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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    Would love to see some cheetahs! Only saw 2 heads above the high grass of two snoozing leopards in CKGR, Botswana.
    Indeed, as a selfdriver you see much more if the guides share info. Their immense network provides them the latest sightings.
    Hopefully I can find some nice cats, share it and they also provide me with some intelligence.
    I spoke to a friend who just came back from the Mara, she also told me that the self drivers there didn't see much, only after info of game drivers.

    In Botswana, the guides were not too keen to share any information. After we notified them about wild dogs they became a bit friendly.
    In Khwai we met with a vehicle, they told us nothing worthy so far, others also nothing. We had to detour back and found them with their colleagues at a nice lion sighting.
    They knew all along..well it's in the game. I understand it's better for their guests (and tips) if they have private sightings.

    But...I am waaaay off topic.
    Case closed.
    Sandriver Public campsite closed.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    In the Kenyan Mara if you make friends with the rangers who patrol around in little Marutis/Suzukis then they will give you good information. And if you stop and speak to guides from the luxury lodges/camps, they are often willing to pass on good snippets of information. In fact, it is recognised Kenyan safari etiquette to talk to people in other vehicles. It really shocked me in southern Africa that everyone just drove past without so much as a hello or how are you.

    A wave and a “jambo. Habari?” will win you friends.

    I agree, this is all way off topic. Perhaps you should open your own thread?

  3. #43
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    Yesterday, I spoke to the head gate official at Sekenani gate, and he assured me that camping at Sand River gate campsite is again officially allowed and available. He was even a bit disappointed when I didn't want to book it, but this time, our (unplanned) visit to Mara is too short (only 3 nights), so we want to spend the whole time in the Mara Triangle.
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
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  5. #44
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    Quote Originally Posted by ortelius View Post
    Yesterday, I spoke to the head gate official at Sekenani gate, and he assured me that camping at Sand River gate campsite is again officially allowed and available. He was even a bit disappointed when I didn't want to book it, but this time, our (unplanned) visit to Mara is too short (only 3 nights), so we want to spend the whole time in the Mara Triangle.
    Oooh! That's exciting.
    Off to check my itinerary again.....
    (6 weeks until we head off)

  6. #45
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    In my opinion, a night or two camping at Sand River in the Masai Mara Reserve is definately worth it. However I would spend the majority of time camping in the Mara Triangle
    Stanley Weakley.
    Toyota Landcruiser 76SW 4,2L diesel.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-6-SLOW-DONKEY
    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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  8. #46
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    What did you decide on? Are you going to visit the Sandriver campsite?

  9. #47
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    Default Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    In June July 2022 the Sandriver campsite was closed.
    Last edited by Southerndreams; 2023/03/14 at 01:44 PM.

  10. #48
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    Quote Originally Posted by Southerndreams View Post
    In June July 2022 the Sandriver campsite was closed.
    See 4th post above yours (from 2023/02/01).
    Last edited by ortelius; 2023/03/14 at 04:04 PM.
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  11. #49
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    Quote Originally Posted by JulieM View Post
    Oooh! That's exciting.
    Off to check my itinerary again.....
    (6 weeks until we head off)
    My question was for JulieM. I was not able to quote yesterday

  12. #50
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    Yes - definitely planning to stay there

  13. #51
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    Quote Originally Posted by JulieM View Post
    Yes - definitely planning to stay there
    My advice would be to spend all your time in the Mara Triangle and not bother with Sand River.

  14. #52
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    When I drove from Talek on a game drive towards the Sand River Campsite (Oct '21), I drove across the ranger/border post (Sand River Gate and they told me I could camp at the Sand River campsite. So they probably do it off the books as well. But like WW said; I would rather camp at Triangle. I really liked Eluai's location but the private campsite are next level!

  15. #53
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    Is it possible to book private campsites at the gate? And if so, do you also need to pay the booking fee of 10K KES?

    I do not really understand why there is need for 2 rangers during the night at the private campsites but not at the public ones...

  16. #54
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    Quote Originally Posted by RTB117 View Post
    Is it possible to book private campsites at the gate? And if so, do you also need to pay the booking fee of 10K KES?

    I do not really understand why there is need for 2 rangers during the night at the private campsites but not at the public ones...
    Private campsites are only in the Mara Conservancy (Triangle) and, yes, they should be booked beforehand. And, yes, there is a booking fee of KES10,000. This fee is whether you stay for one night or a week.

    Here is the link to the Mara Conservancy website https://www.maratriangle.org/what-we-do
    and here is their page for campsite bookings http://marabookings.co.ke/

    You need to understand some background with regard to security overnight. A number of years ago there was an incident in one of the private campsites involving animals of the two-legged variety. Private campsites are more likely to have a number of perceived “high net worth” people camping - although the incident a number of years involved Kenyans who were not HNW.

    These private campsites are often taken by the high-end tour operators (think Abercrombie & Kent, Asilia and so on) as ”fly camps” for which they charge inordinate amounts. But they are the same places where we camp. So, the Mara Conservancy management do not want bad publicity and they insist on security overnight. They are to be applauded for their careful and considerate management.

    Sand River also has had bad publicity albeit in 1988. Google “Julie Ward Mara”. A shocking case.

    The public campsites in the Triangle are near the Oloololo gate or near the HQ both of which have rangers nearby and are not that close to the Tanzanian border or the reserve boundaries.

    I don’t want to cause any anxiety, but the question was asked and the history and geography need to be understood.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2023/03/16 at 01:01 AM.

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  18. #55
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    Thank you for this clear explanation WW. You did not cause anxiety to me, it now makes totally sense why they choose to have armed rangers at the private campsites. Very very sad events

    I am still debating between multiple public campsites or staying 5 days on Dirisha at the end of June. I still have some time fortunately


    At which places are you allowed to get out of your vehicle; all campsites and designated picknick spots? I am looking for a good detailed Mara Triangle map, this one is bluring when I zoom in:

    https://www.maratriangle.org/visit/maps
    Last edited by RTB117; 2023/03/16 at 11:47 AM.

  19. #56
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    Quote Originally Posted by RTB117 View Post
    Thank you for this clear explanation WW. You did not cause anxiety to me, it now makes totally sense why they choose to have armed rangers at the private campsites. Very very sad events

    I am still debating between multiple public campsites or staying 5 days on Dirisha at the end of June. I still have some time fortunately


    At which places are you allowed to get out of your vehicle; all campsites and designated picknick spots? I am looking for a good detailed Mara Triangle map, this one is bluring when I zoom in:

    https://www.maratriangle.org/visit/maps
    The map is not blurred for me when I zoom in. It’s a very good map and the best there is. I would try printing it out and see how it looks. Otherwise, try “Map of the Greater Maasai Mara” by Safarimaps Kenya (David and Rosemary Watson) or “A map of the Masai Mara Ecosystem” by Friends of Conservation. You might be able to get them through Stanfords in London.

    The distances are not huge and I don’t really see the point in using multiple public campsites. In fact, there are only three public campsites anyway - and two of them are within a kilometre or two of each other.

    You can get out of your vehicle at the campsites and at the picnic sites. But they are not fenced and check the surrounding area before getting out of the vehicle.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2023/03/16 at 12:20 PM.

  20. #57
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    My advice would be to spend all your time in the Mara Triangle and not bother with Sand River.
    Oh really? I am happy to take your expert recommendations. We have spent time in the main Mara reserve in the past so wanted to spend more time there but it sounds like the triangle is a great spot too.

  21. #58
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    The Triangle is the place to go. Exemplary management, etc etc etc. Do read their monthly reports on their website.

    This is very interesting about their collaboration agreement with the “main” reserve. https://www.maratriangle.org/novembe.../december-2022

    And this is their monthly report for February 2023. https://www.maratriangle.org/november-2016-1/march-2023

    Conservation costs a lot of money - and the Mara Conservancy’s income goes to the right places.

    In some of their monthly reports are the GPS tracks of their anti-poaching patrols - including down into the northern Serengeti (in collaboration with the Tanzanian national parks authority). However, it looks to me that without the Mara Conservancy and their sophisticated anti-poaching capability, the northern Serengeti would be under great stress.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2023/03/19 at 01:04 AM.

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  23. #59
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    Default Re: Sandriver Campsite in Masai Mara Reserve

    Got a special campsite booked with-in the Mara Triangle - contact was quick and very helpful. Will have to wait until September to write the trip report though....

    Happy Camping and difficult decisions to make.

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