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Mara Photographic Safari - Kenya - 28th March

Anonymous
Sun, 02/17/2008 - 13:15

Hi I'm booked to go on this trip and really looking forward to it (fingers crossed that everything will be ok and the trip goes ahead, given current climate!) - I would love to hear from anyone that is also booked to go.

If anyone else is reading this that has been to Kenya so far this year I would like to hear how you got on.

Thanks

Jackie 

Anonymous
Mon, 02/18/2008 - 12:59

Many thanks for that - sounds like you had a fab trip - your website certainly made interesting reading!  This won't be my first trip to Africa, Kenya, or the Mara - and probably won't be my last either - Africa has that effect on me!

Jackie

Anonymous
Mon, 02/18/2008 - 15:51

Thanks for the reply: I was on a trip last year with a couple on their 13th African trip!! They don't go anywhere else, and don't anticipate doing so for a while left with so much they still want to see. They said their best trip of all was to Namibia - so we're off there in September. I too loved the Mara. Have a great trip and hope all goes well with the current unrest.
Bill

Anonymous
Mon, 02/18/2008 - 21:47

Hi Bill

I was in Namibia last October and loved it so much that I'm going back this year too! Did the coastal circuit - from Windhoek up to Etosha, via Africat (amazing!!) on to Twyfelfontein, Palmwag and then down the Skeleton coast, Cape Cross, Swakopmund and Namib desert to the dunes at Sossusvlei - superb!  This year I'm going with an 'Africat supporter' organised trip again via Africat (of course!) to Etosha and then north up to the Caprivi strip and on into Botswana and possibly Zambia, ending up at Victoria Falls - details still to be finalised, but I fly out on 26 Sept!

You will enjoy Namibia - if you set up another website I'd be interested to see the account of your trip!     

regards

Jackie

Anonymous
Tue, 02/19/2008 - 10:55

Hi Jackie,

My wife (Christine) and I are booked on the same trip as you. Don't know if you've been to Kicheche before but we stayed there with Jonathan Scott in October 2006. Had a great time and we're looking forward to it. As you say, let's keep fingers and everything else crossed. Reports are that it's very quiet tourist-wise in the Mara so, although that's tragic for the local economy, at least us hardier souls will have things more to ourselves. Look forward to meeting you.

Bob

Anonymous
Tue, 02/19/2008 - 13:40

Hi Bob and Christine

Thanks for responding - good to hear from you! I have been to Kicheche (Private camp) before - in June 06 on the classic Kenya trip - also had a great time, so am looking forward to returning, also bringing a friend (Maureen) this time who hasn't been to this part of the Mara before - and it is my first time travelling with Paul and Jonathan.

So that makes 4 of us so far - and I believe that there are 8 of us booked on the trip!

Look forward to meeting you!

Jackie

 

 

Anonymous
Tue, 02/19/2008 - 16:36

Hi Jackie,

As of yesterday, apparently it had gone up to 12.

Bob 

 

 

Anonymous
Wed, 02/20/2008 - 08:09

Hi Bob

Thanks for that - interesting, obviously people are getting more confident about going to Kenya now, probably because things seem to have quietened down - at least media-wise (this is all to the good, of course).

Jackie

Anonymous
Mon, 02/18/2008 - 22:11

Hi Jackie, Thanks for the reply once again and your memories of Namibia - Really looking forward to it. Have a great trip. Now we'd better hand this back to your fellow-travellers!!
(PS Diary of Botswana trip, Vic Falls etc. also on my website)
Bill

Anonymous
Wed, 02/20/2008 - 08:11

Thanks Bill. Will check your website re Botswana etc.

Jackie

Anonymous
Sun, 03/02/2008 - 13:56

Apparently this trip is now fully booked with 17 of us going. Would still be good to hear from any of you!

Jackie 

Anonymous
Sat, 03/08/2008 - 16:21

Hello Jackie

I have received my final joining instructions today - how exciting.  I am travelling on my own and I believe you are travelling with a girlfriend?  I just love Africa and can't wait to be back there again!  Look forward to meeting with you on 28th.

Jill 

 

Anonymous
Tue, 03/18/2008 - 23:21

Hi,

The paperwork is through and yes, getting over excited about it!  It's been far too long since I've been to Africa, about 5 years, but Kenya was nearly 20 years ago and it'll my girlfriend Victoria's first visit......even being stabbed by several needles couldn't wipe the excited smile!  Better go and check the camera's still working......

Looking forward to meeting you all.

Chris

Anonymous
Wed, 03/19/2008 - 09:19

Hi Chris

Good to hear from yet another over excited person!      Look forward to meeting you and Victoria on the 28th.

Janice 

Anonymous
Wed, 03/19/2008 - 14:19

Hi Chris and Victoria

Think we are all getting excited now!

Look forward toseeing you both next week!

Jackie

Anonymous
Wed, 03/19/2008 - 16:57

Me too!!!!!!

Jill

Anonymous
Sat, 03/08/2008 - 14:04

Hi all

It was good to read everyone's comments.    This will be my first trip to the Masai Mara and I am as excited about being there and experiencing the wildlife as I am about the chance to improve my photographic skills (they need improving!).    I will also bring my binoculars.      In June 07 I went to Africa for the first time - this was to Namibia.     If any of you are interested you can see the photos I took there on http://picasaweb.google.com/janicetipping/namibiawithraymearsJune2007

By the way, I received my final documents for the trip from Exodus today - including the luggage tags!    It must be happening!

Janice

Anonymous

I received my documents through today too!! How exciting - its going to happen!  I have just logged on to this site and read the comments, which is a really nice idea as I am a little apprehensive about it all, travelling on my own.  I have been to Zambia and Kruger National Park and loved every minute, but in 2006 my experience of a lifetime - I volunteered for 3 weeks at the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia and what a time I had and what beautiful animals I met!

I Look forward to hearing more.

 Jill Howie

Anonymous
Sat, 03/08/2008 - 15:27

Hi Jill

I too am travelling on my own.    I went on the Namibia trip I mentioned on my own too - and met some great people.    My husband Keith is not one for flying, Africa or photography - but enjoys me enjoying such trips!      I am sure you will find that we soon settle in and meet others - we will all like Africa, wildlife and photography - very good starting points for friendship.

Look forward to meeting you on the 28th.

 Janice  

Anonymous
Wed, 03/12/2008 - 08:47

Hi again Jill

Just read your comments about Namibia and CCF - are you a supporter of Friends for Conservation as well by any chance? If so do you go to any of their events? If so, then we already have something in common and like what has been said elsewhere I'm sure we will all get on, given our shared interests - Africa, animals, photography........... 

bye for now

Jackie

Anonymous
Thu, 03/13/2008 - 07:30

Hi Jackie

No - I am not a supporter of Friends for Conservation too - I go to some of the National Geographical Society talks in Town though - you?

Jill

Anonymous
Thu, 03/13/2008 - 08:09

Hi Jill

Yes! I do go there for talks - am going tonight in fact - for the Born Free lecture on 'My Travels with Big Cats'!! Looking forward to it!

Jackie

Anonymous
Fri, 03/14/2008 - 07:36

Oh no Jackie - I was there last night too!!!!  In tears most of the time!!! Such a delightful evening I thought too.

Jill 

 

Anonymous
Fri, 03/14/2008 - 08:27

Oh my - what a shame we didn't meet up - I sat on my own, in tears as well - I thought it was wonderful - especially the bit with Christian and the 'boys' when they went to see him again (I'm welling up now just thinking about it!).

Wasn't too sure about the Romanian Queen? though - she seemed to have fur on that cape!!! But at least they made a good donation!

Jackie 

Anonymous
Fri, 03/14/2008 - 15:27

Oh I know - I have been telling friends at work today and ended up all tearful!  So, so amazing that Christian recognised them - such a lovely, lovely tale.

I said exactly the same thing about Queenie - mink draped around her neck - not good planning eh?

Can I just ask Jackie - money - it is US dollars we are talking about isn't it?  Dumb me or what!!

Jill 

 

Anonymous
Fri, 03/14/2008 - 18:37

Jill,

I hope Jackie doesn't mind my responding to your point about dollars.

Yes, the additional park fees if incurred are quoted in US dollars but that's only because it's a more stable currency than the Kenyan shilling and it means the costs are less likely to fluctuate.  To pay any camp bills you can use dollars or Kenyan shillings.

In any event, you won't need to carry dollars just to pay for any additional park fees if you prefer to use a debit/credit card to settle up at the end, as the camp has the usual card facilities.  I tend to take Kenyan shillings so I can leave tips for the drivers and staff at the end but again they'd be very happy to accept dollars if you have them. 

The meal at The Rusty Nail on the way back is an extra (so Exodus tell me) and it's probably easier to pay in Kenyan shillings if you have them.  Dollars are certainly OK and they will of course take them but sometimes they might have problems with giving change.

Not long now!

Bob

Anonymous
Sat, 03/15/2008 - 09:38

Bob

 Thank you so much for the info re money - totally confused now!!!  No - that is really helpful and I guess it is best to have some of each to cover every eventuality!

Off to Twickenham now to see the rugby!!

Look forward to meeting you.

Jill

Anonymous
Sun, 03/16/2008 - 17:58

Hi Jill

Bob has given a good reply!!  I'm just going to take shillings - this horrid weather today makes your thoughts turn to our trip all the more!! Not long now!

Jackie 

Anonymous
Tue, 03/18/2008 - 08:19

Hi Jill

Re That Coat - apparently it is embrassment all round at Born Free - Virginia has had to ask that no photos be shown of the princess (not a queen after all).........

Jackie

Anonymous
Tue, 03/18/2008 - 19:20

Oh gosh - what a blunder on her part eh?  Well husband too I guess!  It was rather thoughtless wasn't it.  Poor Virginia - isn't she a delightful lady too.

See you soon - very soon now!

Jill

 

 

Anonymous
Mon, 03/17/2008 - 16:59

Wow - yes - thank you Janice - more volunteering coming on - I can feel it!!

Thank you

Jill

Anonymous
Sun, 03/09/2008 - 07:27

Hi fellow travellers 

Do any of you know if it is best to exchange money at Heathrow or at Nairobi Airport?    This is my first trip to Kenya.

I am aware we need to apply for a visa at Nairobi Airport?    Is this straightforward?    

Janice

 

 

Anonymous
Sun, 03/09/2008 - 09:32

Hi Janice

 I have applied for a Visa over here already - is this the same Visa as you are talking about?

Jill

Anonymous
Sun, 03/09/2008 - 12:21

Hi

Yes.    I understand from Exodus that the Visa can be obtained at Nairobi Airport and paid for there.     On the trip notes it states 'the cost for British Nationals is $50 and can be obtained on arrival'.          Although I see it also says that for UK residents they recommend the visa agency Travour for obtaining a visa with a phone number given of 020 7223 6295 or www.travcour.com 

I am now feeling a bit ignorant and confused - I am British (i.e. born in Britain, with British parents and British nationality and with a British passport) - is this the same as a British National?      Should I obtain my visa in advance?     

Any guidance welcome! 

 Janice       

Anonymous
Wed, 03/12/2008 - 18:27

Hi Bob

Thanks for helpful comments.      After reading your comments and those of others more experienced than me,  I have decided to get my Visa in the UK.     I am not that far from London, so I travelled up to the Kenya High Commission Office on Monday, made the application and will collect the Visa this Friday.   Saves any worry about a delay in Kenya and holding us all up!     I will also get some money here in the UK.     Yes, the Kicheche website is really good - it looks a fantastic place - and, as you say, it gets the excitement juices going!      See you on the 28th.

Janice 

Anonymous
Thu, 03/13/2008 - 07:27

Good Morning Bob

Just a quickie - but re Visa - yes agencies do charge - I have paid £63!!

Look forward to meeting you on 28th - getting closer!

Jill 

 

Anonymous
Wed, 03/12/2008 - 08:35

Hi Janice

Good to hear from you on this site!! I think your questions about visa and currency have been answered elsewhere. I got my vise direct from the High Commission - it was very straightforward - as already described.

As for currency - I usually get mine from M&S  - just not sure how much we will need given that most things are included - it'll only be tips, souvenirs etc I guess as well as that $40 mentioned in the trip notes for possible reserve entry fees!

I'll look out for you at the airport!

Jackie 

Anonymous
Mon, 03/24/2008 - 08:30

Check out the following programme on the BBC iplayer (located on the BBC website)

My Life with Wild Animals: Simon King

This was broadcast at 6.10 p.m. on BBC 2 on Easter Day (Sunday 23rd March).     More inspiration for our trip (if any more was needed).  

Janice 

 

Anonymous
Mon, 03/24/2008 - 09:06

Hi Janice

I have just taken a look - the first time ever I have looked at iplayer!  Just lovely - but would you believe I have speakers here but they are not connected - how frustrating to watch it without sound!  This will have to be my first job when I return from our trip - to get the speakers connected by some kind soul!

Thank you for telling us about the programme - I like Simon King so much!

Jill

Anonymous
Tue, 03/25/2008 - 08:16

Hi Janice (and Jill!)

Yes - luckily I saw it was on and watched it - just what we needed to get us really ready for Friday -  it's coming around very quickly now! Not yet checked out iplayer - will do so - do you need anything special like a TV card for your computer??.

I think that there a new Tiger programme starting on BBC1 while we are away as well.

Jackie

Anonymous
Wed, 03/26/2008 - 08:19

Thanks Bob - I'll give it a try!

The Tiger Tales programme is on Sunday on BBC1 at 8.00pm I think. Read a review and it sounds fascinating - Sir David A narrates -so it must be good! 

Looking forward to meeting up with everyone v. soon!

Jackie

Anonymous
Thu, 03/27/2008 - 15:04

IT'S ARRIVED - SEE YOU ALL TOMORROW - SAFE JOURNEY!!

Jill

Anonymous
Fri, 04/18/2008 - 14:10

I started this link a couple of months ago so I feel I should now close it off - we went to Kenya and to Kicheche in the Mara and I think I can speak for all 17 of us when I say that we had the most fantastic of times!

Paul Goldstein and Johnathan Scott were great 'hosts' - they gave willingly of their time and their knowledge, especially to those of us not quite so confident of our camera skills!  It was an amazing trip - no, it was an experience!

Paul has written on the Kicheche website of the 'feline holy trinity' and boy did they turn out for us - in spades! The cheetah Mrembo and her cubs, Supuu the leopard and her cubs and who can forget the Kicheche pride - big males, lionesses and their cubs. Amazing!!

To anyone reading this - and thinking abut visiting Kenya - go!! You will have a trip of a lifetime! And if your trip is fortunate to include a visit to Kicheche and the Mara then you will truly experience Wild Africa at it's best - the country, the people and the animals meet all expectations.

Jackie  

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