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Is 3 days in the Masai Mare enough time

Nj
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Is 3 days in the Masai Mare enough time

Hi all,

I am on a tight schedule and am considering flying in to Kenya to go on safari for 3 days in the Masai Mara. Is this enough time to make it worthwhile? I wouldn't have time for any other parks either as I would land for example on a Sunday at noon and have to fly back on a an early 4 am flight on Friday which means Thursday afternoon I need to start heading back to Niarobi.

So basically all I would have is Monday Tues Wed and part of Thurs.

I am a shortchanging myself? Thing is in the near future I don't think I will have more time to go, so it's not like I should wait till next year to be able to stay longer.

I was never in Eastern Africa (I did the Southern African Parks in 2008) and will be travelling with my wife and perhaps one other couple. We are looking to go in August 2014.

Thank you,

Joseph

Nairobi, Kenya
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11. Re: Is 3 days in the Masai Mare enough time

yeah there is 2 days mara but no enough time to see the animals . three the best. Also there is 1 day Amboseli but it require to depart very early in the morning

nyc
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12. Re: Is 3 days in the Masai Mare enough time

With very few exceptions 'pre-set' itineraries are poorly planned. Seems whomever is providing these feels that the more stops, the more the client is getting without realizing how much time they're spending in transit vs game viewing.

In your case with only 3/days... go to the Mara where you should see more animals than you can imagine. Distances are great and there's no reason to be rushing about often on terrible roads, especially if not flying between. And as above, 3/days at the Mara is very usual... less time is just rushing the experience.

Bye the way, why only 3/days? Is this part of a longer holiday? From where are you arriving and then to where going?

Nj
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13. Re: Is 3 days in the Masai Mare enough time

Thanks for your input regarding the prepackaged tours. Happy that we are staying in one place.

We are going from NYC area (I live in NJ so hi there:) ) to Nairobi however our time is short because we have a daughter just about a year old. My Mom agreed to watch her but the longest we would leave her for is a week. With getting back and forth from NY, and getting to the Mara that leaves us with around 3.5 days on safari. When she gets a bit older it would be harder to leave her, and I don't want to wait until she is old enough to appreciate it.

I am stay another week myself while my wife flies back to home. Thinking of going either Gorilla trekking in Uganda/Rwanda or to Ethiopia to visit the Lower Omo Valley, I .just need to get one of my pals to fly down and join me.

One day I would like to visit Tanzania and see Ngorongoro crater, the Serengeti and perhaps Amboseli in Kenya (if I don't go now when my wife leaves).

Mount Kenya...
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14. Re: Is 3 days in the Masai Mare enough time

Yeah it's enough time in Masai Mara...

Chepstow, United...
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15. Re: Is 3 days in the Masai Mare enough time

The Mara National park is STUNNING. Out of all my National Parks visits from my 7 weeks overlanding, it was definately the highlight.

3 days will be more than enough, we saw everything we wanted to and spent a good amount of time at the Mara river where the Great Migration crossing is (I went the wrong time of year for this).

You don't particulary need an area to target as the National Park compared to most others is relatively small. The Mara and Serengheti are part of the same place, just one is in Kenya and one in Tanzania. However, if you were to consider both of them as a whole, size wise the Mara would have 5% of the land mass compared to the Serengheti's 95%.

I went with Acacia Africa, the overlanding tour company, but I believe that they go with a local company. I think most the companies offer the same thing though and you can even do the Mara trip with an overland company just on its own.

There's nothing wrong with driving into the Mara on a tour instead of flying in. We loved the drive in, watching giant dust devils and experiencing the 'African Massage!'

If you want a idea of what to expect on a standard 3 day/ 2 nigh tour then please feel free to take a look at my more in depth write up on my Masai Mara visit:

http://thesleepybackpacker.com/into-the-mara/

I can't post it all on here a the post would be waaaaaaay too long! :)

I hope this helps and whatever you choose to do I hope you have an amazing trip

Happy Travels x

Edited: 07 January 2014, 19:14
nyc
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16. Re: Is 3 days in the Masai Mare enough time

Grandparents are good to have (or best friends), but don't discount the fact of the many do safari with little ones from ages 2-5/yrs... and they love it. There are nannies available for times you wish quiet time, or the youngster needs their naps.

.

UK
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for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
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17. Re: Is 3 days in the Masai Mare enough time

Joseph, I'm a bit late to this, but I agree with most of what's been said. However, one possibility, especially if you go with another couple, would be to charter a private plane on arrival in Nairobi and fly straight to the Mara, giving you four nights and three full days there. It will cost you significantly more than the scheduled flights the next morning, but the price isn't astronomical in the overall cost of the trip and it would certainly max your time in the bush. Flying back, there's no reason not to use a late scheduled flight anyway, as light aircraft flights go by day only, so have to be into Nairobi by dusk at around 6pm.

Richard Trillo

Nj
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311 posts
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18. Re: Is 3 days in the Masai Mare enough time

Going to look into the charter option it may be worth it. My main concern here is maximizing my time, not being skimpy when I am anyways spending a lot of money. Regarding what 4sandi mentioned about kids on safari, I actually wanted to go to Namibia this year and spend 2 weeks including a full week in Etosha. Namibia in the summer doesn't require malaria tablets so that would be good for a little kid, I just figured I may as well push off Namibia till she can enjoy it.

Hard to know which tour operators to use, how do you guys go about it? I emailed a few I found here on TA and I guess I will see what they have to say.

UK
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for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
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19. Re: Is 3 days in the Masai Mare enough time

Four of you chartering would cost around under $300 a head one way from Nairobi to the Mara. As for finding good tour operators, if you don't have personal contacts among your friends or family who can recommend someone, then you should look for good, original content on the tour operator's website – and lots of it – and plenty of first-hand reports from satisfied clients.

Richard Trillo

Nj
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20. Re: Is 3 days in the Masai Mare enough time

Thanks Richard. Do you guys think it makes sense to fly from the Mara back to Nairobi for our Wed flight home or would you say since flight leaves at 4 and if we drove we would leave at 12 that it's not worth the money. The price of my tour would include the transport.

Saving money on the return flight will make chartering a flight more reasonable on the way there.