Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Direct flight: Kenya to Victoria Falls

We have many enquiries from people wanting to visit Africa once and see two of the most famous highlights in the same trip, namely the great annual migration and Victoria Falls. Kenya Airways have now made this possible by offering a direct flight from Nairobi to Livingston. Why not combine the migration in the Masai Mara (July-Oct) with a visit to Victoria Falls.

Here is the announcement:   Kenya Airways is to launch new flights to Livingstone Zambia, it's second destination in the country.Flights start on June 2, 2013 and will operate three times weekly via Harare. The city of Livingstone joins the airline's network of destinations as it works on growing the routes to over 115 by the year 2021, as forecast in the airline's 10 year growth strategy. Kenya Airways already flies to Zambia's capital, Lusaka.

The new route mainly targets tourist traffic to Victoria Falls whilst also strengthening Kenya Airways' presence in Africa.The lack of strong national carriers in the southern region has created an opportunity for KQ to connect passengers from these countries to other cities in Africa and beyond. The main competitors in the region include South African Airways and Ethiopian Airways. Both airlines already serve Zambia with Ethiopian Airways expected to launch flights to Ndola later this year. (Ndolais the third largest city and commercial capital of Zambia).

Sunsafaris can assist in arranging a your safari

Monday, March 18, 2013

Migration 2013: Controversy about migration

The Tanzania and Kenyan wildlife communities are once again in conflict after quoted some senior Tanzanian wildlife officials claiming that the migration may not enter the Masai Mara this year or in the near future. This is a view we don't share and seems more like a fight over tourism than anything substantiated. It is an incredibly one-sided article, without any balance from the Kenyan side.

"Increasing human activities at Maasai Mara, which is the Kenyan side of the Serengeti eco-system, is what causes the annual migration of wildebeest to reduce and eventually stop going into the vicinity altogether," said Godson Kimaro the Senior Park Warden at Serengeti National Park. See the full article at:

Kenyan and Tanzanian tourism authorities have never been able to agree to open up the border crossing (except under stringent criteria) to allow tourists to move between the Serengeti and Masai Mara. Instead, visitors have to go out of the parks, travel many miles and hours and re-enter the same eco-system, but in a different country. There is extremely limited direct access. We feel this is more to do with short-sighted tourist protectionism than providing the best experience to their joint customers, the tourists. This latest criticism seems like more of the same. Some reasons why we disagee:
- You can't judge the migratory patterns based on  one season. There are a huge number of factors that influence the migration, mainly weather
- At least some of the Masai Mara herds migrate south from within Kenya. Not all the Mara migration comes north from the Serengeti
- The Masai Mara has generally had good migration seasons in the recent past. Generally, the migration will enter the Masai Mara in July and leave in October. Some years they arrive earlier or/and leave earlier, but this rule-of-thumb has been accurate the last few years.
- Evidence from last year's migration refutes the claims of those quoted in the article.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Migration update 2013: More rain and more foals

There has been a lot of rain in the southern Serengeti. A number of the road are impassable or extremely muddy. Game viewing has been good although challenging in the wet conditions. There are thousands of foals making hunting easy for the predators. The wildebeest are mostly around the outer Ngorongoro slopes and Ndutu. There is plenty of grazing in these conditions, but the herds are quite static.

The rich soil that makes the grasses so attractive also tends to hold water making dark thick mud. This makes it an adventure to move around at this time of year. Even the best Landrover with the most experienced driver can find the going tough! Safari visitors are rewarded with excellent game viewing across spectacular plains with very few other tourists around.

At the time of year we generally recommend the permanent structure camps like Ndutu Safari Lodge or one of the hotel-style lodges in the central Serengeti around Seronera.