The Magnificent Mara Migration Tour 2018

THE MAGNIFICENT MARA MIGRATION TOUR 2018

The Great Migration (photographed by The Travel Camel)

                     The Great Migration near the Mara River (photographed by The Travel Camel)

Experience the grandest wildlife encounter in the world. Every year 2 million animals cross from Tanzania to Kenya in what is termed The Great Migration.

In August 2018, join The Travel Camel as he returns to witness this incredible spectacle on the Maasai Mara National Reserve region in Kenya.

This itinerary has been crafted to make this the most enjoyable safari experience possible. Visiting The Great Migration is not a time to compromise on standards – and this tour ensures you will have an experience of the highest quality.

What makes this tour special?

– The Karen Blixen Camp in the Mara North Conservancy (adjacent to the Maasai Mara National Reserve) has 22 luxurious and spacious tents facing the Mara River.
– Karen Blixen Camp’s game drive vehicles are equal to the best in the entire Maasai Mara for viewing animals.
– By being in the Mara North Conservancy, we avoid crowds of vehicles that usually populate the National Reserve during The Great Migration.
– Wildlife is usually more numerous in the Conversancy than the National Reserve.
– This tour features a bush dinner and a night game drive in the Conservancy, something usually prohibited if staying in the National Reserve.
– You will be in the National Reserve and the Conversancy for more than 72 hours, thus giving ample time to fully absorb the magnificence of The Great Migration.
– The tour is fully hosted from the time you exit the airport in Nairobi until you are returned to the same airport at the conclusion of the tour.

Accommodation at Karen Blixen Camp during The Great Migration starts selling out 6 months in advance, so you need to book early!

Elephants seen during The Great Migration (photographed by The Travel Camel)

Elephants seen during The Great Migration (photographed by The Travel Camel)

Day 1: Sunday 05 August 2018
Flight arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi. Meet and greet with a private transfer to Longview Suites or similar on the outskirts of the city.

Day 2: Monday 06 August 2018
Depart Nairobi by road in the morning and drive through the scenic Great Rift Valley arriving at the famous Lake Nakuru National Park in time for lunch. After lunch proceed for an afternoon game drive in the Park which was gazetted as a sanctuary for black rhinos. Dinner and overnight in Flamingo Hill Camp or similar.

Day 3: Tuesday 07 August 2018
Depart after breakfast and drive to Maasai Mara. Upon arrival at Karen Blixen Camp in Mara North Conservancy, there will be a camp briefing with a welcome drink by the camp manager, followed by a 3 course lunch. An afternoon game drive in Mara North Conservancy concludes with a memorable bush dinner. Overnight at Karen Blixen Camp.

Lion during The Great Migration (photographed by The Travel Camel)

Lion seen during The Great Migration (photographed by The Travel Camel)

Day 4: Wednesday 08 August 2018
A full day exploring the Maasai Mara National Reserve or Mara Triangle with a picnic hamper. This will provide a further opportunity to witness some of the 2 million animals that participate in The Great Migration. Overnight at Karen Blixen Camp.

Day 5: Thursday 9 August 2018
An early morning game drive in the Mara North Conservancy to the renowned Leopard Gorge made famous by the BBC TV Series, Big Cat Diary. During the day there will be a visit to the Maasai Manyatta village to learn and experience more of the rich Maasai culture, and the option of a nature walk. For an extra fee, you can pamper yourself with services from the spa. At sunset you will enjoy the excitement of a night game drive in the Mara North Conservancy. Overnight at Karen Blixen Camp.

Day 6: Friday 10 August 2018
After breakfast and a morning game drive in the Mara North Conservancy, you will return for your farewell lunch at Karen Blixen Camp. After lunch you will be taken to the airstrip for your late afternoon flight (16:00/4pm) back to Nairobi. On this morning, you have the option of a hot air balloon flight and champagne breakfast (at the cost of USD 480 per person).

Pod of hippos during The Great Migration (photographed by The Travel Camel)

Pod of hippos seen during The Great Migration (photographed by The Travel Camel)

Upon arrival in Nairobi the tour concludes and you will be given a private transfer to JKIA for your onward flight home. If you are required to stay a night in Nairobi, this will be at your own expense.

This itinerary may change depending on the movement of animals and some parts of the program may be altered due to weather conditions.

Cost
2900 USD per person twin share

Inclusions
– Accommodation for 5 nights (1 night Nairobi, 1 night Lake Nakuru National Park, 3 nights Mara North Conservancy)
– Transfers to and from JKIA in Nairobi
– Road transport by Land Cruiser from Nairobi to Lake Nakuru National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve
– Flight from Maasai Mara National Reserve to Nairobi
– All meals (except for dinners in Nairobi)
– All drinks at Karen Blixen Camp (except premium drinks)
– Free wifi at all three properties
– Entrance fees for Maasai Mara National Reserve (80 USD per person per day), Mara North Conservancy (116 USD per person per night), Lake Nakuru National Park (60 USD per person per night), for a total of 488 USD in fees per person.
– All game drives, including the night game drive
– Bush dinner, Maasai Manyatta village, nature walk
– Photography advice from The Travel Camel
– Personalised photographs from your tour

Not included
– International flights
– Travel insurance (you need this, see Insurance information below!)
– Kenyan Visa (50 USD per person)
– All meals in Nairobi, apart from breakfast
– Drinks in Lake Nakuru National Park and Nairobi
– Personal expenses (such as souvenirs, laundry, phone calls)
– Gratuities

Payment Conditions:
– A non-refundable deposit of 300 USD per person is payable at the time of booking. We strongly advise you to take out cancellation insurance
– 50% of the remaining fees (1300 USD per person for twin share) is payable no later than 1 January 2018.
– The balance (1300 USD per person for twin share) is due no later than 1 May 2018 otherwise we will treat your booking as being cancelled by you
– If you are booking after 1 May 2018 (and if  there is still accommodation available at Karen Blixen Camp), you must pay in full at the time of booking.
– The following are the refund percentages on the non-refundable amount of 2600 USD per person if you cancel your booking:
Before 1 June 2018: 100%
From 1 June 2018: 75%
From 15 June 2018: 50%
From 1 July 2018: 0%
– All monies are refunded if tour is cancelled by The Travel Camel

A very small portion of The Great Migration (photographed by The Travel Camel)

                      A very small portion of The Great Migration (photographed by The Travel Camel)

RESERVATION FORM

Before booking, ensure you are familiar with all the “Tour Information” below, especially game drives, health, insurance and luggage.

Karen Blixen Camp start selling out their luxury tents for some August nights as early as February. If you are interested in this tour, please book early!

If you have a group of four or more and wish to undertake this tour at another time during the Great Migration period (July-October), please contact us to arrange a private tour.

Fields marked with an * are required

TOUR INFORMATION

Accommodation
For the majority of this tour we will be staying at the Karen Blixen Camp in the Mara North Conservancy. The Camp has large classically furnished luxury canvas tents with polished wooden floors. The private bathroom even has a romantic outside shower. Each luxury tent has a balcony with an uninterrupted view of the Mara River.

Karen Blixen Camp luxury tent (photo courtesy of Karen Blixen Camp)

                                    Karen Blixen Camp luxury tent (photo courtesy of Karen Blixen Camp)

View from a Karen Blixen Camp luxury tent (photo courtesy of Karen Blixen Camp)

                           View from a Karen Blixen Camp luxury tent (photo courtesy of Karen Blixen Camp)

Electricity
Kenya uses the three pin British plug.

Food
Food in Kenya is of a high quality. If you have dietary requirements, please let us know.

Game Drives
Game Drives are the highlight of this tour. There are a few important rules to remember with these drives.
– We are driving amongst wild animals, so follow the instructions of the driver or guide at all times.
– To ensure the best experience for all on the tour, please keep noise to a minimum during the game drives, especially when near the animals.
– Neutral coloured clothing is best during game drives – please avoid wearing bright colours.
– Avoid wearing strong perfumes or colognes as this can ward off the animals.

Karen Blixen Camp vehicle on game drive (photo courtesy of Karen Blixen Camp)

                        Karen Blixen Camp vehicle on game drive (photo courtesy of Karen Blixen Camp)

Health
You are required to have a valid Yellow Fever Certificate for entrance into Kenya. You will need to be inoculated at least two weeks before your visit.

Malaria medication is recommended but not compulsory. If you do take malaria medication we advise you not to take Lariam (Mefloquine) due to the side effects that include hallucinations. There are alternatives. If you do not wish to take the long dosage of medication required for a short trip to Kenya, you need to protect yourself from mosquitoes by taking other precautions. Note that Malaria is very rare in Nairobi due to the higher altitude.

You should consult your medical practitioner for any other inoculations you require

Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory for everyone on this trip. You can choose the highly recommended World Nomad Insurance, or you can choose your own provider.

 

International Flights
International flights are your responsibility. There are many airlines that fly into JKIA. If you do not wish to spend a night in Nairobi after the tour and instead directly board your international flight, the following airlines have late night flights that you can connect to on the evening of Friday 10 August: Emirates, Qatar, KLM, British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Kenya Airways (this list is not exhaustive and schedules may change).

Internet
Free Wifi is available at every accommodation place throughout the trip. Note that Wifi speeds may not be as fast as you are used to back home.

Language
English is widely spoken in Kenya.

Luggage
You will need to travel light due to the maximum luggage weight of 15kg (inclusive of hand luggage) per person on the domestic flight. You may be allowed to bring more weight with you, but it is not guaranteed. You will be responsible for any excess baggage fees which are charged at freight rates. Soft bags are preferred by domestic airlines and luggage with wheels does not work well in Lake Nakuru or the Mara. Please contact us if your require further information.

Medication
Bring all medications with you, and if you use any prescription medicine, have a doctor’s certificate.

Money
ATMs are plentiful in Nairobi and non-existent on the Mara. We recommend you use ATMs operated by Barclays Bank or Standard Chartered Bank as they work better with international cards.

Photography
If you want to make the most of the photographic opportunities, bring a DSLR or Mirrorless camera with a longer (200mm) zoom lens. You are strongly recommended to bring extra batteries and memory cards – it is incredible how many photos one can take on a day in the Mara!

Roads
The roads in Kenya are generally of a reasonable quality. All roads used during game drives are dirt, so expect bumps, and the occasional potholes and corrugations.

Single Supplement
There is a single supplement of USD 450 per person.

Tour Size
The tour is limited to 2 Karen Blixen Camp vehicles – thus 12 people to ensure that everyone has a side seat.

Interior of Karen Blixen Camp vehicle (photo courtesy of Karen Blixen Camp)

Interior of Karen Blixen Camp vehicle (photo courtesy of Karen Blixen Camp)

Transport
All transport in Nairobi, Lake Nakuru National Park and from Nairobi to Maasai Mara National Reserve will be in a Land Cruiser.  All transport in the Reserve after arrival at the Karen Blixen Camp will be in very high quality and specialised safari vehicles. These vehicles are higher, have a longer wheel base and have open sides to ensure the maximum viewing experience. After experiencing many different types of vehicles on game drives, we can say with certainty that these specialised safari vehicles are the best for wildlife viewing.

Visas
Visas are your responsibility. The vast majority of nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival at JKIA for a fee of 50 USD (or 40 Euro) – you should pay in cash.  You can also obtain a visa through the Kenyan Government’s e-visa site: http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html

Note that the immigration queue at JKIA for visa on arrival is generally much shorter than the e-visa queue. Please contact us if you require any clarifications.

Weather
The climate during the day will be warm, but at night the Mara can get very cool. Ensure you bring a warm and windproof jacket (or other clothing) to wear during the games drives in the early morning and evening and the bush dinner.