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How should I Schedule?

Cave City, AR
posts: 119
reviews: 26
How should I Schedule?

I am going to Kenya is August. 5 days in Masia Mara and 3 days in the Laikipia, and 3 days at Elephant Watch Camp in the Samburu Reserve. My question is, I picked 3 days at Tassia Lodge, (here you can do a walking safari and go to their guides village for a visit, this is not a commercial visit), and I just seen on a website that next door to this is Borana Lodge, where I would love to do a horse riding safari. So should I do 2 days Borana, 2 days Tassia and 2 day Elephant Watch? Or should I skip Tassia and just go for 3 days Borana and 3 days Elephant Watch or should I skip Elephant Watch, due to their flood they had there recently. Has anyone been there or to these locations and what is your input on these locations?

nyc
posts: 13,458
1. Re: How should I Schedule?

First, better make certain Elephant Watch will be open. This camp was seriously damaged during early-March flooding of the Ewaso Nyiro River. EW along with about 10 other lodges/camps are closed and not sure when they will all reopen... some not till 2011. I'd check what the situation is.

Borana Lodge is at Lewa, not in Laikipia as is Tassia.... so not really next door. Transfer between the two by road is about $200 each way which takes about 2+/hrs. If you want horseback riding it's at Borana; while at Tassia which is known for their walking safaris and you can also do camel safaris.

You will find much the same game species at all three areas - Samburu, Laikipia and Lewa - but with more elephants at Samburu. So, if EW is closed, I'd just split the time between Tassia and Borana - 3/days each, and if there's still room, add a day in the Masai Mara.

Where will you be staying in the Masai Mara?

What has your tour operator advised about these properties? Or are you doing this on your own.

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
posts: 4,355
reviews: 6
2. Re: How should I Schedule?

4sandi. Not to flagrantly contradict you (sorry, here I go!), but just to be clear. Tassia is north of Borana, about 30km and Lewa HQ is about 30km east of Borana. The whole area is geographically Laikipia.

I would forget (sadly) EW for now, as they were totally wiped out, and even today the river has been rising again. Tassia and Borana will be, I'm sure, absolutely fantastic for you. Both places are superb (I still haven't visited either, but have talked to others who have, and been in touch with the owners/managers).

Richard

Cave City, AR
posts: 119
reviews: 26
3. Re: How should I Schedule?

4Sandi and Yankari, Thanks so much for your answers. I read all the forums all the time, but this is the first time I ever asked a question on them. I have learned alot just by other people's questions. So again, great job! Well, I went with Africa Travel Resource, but my Masia Mara trip will be using Gamewatchers, the Mara Porni and the Porni Lion Camp. Regarding Elephant Watch Camp, according to my travel agency they say they will be in business by end of May. How special is Samburu, should I not miss this park? Should I schedule all 3 or leave one out? Thanks.

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
posts: 4,355
reviews: 6
4. Re: How should I Schedule?

gcwalling

Elephant Watch is extremely nice, or was, but I'm finding it slightly hard to believe they will really be open again a fortnight from now, in the same location, considering current weather. But maybe they've simply moved to higher ground, washed and dried all their beautiful tents and started again. I just don't know.

In terms of who deserves most support, I suppose Tassia as a community-owned lodge and Elephant Watch as supporting the Douglas-Hamilton's superb work with elephants must equal each other. But Borana does very good stuff in their own sanctuary, though they are private. They won a Responsible Tourism award in 2007.

Tough call!

I think on final balance I would pass up Samburu in order to stay longer at Tassia and Borana. Samburu's flattish riverside scene just isn't quite as exciting (to me anyway) as the remoter parts of Laikipia a little further south. But it's a very hard choice, and I thought the environment around EW, where it was before the floods anyway, was stunning.

Hope that's somewhat helpful. . .

Richard

Cave City, AR
posts: 119
reviews: 26
5. Re: How should I Schedule?

Thank you Richard for your input. I just found a website on the internet that had a few pictures of Elephant Watch Camp washed out and the whole area, along the river large trees were uprooted, with 2 bridges being washed out. With this being said, I find it hard also to beleive they will be ready, I guess I will cancel Elephant Watch. Thank you for your help! Gina

nyc
posts: 13,458
6. Re: How should I Schedule?

Yankari, right as usual, the overall area of Laikipia includes Borana and Lewa, even if these areas are often referred to independently. However, the 30km (I never checked and trust Richard on this) between the two can take 2/hrs to traverse. Visiting both would be perfect.

Carmel, California
posts: 2,404
reviews: 11
7. Re: How should I Schedule?

And just to get even more technical ;) Borana and Tassia aren't at Lewa but on adjacent ranches (as is Il Ngwesi). Within Lewa Conservancy itself, there's Lewa Safari Camp, Wilderness Trails, Sirikoi, Kifaru and Lewa Houses.

nyc
posts: 13,458
8. Re: How should I Schedule?

Patty, Patty, Patty... you're too cute. :)

gcwalling - as Richard, I too can't believe EW will be ready by end-month, but if so, whether completely operational.

Visiting Tassia and Borana will serve you well with much the same species as you'd find in Samburu... especially under the sad circumstances which no one could know or control... Mother Nature does what she does! Neither of these two will disappoint.

Cave City, AR
posts: 119
reviews: 26
9. Re: How should I Schedule?

Thanks everyone for your comments and for getting back to me so quick, I need to make this change asap, as we are really leaving on July 23, we will go to these places first, and the 1st week in August in the Mara. Of course I would like to see the migration, and a river crossing (doesn't everyone). That is also why I went ahead and splurged on a Balloon Ride. Can't Wait. Thanks Again, Gina

10. Re: How should I Schedule?

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