Kenya in February

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Thanked: 0

    Default Kenya in February

    Just got the news that I'm heading to Kenya on business in February (weeks 8 and 9.) Got Feb 23 - Mar 2 off, so I was thinking I'd do a short self-drive to the Mara if possible. However, I'm not familiar with rules, policies and recommendations in East Africa, apart from a guided trip in Tanzania back in '08, as all of my self-drive experience has been in either Namibia, Botswana or South Africa. Thus my questions are:

    1. Is a self-drive to the Mara from Nairobi doable in 4 days (3 nights in the reserve)?
    2. Is it recommended (financially as well) compared to a guided safari.
    3. Are the camsites unfenced (nothing's more exciting than waking up to the sound of a big cat making its way through camp - read my entry on my last trip to the Kalahari ).
    4. Mara or Amboseli/Tsavo? (From what I understand self-drives are prohibited in the national parks but not in the reserves?).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Thanked: 19


    Self drives are not prohibited in any national park/reserve. Every camp I have ever been to inside a park has been unfenced.

    However, unlike SA/Botswana/Namibia it is pretty rare for tourists to hire a vehicle for self drive and you will most likely find:
    a) it will be a challenge to track down a suitable vehicle (especially if you need camping gear),
    b) it will be expensive, and
    c) it will most likely be on the "well used" side.

    Cost wise it will definitely be more expensive hiring than joining a group safari. The vast bulk of the costs are park fees ($80pppd for the Mara and camping - $25/30pppn inside the park, $10/$15 to camp outside). I suspect you'll pay $150 a day minimum for a vehicle. So that's c.$250 per day before you factor in food and fuel and I'd guess perhaps $300 per day in total for each day you want to be in the park. You'll probably get a budget group safari for $150 pppd which includes food and transport. We found that even with our own vehicle (ie no hire costs) it was not much cheaper to self drive than to pay for an organised safari. In fact we met several overlanders with their own vehicles who had chosen to park up and take a safari rather than drive themselves for that very reason. Of course you have to be happy to join a group, possibly a group of backpackers if you join a budget trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Thanked: 9


    It's cheaper to fly into MM from Wilson airport (Nairobi) on a Friday, do the touristy thing for the weekend and fly back to Nairobi on Sun /, I'm heading off to Kenya tomorrow am - have a(bother) weekend to kill in may just do that myself. Will check out the costs and revert...
    2017 L/C Series 200 4.5L VX TD
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Gordons Bay as a base - travelling Africa
    Thanked: 105


    Rather do Tsavo or Amboseli.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Thanked: 0


    How about Samburu NP/Buffalo Springs - Great park, and not so well known/used

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