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1st Safari trip, Oct 2012 - need your advice

Hong Kong, China
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1st Safari trip, Oct 2012 - need your advice

Hi All,

I have booked my tickets to Kenya for 7 days in the first week of Oct 2012.

This will be my first trip to Africa and my main purpose is to catch the migration Safari!

I have done some research and would love to have your advice.

For locations - which spots should I stay and for how long?


Masai Mara - MUST for viewing migration Safari, 3 days to catch the migration?

Giraffe Manor - getting close to the giraffes, 1 day or 2 days MAX?

To choose from:

Amboseli, Nakuru, Aberdare, Mt Kenya, Shaba

Okay, for the very limited time left for the trip, looks like I don't even have the option to go north for Mt Kenya or Shaba. But would anyone disagree? I really hope to fill this trip with as much animals viewing/interacting as possible, so is it not that bad to skip the north?

Amboseli, Nakuru, Aberdare - For fitting with my other two choosen locations, how would you suggest me given the time constraint and my preference for wildlife experiences? Also, I prefer to catch a variety of wildlife.

I.e. Giraffe Manor 1 day -> Amboseli 2 days -> Maasai Mara 3 days -> Nakuru 1 days?

Or Giraffe Manor 2 day -> Amboseli 2 days -> Maasai Mara 3 days?

Or Giraffe Manor 2 days -> Maasai Mara 3 days > Nakuru 2 days?

Is it even possible to give one location 1 day only given the transport (car, flight)?

I have seen 7-day tour with 2 locations only to 4 locations.

Also, I found hotels managed by 2 different hotel groups for the above locations. Do you usually book the hotels separately? Or it's highly advised to book with just one hotel group, or tour operation (agents for different hotels)

Alright, so glad I have written out my questions and hope to hear from you all.

Thanks & safe traveling for all,


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1. Re: 1st Safari trip, Oct 2012 - need your advice

Besides Giraffe Manor which is very expensive, you don't mention where else you're considering staying at Amboseli, Nakuru, etc. for comparison.

You do know you can see the same giraffes by visiting the Giraffe Center on the grounds of the Manor house and not spend all that $$$.

Are you planning to drive or fly between locations?

Personally, I'd spend 1/nt in Nairobi (many choices here), then fly to Samburu 3/nts, then flhy to the Mara for the balance of time before flying back to NBO and homebound.

Nairobi, Kenya
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2. Re: 1st Safari trip, Oct 2012 - need your advice

Good to read your interest in a kenya safari, this is a great destination and would advise the following

consider a flying safari as it will save you alot of time from one destination to the another , though it could be moreexpensive depending on the number of people you are travelling with.

If you could then have the following itinerary

day one - Nairobi

Day two / three - Fly to Amboseli for 02nights , enjoy game drives and the great view of Kilimanjaro. Elephants are home in Amboseli and other animals are also found here.

day 4/5/6 - 3nights maasai mara (this will help increase your chances of witnessing the migration and if you are lucky the migration crossing the Mara River which is a dramatic experience)

Day 7 - fly to Nairobi with a morning flight arriving in time for lunch and afternoon visit the Giraffe Center.

ALTERNATIVELY you could consider Visiting either Samburu national reserve or Lewa Downs conservancy (highlights here are Gerenuk, Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy Zebra, Somali ostrich and Beisa Oryx - which are all unique to this ecosystem) or even Tsavo national park - in place of Amboseli , these 3locations have connecting flights to maasai Mara


Nairobi - 2nights Amboseli - 1night Nakuru-3nights Maasai Mara (this option is ideal for driving BUT the drive time between Amboseli and Nakuru is long / tiring and can be cut by flying thesector Amboseli / Nairobi , then driving to Nakuruu arriving in time for lunch and an afternoon game drive.

its advisable to book your safari through a tour operator who is able to offer you all the services of accommodation, park fees, transporation, airport assistance, guiding and above all professional advise. the hotel chains can be combined to suit budget, availability and best locations.

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3. Re: 1st Safari trip, Oct 2012 - need your advice

As you state that your priority is to watch the Migration I would suggest that apart from 1 night in Nairobi you spend the whole time in the Mara. It's such a unique experience that you won't regret it. I would also strongly recommend that if you can afford it that you stay close to the action in one of the Governor's Camp camps. Our long time favourite is Little Governor's.

Apart from the herds of zebra & wildebeest you'll be able to relax as herds of ellies graze around you, as elegant giraffes stretch their necks to find those juiciest leaves & of course, the cats do what cats do. As previously stated this will also maximise your chance of viewing a crossing. We watched one on our 3rd visit 2 years ago & believe me it is a truly breathtaking experience. We'll be back again in September & are already counting down the days.

Whatever you decide I'm sure that you'll have a wonderful time in this beautiful country with its incredibly charming & friendly people.

Nairobi, Kenya
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4. Re: 1st Safari trip, Oct 2012 - need your advice

Due to "limited time" & " max game viewing" without having to drive long distances, i suggest a driving safari to Mara & Nakuru. Don't bother staying @ the Giraffe Manor, day visit to Giraffe Centre & Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage will suffice. The other NPs that you've mentioned are way off-course.

Hong Kong, China
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5. Re: 1st Safari trip, Oct 2012 - need your advice

Hi All,

Thanks all for your advice! Yes, I am trying to arrange flights between locations to save some time and I plan on to focus my trip at the south. Guess I will have another chance to visit again for the north.

For those who commented on Tsavo and Amboseli, may I get more info for the two locations? I previously thought they are the same. But is one more recommended over another? Or if I stay at a hotel at either one, I can easily travel and I should to the other location?

Thanks so much for sharing again :)


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6. Re: 1st Safari trip, Oct 2012 - need your advice

Arrange your international flight to/from Nairobi.

Then arrange with an in-country tour outfitter to do the rest: meet/greet, transfers, accommodations, park fees, guide/vehicle*. No need to try to do this yourself.

*if flying segments, the outfitter will arrange these.

Even if you chose to visit both Tsavo W and Amboseli, you'd need a guide/vehichle to get between the two. Tsavo is the largest park in Kenya, thus the East and West each with different eco systems; Amboseli is nearby but not that close and the eco system here is completely different.

Work with an outfitter to handle all under one umbrella. There are many reputable outfitters listed here on TA for Kenya safaris.

Nairobi, Kenya
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7. Re: 1st Safari trip, Oct 2012 - need your advice

Tsavo West National park is known for land features like Mzima Springs, and latest volcanic activities in the country - young rocks and still houses many the big five

Tsavo East is known for its "red elephants" and the man eater lions,

They are divided by the Nairobi Mombasa road on the East of the road lies Tsavo East and on the West Tsavo West.

Amboseli is a different ecosystem though its connected by Tsavo West by a migration corridor for animals. Amboseli lies at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the flora and fauna in this are depends on underground seepage from the Volcanic Mountain. Amboseli is a good location to see the Elephants, birds and the view of the snow capped Mountain.

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8. Re: 1st Safari trip, Oct 2012 - need your advice

Don't do Maasai Mara and Amboseli. Too much travelling.

I just took 7 days to do Maasai Mara, Lake Navaisha , Lake Nakuru and the Aderdare mountains. Was perfect.

9. Re: 1st Safari trip, Oct 2012 - need your advice

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