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4x4 versus safari vehicle

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York, United Kingdom
6 posts
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4x4 versus safari vehicle

Hi all,

Me and my partner are planning to do a three night/four day safari at the end of June this year to the Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru. Is it much better to be in a 4x4 than an air conditioned safari vehicle? I have read on the forums that some vehicles could not go to certain places/get stuck in the mud and I just wondered whether this would be a problem at this time of year in the above locations?

Many thanks

Bryony

Nairobi, Kenya
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22 posts
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1. Re: 4x4 versus safari vehicle

I would say in June either will do but it depends on your location in Masai Mara. Some sections within Mara may be tricky driving in while in safari van due road conditions and others it will be possible. With 4x4 you have the advantage of accessing all areas within the park. I'm sure you have also been advise about the weather considering that its after the end of our arain season and grass and other vegetation may make it abit inaccessible some part of the park using safari van. views from the both vehicles tend to be the same other than comfortability and accessibility.

Thanks- hirola safaris a

nyc
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14,418 posts
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2. Re: 4x4 versus safari vehicle

Granted it can get warm during the day and being able to have a few minutes of a/c, as driving to/from Nakuru and then the Mara and back to NBO, but most of the times during actual game drives, the windows and top are open.. so a/c doesn't do much. Mornings and late-afternoon/evenings are cool and a/c sure not needed.

I'd go for 4WD, but the prices are often higher than the van; besides as above, it's the end of the 'wet' season, grasses can be high, mud and even black cotton soil in the roads and some areas difficult to access w/o 4WD.

I've been in both and doesn't matter much just as long as the vehicle is in good condition. Your choice!

Nairobi, Kenya
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22 posts
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3. Re: 4x4 versus safari vehicle

While Nakuru roads inside the park are pretty well done and no need for 4x4wd drive. Funny but I find 4x4wd bit of uncomfortable on rough roads especially on the poor road from Narok -Mara stretch, you feel as if you are in a massage palour and whole body vibrating while in a 4x4WD. Safari van will be bit easy riding on similar road. Its your budget and choice.

Portland, Oregon
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247 posts
129 reviews
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4. Re: 4x4 versus safari vehicle

Given the cost of the 4x4, I'd stick with a safari van. There was only one time after a rain we couldn't go down one track but that was it. Given how much we saw and how big the mara is....I don't feel missing that track was a big deal...there was so much more we could have driven to, but couldn't because of time.

We saw much more than we could have expected in terms of wildlife too.

I agree about Lake Nakuru....roads are so well maintained, you could drive a regular car thru there.

York, United Kingdom
6 posts
1 review
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5. Re: 4x4 versus safari vehicle

thanks for all your advice, it is much appreciated!!!

I think with our budget we will have to forgo the 4x4!!

Michigan
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1,321 posts
102 reviews
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6. Re: 4x4 versus safari vehicle

There are 4 wheel drive vans as well. I had one on my last trip. The abilities of your driver is what counts the most. Never got stuck on the last trip with the van and I was in a lot of parks. First trip was in a Land Rover and it got stuck twice. I've also seen other Land Rovers stuck as well. A skilled driver will not only avoid sticky situations but they also manage to avoid a lot of the potholes in the road. And although all the vehicles I've been in had air conditioning, the drivers never used it - probably because they are used to the warmer temperatures.

London
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109 posts
51 reviews
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7. Re: 4x4 versus safari vehicle

Hi Bryony,

Hope this doesn't confuse things too much - but there are a range of 4x4s available for hire in the market in Kenya and they vary in price, starting from a toyota Rav4, which is a small SUV but still 4x4 and will get you out of the mud, going up to the Safari Landcruiser, which is at the top end of the market and the type you will most likely see in all safari pictures. The disadvantage of a Rav4, is that they rarely have sunroofs, which means you have to view game through the window alone, but price wise, they will be comparable to the minivan.

The minivan, in my opinion is a useless vehicle, prone to breaking down, getting stuck, and not to mention, makes for a very uncomfortable ride due to the poor suspension. (I know because I own a rental company) - we have removed all minivans from our fleet following numerous complaints and constant problems with vehicles getting stuck.

You can PM me if you would like a quote, I cannot give any info out on the forums :)

York, United Kingdom
6 posts
1 review
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8. Re: 4x4 versus safari vehicle

Thanks all for your helpful replies! much appreciated!

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9. Re: 4x4 versus safari vehicle

Hi I am looking for a small SUV rental in October.can you help?thanks

10. Re: 4x4 versus safari vehicle

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