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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Kenya - Selfdrive trip - October '21

    Quote Originally Posted by apfac View Post
    "Bored" is a very strong word while in the wilderness, specially when talking about visiting and staying at beautiful Amboseli.
    Yea, I don’t think I ever get bored in the bush. But some suggested 3-4 days is enough. And it’s probably enough to see all the highlights. But photographic opportunities everywhere! Haha

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Kenya - Selfdrive trip - October '21

    While staying outside Amboseli NP, I would recommend a day spent at the Kimana Sanctuary. https://www.kimanasanctuary.com/

    The sanctuary is communally owned by 844 local Maasai, who in 1996 had the vision to set-aside this land as the very first community conservancy in Kenya. Tourism provides a much needed revenue stream for this community, and is therefore a critical incentive for preserving this important piece of land.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2021/09/15 at 09:45 AM.

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  4. #23
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    Default Re: Kenya - Selfdrive trip - October '21

    Kimana looks fantastic, thanks!
    Would you recommend any camping or day trip?
    I found the following “You can pay by mpesa only at the gate”, is it hard to get Mpesa as tourist?
    Last edited by DutchieGoingAfrica; 2021/09/15 at 10:49 PM.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Kenya - Selfdrive trip - October '21

    Quote Originally Posted by DutchieGoingAfrica View Post
    Kimana looks fantastic, thanks!
    Would you recommend any camping or day trip?
    I found the following “You can pay by mpesa only at the gate”, is it hard to get Mpesa as tourist?
    I know that area, but I haven’t been since the Kimana Sanctuary was set up as a conservancy. I think it sounds wonderful either for a day trip or for camping.

    MPesa is pretty simple to set up - if you buy a Kenyan SIM card (ID needed), and have the cash to load the MPesa account. When I go home to Kenya, I take an old mobile phone in to which I put a Safaricom SIM card. However, you will need the time to go to a Safaricom outlet (such as in the Hub, Karen) to get the SIM card, set up MPesa, and have Kenyan shillings cash in order to load the MPesa account with what you think you may need for your visit to Kenya. You can pay for anything from vegetables to park fees with MPesa. Mobile phone “banking” was invented in Kenya by Safaricom.

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  7. #25
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    Default Re: Kenya - Selfdrive trip - October '21

    This will be of interest to those wanting to travel from Nairobi to Amboseli NP/Kimana Sanctuary avoiding the main Nairobi-Mombasa road or the road from Namanga.

    There is now an alternative route that means you do not have to go on the Mombasa Road. You can use the A104 Athi River to Namanga road, and just before you reach Kajiado, after “Enchula Resort” you can turn left onto a fully tarmacked road signposted “Imaroro D524” that connects to the C102 Emali to Loitokitok road through Selengei. Google maps will tell you that this option takes 45 mins longer than using the Mombasa Road, however, taking into account there are no trucks or traffic, it is a much safer, more scenic and often faster option.

    (Note: You can join the A104 Athi River to Namanga Road via the Ngong Road or through Ongata Rongai to Kiserian, and then on to Isinya. This avoids any traffic due to the current road works on the Mombasa Road and Waiyaki Way.)

    Continue on the C102 for approximately 55km, and once through the town of Isineti and out the other side you will see a fence-line on your left and then you will come to a new section of speed bumps and an elephant crossing with two sets of dangling vertical wires. Within this corridor you will see a sign on your left pointing you to the Kimana Sanctuary entrance gates down a dirt track.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2021/09/16 at 12:31 AM.

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  9. #26
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    Default Re: Kenya - Selfdrive trip - October '21

    Quote Originally Posted by DutchieGoingAfrica View Post
    Kimana looks fantastic, thanks!
    Would you recommend any camping or day trip?
    I found the following “You can pay by mpesa only at the gate”, is it hard to get Mpesa as tourist?
    Great camping in Kimana, just be wary of long grass... ticks... They manicure the grounds but a short walk off the path into long grass and you'll pick up a few hitchhikers.

    Tey get a Riverside campsite.

    While there you can ask the rangers where the Tuskers are and that should present incredible photographic opportunities. Last time we were lucky to have Tim (RIP) in the sanctuary and didn't struggle to find him, on a different trip searching for Craig in the chyulu area was thrilling!

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  11. #27
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    Default Re: Kenya - Selfdrive trip - October '21

    Hello Dutchie, my husband and I just returned from our first Kenyan self-drive on Friday. I’m sharing our itinerary and some notes with you in hopes that it will give you an idea how to pace your route. As a rule, it takes much longer to drive long distances as towns and villages have speed bumps plus cows and sheep in the streets. Toilet facilities in the reserves and parks are atrocious or non-existent and at the most there are cold showers. We opted to stay in huts and bungalows instead whenever possible to have a flushing toilet and warm showers. And believe me, you will get very dusty every day. Despite those hardships and stressful driving, we enjoyed each park and had many truly amazing wildlife sightings, so it balances out. But be prepared for lots of risky driving by others, car pollution on a mega scale, garbage all over and dust galore. I’m
    still trying to come to terms with our experiences that range from horrible to wonderful!
    Have fun planning! Katrin



    August 25: arrive Nairobi 5pm
    O/n Wildebeest Eco Lodge


    August 26: LC rental, shopping Carrefour Hub, safaricom SIM card, drive to Sekenani Gate (236km)
    O/n Oldarpoi Mara camping (arrived just at dusk)


    August 27: Mara Talek area
    Self drive (brakes fail on LC, repair in Talek)
    O/n Aruba Mara camp bush tent


    August 28: Mara Talek area
    Hire guide Ken game drive Talek (highly recommend to hire a guide in Talek) amazing sightings!!!
    O/n Aruba Mara camp campsite


    August 29: Mara Talek area
    Game drive with guide: Ken (amazing sightings, 2 cheetah hunts and kills, lions, even a crossing)
    O/n Bush tent upgrade


    August 30: Mara Talek area
    Self drive (I find two leopards)
    O/n Aruba Mara Bush tent upgrade


    August 31: Mara Talek area
    Hire guide: George (amazing sightings)
    O/n Aruba Mara Bush tent upgrade


    Sept. 1: drive to Mara Triangle via Musiara gate
    O/n Eluai Public (not a great view after all, too busy, no shade)


    Sept. 2: Mara Triangle
    O/n Eluai Public




    Sept. 3: Mara Triangle (lioness kills baby wildebeest)
    O/n Isaiah Public (loved it in the forest, only campers there)


    Sept 4: Mara Triangle (I find two leopards with zebra kill in tree)
    O/n Isaiah Public


    Sept 5: Mara Triangle
    O/n Isaiah Public


    Sept. 6: Drive Oloololo to Nairobi ( left 11 am, arrived after 5 pm)
    O/n Wildebeest Eco Lodge


    Sept. 7: shopping Carrefour then drive to Amboseli
    (Arrived 4:30 pm, via Emali)(Nairobi to Emali=road from hell)
    O/n Kimana Community Hut (no time for park visit)


    Sept. 8: game drive Amboseli
    O/n Kimana Community Hut


    September 9: Game drive Amboseli (2 full days was plenty of time)
    O/n Kimana Community Hut


    September 10: drive to Tsavo West, Chyulu Gate
    O/n Chyulu Public Campsite (107km) (not nice)


    Sept. 11: Explore Tsavo West (amazing landscape and springs)
    O/n Chyulu Public campsite


    Sept. 12: Drive C103 to Voi Gate Tsavo East NP
    Pm enter Tsavo East (three Cheetah hunt, just us)
    O/n Red Elephant Bungalow at waterhole( highly recommend)


    Sept. 13. Game Drive Tsavo East
    O/n Red Elephant Lodge bungalow


    Sept. 14: Covid Test Lancet Lab in Voi
    (red lions, red elephants, gerenuk etc)
    Game Drive Tsavo East
    O/n Red Elephant Lodge bungalow


    Sept. 15: Drive to Nairobi, (342km) took 9 hours with two stops. Took B 50 to avoid construction by Athi River)Nairobi-Mombasa road is very dangerous and tedious with no rules followed and trucks doing risky passing, beware!
    o/n Wildebeest Eco Lodge


    Sept. 16: Sheldrick’s 11 am visit ( need reservation ahead of time)
    Return car before 4 pm
    Shuttle to airport 4 pm
    Fly back to USA 10:25 pm







    Last edited by KaliCA; 2021/09/21 at 04:24 AM.
    If life is a journey, be sure to take the scenic route!

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  13. #28
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    Default Re: Kenya - Selfdrive trip - October '21

    More thoughts regarding food. We brought with us a bunch of freeze-dried meals where all you do is add hot water. Those meals came in handy on a rainy evening and when we were just too tired to properly cook a meal. Backpackers use those meals and some taste quite well, e.g. Beef Stroganoff.
    Ortelius and us both stayed just outside the Kimana gate in Amboseli. It’s two km along the fence line with the park and you will get a flush toilet and warm water even as a camper. Also there is a bar and David, the attendant is very nice and helpful. For $20 you can get a hut with a bed and flushing toilet and warm water shower. So worth it. The access road is the worst but still worth it over staying at KWS campsite.
    If life is a journey, be sure to take the scenic route!

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  15. #29
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    Default Re: Kenya - Selfdrive trip - October '21

    I think Kali has different priorities and tolerances to ourselves. We have no problems with rustic camping.

    I hope there will be a more detailed report forthcoming in due course?
    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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  17. #30
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    Default Re: Kenya - Selfdrive trip - October '21

    I tried very hard to manage KaliCa’s expectations so far as facilities in campsites are concerned. We like rustic or just simple pieces of Africa.

    Looking forward to KaliCa’s trip report - warts and all…

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  19. #31
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    Default Re: Kenya - Selfdrive trip - October '21

    Haha you two! I know what you mean by “rustic”. What I saw inside parks was dirty and dilapidated, and yes, I have little tolerance for that, especially when paying $30pppn inside a park. On the other hand, I payed $50 for two at Red Elephant Lodge and got a tiled shower stall with hot water shower, a bottle of drinking water to brush teeth(bonus) a comfy bed, and a flushing toilet…all that squeaky clean, you bet I will choose the latter, even if I have to sleep 5 minutes outside Tsavo East NP.
    Yes, WW tried to get us to camp in Oloololo. When long drop toilets were mentioned, I understood it to be like the ones in the CKGR, with a seat, no flushing, like we have in our NP. But no, long drop in Kenya means a hole in the ground, I discovered. And then, when I saw a gaggle of bats flying into those holes…. No thank you, I just couldn’t use those “toilets”.
    On the other hand, I liked camping on special campsites in TZ where there were no expectations of facilities at all.
    I guess we are older and spoiled, so these things are more important to us than to others.
    All that aside, we had amazing animal sightings in the Mara, we enjoyed the scenery and animals in Amboseli, loved the landscape of Tsavo West and were enchanted by red elephants and red lions in Tsavo East. We didn’t like the chaotic streets of Nairobi nor the traffic on the Mombasa road or the constant dust in Amboseli and Tsavo, but it was all part of the experience.
    The problem writing a trip report is not the writing, but the photos that need to be sorted out first. This will take some time.
    If life is a journey, be sure to take the scenic route!

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