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Which travel dates are better for Masai Mara/Serengeti?

Seattle, Washington
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Which travel dates are better for Masai Mara/Serengeti?

would like to maximize the likelihood of viewing the migration and river-crossing

currently have the following 2 options of travel dates,

option 1 is more expensive than Option 2 by $400-500 because does not get the benefit of shoulder season rate for accommodation in Kenya (november stay, short rain).

is it worth paying the premium for Option 1 to have a better chance of spotting migration and river-crossing? i heard the weather/rain arrivals have been kind of erratic in Kenya and Tanzania lately and that has affected the usual norm of migration pattern. But couldnt find more exact weather pattern information for last year (2012) and what can be expected this year (2013)

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Option 1:

Oct 8 Masai Mara (1/2 day)

Oct 9 Masai Mara

Oct 10 Masai Mara

Oct 11 Border-crossing via Isebania

Oct 12 Serengeti North

Oct 13 Serengeti North - Central

Oct 14 Serengeti Central

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Option 2:

Oct 28 Serengeti Central

Oct 29 Serengeti Central - North

Oct 30 Serengeti North

Oct 31 Border-crossing via Isebania

Nov 1 Masai Mara

Nov 2 Masai Mara

Nov 3 Masai Mara (1/2 day)

1. Re: Which travel dates are better for Masai Mara/Serengeti?

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Nairobi, Nairobi...
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2. Re: Which travel dates are better for Masai Mara/Serengeti?

I would suggest you take option One;that way you have an optimal chance of spotting the great migration and few wildebeest as they head to Kenya.

nyc
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3. Re: Which travel dates are better for Masai Mara/Serengeti?

Agree also with Opt. #1, but ask:

On Opt. 1, gather you are driving to Mara, then via Isebania, onto No. and Central Serengeti

- know you will be changing guide/vehicle at Isebania for border crossing

- but from Central Serengeti, are you flying back to Arusha or JRO for return to NBO assuming this is from where you head home?

- or driving back with stops along the way?

On Opt. 2, how do you get to Central Serengeti? by air I assume unless you plan to drive which if direct to Central Serengeti will take an entire day, or

- will you drive with stops at Tarangire or Lake Manyara or Ngorongoro first?

- then again at Isebania, you'll have a Kenyan guide/vehicle to meet you for stay in the Mara and then drive back to NBO.

October is NOT 'shoulder' season either country... it's still peak Price difference might be based on actual accommodations being offered each country.

Exactly where the migration will be and whether you see a river crossing is never guaranteed often just luck.

Edited: 05 May 2013, 19:07
4. Re: Which travel dates are better for Masai Mara/Serengeti?

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nyc
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5. Re: Which travel dates are better for Masai Mara/Serengeti?

As above, never any guarantee where the herds will be. On my visit this past Oct/Nov, by end-Oct some of the herds from the Mara had arrived at river for a crossing, but few had and those that did then returned to the Mara; and for sure there weren't many wildies further south of the Northern Serengeti... sure not in the Central Serengeti (but there was other game). Yet when we arrived in the Mara a few days later in early-Nov, there were still large herds in the southern Mara.

No one knows what will be for this coming Fall months.

Guess why so many are recommending Opt. #1, visiting Mara first and then into the Serengeti.

Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Which travel dates are better for Masai Mara/Serengeti?

thank you all for your advice.

by definition, i also did think option 1 offer a better chance for viewing migration and river crossing. however, i also heard stories of folks viewing such outside of october. so i think 4sandi is right, it's been quite unpredictable these days with the weather and animal action, and those wildies can still go back-and-forth, and it is never just a one-way direction and that's it.

will be visiting other parks during the journey, eg ngorongoro, tarangire, nakuru etc. so got to plan around that as well.

7. Re: Which travel dates are better for Masai Mara/Serengeti?

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