3 Days Maasai Mara Safari

CSS 301: MASAI MARA SAFARI - MASAI MARA LODGE SAFARIS
Departs daily at 07.30 hrs.

Day 1. Nairobi - Masai Mara
Distance: 275 kms (5 hrs). Pick up from your hotel in Nairobi at 7.30am. Drive into the Masai Mara with its amazing concentration of wildlife and outstanding scenery. Lunch. Afternoon game drive. Overnight at Mara Sopa Lodge, L,D.

Day 2. Masai Mara
Morning and afternoon game drives in the finest game sanctuary in Kenya, noted for its lions and other wildlife. Overnight at Mara Sopa Lodge, B,L,D.

Masai Mara:
Masai Mara National Reserve is a pristine wilderness of haunting beauty, it promises its visitors a profusion of wildlife, prolific bird life and the unprecedented opportunity of catching up with all the members of the 'Big Five' in one morning. The 1,800 sq kilometers of this veteran reserve offers the classic mix of African imagery; miles of lion-gold grasslands, shoals of lilac-misted hills, a meandering river, acres of thorn-bush and mile upon mile of undulating wilderness. An impressive feature is the annual migration of the Wildebeest, Zebra and gazelle from the plains of the Serengeti that cross the Tanzania border and rivers to reach the Mara lush grassland from late June, hunted by the predators Lion, Hyena and circled by vultures as the journey unfolds. Their dramatic river crossings are a reality for tourists visiting in July-August. Apart from seasonal migration, game viewing is excellent year round. Game includes Elephant, Black Rhino, Buffalo, the big cats and virtually every animal found in Kenya. The rivers are a home to hippo and Crocodiles. 452 bird species are recorded including 53 Raptors, Buzzards, Vultures and Eagles.

Optional activities:
-Visit to a local Maasai village for a Maasai cultural tour: US$ 25 per person
-Hot air balloon ride: US$ 450 per person

Day 3. Masai Mara - Nairobi
Morning game viewing. After breakfast drive to Nairobi arriving at approximately 2pm, (Optional lunch at the Carnivore Restaurant: US$ 45 per person), B.

Tour price: US$ 685 per person sharing; Single room supplement: US$ 135

Tour cost includes:
-Guarantee price; Guarantee departure
-Ground transport in a safari van with pop up roof for game viewing, photography and touring
-Full board accommodation whilst on safari
-Meal plan as described, B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
-Accommodation in double/twin/triple room sharing
-All park entrance fees to include government taxes
-Service of an English speaking professional driver/guide
-Game drives as detailed in the itinerary
-Start and end in Nairobi

Tour price excludes:
-Tips
-Laundry
-Drinks
-International flights
-Visas
-Items of a personal nature
-Optional activities and any other extras not detailed in the above itinerary
Reserve This Tour

CSS 302: LAKE NAKURU/ABERDARE LODGE SAFARI
Departs daily at 09.00 hrs.

Day 1. Nairobi - Nakuru
Depart to Nakuru for lunch and afternoon game drive in Lake Nakuru for flamingos as well as the rare white rhino. The park is world's famous ornithological paradise with over 450 species of birdlife. Overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge, L,D.

Day 2. Nakuru - Aberdare
Breakfast and departure to Mweiga. Lunch at Outspan Hotel. Afternoon transfer to The Treetops Lodge for bird and game watching during the rest of your stay. Overnight at The Ark Lodge or Treetops Lodge, B, L,D.

Day 3. Aberdares - Nairobi
After breakfast, return to Nairobi (Optional lunch at the Carnivore Restaurant: US$ 45 per person), B

Remarks:
Only a small overnight bag is permitted, remaining the rest at the "base hotel" store. Children below 7 are not admitted.

Tour price: US$ 740 per person sharing. Single room supplement: US$ 223

Tour cost includes:
-Guarantee price; Guarantee departure
-Ground transport in a safari van with pop up roof for game viewing, photography and touring
-Full board accommodation whilst on safari
-Meal plan as described, B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
-Accommodation in double/twin/triple room sharing
-All park entrance fees to include government taxes
-Service of an English speaking professional driver/guide
-Game drives as detailed in the itinerary
-Start and end in Nairobi

Tour price excludes:
-Tips
-Laundry
-Drinks
-International flights
-Visas
-Items of a personal nature
-Optional activities and any other extras not detailed in the above itinerary

Reserve This Tour

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Detailed Masai Mara lodge Safari, Lake Nakuru Luxury Lodge Safaris, Masai Mara Lodge Tours, Lake Nakuru Lodges, Masai Mara safari lodge holidays, Aberdare lodge safaris Maasai Mara

THE MASAI MARA MIGRATION OF WILDEBEESTS:
The Wildebeest arrive at the Mara River around July and cross over onto the Masai Mara plains. The wildebeest remain here until October, when they return to Tanzania. Gazetted in 1961, the Reserve is located west of the Rift Valley and is a natural extension of the Serengeti plains. The Mara River, the reserve's backbone, traverses north to south. This river course is the natural barrier crossed every year by the large herds of wildebeest and zebra during their migration.

May & June
In late May, the herds leave the Western Corridor for the northern Serengeti plains and woodlands. The fresh, tender and mineral-rich pastures on the other side of the humans' border, in Masai Mara, are the irresistible bait for the animals to finally invade the Kenyan reserve, an event which usually starts in late June to early July. The troops coming from the south meet here another migratory contingent: the resident wildebeest herds of the Mara region. These animals reside in the Loita Plains and Hills, northeast of the Mara, until the dry season brings the tougher days and it is time to seek the evergreen Mara basin.

July to October
Throughout the month of July, the herds cross the Sand River, a mostly dry tributary of the Mara which roughly follows the boundary line between Kenya and Tanzania. The parade takes the eastern sector of Masai Mara, surrounding the Keekorok Lodge area. The trek follows westward, leading the herds to face the major challenge along their quest: crossing the Mara river and frequently also its tributary, the Talek. By then, the rains at the Mau Escarpment, where the Mara rises, have fed the stream to its highest levels.

The steep banks are populated with trunk-looking basking crocodiles that seem almost to be expecting their annual banquet. The operation of fording the river is the most delicate along the migration, and as such seems to plunge the gnus in a state of anxiety that only relieves when the whole herd has crossed. The trekkers walk along the left (eastern) bank of the Mara looking for a suitable point to cross. There are plenty of preferred crossings along the course, which are easily identifiable by the lack of vegetation, the depressed slopes and the deep grooves carved by the animals' hooves. These are the most secure places to ford the river, those that ensure a minimal mortality. Nonetheless, the apparent programming of the whole process sometimes seems to collapse, and the nervous herds occasionally choose places where the banks are too steep and many of the animals break their legs down the cliff or fall flat into the waters. The herds gather at the suitable points and wander around nervously, their grunts sounding loud in the air. Eventually, one animal takes the lead and approaches the rim, scanning the opposite edge to analyze if any danger awaits after the crossing. When it finally dives into the stream, this seems to haul the rest of the herd. More animals follow in a single line across the river, while the lagged ones throw themselves towards the stream until the rearguard pushes the troops to a frantic race that ends up with some animals trampled to death, lying aside the course. Along the boreal summer, the crossings repeat over and over, and the survivors graze peacefully on the Mara Triangle grasslands unless disturbed by the early-morning and late-evening hunts of lion and cheetah, the latter preying on the calves.

By October, the rains are heading south back to the Serengeti. This is when the pace of the march reverses, bringing the herds to face once more the quest for the southern grasslands. The rite of fording the river is again part of nature's call. In the last days of October, the migration heads towards the vast plains of the southern Serengeti, where a new generation of calves will be born to start the cycle of life all over again. Normally the route is down the eastern side and the pace is fast. Quite often a million animals can be seen stretched out.

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Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya:
The Masai Mara National Reserve is Kenya's finest wildlife reserve. Everything about this reserve is outstanding. The wildlife is abundant and the gentle rolling grasslands ensure that animals are never out of sight. Birds, too, are prolific. Including migrants, well over 450 species have been recorded, among them, 57 species of birds of prey. The climate is gentle, rarely too hot and well-spread rainfall year round. Rain, when it falls almost always chooses the late afternoon or night. Between July and October, when the great wildebeest migration is in the Masai Mara National Reserve, the sensation is unparalleled. Masai Mara is one of the best plains' game reserve where you can actually encounter a live Discovery Channel, a haven for viewing a congregation of all sorts of animals in a five-mile radius: A pride of lions can be spotted ready to make a run for a gazelle, a cheetah and its cub taking a nap on a rock, a pair of ostriches walking the open stretches of the savannah or a gazelle giving birth.

The Masai Mara National Reserve lies about 270 kilometers from Nairobi, and takes about 4 to 5 hours by road. There are scheduled flights, twice daily from Wilson Airport Nairobi, which take about 40 - 45 minutes. The reserve is about 1510 square kilometers having been reduced from 1672 square kilometers in 1984. However, the wildlife is far from being confined within the reserve boundaries, and an even larger area, generally referred to as the "dispersal area" extends north and east of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Maasai communities live within the dispersal area with their stock but a century of close association with the wildlife has resulted in an almost symbiotic relationship where wildlife and people live in peace with one another. The first sight of this natural wonderland is breathtaking. Here the great herds of shuffling elephants browse among the rich tree-studded grasslands with an occasional sighting of a solitary and ill-tempered rhino.

Thomson's and Grant's gazelle, Topi and Eland and many more species of plains' game offer a rich choice of food for the dominant predators; lion, leopard and cheetah which hunt in this pristine wilderness. In the Mara River, hippo submerges at the approach of a vehicle only to surface seconds later to snort and grumble their displeasure. Seemingly, the drowsy crocodile sunbathe on the riverbanks, mouth agape, waiting with subtle cunning for prey at which to strike with lightning swiftness. But this richness of fauna, this profusion of winged beauty and the untouched fragility of the landscape, are all subordinate to the Mara's foremost attraction, the march of the wildebeest.

Each year, far south in the great vastness of the Serengeti, the wildebeest raise their dignified but quaint heads, sniff the air and, as if by one accord, start the long trek to the Kenya border and the Masai Mara National Reserve. After exhausting the grazing in Tanzania's northern Serengeti, a large number of wildebeest and zebra enter the Masai Mara National Reserve around the end of June drawn by the sweet grass raised by the long rains of April and May. It is estimated that more than half a million wildebeest enter the Masai Mara National Reserve and are joined by another 100,000 from the Loita Hills east of the Masai Mara. Driving in the midst of these great herds is an unimaginable experience. Whilst the eyes feast on the spectacle, the air carries the smells, the dust and the sounds of hundreds of thousands of animals. There is nowhere else on earth to compare with this wildlife marvel. But the trek is costly. The herds' draw ravening packs of predators, especially hyenas and lions, and thousands of the lame, laggard and sick never complete the cycle. More die, by drowning or by the teeth of the cunning crocodile, while trying to cross the swirling muddy waters of the Mara and Talek rivers. Once the Masai Mara National Reserve's grass has been devoured and when fresh rain in Tanzania has brought forth a new flush there, the herds turn south, heading hundreds of kilometers back to Serengeti and the Ngorongoro plains. There the young are dropped in time to grow sufficiently strong to undertake the long march north six months later.

Although July, August and September are the months when the Masai Mara plains are filled with migrating wildebeest and zebra, there is much resident wildlife year round. Apart from the better-known species there are numerous opportunities to add some of the rare and less frequently seen animals to the visitor's checklist. In the southwestern sector, you may be lucky enough to see roan antelope, a handsome creature regrettably rare countrywide. Bat-eared foxes peer from their burrows and there are thousands of topi, an antelope not found in other major parks save Tsavo National Park. The combination of a gentle climate, scenic splendor and untold numbers of wildlife makes the Masai Mara Kenya's most popular inland destination park.

A well worth it and recommended activity in the Masai Mara National Reserve is the hot air balloon safari. Early in the morning, you will be woken and driven to the departure site. Once in the air, the view of the surrounding landscape, the rising of the sun between the mountains and the congregation of the animals at the river is beautiful. This all concludes with a champagne breakfast and memories of a lifetime.

Maasai Mara Safari Lodges & Camps in Kenya, Africa:
Basecamp Masai Mara, Bateleur Tented Camp, Cottars 1920s Safari Camp, David Livingstone Safari Resort, Elephant Pepper Camp, Entim Camp, Fig Tree Camp, Governors Camp, Governors Bush Camp, Governors IL Moran Camp, Governors Private Camp, Ilkeliani Camp, Karen Blixen Camp, Keekorok Lodge, Kicheche Camp, Kicheche Bush Camp, Kichwa Tembo, Leleshwa Camp, Little Governors Camp, Mara Bushtops Camp, Mara Explorer Camp, Mara Intrepids Club, Mara Leisure Camp, Mara Porini Camp, Mara River Camp, Mara Safari Club (Fairmont), Mara Serena Lodge, Mara Simba Lodge, Mara Sopa Lodge, Mpata Safari Club, Offbeat Mara Camp, Ol Seki Mara Camp, Olonana, Porini Lion Camp, Rekero Tented Camp & Cottages, Richard's Camp, Royal Mara Safari Lodge, Sala's Camp, Sarova Mara Camp, Saruni Lodge, Sekenani Camp, Serian Camp, Shompole Naibor Mara Camp, Siana Springs Intrepids Camp, Tipilikwani Camp among others.

Kenya safari:
A Kenya safari has long been one of the most popular African holidays, often combined with a beach stay. It is indeed still an excellent choice for a safari holiday, but in the last few years has 'grown up' to offer a lot more than the fairly standard fare for which it had become known.

Safaris in Kenya are not all about mass market package holidays, and even the beach holiday options are far better than they were, with a selection of small boutique hotels and guest houses dotted along the coasts and islands. It is becoming a very good ecotourism and fair trade destination with many successful conservation projects also in action. Many safari camps that Tribes uses have no permanent footprint on the land and are owned by local communities who benefit directly from tourism in Kenya.

Kenya's most famous wildlife highlight is the Masai Mara Game Reserve, best known for the wildebeest migration and big cats. Kenya safari holidays here will definitely bring you close to some fantastic wildlife and we can find camps away from the crowded areas. However there is more the Kenya than just the Mara. There are the Rift Valley lakes (freshwater lakes - Naivasha, Turkana and Baringo, and soda lakes - Nakuru, Elementaita, Bogoria and Natron) and the huge Lake Victoria, plus many hilly areas such as Mount Kenya, Mount Elgon, the Mathews Ranges and the Aberdares. South of Nairobi is Amboseli National Park famous for spectacular views of Kilimanjaro and huge herds of elephants. In the surrounding highlands are excellent horse and foot safaris. For a high quality safari away from the crowds and spectacular scenery what about the incredible Laikipia Plateau region? A conservation success story, this region has a handful of rustic luxury lodges and overnight camel led fly camping treks, interesting village projects and miles and miles of wild, beautiful bushlands. North of Laikipia is the Samburu region, stretching to the arid lands of the Northern Frontier towards Ethiopia.

And of course there is Kenya's 480km coastline which is the classic image of a tropical paradise; sweeping, white beaches bordering turquoise water teeming with colourful marine life and dotted with idyllic islands. All backed by the outstanding wildlife of the Kenyan wilderness and the fascinating culture of the towns and villages. Lamu islands are popular with Tribes clients, being a quieter option than the mainland coast and a fascinating Swahili history.

Tribes arranges many different types of Kenya safaris and holidays and specilises in eco-camps at a luxury level. Whether you want a safari, activity, or beach-based experience we can suggest the right itinerary for you. We plan everything on a tailor made basis.

Masai Mara National Reserve: Masai Mara Lodges & Camps Reviews: Masai Mara Balloon Safaris.