1st Time Kenya Safari, 7-8 days where would you go?
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jan 28, 2013 3:09 AM Last Post By: equatorialsafaris
Jan 24, 2013 4:06 AM
1st Time Kenya Safari, 7-8 days where would you go?Hi all,
We're planning our first trip to Kenya this summer in July / August. We have been on safari once before spending 5 days doing a self-drive in Kruger a few years back. We plan to now try something a bit different and visit Kenya.
We've done loads of hunting on the internet but thought be best to get some feedback for people who've actually been there. We know we want to spend at least a few days in Masai Mara to see the migration but the question is - if you were us how would you split this time and what parks / reserves would you visit and why?
1) fly in and out of Nairobi
2) do a self drive (well with a guide)
3) not spend too much time if possible driving between parks
4) are more into mammals / land animals than birds, they interest us but not so much :)
5) we're on a medium budget - can do luxury tents or lodges but rule out expensive high-end resort type reserves
6) there is 2 of us (husband + wife) in our 30s
Jan 24, 2013 4:11 AM
Jan 24, 2013 4:38 AM
2Would recommend you don't leave Masai Mara reserve out! its incredible, with lots of wildlife, and who knows, you might be lucky and witness the annual wildebeest migration, which begins in July-Oct!
Fly in out of Nairobi would be easier, as most international flights connect in Nairobi, but Mombasa still okay.
Day 1 Arrive Nairobi, overnight in Nairobi
Day 2 Nairobi-Lake Nakuru National Park
Day 3 Lake Nakuru - Masai Mara
Day 4 Masai Mara
Day 5 Masai Mara
Day 6 Masai Mara-Naivasha
Day 7 Naivasha-Amboseli
Day 8 Amboseli - Nairobi, then fly out.
Hope this gives you a guideline!
Jan 24, 2013 4:52 AM
3Hi, thanks for the idea! I'll look into those parks
We're also thinking of adding a few days on at the end to relax in Lamu but can fly there direct from Nairobi or Mombasa wherever we end our safari, no need for a car over there. From what I read Kenyan roads ain't a whole lot of fun :)
Has anyone spent any time in Lamu - like the sound of relaxing / snorkelling / whale watching before we come back home...
Jan 24, 2013 5:24 AM
4I almost agree with missymadam but I wouldn't add in Amboseli if you are only planning to spend a week on safari. Its in a different direction to the Mara, Nakuru etc.
Its also worth noting that July/August is peak time in the Mara - its expensive and gets booked up quickly. Also is a 6 hour drive from Nairobi to the Mara and a similar time from Nakuru. Flights between these places will rack up your budget at a very expensive time.
For a first visit I would definitely say the Mara but you''ll need to book quickly preferably with a local tour operator. You can't leave it until you get there at that time of year.
Jan 24, 2013 5:27 AM
5If you want to do snorkelling/whale watching, Diani beach in south coast is better off than Lamu.
Lamu is more of just relaxing, and culture...and yes, you are right, flying is best option. Driving down to Lamu is NOT recommended( its a day+ drive, and the roads are not good).
Jan 24, 2013 10:47 PM
6masai mara, samburu since it is almost virgin and there is no congestion unlike masai mara, tsavo east and tsavo west is another destination which has fantastic landscapes. There are charter lights from nairobi to all major parks so you can choose to fly rather than drive. As for budget accommodation, there are many to choose from
Jan 25, 2013 12:09 AM
Jan 25, 2013 1:44 AM
8Masai Mara is the best park for wildlife. It's your typical savannah teeming with animals, the one you've seen on TV countless times. Much more fun if you can have your own 4X4, rather than be squeezed in a minibus with six other tourists.
Samburu (which also includes Buffalo Springs and Sheba) is the most beautiful park in my view. Its landscapes are dramatically different and stunning - savannah, mountain, river... There are less animals than in the Mara, except for the elephants who seem to love Samburu.
Amboseli is small and mainly interesting because of its stunning view on the Kilimandjaro and of its mashes teeming with elephants.
I strongly advise you to stay in tented camps, it's much more fun than lodges and you will be able to hear the noises of the savannah at night. Tented camps come in all prices depending the level of comfort.
Do take a qualified guide with you - not one of the driver-guides provided by safari companies but a real guide provided by a lodge or a tented camp or the park itself. These guys studied animal behaviour and know how to track them. Quite useful if you're looking for a shy animal, for instance leopards.
Lamu is beautiful, it has incredible magic. It's a kind of small Zanzibar, teeming with expatriates working in East Africa and going there to chill out, which gives the island a more private feel. It's very different from the rest of Kenya. Do not miss it.
Jan 25, 2013 3:52 AM
I heard that Lamu is having problems at the moment due to it's proximity to Somalia. There are risk alerts being issued against all but essential travel.
Just wondering has anyone been to Diani as a possible alternative? Really interested in a few days relaxing / maybe some snorkelling and definitely whale watching...
Jan 28, 2013 2:24 AM
10Diani is spectacular and an ideal place for relaxing/snorkelling. Some of those excusrions you can book while already at the hotel and things will give you an edge since you can negotiate the prices. You could also go to Wasini Island, as a day trip from Diani, for dolphins.
July/August is a peak season for Kenya safari travel so you'll need to place your booking early to avoid disappointments.
Jan 28, 2013 3:09 AM
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