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Help with Kenya Safari plans.

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Planning first Safari in Kenya. There will be 4 of us, all serious but non professional photographers. We want to spend part of the trip at Maasai Mara for the migration. Below is an itinerary that we are considering. We would have the same guide / driver for the entire trip. No flights between camps. One of the members of our group has a friend who led a photography group that followed this itinerary last year using same guide and was happy with it. We would be taking this trip end of July into August.

Day 1: Nairobi

Days 2-4: Samburu Game Reserve
Three nights at Samburu Intrepids Lodge or at Samburu Sopa Lodge.

Day 5 & 6: Sweetwater’s Game Reserve and Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
Two nights at Sweetwaters Tented Camp.

Day 7: Lake Bogoria National Reserve
Lake Bogoria Hotel.

Day 8: Lake Naivasha
Includes boat ride. Lake Naivasha Country Club.

Day 9 & 10: Lake Naivasha-Maasai Mara
2 nights at Mara West Camp located on the wild western edge of Oloololo Escarpment and the Maasai Mara National Reserve .

Day 11 & 12: Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
2 nights at Malaika Camp or Mara Leisure camp

Day 13 –Nairobi
Drive back to Nairobi

I have some concerns about this itinerary. First is the amount of time that we are spending driving between camps. I understand the roads in Kenya can be rather brutal. Long hours on the road getting beat up sounds like something to avoid. Another question that I have is staying in conservancies vs. staying in the parks / reserves. I am leaning towards using conservancies for a more private wildlife experience and avoiding the crowds and flying between locations to avoid the long drives. I have been looking at some of the offerings from Gamewatchers Safaris. Would love some suggestions / comments.

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