3 Day Masai Mara safari

  A couple visited Kenya in October 2018

“We would like a 3 day Masai Mara safari in a tented lodge close to the reserve. We would like to see the great migration, and the Big 5. Our travel date for the safari would be in October. We would like to get picked up and dropped off at the airport.”

Susan Deslaurier, a local specialist from Kenya, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary.

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Trip planning highlights

41 messages exchanged
3 trip plan versions shared
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3 Day / 2 Night Maasai Mara Driving Safari

Day 1: Nairobi Pick up, and Drive on to Maasai Mara
Day 2: Maasai Mara Safari Game Drives
Day 3: Drive from Maasai Mara to Nairobi

Summary of the trip planning conversation

Below are some useful excerpts from the trip planning conversation
Susan Deslaurier
Thanks for your trip request for a great experience of wildlife and hopefully the Great Migration will still be underway. It's getting a slow start this year, with the herds just building and moving now, so your chances of it still happening in October are very good. I'm preparing a trip plan for you now, within your budget, which includes a lovely tented camp right in the middle of the migration area inside the reserve. I'll send it to you in just a few minutes.

One question is whether you have your flights booked for arrival and departure to Nairobi. This will determine the options for flight times in and out of Maasai Mara, with the time needed to connect with other flights.

Stand by for my next message I'll send within the hour with more details on a great adventure! 

Best regards, 

Wow this is amazing! Thank you so much! I will forward this to my husband, but would you be able to give me the price for the trip without the flight and drive there? My husband is nervous around smaller planes, but just in case I rather have a backup!! We are actually going to be in Kenya earlier in the month and will be traveling back to Nairobi. So we will be dropping off our vehicle at the car rental, so I assumed to make it easier on the tour to get picked up from the airport. We are going to try and drop it off by 6 am. Thank you so much for all your help!!

Susan Deslaurier
Happy to hear you like the plan so far, and we can certainly do driving rather than flying. The drive time between Nairobi and Maasai Mara is around 6 hours (flight is 1 hour), though it can take longer if the traffic is bad in and out of Nairobi as it often is. The roads are very good except for the last hour or so of dirt road before the park gate. You can still do this with a 6 or 7am pickup at your car rental drop, and on departure do a morning game drive then on to Nairobi to arrive by early evening. We can book a hotel room there for you if you are flying the next day, or go directly to the airport if your flight is that night.

One snag is that I’m sorry to say that the Ashnil camp has just informed us that they sold out their rooms today, so we’ll need to choose another option in the same category, but should be able to find a place for a similar price. I’m checking around today for good options, and will try holding space as you decide what you’d like to do. I'll send links to new options as soon as I get replies on availability.

If you do decide on driving, and you can possibly add one more day, we highly recommend a night at our Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp, located next to Mara on the road to Nairobi. I live and work here with the community to support employment and projects. I’ve attached the sample day for you to see more about this very unique stay with an actual Maasai community, not a commercial village that the Mara camps can take you to . It was featured in the New York Times and Lonely Planet as an authentic, unforgettable cultural experience. If it’s not possible, no problem….we’ll welcome you there next time! ;-}

Let me know what you think, and we’ll confirm the lodging and logistics to settle on the perfect program

Ashe oleng, many thanks, 

Hello!! Wow I had not heard about the cultural camp it looks Amazing! But unfortunately we don’t have more time to allow us to do that :( I did speak to my husband about the flights, and he definitely rather drive there, those smaller planes aren’t for him. I am a little sad the lodge is booked but it is my fault for not doing this sooner. Please let me know what is available we would love to book with you guys. Our good friends recently booked there’s with you guys and have done so in the past and have nothing but good thing to say!!

These are a few camps we saw might still have availability thought TripAdvisor which we found were Similar to the other? Mara river camp, Mara Serena Lodge , Mara Simba lodge, Mara Leisure. We would just like a nice and safe tented place with either a morning drive when we leave or a drive in the evening when we arrive, and one on our second day! Oh and food 🥘 Thank you so much for all your help 😊

Susan Deslaurier
Hi, Sounds good to go with the driving.
The lodging you mentioned are good, though some are lodges, more like hotel rooms, and I was looking for luxury tented camps (still very nice beds, bathrooms, dining), which I think is the most memorable, unique safari experience. But I can look into these as well, which might be a higher price. The ones I'm currently awaiting confirmation of availability for are Basecamp Mara, Matira Bush Camp, and Sarova Mara Camp... all are close to the budget target, especially with driving rather than flying, and are my personal favorites for an authentic safari experience in comfort for a short stay. Don't worry, I live here near the Mara and have lots of connections so we'll find something awesome for you😉

The great thing about driving vs flying is you'll have your own private vehicle and driver, not tied to the camp schedule or joining others in a group. The downside is the time on the road, but honestly I love that part too, watching the landscape change and seeing local life in motion as you pass by.

I'll be back in touch on Monday with some revised suggestions and we'll go from there. 

Thanks much, 

Perfect! You would know the lodges better we do! So whichever has the nice tented safari we would be good! Honestly I love to drive and I am like you I enjoy to watch!! So I am looking forward to it. Thank you so much Susan for your updates enjoy your weekend and hopefully we could book by Monday 😊
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Traveler Review

Everything was wonderful! Joseph was our guide and his knowledge of the area and animals was amazing. Wilson and William, our waiter and security to and from our tent, where very welcoming and fun to talk to. The views from our Chalet was unforgettable. Sunrise and sunsets were always surrounded my giraffes at Mara West.