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Loisaba or Masai Mara?

Singapore, Singapore
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16 posts
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Loisaba or Masai Mara?

Hi all,

i'm planning a 24-27th jun safari for my bf's birthday. We have only 6 days 5 nights and the 1st 2 days i'm planning a day trip to lake Nakuru and prob stay in the giraffe manor in Nairobi.

So far i've shortlisted Loisaba esp so for its star beds which seems like a super awesome highlight for his special day.. but at the same time i'm wondering if we are missing out by not being in serengti/masai mara region for the migration. But if i do book something else in Serengeti or Masai Mara, the migration might not even happen coz its always stated as Jul-Aug?

Its his 1st safari and my 2nd (been to Chitwa chitwa in South Africa which was gorgeous and super lux..) and i hope to get something really nice that will make this an awesome holiday..

nyc
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1. Re: Loisaba or Masai Mara?

24th - 27th is only 4/days???

Loisaba is lovely and located in the Laikipia area northwest of Nairobi.

With only 5/nts (6/days as you say???) and if plannning to spend 2/nts at Lake Nakuru (why? and where staying?) leaves you only 3/nts for what's left.

Time is short and no way you can visit both Masai Mara and Northern Serengeti; there is no direct connection between Kenya/Tanzania, so it would take 1/day transit by road to get between the two. Even if flying between the two, at minium half-day in-transit, not arriving at the other till after lunch.

By end-June it's not at all unusual for the wildie herds to start arriving in the Masai Mara. While you're not likely to see a river crossing (though you never know)... here's where I'd want to be. Besides, prices at most lodges/camps in Kenya are still at mid-season rates vs if in the Serengeti that are at peak-season. And the herds can be widely dispersed in the Serengeti which is very very large.

I sure wouldn't make the 'migration' the important aspect of safari as there are never any guarantees, even between July-Sept.

I'd visit only Loisaba and camp in Masai Mara*. Forget Lake Nakuru.

And, I sure hope you can even find space at Giraffe Manor, with few rooms is usually booked months and months in advance. There are many other lovely properties in Nairobi/Karen to consider... some only a short distance from the Giraffe Center/Manor.

*where are you considering staying in the Masai Mara? Lots of lovely options.

Day 1 - Nairobi - o/n Giraffe Manor, Macushla House, House of Waine, Ngong House, Hogmead (others)

Day 2 - Fly to Laikipia - o/n Loisaba

Day 3 - Laikipia - o/n Loisaba/starbeds

Day 4 - Fly to Masai Mara - o/n Elephant Pepper, Mara Plains, Porini Lion, Kicheche Bush, Olonana (others)

Day 5 - Masai Mara

Day 6 - Fly to Nairobi for homebound/onward**

**depending on departure time of outbound flight, if in the evening, consider a late departure from the Mara on the 4pm flight to NBO with transfer direct to the airport.

Good luck!

Edited: 26 May 2012, 18:25
Singapore, Singapore
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16 posts
12 reviews
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2. Re: Loisaba or Masai Mara?

Dear 4sandi, thanks for the prompt reply n sorry for the confusion.. we land 22nd 2.30pm and are flying out 27th 10.55pm.

This as my current schedule:

22jun: land, rest and relax in the hotel near nairobi (considering Ngong and giraffe manor)

23jun: Lake Nakuru (maybe day tour, coz Sarova Lion Hill is not available and i dun see another gd accomodation alternatives by the lake)

24jun: flight out to Loisaba via safarilink

27jun: flight back to Nairobi at noon and depart Kenya

Is Nakuru not worth the effort?? i've read its really magnificent... and i tot 5 days safari is too long considering we are not massive safari ppl..

& from ur reply it seems i shld stay in BOTH Loisaba and Masai?? wont the game drives be the same?? I thought it might be worth staying put for 3 nights in Loisaba as the traveling ard seems like a major hassle & my bf isnt keen to do self-drive plus i did have the mentality that doing a safari in Loisaba would be the same as doing it in Masai Mara (i obviously havent done enough research?!)

Singapore, Singapore
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16 posts
12 reviews
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3. Re: Loisaba or Masai Mara?

sorry i got it wrong.. i'm landing 21jun 2.45pm and flying out 27jun 10.55pm :) more time! yay~

Nairobi, Kenya
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17 posts
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4. Re: Loisaba or Masai Mara?

If you land on 21st June and depart on 27th you will have 6 nights in Kenya.

so i think you can still do with all of them

21 June Nairobi

22 June Nakuru (Daytrip)

23 Jun fly to Loisaba

24 Jun Loisaba

25 Jun Fly to Loisaba - Maasai Mara

26 Maasai Mara

27 Fly Masai Mara Nairobi (evening flight to arrive at 1730Hrs) and transfer to JKIA for you outbound flight.

However you drive to Maasai Mara should not be migration, it might be too early for migration but you can chance with camps that are near the Kenya Tanzania border like Cottars.

Enjoy!

Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
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5. Re: Loisaba or Masai Mara?

Hi Veronica

The road between Nairobi and Nakuru is not as smooth as it has been, as the heavy rain we have had has pot holed in badly. Also at the moment Nakuru National Park is inaccessible in areas due to the heavy rain.

I personally would spend the first night in Nairobi, and then head to Loisaba for 2 nights and 2 nights in the Mara. Loisaba is beautiful, but does not have the volume of game the mara has. The star beds are stunning. The lodge is very nice but not super lux.

I would leave Nakuru out.

Where did u want to stay in the Mara?

RWA

Nairobi, Kenya
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6. Re: Loisaba or Masai Mara?

Another vote for leaving out Nakuru, given the short time you will have.

Loisaba Star Beds are a great idea for a birthday.

Masai Mara is a no-brainer - just a question of finding good accommodation. I'd recommend a nice tented or luxury tented camp like Kichwa Tembo or Naibor. Mara West Luxury Tents or Luxurious Cabins are also very, very nice and quite affordable.

Singapore, Singapore
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16 posts
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7. Re: Loisaba or Masai Mara?

Thanks all for the suggestions! Seems like everyone suggests staying in more than 1 lodge for the variety of animals and i'll definitely look at that! Can sense another big headache trying to narrow something i like in the mara!

Roadwarrior: thank u for the update on Nakuru.. guess i have no choice but to skip that then.. :( Any idea if Kenya will still be pouring in june? I dont wana be drenched all day in the game drives and not be able to sleep outdoor in the lovely star beds!!

I did see the pics of Loisaba and think its not exactly the most luxurious looking & the one i've been to in sabi sands in SA was far nicer at the same price. Makes me slightly worried and wonder if Loisaba is a rip off?

nyc
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8. Re: Loisaba or Masai Mara?

Do not compare the oversized houses provided in Sabi Sands to those in Kenya. That's not to say that there aren't similar in Kenya, but not where you plan to visit. Likewise, don't compare prices between these two areas, anymore than I would compare the prices in Botswanna.

From my own experience, I sure wouldn't compare Singita in Sabi to some in Kenya, but Kenya properties we selected sure didn't disappoint. And weren't a rip-of (as you say).

Forget Nakuru, especially Lion Hill as comparison to Loisaba or Giraffe Manor or Ngong House... such a wide difference. Besides you don't have the time for Nakuru. Besides, the only way to get from Nakuru to Laikipia would be a very expensive 'charter' vs 'scheduled' flight.

The rains should be long gone by end June.

Loisaba is lovely and even if it does shower, the 'starbeds' are on wheels and if there is some wet will be rolled under the makuti roof to keep you dry, yet you can still enjoy the experience.

As to the migration in the Mara, it's been known to arrive as early as June, but don't put emphasis on this, rather the overall amount of game in general - wildies or not.

Day 1 - Arv. NBO - o/n

Day 2 - NBO - sightseeing

Day 3 - Fly to Laikipia - Loisaba/starbeds

Day 4 - Loisaba/starbeds

Day 5 - Fly to Masai Mara - o/n - wide choice

Day 6- Masai Mara

Day 7 - Fly to NBO; dayroom till transfer to airport for homebound.

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
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9. Re: Loisaba or Masai Mara?

But bear in mind the Loisaba starbeds aren't in the most spectacular location and the game there is relatively limited to negligble. You can sleep out under the stars in many places in Kenya (and around the world) and I would just question whether the fairly basic Loisaba offering is a good reflection of the standards of the lodge itself.

I've visited the Loisaba starbeds in the day, but not spent the night in one.

I'd say Il Ngwesi's starbeds are superior, and a lot cheaper - and in the main camp with all camp comforts and amenities available.

Richard

Edited: 28 May 2012, 21:48
Nairobi, Kenya
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for Kenya
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10. Re: Loisaba or Masai Mara?

I've slept at the Loisaba star beds. They are in nice locations, and are run by the local community. The nights are stunning. We saw quite a bit of game in Loisaba inc. wild dogs, lions, leopard, brown hyaena, elephant, and plains game. The main lodge has small rooms with tiny bathrooms but stunning views and a very nice main lounge area.

IMHO, I would do 2 nights Loisaba and 3 nights Mara.

Let us know how it goes.

RWA