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Maasai Mara in Jan

Bangalore
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68 posts
21 reviews
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Maasai Mara in Jan

Hi Mara experts,

We're planning a photography trip to the Mara in Jan 2014. I wanted to ask you what is the state of grass at the time? Is it tall or short at the time? How do you reckon this is as a time to visit the park? Are spottings and photography likely to be fun?

We're thinking of spending 5 nights at the Ilkeliani Camp - thoughts?

Thanks a lot,

Sumeet

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Ilkeliani Camp
Ilkeliani Camp
310 Reviews
Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Michigan
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1,381 posts
119 reviews
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1. Re: Maasai Mara in Jan

Although certain times of the year can be somewhat predictable for weather in Africa, it's always hit and miss. January is typically a hotter and dryer time of the year in the Mara. But when I was there in mid January, 2010, it had rained a fair amount in the 3 weeks preceeding my arrival. Although it didn't rain while I was there, there was lots of green for me. In looking at the photos I took then, the grass was quite tall and green in the Mara. Amboseli, which is typically very dry at that time, had beautiful green grass with wonderful white flowers.

nyc
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2. Re: Maasai Mara in Jan

January is right after the 'short' rains of Nov thru mid-Dec, but if the rains stay longer... the grasses will be higher, as mentioned above. But can vary widely from year-to-year.

Even if the grasses are higher, many prefer when it's 'greener' that 'drier' when there is so much more dust everywhere (not so good for cameras). Still, even in/around the Mara, there are places where the grass isn't tall at all... as on some of the conservancies adjacent to the Reserve itself.

Bangalore
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3. Re: Maasai Mara in Jan

Any views on how much this should ideally cost (Nairobi-Nairobi) if I were to stay at Ilkeliani?

NAIROBI
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4. Re: Maasai Mara in Jan

Hello Sumeet,

You don’t have to stay at one location for 5 nights. Note; in Masai Mara once you are booked in one lodge at a certain conservancy you can’t do game in the other bigger region. You will only have covered nearly a close quarters, and cant explore other opposite side of the park unless you pay park fees twice

You require staying in two or three different regions within park to add an extra flavour and dimension to complete your African wildlife experience if in real photographic missions.

January is also a good time to visit. It’s always dries and lots of resident’s animals inhabit the reserve. There is no rain and a good chance of seeing wildlife as it gathers round watering holes. As with the rest of the year, you still have a good chance of seeing all the big game; lion, elephant, crocodile, buffalo, wildebeest, hippo etc

Bangalore
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5. Re: Maasai Mara in Jan

Hi James the idea of staying in one place is quite strategic. We're looking at depth over breadth. This is going to be my third trip to the Mara but the first in Jan. I'm deliberately avoiding the Mara triangle this time because I personally think the Narok side is heaps better for photography. The Talek and Ol Kiombo area is very productive and especially so because of Malaika the cheetah, the Talek brothers, Notch and his pride and the boldest leopard of the Mara - Bahati. Plus birding along the riverside is always productive. So yes, I agree that there's a lot more to the Mara but I don't want to spend my time transferring across camps. I'd rather pick a good game area and go there everyday to maximise chances. And if anything exciting were to happen at the lookout or Keekorok, Talek is pretty strategic to reach either spot.

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Narok
Narok
Rift Valley Province, Kenya
Talek
Talek
Rift Valley Province, Kenya
nyc
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6. Re: Maasai Mara in Jan

NBO/NBO - assume you mean flight costs? About $330-340/pp return incl taxes.

Bangalore
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7. Re: Maasai Mara in Jan

Sorry, let me rephrase. I wanted to know what a ballpark price for the trip should be inclusive of:

* 4x4 landcruiser

* KPSGA certified guide (a good one)

* Full board acco

* Park fees

* other standard inclusions.

nyc
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15,090 posts
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8. Re: Maasai Mara in Jan

Guestimate only - considering a 4x4 vehicle is more expensive than a standard, then depending on level of lodge/camp selected... $275-400/pp day to include: room/tent, meals, park fees, game drives, guide/vehicle, taxes, meet/greet/transfers.

Extras would be if you choose to fly in/out, have private game drives (exclusive use of vehicle once at Mara). Then there are your beverages, tips (guides/staff), Visas, malaria meds, souvenirs, other misc expenses.

If staying at same camp for x#/days you might qualify for a 'special' as 'stay 4nts, pay 3nts' which is for the lodge/camp cost, but still responsible for daily park fees, so ask.

9. Re: Maasai Mara in Jan

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