We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

mara safari

England, United...
Level Contributor
1,196 posts
99 reviews
Save Topic
mara safari

would like to arrange a weeks safari in maybe two locations in the mara for my husbands birthday, what would be the best and most economical way to do this. should we book our own flights and arrange a safari separately and if so how do we go about arranging the safari, from Nairobi. I prefer to arrange in advance and book lodges, camps etc. Does anyone have a good recommendation for a competitive tour operator. Or is it cheaper to book flight and safari as a package.

nyc
Level Contributor
14,921 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: mara safari

If you only plan to visit the Mara, then you sure don't need a tour that has a set itinerary probably to areas of no interest or the lodges/camps you wish to stay.

So best to look for flight and book those.

Then contact an in-country tour outfitter to arrange your stay in Kenya - meet/greet on arrival Nairobi, maybe a day here for sightseeing, then fly off to the Mara for stay at two different places, then flight back to Nairobi and homebound.

There are many oft used outfitters listed here on TA, bearing in mind there are seasons and prices change accordingly. Depending on when you wish to visit and your budget you should be able to come up with a good selection from which to choose. Prices should include: hotel/lodge/camp, meals, daily park fes, game drives, guide/vehicle (if driving safari to/from NBO), flights (if flying to/from NBO), and taxes.

Consider:

Gamewatchers

Cheli & Peacock

The Safari Company

... and many others.

Good luck!

Leeds
Level Contributor
1,205 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: mara safari

Hi AngieEO

For this year, we've booked our flights separate (Brussels Airline) and then booked everything "on the ground", so to speak, through a local operator we used for our safari last year, Glorious Safaris. We're flying into Nairobi later this month and then they take over with the rest.

So, having done it both ways: everything separate; and booking with a tour operator and then booking the safari separate; I would advise either depending on what kind of overall holiday you'd like. If you're thinking visiting the beach (which is at the other end of Kenya from the Mara) then perhaps the latter the option as someone like Thomson will get the best rates at the beach hotels.

However, if you're flying into Nairobi and then just only doing safari then the former option is probably best - its certainly allowed us to make some savings and also control every day of our tour.

Good point about booking in advance since I think the Mara is just about booked up for August - you didn't say which time of year you were looking at - and may end up on waiting lists if going then.

Either way, I'd recommend dropping Glorious a line - shadrack@glorioussafaris.com. They have plenty of reviews on here too:

tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g294210-…

Like yourself, we wanted to book 2 different locations in the Mara over a week and chose Fig Tree Camp (drives in the main Mara area) and Royal Mara (in the Mara North Conservancy). There are so many to choose from and different conservancies so this is just an idea of what is possible in terms of trying to see different areas of the Mara.

With regard to the safari itself, it will be a private one meaning no sharing of the vehicle, just your party and also the airport meet-and-greet as 4sandi mentioned. There is a choice of flying or driving to the Mara. The latter being a lot cheaper than flying but will also take a long time, relatively speaking. Flying takes approx an hour but there are also weight restrictions in terms of luggage though most manage to cope.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

nyc
Level Contributor
14,921 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: mara safari

Have to differ somewhat with above re 'drive' vs 'fly' to/from the Mara.

If driving, 5/hrs with own guide/vehicle you'll have this guide exclusvely for your game drives and transfer between lodge/camps if splitting your time in the Mara. If flying, 1/hr, you would be sharing game drives with other guests unless you choose to pay for exclusive use of vehicle (EUV) at daily supplement. Also a charge for transfer between lodge/camps if splitting your time in the Mara.

Costing wise, the drive isn't always cheaper than flying - why you need to compare.

Also, some camps in the Mara can only be booked on'fly-in/out' as they only book on a GP-game package basis (i.e., Governor's, Intrepid's and most small camps, as these don't have facilities for guide/vehicles to sleep/park).

Things to be aware so you ask the right questions.

Leeds
Level Contributor
1,205 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: mara safari

How much is a typical return flight, 4sandi? Wilson-mara.

nyc
Level Contributor
14,921 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: mara safari

Less than $300 - WIL/MAR/WIL, including taxes.

- Air Kenya or Safarilink

Leeds
Level Contributor
1,205 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: mara safari

Thanks! So about 400 quid for 2 people.

Hythe, United...
Destination Expert
for Kenya
Level Contributor
2,396 posts
124 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: mara safari

The best option is to fly from Nairobi to the Mara as the road journey is over 5 hours on some dire roads.

When taking safaris in the Mara I prefer to use the lodges guides as they have a much better knowledge of the Mara and know the best areas to carryout the drives in. compared to driver/guides who operate out of Nairobi and Mombasa.

Leeds has mentioned Glorious safaris which I also use and highly recommended but for a trip to the Mara I would only get them to book the flights and accommodation as they are usually able to negotiate better discounts with the lodges than if i were to try and book direct.

Sydney, Australia
5 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: mara safari

If you are looking for 2 locations in Maasai Mara i would imagine that you have at least 4 nights to spend in Maasai Mara. Then i would recommend a driving safari with a private jeep that means you control the pace of your safari. contact Charles at Sales@ajabuafricasafaris.com and he will be happy to do this i traveled with them in Jan..easy to deal with, fast response..Stay 2 nights South/East of the reserve and 2 nights North/West side of the reserve this way you will have almost covered the entire ecosystem.,...wish i could join you!

9. Re: mara safari

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 21 June 2013, 17:42