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Kenya Safari Itineraries

Which Kenyan Safari itinerary? Whether you take a camping or lodge safari, there are a plethora of options ranging from two to 15 days and in some cases, up to six weeks, visiting parks in neighbouring countries as well. If possible it is best to go on safari for at least five days or preferably longer, otherwise a good deal of your time will be taken up driving up to and from the national parks and Nairobi or Mombasa. Much more than 10 days and the endless bumpy roads and tracks may start to wear you down. You will also see a great deal more on a longer safari and have a much better chance of catching sight of all the major animals. In addition, you may also get a chance to spend some time with local tribespeople on a longer safari. The short trips also make stops in tribal villages, but these are normally just a quick souvenir and photo opportunity and can be a bit demoralising. A three-day safari from Nairobi typically takes you either to Amboseli or Masai Mara. A four-day safari might take you to Amboseli and Tsavo, or to Amboseli and Masai Mara or to Samburu and Buffalo Springs, but you will be pushing it to get to three parks in four days. A five days safari could take you to Amboseli and Tsavo, or to Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru, whereas a six-day safari may include lakes Nakuru, Bogoria and Baringo plus Masai Mara, or alternatively Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara and Amboseli. On a seven day safari, you could expect to visit at least two of the Rift Valley lakes plus Masai Mara and Amboseli, whereas on an 11-day safari you could take in either two or more of the Rift Valley lakes plus Masai Mara, Amboseli and Tsavo, or Samburu and Buffalo Springs, Meru, Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara. Only a few companies build Meru into their regular itineraries, though. In the high season, many companies have daily or every second-day departures to the most popular national parks – Amboseli, Masai Mara and Tsavo – since there is high demand. To the less frequented parks such as Samburu and Buffalo Springs, Shaba and Meru, they generally leave only once or twice per week. In addition, most companies will leave for any of the most popular national parks at any time so long as you have a minimum number of people wanting to go, usually four. Due to the slump in tourism, some companies will only leave if they have the minimum number of clients, especially in the low season. If you are on your own, you may have to hang around for a while to be bundled together with a larger group. It obviously makes a lot of sense to either book ahead or gets a group together yourself rather than just turn up and expect to leave the next morning. Advance booking is a good idea for the Lake Turkana safaris since they are heavily subscribed in the high season. It is also essential for the more exotic options.