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First week of October - Masai Mara or Serengeti?

First week of October - Masai Mara or Serengeti?

Old Aug 16, 20, 10:22 pm
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First week of October - Masai Mara or Serengeti?

Hi all,

Given that both Kenya and Tanzania seem to be open right now, we've decided to take a getaway in about two months. We're wondering if we should fly into NBO and head to the Mara or JRO and go to the Serengeti.

Any advice? Our budget is around ~$300-$500 per person per night (for just the camp and game drives), and we're wondering if there might be any deals going around. I'm also unsure which is the cheaper country to visit a safari in. We're banking for roughly 5 days of Safari and then 5 days at a beach. We'd like to catch the Great Migration to some extent, but I'm afraid we might be a month too late for the crossing north and a month too early for the crossing back south?

If anyone has any TA's they'd like to recommend that would be great as well. Thanks!

Last edited by Martellus; Aug 16, 20 at 10:29 pm
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Old Aug 18, 20, 12:31 am
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If you're in healthcare there's an amazing deal with Asilia. Usually over $1100 a night, but healthcare workers get local rates making it closer to $200-$300 a night.
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Old Aug 21, 20, 10:01 am
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Martellus, awesome that you are planning on going to East Africa in October. Generally speaking, you can get into a camp for a bit less on the Mara side than you can in the northern Serengeti side for the month of October, but with that being said, this is an atypical year and many camps are offering incentives. You should also take the cost of flying into consideration. There are more options flying into Nairobi (NBO) than there are flying into Kilimanjaro (JRO). The difference in fare may drive some value one way or the other.



The migration typically starts to move south sometime in mid-late October. If you plan to go first week of October, you should be fine on either the Mara or Serengeti side, but if you are 100% fixated on seeing the migration, you’d be safer picking the Serengeti. With the arrival of the rains, the grazing further south will be revitalized and the herds will move with it.



On the Tanzanian side, you should look to book in the northern Mara Sector or the Lamai Wedge. The best value camp with strong guiding and great services will be Nasikia Mobile Migration Camp. You’d have to have your travel advisor check for you, but I do believe the camp will be open (I recently booked clients at Nasikia’s sister properties in Tarangire and Serengeti for Sep 2020). Nasikia Mobile Migration Camp can be accessed via the Kogatende Airstrip and peak season rates are $480/person/night + park fees. On the Kenyan side, Speke’s is a wonderful camp to consider. Rates are $440/person/night + park fees. If you plan to spend 5 nights on safari, Nasikia will give you a free night based on their long stay promotion. I believe that Speke’s has a similar offer, but it’s not published. You should also note that Speke’s Camp does include a private guide/vehicle in the rates which makes it exceptional value for money. This will allow you to structure your day however you wish and you won’t be beholden to other’s interest in the vehicle. If you are chasing a specific experience, this might be the camp for you (you’d just have to check to see if they are open this October). Another camp to consider on the Kenyan side is AndBeyond’s Kichwa Tembo. Their rates for a “classic tent” is $450/person/night + park fees. It’s a much larger facility, but great service, guiding and location.



Finally, the Migration this time of year doesn’t go “north” or “south” as you indicated. The movement goes both ways and sometimes massive herds can cross the Mara/Talek/Sand Rivers multiple times in a day in either direction. Furthermore, the Mara River does not delineate the Kenya/Tanzania border. On the Tanzanian side the Mara River runs east/west meaning the crossings happen south/north and visa versa. On the Kenyan side, the Mara River runs more north/south so the crossings take place east/west and visa versa. In addition, you’ve got the crossings along the Talek and Sand River as well.



[Edited by Moderator.]

Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Aug 21, 20 at 11:00 am Reason: Deleted text that is unduly promotive, per FT Rule 10.
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