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Old 5th April 2012, 12:37   #1
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Smile Need info on Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park and around

My dear BHPians,

I am planning to Visit Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park and around by next year probably during the Great Migration. I searched Team-BHP, but couldn’t find any details on this.

Guys need your help in planning this. I am planning this in advance as it has to be perfectly timed so that we could see the best of the place.

My plan is something like this. 15 days trip. 7 of us are going (complete family). Mix of veggies and non-veggies. We would want to see the best places possible (and if possible more places). But the objective will be to check out the wild beauty of Africa.

So here are the things that I would need.

• A good decent itenary
• Some good Tour operators details
• What all places to look out for in and around these places
• Information on stay in each place
• Information on food in each place
• How to manage funds in there
• What problems could come and how to be prepared
• What to carry with us and how much
• And anything else which you feel that I should know

Note: I need your inputs on the budget too, as I am not sure how much it will cost. But approx max Rs.1 lac per person (all inclusive) is what I am thinking

I also happen to read that

“If you're planning a photographic safari to the Masai Mara, make sure you coincide with the wildebeest migration (best between late July and September). Otherwise, if your schedule imposes travelling during a non-migration period, consider the Serengeti National Park. In any case, make the impossible to be in the right place and at the right time for meeting the wildebeest and their co-migrant companions and foes.”

So suggest me the best time to visit this place, considering both the options above.

I am sure this is very open question and not much specific. But the details that you could provide could help lot more people. So please provide any detail that you feel will help.

Last edited by Thamizha : 5th April 2012 at 12:42.
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Old 5th April 2012, 13:34   #2
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Default Re: Need info on Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park and around

Hi,
I am going to Serengeti in Tanzania end of next month. The tour operator I have selected is Roy Safaris Tanzania Safaris, Safaris in Tanzania - Roy Safaris, Arusha, Tanzania Safari Specialist. I selected them based on the good reviews in TripAdvisor, LonelyPlanet and my lengthy email conversations with them. I will let you know of my experience with this operator once I finish my trip in May.

Thanks,
Siva
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Old 5th April 2012, 13:44   #3
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Default Re: Need info on Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park and around

Hi,

I havent been to these places, but know that it can be easily arranged once you are in Nairobi.

Flight:
Emirates Dubai to Nairobi daily.
Boeing 777 provides excellent flying comfort.

Hotel:
1.
Ole Sereni Hotel
Tel: +254 20 3901000
www.ole-serenihotel.com
2.
Fairview Hotel
Tel: (254-20) 2881419, 2711321
Email: book@fairviewkenya.com
3.
Tribe Hotel
Tel: +254 20 720 0000
Email: stay@tribehotel-kenya.com

I have stayed in these hotels and can vouch for the security they provide.
1st hotel is very near to the National park and airport.
2nd is in heart of the city where you can do lot of shopping on wild antiques.
3rd is in remote location but excellent ambience and secured.

You can arrange for Safari to senrengeti from one of these hotels itself. It takes around 4 hours to reach by car.

Ensure you stay in one of the good hotels with reasonable security.
Convert to local currency and carry less cash in wallet.
Migration season starts from end of july to october.
Climate is excellent thoughout the year.

Hope this helps.
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Old 5th April 2012, 17:48   #4
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Default Re: Need info on Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park and around

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thamizha View Post
My dear BHPians,

I am planning to Visit Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park and around by next year probably during the Great Migration. I searched Team-BHP, but couldn’t find any details on this.
The wildebeest migration happens all year round and all you got to do is choose the park based on the time of your visit.

- Masai Mara is in Kenya and considered epic because of the river crossing events which are filmed by almost every wildlife documentary maker and it's the river of life that makes it special. Best time would be June - Sep.

- Serengiti is in Tanzania and has different places you can visit basis the timing to follow the migration. Jan/Feb is the time when the wildebeest babies are born and that is also considered a good time in Serengiti.

If it's your first visit and you're going along with family, it's best to get the arrangements done through a travel agency otherwise you may have issues that leave a bad taste to the whole experience.

Booking in most decent resorts in and around the parks is between $150-$350 per day which includes all meals. Safari charges are extra and you would be charged per person for entry fees etc in addition to the jeep and driver fees. Approx $100-$150 per person for each visit. A rough estimate on the budget would be around 1.25L per person for 6-8 days excluding airfare. (I know this since I am planning for this year if time permits but things may be different based on the tour operator and hotels you choose)

The climate should be pleasant mostly through the year, but africa is a rough place overall and you need to take real good precautions for the common diseases that prevail there. Yellow fever vaccination is a must to enter the country. Malaria and typhoid are on the top of the list, so choosing a hotel with decent amenities and drinking only bottled water is recommended. BTW, water isn't cheap and will cost you around 200 rupees (3 euros) a bottle is what I've heard .
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Old 23rd April 2012, 15:18   #5
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Default Re: Need info on Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park and around

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The wildebeest migration happens all year round and all you got to do is choose the park based on the time of your visit.
Thanks Amolpol. Can you list down the months and the parks (preferred for sighting the great migration). This will be more helpful for me to plan the trip.
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Old 23rd April 2012, 16:10   #6
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Default Re: Need info on Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park and around

Hi Thamizha,

Have you considered Ngorongoro.

Attaching an image which probably help you. The migration is a cyclic thing which happens around/in between Serengeti, Masai Mara and Ngorongoro. Personally have been to Ngorongoro, but my mode of travel will not help you at all. But from my personal experience its equally breath taking.

(The image is downloaded from the Internet)
Attached Images
 
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Old 2nd May 2012, 13:54   #7
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Default Re: Need info on Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park and around

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Originally Posted by padikpanther View Post
Hi Thamizha,

Have you considered Ngorongoro.

Attaching an image which probably help you. The migration is a cyclic thing which happens around/in between Serengeti, Masai Mara and Ngorongoro. Personally have been to Ngorongoro, but my mode of travel will not help you at all. But from my personal experience its equally breath taking.
Thanks a lot padikpanther. This is exactly what i was asking for in my earlier post. This is really helpful.
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Old 21st May 2012, 13:59   #8
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Default Re: Need info on Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park and around

I am looking for more information. Please share whatever you feel, would help.
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Old 1st June 2012, 12:11   #9
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Default Re: Need info on Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park and around

I just came back from my trip to Tanzania. It was a wonderful experience. My trip was like this: Kilimanjaro-Arusha, Arusha-Lake Manyara, Lake Manyara - Serengetti, Serengetti-Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro-Arusha-Kilimanjaro.
I stayed in Lake Manyara Serena, Serengetti/Ngorongoro SOPA and African Tulip in Aruhsa. The lodges were very good and provided good facilities. The vehicle from Roy Safris was good - it had a pop up roof top, cooler and a inverter for charging batteries. The guide/driver was excellent and had more than 20 years of experience with the area and took us to the right places within the park based on our interest. Our family really enjoyed the trip. We saw all the big 5, cheetah, hyenah, zebra, giraffe and migration in serengetti.
If you need more information, drop me an email. I have some pictures and videos of the trip in smugmug but I guess I will not be able to link them here.

Thanks,
Siva
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Old 28th December 2012, 16:02   #10
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Default Re: Need info on Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park and around

Guys need more info on this. Please help.
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Old 28th December 2012, 16:32   #11
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Default Re: Need info on Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park and around

Hi Thamizha,

Masai Mara and Serengeti are more-or-less the same, except the former is in Kenya and the latter is in Tanzania.

This would be a life memorable trip for you.

There are several flights which would take you such as Emirates, Air-Arabia, Kenya Airways and as well as Air-India. From Chennai, the best choice would be Emirates or Air-arabia.

You can get a visa on arrival. It used to be USD $50 - not sure of the fee now. This Visa is valid for Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania.

There are several tour operators such as Somak Safaris, Abercrombie & Kent, Pollmans Tours & Safaris are examples.

Its better to book the hotels through Serena Group as they've got hotels throughout Kenya.

I'd suggest you to have the following plan once in Nairobi.

1. Nairobi National Park
2. Lake Nakuru & national park
3. Stay at Nakuru
4. Lake Baringo & Lake Bogoria
5. Reach Masai Mara by the end of day
6. Stay at Masai Mara for 2/3 days
7. Travel to Mombasa & Malindi to experience the Kenya Coast
8. Tsavo National Park or Amboselli National Park - If time permits
9. Mount Kenya - If time permits.

I'm a Kenyan. Please PM me for additional info!

regards,

Nitin

Last edited by nitinbose : 28th December 2012 at 16:34.
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