trek?
Your kind comments on our itinerary are most appreciated.
We also need recommendations for accommodations in all these places - somewhere in between basic and top end.
Mar 6, 2012 10:45 PM
1I understand your wish to see as much of Kenya as possible, and you've certainly picked the highlights, BUT I suspect that you might have underestimated the time taken to drive between places ... the roads slow you down immensely.
Nairobi to Masai Mara will take at least 5 hours, and your pace will slow down incredibly after Narok.
From the Mara to Lake Naivasha you'll be backtracking significantly, and should allow 3 hours for this trip to get to the lake. Once there, the lake is outside the town of Naivasha ... so that means further driving, plus any time in Hell's Gate National Park or Crater Lake rather than just driving down to the lakeside.
Lakes Nakuru and Baringo are about an hour north of Naivasha.
Lake Victoria is worth seeing but is best in the context of an excursion actually on the lake itself.
Might I suggest the following change to part of your itinerary ... I can't really comment on Mount Kenya or Samburu as I haven't been there ...
Day 1 Nairobi - Lake Naivasha. Stay close to the lake. Visit the lake and overnight
Day 2 Naivasha to Lake Baringo and Lake Nakuru. Return to Naivasha
Day 3 Drive from Naivasha to the Masai Mara
Day 4 Spend the day in the Masai Mara
Day 5 Drive from the Masai Mara to Kisumu via Kericho (stop for a cup of tea and to see the plantations) (approx 4 hours drive plus stop in Kericho)
Day 6 Kisumu - either Daybreak on Lake Victoria, plus visit to Kisumu Museum and a local fish lunch or Rusinga Island boat trip
Day 7 Set off for Samburu or Mount Kenya and the rest of your trip
I wonder if you might be better simplifying your itinerary and seeing a bit less ...and I suspect that you will be very tired after driving these distances. Plus don't forget it gets dark early in Kenya - just after 6 pm and it is not a good idea to drive at night ...
Might you be prepared to sacrifice some driving for flying? You might get to see all these places without all the long drives (though what you see when driving was worth it for me ... Nairobi/Lake Naivasha/Kericho/Kisumu/Masai Mara/Nairobi this past January ... but I was being driven by a professional from Kisumu to Nairobi via the Mara when I travelled with Integritour, and for the rest I was in a wedding party group where transport was provided).
Mar 7, 2012 2:10 AM
29 days will be enough for you since it will be private safari for you to avoid backtracking safari i advice you to follow the program below
Day 1: Nairobi - Samburu
Day 2: Samburu full day
Day 3: Samburu -Mt. Kenya/Naivasha
Day 4:Naivasha -Nakuru/Baringo
Day 5:Nakuru -Masai mara
Day 6: Masai mara full day
Day 7:Masai mara -Victoria
Day 8:Victoria full day
Day 9:Victoria - Nairobi
i believe the above guidelines will be helpful to you
if you need more advice/Help please send me private message
Mar 7, 2012 4:48 AM
3WeI have decided to rent the 4x4 car with driver/guide so we will leave the driving to the professionals spned our time enjoying the scenery. Thanks for both your itinerary advices - will get back to more researches and discussions with the group before we make decision.
Any tips about accommodation in these places?
Mar 7, 2012 10:46 PM
Mar 8, 2012 12:22 AM
5Don't forget that travel times are often longer than expected. Travel agencies will tell you it's a five-hour drive from Nairobi to Masai Mara, in reality it's more like a seven-hour drive, provided everything goes right. Do not underestimate the exhaustion - Kenyan roads are often bad and it gets really tiring to travel by road after a few days.
Mar 8, 2012 11:14 AM
6I personally wouldn't bother with Kisumu. Also I might consider only doing a couple of national parks. Masai Mara is tremendous but it's very big and generally people say it's better if you can spend some time there. I personally would rather have even just one great safari experience than a few rushed ones - it's hard to guarantee that you'll see all the animals you want to see on the day you're there (particularly cats).
Catw makes a good comment about the roads - the road to the Mara gets really bad though I know they had announced last year that they were going to improve it.
I wouldn't necessarily bother going to Mt Kenya if you're not going to do the hike. The mountain is often hidden behind mist and cloud. Maybe better to do a hike round Mt Longonaut or Mt Sissou (might be spelt wrong) which can be done in a day (Longonaut probably takes 3 hours), offer some spectacular views and would be a good opportunity to get out of the car for a day.
Can't recommend accommodation - I was on a v.thrifty budget so I stayed wherever I could as cheaply as possible.
Mar 8, 2012 4:46 PM
7Have to agree with Catw (#5) - your travel times in Kenya will be a lot longer than the safari intinerary leads you to believe. Its a full day from Nairobi to Samburu (but well worth it) - you need an extra day here. Samburu to Mt Kenya and then to Lake Naivasha or Lake Nakuru are both very long days. If you spend more that an hour at Mt Kenya then you will arrive at the lakes after dark. You need a full day to take in all that Nakuru has to offer. A day or half day at Naivasha including a lake cruise is well worth it - this is your relaxing day in the middle of the safari to allow you to get ready for the Mara.
Not sure about Baringo (never been there). From Nakuru or Naivasha to the Mara is about 4-5 hours depending upon road conditions and traffic and you really need two full days in the Mara to appreciate it. Take the morning balloon flight!!
One question - why do you really want to see Lake Vic?? I know its very very big - but its just a lake (my opinion)!! Good luck
Mar 9, 2012 6:38 AM
8Yes, why Lake Victoria - my hubby is an old school scientist and he's quite interested to see this vast lake on scientific reasons. I don't share his dream especially when the drive would be long and nothing is of much interest in terms of safari wonders. I will have to twist his arms to scratch this lake off our list.
Now I am thinking of 3 days in Samburu including the traveling day, 2 days in the lakes and 3 days in MM. How does that sound to you all? Is it sensible?
Please recommend accomm choices in these 3 areas. Our budget allows middle of the road accom - not too flashy and pricey, but not basic either.
Mar 9, 2012 9:01 AM
9I can tell you from my visit in January that work is being done to improve the Narok - Masai Mara approach road, but that it is very slow and the distance to be covered is VERY long ...
I can also say from personal experience that Lake Victoria IS worth visiting. Why? OK here's my take.
There are visitors to Kisumu but they are very much in the minority. You can therefore walk around without drawing attention to yourselves, visit the daily market or the Sunday Kibuye market and enjoy the parks without any worries of being singled out as 'rich mzungus'.
The town (or city as the Kenyan government refers to it) is a pleasure to walk around - albeit you can 'do' it in a day, but it is a splendid jumping off point for seeing other things that you can't necessarily find elsewhere in Kenya - such as the Kakamega rainforst (truly impressive), the stones of Kit Mikaye, the bird life of the lake (I'm no ornithologist but what I saw stays as a very special memory of Kenya) and generally seeing real Kenyans living their ordinary lives. We were never 'ripped off', and were treated with great courtesy.
It really shows Kenya in a good light, as distinct from what's often mentioned as 'Nairobbery' or the 'beachboys' of the coastal strip.
Plus on the way to Kisumu you can see so much of Kenya - the ever-changing countryside, the villages, and of course Nakuru and Kericho, where tea is still the main crop!
The other thing that makes Kisumu so different is that it is the 'home zone' of the Luo tribe, so you can learn more about a different aspect of Kenyan society - the museum is particularly good for this.
I know that when I told people I was going to Kisumu, they reacted like Paul and Orion MIke did. But I went there regardless and it was wonderful to be able to explore without feeling like a tourist, to wander safely at any time of day and evening, to see real people living their everyday lives and to experience so much more than just a safari or a beach stay. Please don't under-rate Kisumu. You may have different requirements from your holiday than I did, but I know that I had a unique experience which I'm happy to suggest to others.
Mar 10, 2012 3:16 AM
10I´m just back from a trip to the Maasai Mara and we stayed at Aruba Bush Camp just outside Talek gate. Really really lovely place with nice staff. There are only 7 tents, they are all big, clean and spacious. So the site never get the cramped nfeeling like the big lodges can.
The food is good, freshly made cause of the fewer guest, compared to the big lodges where a lot of the food have to be prepared before hand and then reheated. breakfast concist of eggs, whichever way you want it cook, we got pancakes one morning and fresh fruit. Lunch and dinner were both 4 course meals, not huge portions but just enough. A little salad, a soup, the maincourse and a dessert.
Not sure about the price cause we stayed there as part of a tour booked through a great little safari company called Lokenjen.
(5 star Hotel)
From US$259.38 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$104.54 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$292.00 per night