Pre planning stages of a 10 day trip in early sept.
Would like to include Serengeti as well as Maasi mara. Open to taking some flights,. What is a good number of night in each location?
It's not all about Migration, the ecosystem may be the same but you will still find both the Serengeti and maasai mara interesting. In my own opinion, I would suggest 4 Days in the Serengeti and 4 Days in the Maasai mara. You can approach the Serengeti from Arusha with a cross boarder flight to the Maasai mara. The other two days can be used to see the Ngorongoro crater.You might be late in getting flights and accommodations, that the busiest time of the Year, try your luck though.
Early September is a wonderful time to visit East Africa! I agree with the other posters that you should consider staying in just Kenya or just Tanzania. Both countries can offer a very full and authentic safari experience.
I recommend that you choose Kenya for the 10 day trip, especially at this time of year, as you’ll have a nice chance to see the Great Migration. Are you interested in spending more than a night in Nairobi? Often people are interested in checking out some of the interesting sites in the city, including the Giraffe Center, local markets, and the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. I personally loved my visit to see the elephants and recommend doing the Foster Visit. Depending on how much you want to move around, this could be a good fit to have 2 nights in Nairobi (to allow time for the touring), followed by 4 nights at two different safari destinations. However, if you’d like to see three different safari areas, then you could just have 1 night in Nairobi and have three 3 night stays on safari.
Do you have a budget in mind? Your budget would help me determine my exact recommendations, however here is an idea for 1 night in Nairobi and 9 nights on safari:
Day 2 – Transfer to Wilson Airport for your light aircraft flight to Lewa Conservancy x 3 nights. This area is awesome, as it’s home to the Big 5 and one of my favorite parks in Kenya! Keep in mind that sometimes choosing properties under the same portfolio could allow for discounts (although not always true during high season, when you’re traveling). You should look into Kifaru House, which is a part of the Elewana portfolio. They offer long-stay discounts when you combine their properties. The other properties I’ll mention below are also in this portfolio, although there are many other great choices depending on your budget and interests.
Day 3-4: Lewa. Look into adding some of the extra activities like horseback riding – I loved doing this when I was last in Lewa.
Day 5: Transfer to Loisaba x 3 nights. You should consider spending 2 nights at their Tented Camp and one night in their Starbeds. The Starbeds offer a sleep under the stars experience, which is such a special way to experience a night while on safari. You’re in big-sky country while at Loisaba; it’s quite beautiful!
Day 6-7: Loisaba.
Day 8: Transfer to the Masai Mara x 3 nights. Elephant Pepper Camp is a great option and located in Mara North Conservancy, away from the crowds. You’ll have a daytrip into the Masai Mara Reserve included on a 3 night stay, so you will still have a chance to see the Great Migration river crossings (although never guaranteed!). The Masai Mara is truly the quintessential safari experience in Kenya and the perfect way to wrap up your time in this beautiful country! Regardless if you see the Great Migration or not, the resident wildlife here is epic.
Day 9-10: Masai Mara
Day 11: Transfer to Nairobi Wilson Airport and then on to the International Airport for your departure flight. Depending on when your flight leaves, you might want a dayroom at the Crowne Plaza near the airport.
Kenya is such an incredible country and I know you will love it! Have fun planning!
Katie Blackstone – Safari Consultant – Travel Beyond
Hi Katie - if not interested in the migration would February be a good time to travel to Kenya?
Another question I had was regarding expense of 7-8 day safari trips (minus flights) would safaris to the less famous countries like Zimbabwe/Zambia be cheaper or that you get a higher quality of guiding/views for the money?
Less famous?? Mana Pools Zimbabwe is my favourite of all. But feb is rainy season so no not a good time
you can be able to do six parks in kenya if you are ok with the road trip and get excellent value for money,
this is the good number of nights for each location
nairobi to samburu national reserve x2 nights,olpejeta conservancy x1 night, lake nakuru national park 1 night, lake bogoria national park 1night(lots of flamingoes here) ,lake naivasha 1night then masai mara 3nights since it will be during the migration time,then back to nairobi.
would recommend you visit kenya then create some time for Serengeti later, since that time of the year much attraction is on the kenyan side
I'd do a max of three parks in 10 nights. I would not stay anywhere less than 2 nights. You will spend the better part of half a day packing/unpacking/moving on each time and that's a waste of valuable game drive time. I also agree that it's silly to do both Serengeti/Maasai Mara as they're the same area, just called different things based on which side of the Kenyan/Tanzanian border you are on.
I've been to Kenya 3x in February and it's a great time to go. Weather has been wonderful and warm and not as crowded as during peak season. I've also been to Tanzania in Feb and saw the migratory herds in Ndutu, also great weather there.
I would do 3 days and 2 nights in the Mara. 3 days and 2 nights in the Serengeti, followed by 1 night in the Ngorogoro Crater. obviously more time if you can swing it (and afford it lol). But I think that is enough to get a good flavor of the area. Depending on your budget, I would fly between the two parks as well, although taking the bus from Nairobi to Arusha is an adventure in itself! Here is an itinerary I wrote up in case you're interested!