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Balloon Safari in September - Mara Serena

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Sheffield, United...
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Balloon Safari in September - Mara Serena

After some advise please...

I am in the process of finalising a holiday to Kenya in mid september and it includes 3 nights at the Mara Serena. An optional extra is the balloon flight which is being quoted as £269 per person. Is this a good price? Is it really as good as it is hyped up to be?

Does anyone have any experience of night game drives in the Mara as well - any ideas on cost and experiences?

Thanks in advance

Brussels, Belgium
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1. Re: Balloon Safari in September - Mara Serena

Hi,

we have done the ballon trip and was worth every penny,we have done night drives but not in mara but you have the chance to see animals you would rarely if ever see in the day,eg pangolin, aardwolf.

agy

Tempe, Arizona
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2. Re: Balloon Safari in September - Mara Serena

No. That's an exorbitant price. Who gave you that quote? I'm wondering if they are overcharging you for other aspects of your trip? Internet rates today from several operators are $395. It should be that or perhaps a little more. £269 is more like $525!

Tempe, Arizona
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3. Re: Balloon Safari in September - Mara Serena

I should have added that night drives within the reserve are prohibited, so you will not have that chance at the Mara Serena. Your guide will be hustling to get you home by about 6:30 - 6:40PM.

Sheffield, United...
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4. Re: Balloon Safari in September - Mara Serena

Thanks for the advice on balloon flight. That price was through Virgin Holidays in UK - however, as expected, they are taking a healthy mark up on the price. I will enquire direct with the lodge in advance and also when I get there.

Thanks for the heads up on Night Game Drives - it is interesting therefore that on the Mara Serena Website it lists (albeit in Nov 06) a night game drive. I have asked them about it as well.

Thanks again

Brussels, Belgium
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5. Re: Balloon Safari in September - Mara Serena

hi guys,

when we went on the balloon the cost was $348 each in Fig tree camp in 2003,but i booked it independently and told them i worked for an airline and got it for $300 each,try it out,you dont ask you dont get.

agy

United Kingdom
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6. Re: Balloon Safari in September - Mara Serena

Transworld safaris offer the balloon trip out of the Mara Serena, enquire here www.transworldsafaris.com/ballooning.php for a direct quote.

We booked in advance via Kuoni and it was £215 each, this year Kuoni are charging £180 so your quote is definitely HIGH!

Transworld set up a desk in the Serena lobby each evening so you can book when you get there but you take a chance that there will be spaces. Not enough people on ours so we took along 1 Serena and 2 balloon employees for a bit of extra ballast, plus the pilot and 4 paying passengers. That morning there were 3 other balloons up from other camps/lodges too.

Someone else asked the 'cost' question recently and was pointed in the direction of micssafari to book via them I think. Try a search to find the thread.

In Aug/Sept Serena were offering night drives and we went on one. Took along a security guard with a rusty rifle. We asked the driver to stop and turn out the headlights - never sat in total blackness with only the stars/moon before.

Tempe, Arizona
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7. Re: Balloon Safari in September - Mara Serena

I must be "in the dark" about night game drives in the Mara! I need to find out more about this myself...

UK
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8. Re: Balloon Safari in September - Mara Serena

Been to the Mara several times and have never been allowed out on a night drive. Don't think it has changed.

Balloon trip....at STG 200 or so, it's probably worth it. Ballons are big...recall 12 passengers....winds play a large part in whether or not it takes off.....has been cancelled for lack of wind as well as too much.

We saw giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and elephant from the balloon, no cats or rhino....the "champagne" breakfast was a bit of a disappointment.

Guess if you are there, it has to be done but don't get ripped off on the rate.

Carmel, California
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9. Re: Balloon Safari in September - Mara Serena

As far as I know, within the reserve boundaries, Serena is the only place offering night game drives. Perhaps they received special permission?

10. Re: Balloon Safari in September - Mara Serena

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