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Masai Mara Safari

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Sussex
Level Contributor
71 posts
2 reviews
Masai Mara Safari

Hi I am traveling to Kenya in December 2013 with my son and his wife

We are looking to do a 3 day 2 night safari whilst we are staying in Mombasa .

Having never been to Kenya or done a safari before can anyone give us any hints, tips or reputable companies that we could book the safari with.

Any info on best place to stay etc, I have heard that you can also do a hot air balloon ride from some camps?

Your thoughts and any advise would be much appreciated

Regards

Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
Level Contributor
2,464 posts
165 reviews
1. Re: Masai Mara Safari

Hello. From mombasa to do a 2 night safari in the Mara, you will need to fly. Do you know which camp you will be staying at? From most camps, you can go on a balloon safari, the balloon operators usually pick you up from your camp at around 4.30 am and drive you to the launch site.

We usually stay at Mara Intrepids or Mara explorer. Great camps, good guides and vehicles, great food and accommodations.

The last few years, December has been rather wet in the Mara, so access to some parts of the park has become limited. Not sure if December 2013 will be very wet as well.

Hope that helps.

Sussex
Level Contributor
71 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Masai Mara Safari

Hi thanks for the reply, we not sure as yet where we will be staying. Is there a set price do you know for the Ballon trips?

Hythe, United...
Destination Expert
for Kenya
Level Contributor
2,280 posts
88 reviews
3. Re: Masai Mara Safari

Balloon flights start from about £250 per person. this is for 45 minute flight followed by a bush breakfast and then game drive back to camp.

Cardiff
Level Contributor
1,035 posts
31 reviews
4. Re: Masai Mara Safari

I suggest that you email a number of safari ops. for prices for a range of lodges/camps. This year I got prices for several different camps from ~6 different safari companies.

Operators I got prices from included;- Glorious safaris,WT Safaris,JT Safaris,Southern Cross, ekeasafaris & F Kings.

Camps we priced up included Governors (which we finally visited),Royal Mara,Olumara,Tipilikwani & Ashnil Mara.

For the same camp the range of prices was staggering - the cheapest quote inc flights was ~ £620 pp ,the most expensive £1100pp!! for a 3 day/2 nighter. @ Governors for instance, so well worth doing plenty of advanced research,especially as you have plenty of time.

Hot air balloon trip is a very expensive addon @ ~ $$450 pp - so if you want to do it even more necessary to get the best possible price for the overall trip.

Sussex
Level Contributor
71 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: Masai Mara Safari

Thanks Brewerdave for your advice we will have a look at the options you have suggested.

I read that if ou do a ballon trip whilst staying at one of the camps you,loose out on one of your game drive's ,?

I presume also that the prices you were given were to transfer you from your holiday Hotel ( we are staying in Monbassa ) to the camp.

Thanks and a Happty New Year to u and your Family

Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
Level Contributor
2,464 posts
165 reviews
6. Re: Masai Mara Safari

If you go on a balloon ride, you do sort of lose one game drive, as you will be up in the air, then breakfast, but do get a game drive on the transfer back to your camp.

I personally am not a huge fan of the balloon ride. I would rather use the $$$ towards more nights and land based game drives.

Cardiff
Level Contributor
1,035 posts
31 reviews
7. Re: Masai Mara Safari

Yup, those prices were complete from "door to door" - only extras were drinks at the camp and tips.

Yes -you lose out on the morning game drive(s) -for instance we had an early morning drive,back for breakfast then a later am drive til lunchtime instead of the balloon flight.Would have loved to have done it -but very expensive in my humble opinion!!

Sussex
Level Contributor
71 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: Masai Mara Safari

Hi thanks Dave

Yes it seems expensive but then it prob be the one and only time we there so will have to way up the options maybe a cheaper camp lol as I have read it's a fantastic trip ?

Cardiff
Level Contributor
1,035 posts
31 reviews
9. Re: Masai Mara Safari

We heard 2 different opinions of the balloon safari whilst at Governors.

On our first day,a German family raved about the experience as they had drifted over a huge herd of wildebeest/zebras and watched a pride of lions stalking the edge of the herd - however,another young couple on our second day had been disappointed as they hadn't seen anything spectacular in the 90 minutes or so,certainly nothing that they hadn't already seen on game drives.

Also the final morning that we were at Governors,it was very cloudy and misty - the balloons still went airbourne but I'm not sure how much they would have seen.

Oakland, CA
Level Contributor
1,004 posts
189 reviews
10. Re: Masai Mara Safari

NB< well as getting a range of prices, going thru the camp's own company is NOT always cheapest option! Be sure ot contact a tour organizer as well--Brewer gives sove great suggestions, and compare to the prices you'll get via the lodge or camp company. And of course, make sure youare comparing apples and apples