We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Driving times in the Masai Mara

Rotterdam...
Level Contributor
24 posts
23 reviews
Save Topic
Driving times in the Masai Mara

Can anyone direct me to information about distances and, more importantly, driving times within the Masai Mara? We will be doing an individual safari in a rental vehicle in August, and want to cover several parts of the area. How long does it take, for instance, to drive from Talek Gate to Oloololo gate? Or from Sekenani gate to Keekorok lodge? Keekorok lodge to Oloololo gate? Etc. And how good or bad is the toll road up from Oloololo gate to the B3 at Mulot Junction? How long does that take? Any advice or reference is highly appreciated.

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Level Contributor
8,644 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Driving times in the Masai Mara

You are clearly an optimist. But I'll do my best and answer the ones I feel comfortable with. from Sekenani gate to Keekorok lodge is an easy half hour. Keekorok lodge to Oloololo gate is a steady 3 hours, maybe more. From Talek to Oloololo is not so clear, once you have entered the reserve. There's a river there. Maybe someone else will have the answer. Generally, you will be driving 40 KPH over sometimes rutted roads. In August, with the migration in part of the reserve, traffic will slow you down. And, anyone reading your post will ask: do you have your accommodations yet? The reserve is likely to be overbooked and individual travelers may find themselves 'bumped' unless one of the strong tour operators made the bookings or the travelers booked directly with the lodges.

Rotterdam...
Level Contributor
24 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Driving times in the Masai Mara

Thanks, BwanaDave, that's useful information. Why do you think I am an optimist? Because I think I'll still be able to get some accommodation around that time? Or because I want to do the Mara independently, adn drive across it? If the former: I have been in touch with several places, and there are still quite some openings. If the latter: can you give me more specifics? I am still making plans, and clearly want to avoid stupid mistakes or overambitious trips.

Thanks, André

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Level Contributor
8,644 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Driving times in the Masai Mara

The 'optimist' line was a sort of joke. But it is quite possible to get turned around in the Mara and have some trouble finding your way back to where you started. The rangers do enforce the 6:30PM deadline to get off the roads - not that you will always be discovered if you are running late - but it is the rule. But more relevant is the fact that the Guides really do know the spots where the cats are likely to be seen, the spots most frequently used by the herds to cross the rivers, the roads that are dead ends, etc., etc... Someone on his own may end up enjoying more scenery than wildlife. As for accommodations, I suggest you set up something now; the tour operators in Nairobi have blocks of rooms that they control and those won't be released until much later - and only released at all if the operators don't fill them with bookings. So the space you are finding now would be the 'other' rooms that the lodges haven't yet booked. Tourism has increased so much the past 3 years that Mara is full every night when the migration is there, and sometimes guests are turned away from a lodge even if they DO have a confirmed booking. As for where to stay - I used the Mara Serena almost exclusively for all those years and believe it to be the best of the lodge properties. Tented camps? Mara Intrepids would be my first choice inside the reserve. Keekorok's new owners have greatly upgraded it and people really like it. I see the places where you have been already; for me, the Mara is the Africa that most people envision with its open savannas and forested hills. A great place. And totally different than anything in southern Africa.

Carmel, California
Level Contributor
4,264 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Driving times in the Masai Mara

I don't know if this helps or not because we were game viewing along the way and stopping here and there, but it took us about 4.5 hours to go from Oloololo to Talek gate. You have to travel via the hippo pool bridge at the southern end of the reserve in order to cross over. I remember the road from B3 to Oloololo gate as being a bit rocky in parts but not bad by Kenyan standards in late 2005 when conditions were dry. I don't recall how long it took.

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Level Contributor
8,644 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Driving times in the Masai Mara

Thx Patty C - that's precisely what I thought but I have never done it myself. I wasn't sure if there was a place where the river could be crossed that I didn't know about. But there's not.

Rotterdam...
Level Contributor
24 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Driving times in the Masai Mara

Thank you Patty and Dave,

This at least reassures me that it is quite possible to set out from one camp near Talek in the morning, and slowly make my way up to another camp near Oloololo later in the day. Looking forward to the trip, and may have more questions for you!

Carmel, California
Level Contributor
4,264 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Driving times in the Masai Mara

Definitely possible! We started out at a camp much further north than Oloololo gate and ended up at a camp near Talek by the end of the day. We could've taken a shorter route but thought this would be a more interesting drive. Have a great trip!

8. Re: Driving times in the Masai Mara

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:23 am, August 25, 2009
Get answers to your questions about Maasai Mara National...