How To Book A Masai Mara Safari

How To Book A Masai Mara Safari : For a first time traveler, planning and booking a Masai Mara Safari in Kenya can be a difficult decision to make as there are a lot of factors to consider, some of the factors include choosing a tour operator, type of accommodation, mode of transport, additional optional activities, mode of payment and documentation of all travel documents required for the safari.

If you are planning on booking a Masai Mara safari, factors to consider are as discussed below in details.

  1. Basics of Booking A Safari

Masai Mara national reserve is one of Africa’s top wildlife destinations and Kenya’s flagship conservation area which is why it should be on the top list of your next destination, the reserve hosts a diverse population of game such as elephants, cape buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, hyenas, elands, gazelle and the famous big cats that is cheetahs, lions and leopards.

After deciding that your next holiday destination is Masai Mara national reserve, the next step is researching for a reputable tour operator in Kenya or from your home country for a safari quotation and to guide through your planning process.

How To Book A Masai Mara Safari
wildebeest Migration

The following are the basic information that is required from you by the tour operators when making a Masai Mara safari inquiry

  1. Choose your travel dates – you are required to provide your travel dates as this helps in pricing for your safari tour. Most travelers for the best time to visit Masai Mara, well Masai Mara is regarded as an year round safari destination as it offers more or less ideal climate with an abundance of wildlife for excellent game viewing throughout the year. However, if you are planning on visiting the reserve to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration, the best time to visit Masai Mara is between late July/early August to Mid – October. This period coincides with the peak season and prices tend to be higher during the peak season due to large numbers of visitors which makes it expensive to secure rooms due to the high demand.

if you are traveling on limited budget, it is best to avoid peak season and plan on visiting during the low season (April to June) or the shoulder season (January to March) when the prices are abit lower and the rooms are readily available.

  1. Group Size – a tour operator needs to know how many people will be traveling and in case you are travelling with kids, please indicate the ages of the children at the time of travel as it also helps in planning for your safari.

Solo travelers are welcome.

  1. Room plan

Depending on the number of people traveling on a particular safari, it is important to specify your preferred room plan that is single room, double, twin, triple or family room. This also helps when making a quotation (price for the tour).

  1. Mode of transport

There are two options of the transport that is road transport in a safari tour van or a 4×4 land cruiser jeep or a flying (fly in safari) which includes flights from Nairobi’s Wilson Airstrip to Masai Mara and return.

  1. Choose A Tour Operator

When choosing a tour operator for your Masai Mara safari, do a thorough research online so as to ensure that you settle for a well – established and reputable tour operator based in Kenya and is also a member of KATO (Kenya Association of Tour Operators), this way you are guaranteed to get value for your money and a memorable safari experience.

  1. Select Level Of Luxury

Masai Mara national reserve has some of the best hotels offering an extensive range of accommodation options catering for every budget, accommodations range from budget camping to Mid-range tented camps to luxurious safari lodges.

It is very important to specify your preferred type of accommodation, please keep in mind that your choice should be in line with your budget. You can either choose a budget, mid-range (lower to upper) and luxury camps and lodges.

  • Luxury tents and lodges tend to be small, boutique – type properties designed to merge into the surroundings and operate to the highest eco-friendly standards, the underlying idea is to offer luxury while being as close to nature as possible.

  • Midrange camps and lodges provide travelers with a superior experience at an affordable price, many of the mid range camps have a more lodge-like featires and tend to be large than the small exclusive or mobile camps that come and usually have swimming pools, spacious common areas, well stocked gift shops and spas.

  • Budget camps and lodges – these are meant to cater for the price conscious travelers, most of the safari lodges and camps classified as budget are located outside the main Masai Mara national reserve.

  1. Add Optional Activities

Other than a standard Masai Mara Safari package that includes the main safari costs such as accommodation and meals, transport from and back to Nairobi, safari game excursions and park entry gees. You can also choose to include some additional activities such as hot air balloon safari, Masai Village tour, nature and bush walks and bush meals and sundowners. All these activities are regarded as optional activities and they come at an added cost.

How To Book A Masai Mara Safari
Maasai mara game sighting
  1. Get A Quote

After provided by all the information above you can now request for a quotation based on your itinerary, please ensure to check all your requirements that are included in the pricing and also confirm the whether the accommodation is on full board, half board or bed and breakfast.

If you decide to book a road safari, also check the type of vehicle, it could be either a safari Tour van or a 4X4 Land Cruiser Jeep that carries up to 7 persons per vehicle. Tour vans are the most common mode of transport for safari tourists and they cost less than other vehicle type.

The 4X4 Toota Land cruisers are more expensive than the Tour Vans as they are large, four wheel drive vehicles that make rough road travel slightly more comfortable.

  1. Book Your Safari

After getting the quotations, choose a quote that fits your budget for the tour, typical booking conditions require a deposit with balance paid a month prior to commencement of arrangement.

Note: Booking conditions include deposit payment and cancellation terms/policy will be provided by your operator.

7. Payment

Typical modes of payment for a Masai Mara safari used by Tour operators in Kenya include Credit Card (Visa or MasterCard), through secure online payment system or through the Paypay system. Once your booking confirmed and your sales consultant has emailed you the invoice, you will then receive an email with a link that directs you to a secure online payment attracts a surcharge of between 3.7% depending on your credit card company, How To Book A Masai Mara Safari

Payment can also be made by debit card in the same way as credit cards, note that bank transfer fees of between 3 to 5% will apply.

8. Documentation

After making full payment, ensure that you get a receipt for any payment made, some of the documents to get include payment vouchers, hotel vouchers, itinerary document which you will use for Visa application, Covid indemnity form and terms & conditions for your booking.

Prior to your safari, check for your passport, Health Cards (Vaccination certificates as required), Airline tickets, Credit Cards and Insurance papers. Ensure that all the documents are in order and up to date. Your passport must have at least 2 blank pages and 6 months of validity from the proposed date of exit from Kenya, How To Book A Masai Mara Safari.

9. Entry Requirement To Kenya

All travelers flying into Kenya must fill a health surveillance form online after check –in and prior to arrival, after submitting the form you will receive a QR code via email which has to be shown to port health officials in order to proceed to arrival immigration.

You must also present a negative COVID – 19 PCR test taken within 96 hours prior to departure, you can get the list of countries exempted from quarantine upon arrival here.

All visitors planning to visit Masai Mara are required to have a visa to enter Kenya and are advised to apply for the Via in advance via the Kenya e-visa website. Visas are no longer available, the processing time for an e-visa is 2 business days.

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