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Serengeti or Masai Mara??

New Jersey
Level Contributor
30 posts
8 reviews
Serengeti or Masai Mara??

Hi,

We are planning on a safari in the middle of August for about 10 days. Which of the following is a good option?

- Start from Arusha and do Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Northern Serengeti and back to Arusha OR

- Start from Nairobi and do Amboseli, Masai Mara and back to Nairobi

- Do a combination of both Serengeti and Masai Mara?

Which is the best place for August?

Thank you for your time.

Regards!!

nyc
Level Contributor
15,087 posts
1. Re: Serengeti or Masai Mara??

First, with only 10/days it's not recommended to visit both countries.

You will also require Visas for each country and Yellow Fever inoculation with proof of same for entry to/from/between each.

Second, if only doing a combo Serengeti/Masai Mara know that there is no direct crossing between the two, so whether driving or flying, getting between the two and back to the start point will take a full day each.

As to the itineraries, while the migration is in the Masai Mara in August, there are still some herds remaining in the very northern Serengeti. However, with the routing you show, there is no way you can drive straight on from Ngorongoro to No. Serengeti without a stop somewhere. It's just too long a drive. And, if concluding in the North, you'd have to fly back to Arusha.

And, with the Kenya itinerary... with 10/days you have sufficient time to visit more than Amboseli and the Masai Mara. In fact, I'd suggest a visit to Samburu in place of Amboseli; also an "elephant" park, but also species not found elsewhere. If driving you can visit Mt. Kenya, Samburu, Ol Pejeta, Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara. If flying you can fly up to Meru, fly to Samburu, fly to Masai Mara.

I'd concentrate on Kenya.

Findlay, Ohio
Level Contributor
12,485 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: Serengeti or Masai Mara??

You don't have enough time to visit both Kenya and tanzania. Choose one or the other. You don't realize the distances involved, and even flights would be difficult to do in that timeframe.

Nairobi
Level Contributor
33 posts
3 reviews
3. Re: Serengeti or Masai Mara??

In August the Migration is largely in Kenya in the Masai Mara, and you can see those spectacular and dramatic scenes of the herds of wildebest and zebra crossing the dangerous, crocodile infested Mara River.

In 10 days, as suggested by 4sandi, stay a few days in Amboseli (2 nites or 2n) Samburu (3n), and the rest in Masai Mara. Possibly a nite in the Rift Valley at one of the lakes. It will depend on whether you drive all or fly/drive.

Where you stay in the Mara is important so as to be close the migration at that time - it does move and the Mara is quite big so get a lodge or camp near to the action - ask an expert. Book very soon.

Have fun!

4. Re: Serengeti or Masai Mara??

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5. Re: Serengeti or Masai Mara??

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Findlay, Ohio
Level Contributor
12,485 posts
8 reviews
6. Re: Serengeti or Masai Mara??

Carel... Please use better language on here. We try to keep this a civil forum so there no need to call someone a liar. That is stupid and uncivil. I see that you are a newbie and will overlook this lapse in good manners; but don't do it again. And from your posts you absolutely don't have all the answers, and in fact no one on here does. Answers to safari questions are typically focused upon the needs and requests of the OP. For most people sitting near the Mara river waiting and waiting for what may or may not arrive would be very boring and not worth the effort to go there. Now that's an opinion, not a lie. is it boring for you, probably not; that doesn't make it OK for everyone.

People who go to Tanzania will find that there is much more to Tanzania wildlife then the migration. At that time of the year there is much more in Tarangire, for most people, then in some of the other places. Perhaps you haven't been to other places, I don't know that nor do I care all that much. Ngorongoro is always full of animals. And in the Serengeti there is more to do and see then the migration.

Perhaps where you come from calling a person a liar is not uncommon; but from where I come from people with other opinions are not called liars, and it typically shows others what an uncouth and unrefined person you are. Please clean it up or stay away. This is a place for civil discourse not unkind and disrespectful people.

nyc
Level Contributor
15,087 posts
7. Re: Serengeti or Masai Mara??

There was a time way before any of us even thought to visit the African safari countries, especially Kenya or Tanzania, that the migration as we know it, didn't cross into the Masai Mara. Certainly over the 16/yrs that I'm aware, the migration has always been in the Mara during August.

Last year (2010) some of the herds started arriving in the Mara beginning of June and on one visit (believe 1996), we saw large herds still there in late-Nov/early-Dec.

Of course if the OP is "only" interested in the Mara and Serengeti they can do so, via the recently instituted Safarilink/Coastal flight (Migori/Tarime) option . However, it's unusual for first (and often only) time visitors not to want to see more than these two.

Their choice, of course.

Bristol
Level Contributor
3,254 posts
86 reviews
8. Re: Serengeti or Masai Mara??

Thank you Karl. Very well put. I was rather shocked to read Carel's post. I don't think anyone should be called a liar on here. Everyone is just offering their opinion in order to help others who are planning a trip. Keep up the good work.

Findlay, Ohio
Level Contributor
12,485 posts
8 reviews
9. Re: Serengeti or Masai Mara??

After posting this, and because the name sounded familiar to me, I went and checked previous posts. This poster is Carel Verhoff who is a safari operator from South Africa, and is very opinionated in his viewpoints as evidenced by previous posts, and appears to not allow others to have an opinion other then his. I would advise people to look at his other posts on this forum and come to your own conclusions.

Carel, since you are a safari operator, based in South Africa and sometimes in Tanzania, please post a disclarimer when you post so that others know your biases. My only bias here is to help those going to Tanzania in any way that I can and I am not involved with the safari business in Tanzania.

And please be nice.

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
40,199 posts
474 reviews
10. Re: Serengeti or Masai Mara??

Well what must the OP think?

You are so right Bwana G, shep and mama S.

There is no call for that attitude and being wrong makes it even worse. I also had checked on carels other outbursts before even responding and was unimpressed..

1. This 2 hour flight. Yeah right. It involved two flights. Mara to Migori. A luxury cross border bus transfer and then another flight from Tarime to Kogatende or similar. so assuming the flips take 15 mins each and we generously add another 15 mins taxi/take off to each there goes a whole hour. Now add in the coach ride, Check In, Border crossing and standing around time. I don't think two hours is realistic. Allow a morning or an afternoon. I should!

2. Migration is mobile. As the finance ads say "Past performance is no guarantee. Herds can move down as well as up."

It is a nonsense to be so dogmatic. This is not Kruger!

3. I will tell anyone what I feel to be of assistance to their planning for their "real experience". I would say look at the bigger picture. There is much more to Serengeti, or the Maasai Mara than half a million Wildebeeste crossing a river. Then there are the other wonderful Parks either side of the border each with its own unique appeal. Don't waste your whole trip on a migration that may never happen.

I can only be amazed (and disgusted) at the allegations of self serving interest levied against the others. The only self serving I can see is coming from south of the Limpopo.

Back to the no doubt bewildered poster.

You asked three questions.

1. Should you visit Tanzania Arusha-Serengeti?

2. Should you visit Kenya. Amboseli and Maasai Mara?

3. Should you combine both Serengeti and Maasai Mara..

You got clear answers to all three. The gist was don't try to combine both in a ten day time frame. It could be done but was not advised. Either country has enough Wildlife to satisfy you for well over ten days.

Which one for August? Well Tarangire NP, 3 hours from Arusha is awesome in August and even has its own mini migration. Only 300,000 involved but you won't notice the numbers after the first 50,000.

5000 Elephant in the river will overwhelm you. Ngorongoro Crate is good year round and unmissable.

My vote would go to Tanzania.