Maasai mara camping ban!





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  1. #1
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    Default Maasai mara camping ban!

    There were rumblings of this! but now the governor of Narok county declares a ban. See attached newspaper article.
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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Thanks for sharing.
    We were just planning to book our flights and to do the payment for the 4x4 rental car. We were planning for visiting the mara in june this year
    I posted it on the Mara facebook site and wait for some response.

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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Thanks for sharing
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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    I am not sure if the article quoted is accurate, I can find no other reports on this reported ban on camping in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. If it is the case it would be a great pity. One wonders whether it is directed against self-drive tourists or tour operator-managed mobile or temporary tented camps?

    In the Maasai Mara Game Reserve there is only one public campsite within the park available for the use of self-drive independent travelers and that is the one at Sand River. Most of the public campsites are outside the reserve near the entrance gates.

    To be distinguished from the Maasai Mara Game Reserve is the adjacent Maasai Mara Conservancy also known as the Mara Triangle, under separate administration. The Narok County authorities are not involved in the Triangle as far as I know. As far as I can tell from the brief article the Triangle is not being referred to here. Most public camping in fact takes place in the Triangle (rather than the Reserve) which has 3 public campsites and a large number of special campsites which should still be available to independent campers. Thus Sylvia I do not think you will be affected much. I am sure others with more local knowledge will be able to provide more clarity.
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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    This particular governor has been known to mouth off too easily. I’ll be waiting with an ear to the ground to see any officiating of this as well. Will also ask around. Was also wondering what the one camp open to self drivers would have to do with the said issues...

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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Thank you, atakanmerdin, for bringing this to our attention. I have emailed both the Mara Conservancy and a friend who is highly-placed in the tourism industry. I will let you all know what their responses are.

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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Panic over! I have just had this reply from the Mara Conservancy.

    “I have just spoken to some of our managers in Maasai Mara.


    Mara Conservancy will not be affected. However camping in The Greater Mara (Narok side) shall only allow camping at Sand river.”



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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Wow thanks for the quick clarification! So basically no change of situation

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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Glad that we selfdrivers will not be affected by these new camping regime.
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    Smile Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Stan thank you for the response and your good advice.
    Stan and Ortelius, thanks for shring your tripreports a lot of tips and tools, very handy

    Wazungu thank you very much for taking the time and effort for contacting the people how knows best.

    You made my day !!! I m very happy with the response from the Mara Conservancy.

    We go ahead with our bookings for the flight and the car.
    We will be going to Samburu, Ol Pejeta, nakuru, Naivasha and Masai Mara ( Triangle and Reserve ) after that we fly to the beach for relaxation

    Have a good weekend
    Last edited by sylvia000; 2018/03/09 at 01:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvia000 View Post
    We will be going to Samburu, Ol Pejeta, nakuru, Naivasha and Masai Mara ( Triangle and Reserve ) after that we fly to the beach for relaxation
    Sounds fantastic, enjoy your planning and then your trip.
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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    So, as Atakanmerdin said, no change of the situation (for self drivers)! Prohibition will be, I apprehend, for tour companies to set camp! Were not these camps, allowed at special designated areas ? Hmmm!

    Sylvia000, from whom are you planning to rent the 4X4? Enjoy the planning and the trip even more!

    AP

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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Quote Originally Posted by apfac View Post
    So, as Atakanmerdin said, no change of the situation (for self drivers)! Prohibition will be, I apprehend, for tour companies to set camp! Were not these camps, allowed at special designated areas ?

    AP
    It looks like this statement from the Governor of Narok County is 99% politics.

    However, there is some element of reality.

    As everywhere in the world, there are those who attempt to circumvent regulations in order for it to cost a little less to their First World wallets: for instance, those unscrupulous self-drivers who illegally pay a local Maasai to illegally camp in the greater Mara area; or an unscrupulous budget mobile safari operator who does the same.

    I cannot reiterate more clearly that this unscrupulous behaviour is what will destroy this unique eco-system in the future. There are many people and organisations working extremely hard to conserve our fragile natural resources: they are to be applauded and recognised. For those only looking at the “fast buck”, greed has no bounds, unfortunately.

    Yes, I recognise that I was fortunate enough to have seen this extraordinary eco-system in its pristine condition, but let’s work together so that “the Mara shall not die” for future generations.

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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Totally agree with you Wazungu. Further to this point it is quite disturbing to see how people so easily go off road just for the sake of a good sight. Those tracks will definitely be there for decades to come. Sticking to the roads provided should be highly re-inforced ( as other measures like speed limits,....). I do not know about the Kenyan Mara (as I have not visited yet) but on the Tanzanian part there are a whole myriad of tracks that actually destroy/ alters the whole ecosystem. We may not see their effects now but future generations will.

    AP

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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Quote Originally Posted by apfac View Post
    Totally agree with you Wazungu. Further to this point it is quite disturbing to see how people so easily go off road just for the sake of a good sight. Those tracks will definitely be there for decades to come. Sticking to the roads provided should be highly re-inforced ( as other measures like speed limits,....). I do not know about the Kenyan Mara (as I have not visited yet) but on the Tanzanian part there are a whole myriad of tracks that actually destroy/ alters the whole ecosystem. We may not see their effects now but future generations will.

    AP
    Last October the narok country cars were very strict on off track driving.
    During a leopard sighting they aggressively moved all the vans and trucks back to the road. Some people got into big trouble.
    Which also made me wonder about people saying that you are permitted to drive close to big cat sightings off the tracks?

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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Quote Originally Posted by atakanmerdin View Post
    Last October the narok country cars were very strict on off track driving.
    During a leopard sighting they aggressively moved all the vans and trucks back to the road. Some people got into big trouble.
    Which also made me wonder about people saying that you are permitted to drive close to big cat sightings off the tracks?
    I don’t know about on the Narok side (the MM Game Reserve), but here are the park rules for the Mara Conservancy.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Off-road driving is permitted in the Low-Use zone only for big cat sightings. A leaflet explaining the zones and the rules are issued on entry to the Mara Conservancy. The rules are enforced in the Conservancy by rangers in little Maruti vehicles and people do get fined or escorted out of the Conservancy.

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  28. #17
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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Thank you very much Wazungu.

    A couple off days ago I emailled to the website from the Triangle and they also gave only positive answers.

    So we will include the Mara / Triangle

    We have 6 nights left coming and going to Naivaisha.
    Too much for the Triangle and Reserve?
    Period will be from the 25th of June.
    How would you fill in the days?
    How much days Triangle and how much days Reserve?
    We also found some good offers from lodges at the Talek river because it s off season. ( Near the Talek gate; 150/ 170 dollar with all meals, not bad )
    We don t think we have a good fridge so maybe the last 2 days lodging with a full meal plan and the first 4 nights camping?
    Or better spend all the days in the Triangle? ( we can have a good lunch at the mara Serena over there )


    All your advice and insight will be a big help.

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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Sylvia

    It depends on how you like to do things. We Kenyans do things differently when on safari to those who are on their one and only trip to this iconic destination.

    The Mara Conservancy (Triangle) is better managed than the Reserve, but I am sure you ought to go into the Reserve as well (although exactly the same but with more lodges and tented camps - therefore more vehicles). You are, however, going to the Mara in the off-season. It will also depend on the state of the roads and how much rain there still is at that time. The roads in the Triangle will be in better condition than those in the Reserve.

    If you really want to know what I would do in your shoes - taking into account not backtracking too often - here it is. Although, of course, I wouldn’t go into a lodge at the Talek Gate, but it might be an idea if you are likely to be short of food at that point. (Have a look at what the cost might be in another lodge/tented camp away from the Talek Gate).


    • Enter the Mara Triangle from Narok via the rather bad road through Ngorengore, Mara Rianta and thence to Olololo gate.
    • Camp at least three nights in the Mara Triangle.
    • Exit the Mara Triangle over the Mara Bridge and into the Reserve.
    • Camp a night or two at Sand River public campsite in the Reserve.
    • Drive north to the Talek Gate and spend a night in the lodge/tented camp you have found. Remember you get what you pay for on the question of cost. And remember that the Talek Gate is outside the reserve and is a little town nowadays with the resulting noise and cattle.
    • You can then choose whether you exit the Reserve through the Sekanani Gate back to Narok (and I understand this formerly bad road from the Gate to Narok is being repaired/rebuilt) OR you head north from the Talek Gate and then on to the road to Ngorengore (which you had driven on your way to the Olololo Gate).


    This then makes a nice circular safari. But, as I said, it depends on the rains and how much water is still lying around. Most of the greater Mara ecosystem is the dreaded black cotton soil.

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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Hello Wazungu,

    Thanks for the helpfull advice, great.
    Your innetary sounds good
    I have 3 more questions if you don t mind;

    - Is it correct that the Sand River campsite is the only campsite in the reserve?
    - Do you think a lodge near the Sekenani gate is nicer then the Talek gate, area wise?
    - Is the road to the Oloololo gate clearly marked on T4A and how bad is it? ( We will be coming from Naivasha )

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    Default Re: Maasai mara camping ban!

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvia000 View Post
    Hello Wazungu,

    Thanks for the helpfull advice, great.
    Your innetary sounds good
    I have 3 more questions if you don t mind;

    - Is it correct that the Sand River campsite is the only campsite in the reserve?
    - Do you think a lodge near the Sekenani gate is nicer then the Talek gate, area wise?
    - Is the road to the Oloololo gate clearly marked on T4A and how bad is it? ( We will be coming from Naivasha )

    • Yes, it is correct that Sand River is the only public campsite in the Reserve. This has been said many times before - including earlier in this thread.
    • No, I don’t think a lodge near Sekenani Gate will be any nicer than near the Talek Gate. Unless you go to Cottar’s Camp (but that will be much more expensive than what you are quoting). The same applies to any place near or at a gate - noise and cattle. I think if I had to make a choice of a cheap lodge near a gate, I would go for one near the Talek Gate - don’t ask me why, just my gut instinct. Fig Tree has been there for many years and it does overlook the Talek River.
    • Yes, the road to Oloololo Gate from the Narok-Bomet-Sotik road is clearly marked on T4A and paper maps. I haven’t driven it for a few years, but Ortelius drove it this January. It is just a normal rural African road. Go slowly and all will be well.


    I think you ought to start a new thread as there seem to be more and more questions coming.

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