Kenya or Tanzania in September

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Kenya or Tanzania in September

Postby DarrenInCanada » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:05 pm

Hi
I'm planning of booking a trip next September to coincide with the great migration that happens around the same time. I would love to go to both Kenya and Tanzania but if I had to only pick one country, which one should I pick to ensure that I see the great migration in its full glory and the rest of the "Big 5"?

I think that the animals go from one country to another during this migration period and I wouldn't want to pick the wrong country and miss everything.

If anybody has any suggestions or tips, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Re: Kenya or Tanzania in September

Postby IncaTrail50 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:39 pm

It's pretty tough to plan for the migration. We were there late July this year and our guide in Kenya said the animals had started into the Masai Mara. There were big enough herds that she thought we'd see the crossing at the Mara River but then rain started in the Serengeti and they turned back. They ended up crossing in late August. By September they should be pretty well crossed into the Masai Mara, but it may be over by then as well. :( Even if it is, you'll still see huge herds of the animals so it won't be wasted.
We did the Kenya and Tanzania Wildlife Adventure and found the game viewing far better in the Kenya parks. Samburu in particular had so much game we didn't go more than five minutes without seeing something that caused us to pull over for pictures. Also, Samburu has some very cool animals that are only found that far north. In Tanzania at Lake Manyara and the Serengeti, by contrast, we sometimes went half an hour without seeing a single living thing. We saw three or four leopards in Kenya, something our guide said we might not even see a single one! In the Serengeti you are pretty far south to see many herds that late in the migration. I liked Tanzania for reasons other than the game viewing so it was worth doing but if your intent is to see the migration (and lots of game) my opinion would be to choose Kenya.
It was fabulous!
Kim
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Re: Kenya or Tanzania in September

Postby thecakeisalie » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:52 pm

As said above, historically the migration has crossed the Mara and is grazing in Kenya at this time. But once again, this can change based on weather and other factors leading up to those months, so it isn't always predictable. But just because the herds have moved on doesn't mean all of the animals are gone. I did a 5 day safari in Tanzania in Sept. of 2009, and the Serengeti had plenty to see. Tons of elephants, multiple prides of lions, a leopard in a tree (driver's seem to know where it lived, as they always check the same tree), buffalo, giraffes, hippos, ostriches, hyenas, crocodiles, birds of all kinds, etc. Rhinos are tought to spot anywhere at any time, btw. Lake Manyara isn't affected by the migrations and that park I found pretty interesting, a lot more "jungly" than I thought it would be. Ngorongoro crater is fantastic, as the animals are more or less "trapped" inside. So while Kenya's Masai Mara might be the main attraction this time of year (and it is also fantastic, btw), don't discount Tanzania's value as well. You will find some awesome stuff no matter which way you decide to go.
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Re: Kenya or Tanzania in September

Postby lesliew » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:00 am

I went to Tanzania in October (Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and Lake Manyara) and we saw tons of animals, but not the great migration. I wasn't disappointed though - we saw all of the Big 5 plus pretty much every single animal there is. Our guide told us that during the migration, you often don't see as many of the predators (lions, leopards, etc) so I was actually happy that I was there when I was. We still saw PLENTY of large wildebeest and zebra herds, but also lots of lions, and several leopards and cheetahs. I wouldn't trade any of it to see the migration.
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Re: Kenya or Tanzania in September

Postby AdamfromCanada » Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:34 pm

DarrenInCanada wrote:Hi
I'm planning of booking a trip next September to coincide with the great migration that happens around the same time. I would love to go to both Kenya and Tanzania but if I had to only pick one country, which one should I pick to ensure that I see the great migration in its full glory and the rest of the "Big 5"?

I think that the animals go from one country to another during this migration period and I wouldn't want to pick the wrong country and miss everything.

If anybody has any suggestions or tips, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Thanks


I've been to Kenya & Tanzania twice...once in August and once in Jan/Feb. In August, the Masai Mara was full of wildebeest, although it's important to know that the river crossings aren't something that you're likely to see unless you're incredibly lucky. Still, taking the hot air balloon over and then driving through the gigantic herds of wildebeest was something incredible to see.

http://adammallonphotography.com/slideshowpro/p.php?a=XF9VUSIzOiQqQFtFPzU0Jzc6Jis6OzouNyo%2BMS4jKyAiPjQjJjs%2FNCY%2BLiY0&m=1303336074
http://adammallonphotography.com/slideshowpro/p.php?a=XF9VUSE6PCQqQFtFPzU0Jzc6Jis6OzouNyo%2BMS4jKyAiPjQjJjs%2FNCY%2BLiY0&m=1303336156

I spent time in Serengeti and Ngorongoro on both of my trips to East Africa, and I can say safely that you will see a tonne of animals there, whenever you go. There's a big difference between the two as well, as the Serengeti is truly endless plains...it's a huge area and the animals will run if a large vehicle gets close. The Ngorongoro is such a small space with such a HUGE concentration of animals that they have gotten pretty used to being in close proximity with each other and with the vehicles that drive through each day. It is not uncommon to have lions rest in the shade provided by safari vehicles in the Crater, which is a much different experience. I've really enjoyed both and I'm glad to have seen both.

In Tanzania I think I've seen more big cats than I have in Kenya, although the sample size is relatively small, given only about 3.5 weeks in East Africa. In the Serengeti my first trip, we came across lions on a freshly killed bull buffalo, which was an amazing spectacle.

http://adammallonphotography.com/slideshowpro/p.php?a=XF9VUSA6PCEqQFtFPzU0Jzc6Jis6OzouNyo%2BMS4jKyAiPjQjJjs%2FNCY%2BLiY0&m=1303337193

Of the six leopards I've seen in East Africa, one was in Samburu, one at Lake Manyara and four have been in the Serengeti. The majority of cheetahs I've seen were in Serengeti, although I also saw them in Masai Mara, and my last trip to Tanzania, they proved elusive...I didn't see a single one. I've seen a serval in the Mara and one in Ngorongoro and an African wildcat driving to the balloon early early in the morning in the Masai Mara.

The roads in Kenya tend to be a bit rougher than those in Tanzania...if that's at all a concern, although either way there's a good chance you're starting from Nairobi, so you'll get some Kenyan roads no matter what.

I definitely don't think there's a wrong choice here. You'll see something spectacular which ever you choose between Kenya & Tanzania.
Feel free to check out my travels on http://www.adammallonphotography.com
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