Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?





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    Default Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

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    Is it possible to cross the border from Masai Mara in to Serengeti?
    Or must is be the long drive around?
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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    No you cannot cross John.

    There is a bridge at Sand River and a boom. This cannot be used by the public and is only for park officials. It is strange and it would be wonderful to have a border crossing between Kenya's Maasai Mara and Tanzania's Serengeti, but the two countries no longer get on well enough to allow this. Such a pity!
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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    There is no border crossing between the Kenyan Mara and the Serengeti in Tanzania. It was closed more than 30 years ago.

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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    There is no border crossing between the Kenyan Mara and the Serengeti in Tanzania. It was closed more than 30 years ago.
    Thanks chaps. Seems like such an obvious option to the benefit of all
    So it's aaalllll the way back and around via Arusha
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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
    Thanks chaps. Seems like such an obvious option to the benefit of all
    So it's aaalllll the way back and around via Arusha
    No (and WW or Stan will correct me if I am wrong), you can exit the Serengeti to the west at Fort Ikoma, cross the border into Kenya at Isibania (sp?), and then from Suna take the track down the escarpment to Lolgorien and into the Mara.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2019/01/28 at 09:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    No (and WW or Stan will correct me if I am wrong), you can exit the Serengeti to the west at Fort Ikoma, cross the border into Kenya at Isibania (sp?), and then from Suna take the track down the escarpment to Lolgorien and into the Mara.

    Correct. Or you can have a minor alternative, going the same way, in this blog from Caldriver (https://www.stuckinlowgear.com/singl...s-and-the-Mara).

    AP

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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    No, as Tony says, you donít have to go back all the way through Nairobi, Arusha, and the long way through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to the Serengeti. It would appear that you are planing on coming from Kenya and the north.

    You can exit the Kenyan Mara westwards towards Migori. Although I have never done that dirt route westwards (which is likely to be challenging in the rains), it is possible. I have done the route from the Mara Triangle to Lolgorien.

    From Migori, south towards the Kenya/Tanzania border at Isebania/Sirari. The road from Migori is tarmac to the border, and good and quiet tarmac from the border to the Ndabaka gate to the western corridor of the Serengeti. This route from the Maasai Mara National Reserve to the Ndabaka Gate to the western corridor of the Serengeti NP, Tanzania is a, conservative, two day drive. And then another dayís drive to the central Serengeti.

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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post

    You can exit the Kenyan Mara westwards towards Migori. Although I have never done that dirt route westwards (which is likely to be challenging in the rains), it is possible. I have done the route from the Mara Triangle to Lolgorien.
    The escarpment track down to the Mara is absolutely fine in the dry, but there are/were several fairly long sections of cotton soil which will be dreadful, if not impassable, in the wet.
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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    The escarpment track down to the Mara is absolutely fine in the dry, but there are/were several fairly long sections of cotton soil which will be dreadful, if not impassable, in the wet.
    The escarpment is mostly rock and a short distance. We have towed matatus/other vehicles out of the mire at the top of the escarpment. And then we have slipped and slid to Lolgorien (or to Kilgoris). The top of the escarpment is black cotton soil.

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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
    Thanks chaps. Seems like such an obvious option to the benefit of all
    So it's aaalllll the way back and around via Arusha
    I hope you nave seen my post about an alternative route (not in the rains) westwards towards Migori and then the border crossing at Isebania/Sirari.

    Apropos crossing between the Kenyan Mara and the Serengeti in Tanzania: Apart from politics and bureaucracy, the geography and soil structure needs to be understood. The northern Serengeti is wild and remote which is how it ought to be for the benefit of wildlife and this unique eco-system. Furthermore, this area of savannah grasslands is, of course, on the infamous black cotton soil. The only way to build an effective road on black cotton is with an elevated road built up with murram and/or tar. This would not be environmentally appropriate in the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.

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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    Thank you everyone, this is most informative and helpful. Much appreciated.
    Wazungu I will check out you post.
    Last edited by JohnT; 2019/02/09 at 10:01 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    Quote Originally Posted by apfac View Post
    Correct. Or you can have a minor alternative, going the same way, in this blog from Caldriver (https://www.stuckinlowgear.com/singl...s-and-the-Mara).

    AP
    To expand on what I wrote a bit, I think you could leave from the Mara Triangle (either Oloololo camp or a camp at the top of the escarpment) and make it to Ndabaka gate in a day without trouble. However, I don't recall if they will let you camp at the gate, but unless you have one of the special campsites in the Western Corridor you will probably run out of time to make it to Seronera or similar. Maybe, but I would not advise it if heading all the way to the heart of the Serengeti, it'd be a really long day and the border formalities and park check in can be time consuming, eating up any margin you might have. Add to that any provisioning you might need to do, fuel, etc, and you're pretty much committed to a day outside the parks.

    But that is not so big a deal, a chance to collect yourself before diving into the next park can be good, they are both to be savored!

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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    There is a nice place to camp on the edge of Lake Victoria at the town of Musoma, Tanzania. We have camped there, but sadly I canít remember the name. It is on T4A.

    I have read that there is somewhere to camp near the Ndabaka Gate, but canít comment on it. Nearby is also the lovely Speke Bay Lodge. http://www.spekebay.com/spekebay.com/C01/UK/welcome.htm. We stayed there in 2008 when coming from Kenya to the Ndabaka Gate. It does not, however, offer camping. Also, in 2008, there was a public campsite just inside the Ndabaka Gate, but full park fees and camping fees apply. We did not camp there for that reason - and for the reason that 24 hour fees apply in the Serengeti NP.

    I would not even think of attempting the Mara Triangle, Kenya to Ndabaka Gate and then into the Serengeti in one day. I would go for camping in Musoma and then have time to refuel, resupply etc before driving down to the Ndabaka Gate and entering the Serengeti the following day. Border crossings can take a few minutes or a few hours. It will take most of a day to get from Ndabaka Gate to the central Seronera area.

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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    I have read that there is somewhere to camp near the Ndabaka Gate, but canít comment on it.
    That would probably be "Serengeti Stop Over Lodge" campsite, with quite decent reviews on iOverlander. Marked also on T4A. http://www.ioverlander.com/places/70...geti-stop-over
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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    There is a nice place to camp on the edge of Lake Victoria at the town of Musoma, Tanzania. We have camped there, but sadly I canít remember the name. It is on T4A.
    I've camped at a place called Matvilla Beach before. Bungalows and a campsite, as I recall.
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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    Doing a google, we camped at Tembo in Musoma. But from googling, Tonyís recommendation looks more salubrious. It would be good to know how both these places are in 2019.

    However, Musoma remains a good stop off place. There is an old pre-First World War German boma in Musoma which, in 2014, was still functioning as the administration headquarters. Not as big or imposing as some of the other German bomas still to be found around Tanzania, but interesting nonetheless.

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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    I just looked through my Garmin tracks. Here is what we had:

    Mara West Campsite to the Isibania border via Lolgorian: 2.5 hrs
    Border crossing: 1 hr
    Border to Bunda (we camped at Tembea Mara): 4 hrs, with some stopping along the way.

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Views: 316
Size:  1.09 MB

    The next day we were almost 10 hours (!) from Bunda to Seronera for 232 km, but some of that is because we were almost at the park gate and realized I'd somehow left my e-reader back in Bunda. Can't have that...so we doubled back. Also 1 hr at the park entrance sorting out special campsite bookings, calling Arusha to confirm availability, etc. Lots of fussing around, and then game driving on the way to Seronera and getting totally lost, in the rain and the dark, and the very end of the day.

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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    We always think that 250 kms can be a long hard day. If one arrives in the early afternoon, then chillax: if it doesnít work out as anticipated, then hopefully, you arenít benighted in some random place, or driving in the dark.

    We meet far too many people who think that 500-900 kms is feasible in a day. It most certainly isnít outside Europe, North America and, probably, South Africa.

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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    Hi, everyone. Please let me know your thoughts about the following.


    Next February I'll be in or around Mara Serena Safari Lodge, in Mara Triangle. After 3 days there, plans are to go west then south and cross the Isebania/Sirari border, final destination being Seronera area in Serengeti.


    I have seen that after the border crossing you guys recommend going all the way down south to Bunda then enter Serengeti using Ndabaka gate.


    Please, explain me why not take east after Tarime, use Fort Ikoma gate and go straight to Seronera.


    More or less like shown here: https://goo.gl/maps/MopcBBQM1E48ukqV7


    Is there any problem with this route?


    To let you know a bit more about me, I'm from Brazil. I'll be driving arented 4X4. I've been in Southern African countries several times self driving this same way so I think I'm a bit used to crossing border hassles. In spite of that, that's my first time in Kenya and Tanzania so even reading and researching a lot in advance that's nothing compared to your experience. Please, give me some advice about the route I'm thinking about to take.


    Thanks.


    Paulo

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    Default Re: Masai Mara to Serengeti - can cross?

    Hello psrochajr and welcome to the forum.

    What a wonderful trip you are planning. Karibuni (welcome) to the wonders of East Africa.

    I strongly advise that you go via Ndabaka gate for many reasons.

    First of all, there have been security issues through the route you showed on Google maps via Fort Ikoma.
    Secondly, Google maps is a work of fiction on timings - that route (that has had security issues) will be a rough, probably unmaintained, track through shambas and community grazing lands - it might take you more than two days to drive it and the question is where you could safely camp.
    Thirdly, the road from Sirari/Isebania to the Ndabaka gate is a good, quiet tarmac road.

    The route from the Mara Triangle, Kenya to the Seronera area of the Serengeti, Tanzania is a two - possibly three - day drive. We have done a similar route through the Ndabaka gate from western Kenya and did it over two days. This is because of the distances and roads involved and not necessarily because of how long a border crossing will take.

    I look forward very much to hearing about your planning and, more importantly, hearing about your trip once you have completed it.

    Safari njema!

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