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13 Days Tanzania and Kenya Safari

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Hi Everyone,

We are planning a safari in the 3rd and 4th week of July. Starting on July 16.

- 4 nights in Masai Mara

- 6 nights in Serengeti

- 3 nights in Zanzibar Island


(1) Is 4 days in Masai Mara too much?

(2) Is 6 days in the Serengeti too much?

(3) Which part of Serengeti is best to stay at later part of July? if we have to split out stay in Serengeti into different parts. (They have Central, West, North, etc ... )

(4) What is the fastest way of transport from Masai Mara to Serengeti? What flights or routes are these?

We would like to see the other parks in Tanzania, like the Ngorongoro and Taragire, etc.

Is it required to stay overnight in those areas? Can we just skip this, or are they really worth seeing?

Thank you.

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    Hi, lovely trip ahead of you.
    4 days Mara is okay ,
    6days Serengeti would be too much considering you have already spent 4days watching game.
    You could combine Ngorongoro after Serengeti for a different scenery .
    You could cross border at Migori to enter Tanzania. Should be a journey around 8hrs between the two Parks.
    You should contact a tour operator should you need more assistance

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    I'd do it all in Tanzania:
    2-3 nights each in 2 different parts of Serengeti
    2 nights at Ngronongrono Crater wirh both early morning and late afternoon game drives
    2 nights at Tarangire Safari Lodge
    Fly to Zanzibar

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    I'd spend the entire time in the Mara. In fact, I have. Look into staying in conservancies abutting the Mara National Reserve or elsewhere in Kenya, as the conservancy concept is widespread. You have access to the Reserve if you want to day trip into it, but benefit from staying in conservancies, which are limited to those who stay in the very few camps that are based in the conservancies. This allows you to go off-road (see those lions 100 yards away? In Tanzanian parks, you have to stay on the road no matter how far off they are, in the Kenyan conservancies you can drive right over to them -- maintaining a respectful distance of course). You can also do night drives and walking safaris in the conservancies, both of which are wonderful. I've been to Tanzania on the traditional northern circuit, but now that I've been to Kenya, always in conservancies, I wouldn't do it any other way. Very light traffic and a lot more freedom. Plus, you're contributing to the conservation of the land and supporting the local people who have donated the land through the conservancy fees. I was just in Mara North conservancy and every day the only other vehicles we saw on game drives were our own camp's 2 other vehicles. That is spectacular to have a pride of lions on a hippo kill and you're the only one there to see it! Our game viewing in the conservancy was so good we didn't bother going into the Reserve.

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    I am in complete agreement with Amy. I have done the parks in Tanzania and recently the conservancy in Kenya (porini Lion camp) and the conservancy was amazing. Every day was an incredible gift of some new experience.

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    Hello marie_md,

    Sounds like you have a lovely trip planned ahead of you. July is peak season for finding space may pose a challenge. My recommendation is for you to contact an independent safari consultant to assist you with the process who can assist you with all of the details and start to hold provisional space for you. The other alternative is to look into the Asilia “last minute” or FLEXI-rate specials. If you book within 6 weeks of travel (you are currently outside of this window – 6 weeks from July 16 is June 4), they offer their camps for $400/person/night. I quickly took at look at online availability commencing on 16JUL17 and there is some space remaining. Although I can never advocate for someone to wait until “last minute” to book a safari, the value is undeniable. You can get into some camps for 50%+ off normal rates.

    To answer your specific questions:

    1) I don’t think 4 days in the Mara is too much. Like previous posters have recommended, I suggest staying in a private conservancy rather than staying in the Reserve. Private conservancy stay will afford you more exclusivity/less vehicle density and more flexibility in terms of activities (cultural activities, walking, fly camping [some camps], horseback riding [some camps], night drives, light off-road driving for key sightings). I believe that having diversity not only in ecosystem, but in activities is very important. Sitting in vehicles for hours day after day isn’t ideal for most. You should also note that select camps in private conservancies will include a full day outing into the Reserve if you wish to explore the Mara/Talek River front in hopes of catching a river crossing. Your tour operator should be able to advise you on which ones give you this option. If you don’t go the Asilia route, I recommend you look at Serian camps which include a private vehicle and guide with each booking. This will afford the most flexibility.
    2) 6 days in Serengeti may be a bit much if you are already doing 4 nights in the Mara. You should note that various parts of the Serengeti ecosystem look and feel quite different from one another. If you were doing the Serengeti without the Mara, 6 nights between 2 different camps would be ideal. Given your current plans, I recommend doing 3-4 nights in the Serengeti in one camp. For mid-late July, the Mara Sector/Kogatende area/Lamai Wedge would be the most productive and should coincide with the migration. The Lamai side is quieter in terms of vehicle density. With that said, other parts of the Serengeti ecosystem have heaps of resident game. If you are into cats, there’s a phenomenal camp by Asilia called Namiri Plains – currently showing availability over your dates. This may be a good alternative to the northern Serengeti area. Seronera or central Serengeti will produce great game as well, albeit very crowded.
    3) I believe I’ve answered your questions about location in #2.
    4) The fastest way to get from the Masai Mara to Serengeti utilizing scheduled flights is going via Migori and Tarime. This includes 2 flights, 1 road transfer, and 1 border crossing. It can take several hours to complete, but it’s done mid-day so you won’t miss and activity in the AM and theoretically should be in your next camp by afternoon activity. I love this transfer as the road component will take you through some farms and rural communities which will give you a glimpse into “Africa” outside of national parks. However, you should note that this transfer segment isn’t exactly inexpensive. You should account for roughly +/- $600 to get from the Mara to Serengeti.

    If you want to see another park in Tanzania, my suggestion is to reduce your trip from 6 nights in the Serengeti to 3 and allocate the remaining days to another safari destination. In Tanzania, Ngorongoro Crater or Tarangire would be the most natural fit. Ngorongoro’s natural beauty is stunning, but you will fight large crowds on safari. Tarangire is tremendously productive with stunning baobab studded scenery. There are some more crowded parts of the park over others. I recommend looking at Olivers, Swala or Kuro. Olivers falls under the Asilia portfolio.

    I also recommend you take a look at allocating the “extra” nights and booking something else in Kenya instead. Lewa Wildlife Conservancy would be a stunning addition. At the forefront of rhino conservation, you will learn heaps about rhino here in addition to great local community engagement and a plethora of non-motorized safari options. You will also see species here that you won’t see elsewhere on safari. The “northern” species you will see here include Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe and Somali ostrich. It’s a remarkable conservation success story and an exceptional safari destination.

    There are often people who wish to combine both Kenya and Tanzania for the sake of seeing an additional country. This is perfectly fine, but I should also note that both Kenya and Tanzania can be sold as a stand-alone destination for a 2 week trip and offer you tremendous diversity in experiences.

    I hope this helps.

    Kota Tabuchi

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