Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 40
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Location
    Colorado
    Age
    35
    Posts
    14
    Thanked: 3

    Default 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Hello,

    My husband and I are planning a 13-day trip to Kenya in March 2023. We are experienced overlanders in NA; he's an auto body technician with mechanical skills, and I'm a wildlife biologist. This will be our first trip to Africa! We are planning on renting a Hilux from Road Trip Africa with a rooftop tent. I was hoping for feedback on our itinerary. We really have 7 days with the overland vehicle, and the rest will be at Naboisho Conservancy.

    My husband really wanted to see how locals live and wanted to spend time with the Maasai, so we worked in Loita Hills. I really want to avoid crowds and feel immersed in the unique habitats with lots of wildlife viewing. I'm a bit worried that 10 days in the Mara area will feel like too much, but I want to make sure we get a lot of relaxing in, as well. I'm equally worried about feeling like I didn't stay in one spot long enough! We tend to cram a lot of miles into our trips, and sometimes it's nice to sit and soak in a specific area.

    However we adjust the schedule, we will end with days at Naboisho. Road Trip Africa will pick up our vehicle at Naboisho and Asilia will arrange our transfer back to Nairobi. There may be the opportunity for volunteer work with the Mara Predator Programme with my background, so I went heavier on the days spent at Naboisho.

    I'm wondering if we are spending too much time in the Mara? Should we consider other areas? Should we go to Lake Victoria? I chose early March to avoid crowds, see some greenery, and see some calves. I'm not worried about seeing the migration. Should we consider another time of year? Are we missing something epic that you all would recommend, considering out goals of:


    • local experiences
    • lots of wildlife
    • minimal crowds
    • serious relaxing


    We are open to all suggestions. Here's my draft idea:


    1. NYC to Nairobi
    2. Nairboi, Sheldrick Trust AM & PM (we can go to both sessions)
    3. Nairobi to Loita Hills Bascamp, overnight bush camp with Maasai
    4. Drive to Mara Triangle - Kiboku Private Campsite
    5. Mara Triangle - Ndovu Private Campsite
    6. Mara Triangle - Ndovu Private Campsite
    7. Naboisho Conservancy
    8. Naboisho Conservancy
    9. Naboisho Conservancy - Mara Elephant Project
    10. Naboisho Conservancy - Mara Predator Conservation Programme
    11. Naboisho Conservancy
    12. Naboisho Conservancy
    13. Naboisho Conservancy to Nairobi, another evening visit Sheldrick Trust
    14. Nairobi to NYC


    Thank you,
    Dani

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,451
    Thanked: 2256

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Welcome to the forum luck&love. Karibuni Kenya.

    My first thought is that March is not an ideal month for Kenya. The long rains start in March, but with climate change, who knows. If you were planning the first two weeks of March, you could get lucky and the rains start later, but you will be on the cusp of the monsoon long rains.

    My only other comment, at the moment, is that there is no point booking two different private campsites in the Mara Triangle. Each private campsite booking involves a booking fee of KShs10,000.

    All the best.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    FL
    Age
    67
    Posts
    217
    Thanked: 150

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Hello Dani,
    sounds exciting! As you probably have read in the threads before this one, we just got back from Kenya and also rented from Road Trip Kenya. We had some problems with the car and with our support agent, Peter. I hope you will have a better experience as far as the vehicle and the camping equipment is concerned.
    Of all the parks we visited, we loved the Mara Triangle best of all. The roads are great and my husband just said, he would drive them with a Hilux in the rainy season. ButÖ do you really want to camp in the rain? One evening in September, we waited for two and a half hours for the rain to stop in the car after dark. I would not want to do this every evening.
    i hope you are aware that only two public campsites offer toilets, but they are squat toilets, and one just a hole in the cement, (which bats use as a home!) Oloololo has cold showers as well. The
    private campsites have no facilities or water at all.
    If you can, I would stay at the Mara Serena Lodge, but still drive yourself. They may have a good rate during off season.
    i donít know how much game you will see in the Triangle after all the migration herds have left. We saw a staggering amount of animals and many predators, but maybe check into how things are in March. Also, driving in Nairobi is it for the faint of heart and driving to the Mara involved some dangerous moments. Just be informedÖ.
    if you have specific questions, please ask, as things are still very fresh on my mind. I donít know the Naboisho conservancy.
    happy planning, Katrin
    If life is a journey, be sure to take the scenic route!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Location
    Colorado
    Age
    35
    Posts
    14
    Thanked: 3

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    Welcome to the forum luck&love. Karibuni Kenya.

    My first thought is that March is not an ideal month for Kenya. The long rains start in March, but with climate change, who knows. If you were planning the first two weeks of March, you could get lucky and the rains start later, but you will be on the cusp of the monsoon long rains.

    My only other comment, at the moment, is that there is no point booking two different private campsites in the Mara Triangle. Each private campsite booking involves a booking fee of KShs10,000.

    All the best.
    Thank you! I knew it was the start of monsoon season but thought early March seemed reasonable. I'm always drawn to other areas rainy seasons, as I live in an area experiencing serious drought. I don't mind a decent amount of rain, balanced with some sun! I was originally planning a trip to Tanzania, since the wildebeest calve in the southern Serengeti in March, but ended up focusing on Kenya for a few reasons. I will just do one site in the Mara Triangle as a base if we do stick with Kenya!

    The more I thought about it this afternoon, the more I wondered if I should just do a flight from Nairobi down to Arusha (or to the Seronera airstrip, if that exists) and nix the overlanding component. I really liked the Loita Hills experience with the Massai, though, and like the idea of not being shuttled around by a tour company the whole time.

    Alternatively, I could continue planning an overland trip-- I could go through the border at Isibania after camping in the Mara for two nights and spend time in the Southern Serengeti, and loop back up to Nairobi via Loitokitok. This does increase my rental time significantly, as I'd be paying for the Hilux while staying at a Serengeti tented camp. Lots to think about! I appreciate your advice!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Location
    Colorado
    Age
    35
    Posts
    14
    Thanked: 3

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by KaliCA View Post
    Hello Dani,
    sounds exciting! As you probably have read in the threads before this one, we just got back from Kenya and also rented from Road Trip Kenya. We had some problems with the car and with our support agent, Peter. I hope you will have a better experience as far as the vehicle and the camping equipment is concerned.
    Of all the parks we visited, we loved the Mara Triangle best of all. The roads are great and my husband just said, he would drive them with a Hilux in the rainy season. ButÖ do you really want to camp in the rain? One evening in September, we waited for two and a half hours for the rain to stop in the car after dark. I would not want to do this every evening.
    i hope you are aware that only two public campsites offer toilets, but they are squat toilets, and one just a hole in the cement, (which bats use as a home!) Oloololo has cold showers as well. The
    private campsites have no facilities or water at all.
    If you can, I would stay at the Mara Serena Lodge, but still drive yourself. They may have a good rate during off season.
    i donít know how much game you will see in the Triangle after all the migration herds have left. We saw a staggering amount of animals and many predators, but maybe check into how things are in March. Also, driving in Nairobi is it for the faint of heart and driving to the Mara involved some dangerous moments. Just be informedÖ.
    if you have specific questions, please ask, as things are still very fresh on my mind. I donít know the Naboisho conservancy.
    happy planning, Katrin
    Hi Katrin!

    Could you link to your post? I looked a bit, and couldn't locate it--I'm curious to hear the details of your experience with Road Trip Kenya. I'm not opposed to the rain and think I would rather enjoy it--I usually seek out some rain on vacation, as I live in an area experiencing drought. We're only camping a few nights, really, so I think it should be fine! I was aware of the toilet situation and was planning on using wag-bags at the private campsites.

    I'm curious about the wildlife viewing since the wildebeest are calving in the southern Serengeti. I posted above that I'm reconsidering the Kenya itinerary, and might try to make a Nairobi-Tanzania itinerary work. We plan on staying at an AirBnb in Nairobi National Park upon arrival; do you know what the driving is like around there? I am interested in hearing more about driving in Nairobi, as I am a little concerned about it... What dangerous moments did you experience driving to the Mara? I need all the advice I can get!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    FL
    Age
    67
    Posts
    217
    Thanked: 150

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...rip-October-21

    i can see why you couldnít find my posts. I mostly replied to Dutchie on his thread. Starting at post 27 or so. There you can find more info about driving and our experience with the car rental company.
    just as an aside: you donít want to go to Tanzania parks with a foreign licensed vehicle. It will cost a lot per day. If I remember correctly itís around $140 a day!!!Also, I donít know if RTK allows border crossings. Crossing borders on your own is another story. Looks easy on Google maps, but this is Africa and itís confusing and complicated. Others have more experience with this, but as a Newbie to The continent I would advise against doing it on your own. Also, traveling during COVID to more than one country presents additional problems as well. We did it and it was a pain.
    anyway, read my posts and see if you have any more questions.
    all the best. katrin
    If life is a journey, be sure to take the scenic route!

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to KaliCA For This Useful Post:


  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Location
    Colorado
    Age
    35
    Posts
    14
    Thanked: 3

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by KaliCA View Post
    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...rip-October-21

    i can see why you couldnít find my posts. I mostly replied to Dutchie on his thread. Starting at post 27 or so. There you can find more info about driving and our experience with the car rental company.
    just as an aside: you donít want to go to Tanzania parks with a foreign licensed vehicle. It will cost a lot per day. If I remember correctly itís around $140 a day!!!Also, I donít know if RTK allows border crossings. Crossing borders on your own is another story. Looks easy on Google maps, but this is Africa and itís confusing and complicated. Others have more experience with this, but as a Newbie to The continent I would advise against doing it on your own. Also, traveling during COVID to more than one country presents additional problems as well. We did it and it was a pain.
    anyway, read my posts and see if you have any more questions.
    all the best. katrin
    Thank you, Katrin. I gave your experience a read and will consider it. I'm not dead set on any itinerary right now, everything is fluid. I'm not on too tight of a budget so I wasn't worried too much about the parks fees. This is a bucket list trip that I have a bit of time to plan for. I don't want to be excessive but have a bit of room to spend.

    RTK does allow border crossings, I've emailed them about my possible itinerary. Okke has been responding. I asked how the border crossings were right now and they said the crossings were safe and relatively easy, just a bit disorganized and slow. They didn't mention any COVID complications but I'm always cautious that situations may be portrayed optimistically in order to make a sale. Still, I can't imagine RTK would want to deal with customers having bad experiences at the border, as that would be time consuming for their company. Since they allow the border crossings I'm somewhat assuming they are okay to make.

    Has anyone crossed the borders during COVID-times, are there experiences to share? I've watched some YouTube videos from recent months and it didn't seem too bad. I'll reach out to Kenya Airways to see how dual-country travel might affect flights.

    Thank you,

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,451
    Thanked: 2256

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by luck&love View Post
    Thank you, Katrin. I gave your experience a read and will consider it. I'm not dead set on any itinerary right now, everything is fluid. I'm not on too tight of a budget so I wasn't worried too much about the parks fees. This is a bucket list trip that I have a bit of time to plan for. I don't want to be excessive but have a bit of room to spend.

    RTK does allow border crossings, I've emailed them about my possible itinerary. Okke has been responding. I asked how the border crossings were right now and they said the crossings were safe and relatively easy, just a bit disorganized and slow. They didn't mention any COVID complications but I'm always cautious that situations may be portrayed optimistically in order to make a sale. Still, I can't imagine RTK would want to deal with customers having bad experiences at the border, as that would be time consuming for their company. Since they allow the border crossings I'm somewhat assuming they are okay to make.

    Has anyone crossed the borders during COVID-times, are there experiences to share? I've watched some YouTube videos from recent months and it didn't seem too bad. I'll reach out to Kenya Airways to see how dual-country travel might affect flights.

    Thank you,
    I think RTK are being economical with the truth about taking a Kenyan-registered vehicle into Tanzania - especially going out one border crossing and returning through another. There is nothing inherently difficult about border crossings, but the paperwork for the vehicle (and yourselves) needs to be right. We have done this many, many times.

    If someone wants to take a Kenyan-registered vehicle out of the country, the original logbook (vehicle registration papers) is normally left with Kenyan Customs at the exit border post and documentation is given for the entry into Tanzania: on return to Kenya through the same border post, the logbook is collected at the border post. However, if one wants to exit one border crossing and return by another border crossing, then there is a time-consuming and patience-sapping system: this involves a trip to the Customs HQ in Nairobi where the original logbook is filed away and documentation given to enable the exit from Kenya: you then have three or so days to exit the country. On return to Kenya, one has to go back to Customs HQ and retrieve the logbook. I know because I have done this! And that was with the Kenyan vehicle registered in my own name.

    The Kenyan-Tanzanian border crossings are mostly now “one stop” border crossings. However, I am not sure that all five border posts are open in these Covid times. For instance, I am not sure that Oloitokitok is open, but the main ones such as Namanga are.

    You certainly need negative Covid PCR certification for crossing both ways. The tests can easily be done in Nairobi and, I would imagine, Arusha. The Covid test requirements can be found on the relevant country’s government/immigration/embassy websites.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2021/10/11 at 05:31 PM.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  11. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,451
    Thanked: 2256

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    I cannot believe that anyone has taken a video and posted in on YouTube about an African border crossingÖ

    In most of Africa, it is illegal to take photos or videos at a border post and there are large signs saying that. Furthermore, it is illegal to take photos or videos of ďstrategicĒ things like bridges. And never have a camera out near a military installation.

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  13. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Location
    Colorado
    Age
    35
    Posts
    14
    Thanked: 3

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    I cannot believe that anyone has taken a video and posted in on YouTube about an African border crossingÖ

    In most of Africa, it is illegal to take photos or videos at a border post and there are large signs saying that. Furthermore, it is illegal to take photos or videos of ďstrategicĒ things like bridges. And never have a camera out near a military installation.

    Thank you! I definitely expect COVID19 protocols to change between now and 2023, and will be following government websites to ensure that we are in compliance with everything health-wise. RTK did not mention that using two different border crossings would be more challenging, so that context is helpful. There are a number of videos up on Youtube, so that's interesting that it's illegal!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvGsbqEGOBQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLSPj_cBX2o

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to luck&love For This Useful Post:


  15. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,451
    Thanked: 2256

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by luck&love View Post
    There are a number of videos up on Youtube, so that's interesting that it's illegal!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvGsbqEGOBQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLSPj_cBX2o
    I’m afraid any serious overlander will tell you those YouTube videos are nonsensical and posted for the “likes”. The first one is surprising in that they never seem to go into the border post offices on either side - police, immigration, customs. Border posts - even in the First World - involve immigration and customs.

    The second video is definitely looking for the Instagram/YouTube hit and I didn’t bother to watch after the first two minutes.

    The world might have changed by 2023 - let’s hope we get out of this Covid mess - but bureaucracy is unlikely to have changed the world over. Immigration, customs, police will remain even flying into London Heathrow or JFK.

    PS: in fact at most African border posts tourists are treated better than can be the case at JFK, Atlanta GA and other US airports. It won’t be a problem for you!
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2021/10/11 at 10:42 PM.

  16. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  17. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    243
    Thanked: 268

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Hi there,
    You have received advise from a Kenyan expert (WW) and others who have been there. I suggest that you do not underestimate the value of their posts and advise. When WW warns of being aware of the rains this is based on local knowledge including an awareness of the nature of the downpours and what it does to the roads changing benign albeit rutted roads to really challenging conditions. Then there is "cotton soil" depending on where you are and the challenges that bring. (I suggest you search this forum for "cotton soil" for descriptions).
    Avoid trying to do too much (but no need to repeat things considering how much the region has to offer). Everything takes time: vehicle handover, buying a Sim card, getting cash, shopping for supplies (read some of WW previous posts where she gave advise on where to shop near Nairobi), distances may seem short but getting there takes time especially as you wish to engage with the locals which adds richness and depth to your travels.
    As mentioned in the above posts (in a tag line) slow down and enjoy the journey.Enjoy the markets, stop for photos and a chat.

    Your first post emphasised your priorities but later when you contemplate Kenya and southern Serengeti (for calving) in 14 days you will immediately lose your chance to relax. Stick to your priorities and choose one country. Border crossings in Africa (esp with someone else's car)are not something to volunteer for.

    Choose your season carefully. Do not try to do too much but enjoy the diversity on offer.

    Your first plan is very focussed on the Naboisho Conservancy experience and you have 3 visits planned for the Sheldrick Trust which to me seems excessive when there is so much else to see: Lake Naivasha, Lake Nakuru, the Rift Valley, even Ambroseli could be considered.
    Be aware that some "Volunteering" opportunities provide little local benefit except to the provided. I have no insights regarding those you may be considering apart from a brief reading of one very happy person.
    If you want to seriously relax fly to Lamu (explore fascinating place, interesting food, swim, go to beach and even go out on a dhow. (We have not been there for years so updated advise on advisability of this is needed but it was great experience for us)
    Enjoy your planning. Read some more posts on this Forum. Try not to move to a new place each day and update us with your thoughts- most of us recognise that we all have differing needs and prioritise.

  18. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to SANZ For This Useful Post:


  19. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,451
    Thanked: 2256

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    There is much more to Kenya than the Mara (lovely though it is).

    Your planned seven days at the Asilia luxury tented camp in the Naibosho Conservancy could be shortened to include some of the other awesome areas of Kenya. But I do caution you against doing your one - hopefully not only - trip to Kenya on the cusp of the long rains.

    Kenya has it all: from the glaciers of Mount Kenya to the white beaches of the Indian Ocean; from the savannah grasslands to the equatorial forests; from the deserts and mountains of northern Kenya to Lake Victoria; from the Rift Valley lakes to the high Afro-alpine moorlands; from the frenzy of a modern African city to the roads less travelled.

  20. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  21. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,451
    Thanked: 2256

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Here is a link to the very respected Porini camps owned by Jake Grieves-Cook who is a third generation Kenyan. They come highly recommended and wonít cost you an arm and a leg. They are very committed to community conservancies.
    https://www.gamewatchers.com/porini-...SAAEgLZD_D_BwE

  22. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  23. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    FL
    Age
    67
    Posts
    217
    Thanked: 150

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Hello again,
    1.regarding my mentioning of vehicle fees: I think maybe you misunderstood?
    those you drive a non-Tanzanian licensed vehicle into TZ National Parks pay a hefty fee. I thought it was around $140 per day, others may correct me if Iím wrong. On top of that, in the Serengeti you will pay $70 per person per day entrance fee and then $30 or $50 per person per day camping fee. All the fees also incur a 18%vAT. So if you want to see the Serengeti and the Mara, I would concentrate on just the Mara, itís the same ecosystem, except that a border between two countries runs between them.
    I paid less than $10 per day for the Landrover since I rented it in Arusha.

    2. About your point having experience overlanding in North America? Absolutely not helpful in Africa. Everything but everything is different. You and I may be able to navigate an 8 lane Hwy in Los Angeles, or driving a dirt road in the Yukon in the snow! And I say that as someone who has been on self-drive safaris in Nam, Bots, SA, TZ, and now Kenya. I was astounded at the driving difficulties and general chaos on the roads, especially in Nairobi, but even in smaller towns you have to be very careful and slow to avoid problems. I thought it would be on the level of Tanzania, driving out from Arusha to the Northern Circuit parks. Boy, was I wrong!!
    Driving on the left side? Not easy if you have never done that. my husband is a pro with this and he managed well, also, since we just came from SA, it was second nature to him by the time we got to Kenya.
    3. The main concern with your trip in my estimation and as WW and others have said, is the weather in March. Very good advise was given above. In addition, what is the animal population there in March? I remember a TR by Anne, who was rather disappointed in the lack of animals they encountered late December in the Triangle and also they had terribly muddy roads and heavy rains while camping in a RTT. It may be fun for about 10 minutes!
    4. I have read trip reports on a German forum of people who visited Ndutu in the Ngorongoro/Serengeti area during February in the rainy season, in order to witness calving time. Even staying in a lodge and having a driver they recounted how difficult it was getting around, getting stuck in the muck, and photographing, even though it was not raining constantly.
    5. I know RTK also rents out cars that come with a driver for about $35 a day more. Why not hire a driver who will know the roads and traffic and then you can relax and taking in all that you will see during road transfers and game drives?
    6. If you are not concerned about funds, why camp at all? Why not spend your time in the Reserve and the Triangle in a lodge/camp, and let someone experienced do the game drives during the rainy season?
    7. Why go in the rainy season at all? Why not wait till June when the grass is green but the roads are dry? Or why not go in August and September and witness the awesome spectacle of the migration herds with all the predators nearby?
    8. As a new traveler to Africa, I would want my first trip to go as smoothly as possible, so here are a few things, I would not do.
    A. I would not go in the rainy season. B. I would not camp during the rainy season. C. I would not drive myself during the rainy season. D. I would not cross international borders at anytime.

    So those are my thoughts after having taken 10 self-drive safaris to Africa.

    All the best, Katrin
    If life is a journey, be sure to take the scenic route!

  24. The Following User Says Thank You to KaliCA For This Useful Post:


  25. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    BogotŠ
    Posts
    453
    Thanked: 311

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    There is much more to Kenya than the Mara (lovely though it is).

    Your planned seven days at the Asilia luxury tented camp in the Naibosho Conservancy could be shortened to include some of the other awesome areas of Kenya. But I do caution you against doing your one - hopefully not only - trip to Kenya on the cusp of the long rains.

    Kenya has it all: from the glaciers of Mount Kenya to the white beaches of the Indian Ocean; from the savannah grasslands to the equatorial forests; from the deserts and mountains of northern Kenya to Lake Victoria; from the Rift Valley lakes to the high Afro-alpine moorlands; from the frenzy of a modern African city to the roads less travelled.
    I agree that it's a good idea to explore another area - there's a good variety of alternatives, depending on your interests.

  26. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to alannymarce For This Useful Post:


  27. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    BogotŠ
    Posts
    453
    Thanked: 311

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by KaliCA View Post

    2. About your point having experience overlanding in North America? Absolutely not helpful in Africa. Everything but everything is different.

    8. As a new traveler to Africa, I would want my first trip to go as smoothly as possible, so here are a few things, I would not do.
    A. I would not go in the rainy season. B. I would not camp during the rainy season. C. I would not drive myself during the rainy season. D. I would not cross international borders at anytime.
    re North American experience - it depends - there are places in Mexico which offer as much entropy as East Africa.

    re "new traveller to Africa"

    A. I would not go in the rainy season.

    - I agree.

    B. I would not camp during the rainy season.

    - I agree.

    C. I would not drive myself during the rainy season.

    - Given A and B this doesn't apply, however if I did go at this time, and had experience in Northern Australia, Northern Brazil, or Eastern Colombia (for example), I would not worry too much.

    D. I would not cross international borders at anytime.

    - I don't see this as much of challenge - I guess if you've never crossed a border it would take a little time and patience, but I wouldn't see this as a "showstopper".

  28. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to alannymarce For This Useful Post:


  29. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    Nairobi
    Age
    39
    Posts
    42
    Thanked: 47

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    I assume everyone has very different expectations and standards so itís really interesting to read up on all of your views.

    For me driving in Kenya is not much of an issue. Generally, proper off-road driving training will be beneficial, especially during the rainy season you should know what you are doing. If you then drive a reliable car and stick to a concentrated and defensive style of driving my recommendation would be to go for it. Driving yourself is a way more intimate experience compared to being driven around. Also, with a driver you lose a lot of flexibility.

    I also believe rainy season is a great time to come, especially if you are interested in taking beautiful pictures. The light is so much better for photography and the parks are less crowded. I never had issues finding animals, especially not at the start of the rainy season.

    Wether you like to camp in the rain or not is personal choice. The daily rains are usually quite intense, however they do not last long, so I never had issues staying in a (hardshell) RTT. If possible, I try to book a night in a lodge every few days for extra comfort and then stay in the tent for the rest of the trip.

    With regard to crossing international borders I can confirm itís no issue to go into Tanzania. Due to the special registration of my car I canít really tell what the process is like for normal vehicles. I also always got the resident / EAC rate for the car in any park. Not sure wether that is different for rental vehicles. Afaik the higher rates only apply to professional safari companies? However I would recommend taking more that two weeks for a trip to Kenya and Tanzania.

    I have been to Asilia camp and while it is nice I think there are better options in the general area, so I would definitely recommend not staying there for such a prolonged period. If I came for two weeks I would probably split up the time between the Mara and the coast, or if you want to focus more on wildlife, the Mara and one of the northern conservancies.

  30. The Following User Says Thank You to chf For This Useful Post:


  31. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Location
    Colorado
    Age
    35
    Posts
    14
    Thanked: 3

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    Wow, there were a lot of responses yesterday, and I wanted to say a genuine 'thank you'! Instead of replying to everyone individually, I'll try to do a big response here and cover most of the bases. I'm genuinely looking for advice and hope that I haven't come off as adverse to considering responses. My trip has changed thanks to this forum.

    I'm waiting for a response from Asilia regarding some of my questions about wildlife viewing. WW, I'm also checking out the Porini Camps! I think I came up with an itinerary I like last night that includes Kenya and Tanzania but I will wait until I feel more sure of it before posting the details here.

    Loosely: After a day in Nairobi, I'm contemplating flying from Nairobi to Arusha to do my safari and overlanding in Tanzania. Considering how my ideas have changed so much, and that they will likely change more, I still replied to some of the Kenya-specific topics. I've noted the items that likely no longer apply (but I wanted to respond to the topics that users here so generously commented on).


    1. North American overlanding experience might not apply: We overland for our vacations in remote, wet regions (think logging roads and back roads on Northern Vancouver Island during rains, where they filmed the first few seasons of Alone). I am also a field biologist; my work has to get done regardless of weather, and I've been everywhere from deserts during flash floods to high mountain passes packed with snow and ice. I'm definitely learning as much as I can about Africa and don't like to go into situations uneducated. My husband owns an overlanding company (I hadn't mentioned this as I didn't want to even give a hint that I was trying to sell something--ExPo gets weird if you mention owning a business). He actually trains customers on proper off-roading recovery tactics. We certainly don't have experience with cotton soil, so I will look into that. I like this blog post about it (the first thing I ran into during my initial Google).
    2. Why the rainy season? I am very adverse to large crowds. I heard/read horror stories of vehicle caravans in the Mara and Serengeti: 40+ vehicles watching the river crossings, and stressed out wildlife. I'm not looking for any of that. I would love to see some rains, greenery, and the calving season. (I'm aware that the wildebeest are calving down in the Southern Serengeti, which gives me some pause--I'm still learning about wildlife distribution in Kenya in March). My original trip was only to Tanzania, and then I was pretty set on just doing Kenya when I posted here... I have a few different potential itineraries at this point. I want to take in advice before putting a deposit down on the camps that we decide to stay at.
    3. What is the animal population like in March? I've been asking around, regarding Kenya. I was very comfortable with the potential sightings in the Southern Serengeti in March. I could move my trip, I'm not dead-set on March, but I really want to avoid crowds.
    4. Why not hire a guide with the vehicle rental? To me, that defeats the purpose. I might as well just go on a full tour where they take care of everything! I want alone time with my husband and would like to be able to have some more independence. I realize this guide would just come wherever we went, and that could be valuable, but I'm not feeling the idea.
    5. Likely no longer applies/The border crossing videos are for social media hits: Very true; I should have given my reply to WW more thought, regarding what was in the videos. I didn't expect someone to film direct their interactions with the police--these interactions would likely go differently depending on the situation of each individual. But these do look like they were filmed in Isebania to provide a feel for the town, the area around the crossing, and the roads. I didn't super listen to the rambling dude with the guide, I was more taking in the town and skipped around the content! As I've never been to an African border crossing I wanted to have an idea of what to expect. There seem to be mixed opinions on this crossing being a nightmare or just time-consuming. Leaving the logbook seems to be the most problematic part to me, and that's my deal-breaker! I certainly didn't intend to return through the same crossing I used to enter. WW, thank you so much for your expertise.
    6. Likely no longer applies/Changing COVID19 protocols/border crossings: I definitely don't expect bureaucracy or immigrations, customs, and police to go away! I've gone through plenty of border crossings in North America, but I don't really know what to expect in Kenya/Tanzania. I'm likely not doing a border crossing via vehicle now, though! I am very grateful for the border crossing responses here. I got exactly the information I was looking for.
    7. Likely no longer applies/Regarding "volunteering": I didn't post too much about that, but I'm not signing up for any "fluffy" experiences. I'm a wildlife biologist trained in predator & ungulate immobilization (sedation, handling, blood draws, GPS collaring, etc.). The Projects usually don't take short-term volunteers but I have a different background than the average inquirer. If I can't actually contribute anything, then I won't be volunteering. I also won't likely be volunteering in Tanzania.

  32. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to luck&love For This Useful Post:


  33. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    Nairobi
    Age
    39
    Posts
    42
    Thanked: 47

    Default Re: 14 Days in Kenya - First Time in Africa

    I would again advise to focus on one country, with Kenya being an excellent choice as a first time East Africa experience. There is just way to much to experience for even two weeks and I strongly believe taking it slow will make for a much better experience. If you need more recommendations just reach out.

    Regarding a volunteering opportunity I am sure your qualifications will be sought after. However keep in mind even very short volunteering stints require a special visa which can be difficult to obtain. Breach of these rules, while common, can result in very severe consequences.

  34. The Following User Says Thank You to chf For This Useful Post:


Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may post attachments
  • You may edit your posts
  •