Anyone on Photographic Safari, 22nd June?

Hi, anyone else out there doing the photographic safari at Mara camp on the June 22nd departure? Be great to hear from any fellow photographers

Mark

Hi Mark, I will be going to Laikapia camp a few days before with a friend, and we'll join the group in the Mara camp.
Have you been on a trip with Paul before, and to the Mara? I stayed at the Bush camp in Oct 2012 and it was amazing. I can't wait to go back!
Emmanuelle

Hi Emmanuelle, good to hear from you and look forward to meeting you in June! Yes, I've been to Kenya and the Mara once before on a more budget trip in 2010 but always wanted to go back and spend more time there.

I've not been with Paul before, but I met him at one of Exodus's talks recently and had a chat with him about the trip - sounds fantastic and really looking forward to it now.

See you soon!
Mark

Hi Mark, Hi Emmanuelle,

Looking forward to meeting you. Can't wait for the trip to come round now.

Dan

Excitement really building now..... may be somewhat tempered by a visit for vaccinations tomorrow.

Yep! me too. Had a typhoid booster yesterday (and consequently dead arm today) but up to date on everything else.

Got my malaria (generic malarone) tablets as well, and cheapest I found was ASDA at about £1.20 a tablet.

Yeah - got all my boosters yesterday - whole lot had ran out - so suffering with the dead arm too, and a huge swelling where the Yellow fever went. I'm over in Dublin, so Malaria tablets (and all vaccinations) are sky high.

Just trying to sort out the final bits of camera gear now, and figuring out how tight they will be on the 15kg limit (might be just the 1 set of clothes at the present time)

Me too on camera kit. I've done a test pack of all the kit I'm taking and I'm going to struggle, so I'm personally aiming for just over. Main heavy items are 2 camera bodies, 70-200mm f2.8 and 300mm f2.8, then all the other stuff (wide-angle, extenders etc).

I've done a fair bit of reading round about the internal flights but it's hard to draw any conclusions. I think it'll come down to who we fly with (Air Kenya and Safarilink seem to be the main ones), and how busy the flight is.

I'm probably going to go very light on clothing and make full use of the laundry facilities. So long as I've got something warm and one change of clothes, should be OK I reckon.

Similar setup - here - was toying with getting the 400 2.8 instead of the 300 - but the weight may be the deciding factor and pushing back to 300mm and extender. Will see what the next few days bring as I have one last test of packing. Reckon if I can get to 20-21 then I’ll be happy to pay the excess baggage I reckon.

Yes, the trip details gave a baggage allowance for the trip, particularly the internal flights, which I adhered to. It seems your info is way out of date because other particpants took far more than the stated allowance. This meant that my trip was somewhat spoiled by having to leave my 'big' lens at home. That was disappointing.

Yep, I saw that too. From what I've read on Tripadvisor and other forums, so long as you're not taking the p*** and the flight isn't massively full, you'll either be alright or subject to a nominal excess charge, which I'm happy to cough up for. Certainly not enough risk to chance leaving some kit at home which I'll regret.

Worst case, if I have to leave some stuff in Nairobi, I'll dump clothes and smell for the week, so apologies in advance if it's you I'm sharing with! :-)

Hi Mark and Dan, luckily I was pretty much up to date with the vaccines, and got Malarone tablets from Sainsbury's pharmacy which are cheaper to Boots. I wouldn't worry to much about the excess luggage. As you said before, try to pack light regarding clothes etc for your check-in luggage. Then for your camera bag/hand luggage, take the gear you want as you definitely don't want to regret it when you are out there, best to pay the charge if need be. Last time my hand luggage was near 15kg, and it was absolutely fine. Just act as if it doesn't weigh much! I'll aim to have only 10kg for check-in luggage, so if they are really weighing all the bags at Wilson airport, I'm happy to pay the excess (I think it's roughly $5 per kg).
Just one month to wait now! So exciting! :o)

Thanks for the info Emmanuelle - going to go for it - like you say, gear that you want is more important than a few quid in excess baggage fees. Are you on safari before you meet up with us?

Mark - same applies re smells on my part if we end up sharing

Dan

Really looking forward to my first Safari now that the jabs are out of the way !
Caught up with PG last night at one of his talks, asked about what gear to take and I'm going to end up taking everything I have !!!!!
PG said you should take your 'longest' lens ideally 500mm but for us Nikon users probably the best option is the 80-400mm (Mk2) due to its weight, also take wide angle, and polarising filters essential
I will be taking 80-400mm, 70-200mm,24-70,20mm, 2* Camera Bodies, converters, loads of memory cards - like I said everything I own !
I'm off with Emmanuelle to the Laikipia Camp for a few days before the PG excursion - so catch up with you all at the Mara Camp

Cheers for the update Digger - taking the f2.8 400m and 2.8 70-200mm, plus wide angle and maybe a 50mm. 256 gig of memory cards (Should be enough for 8,000 shots) plus laptop. Gonna be amazing - here’s hoping we get the luck we need to see everything we hope for. Enoy Laikipia before hand - we’ll recognise you first - you’ll have the tan.

See you in a month - if you hear anything else, let us know

Cheers

Dan

According to another travel buddy who goes to Kenya every year, they now tend to enforce the excess baggage at Wilson airport, he said that he paid around $30. As we said before, it will be worth it. I'll be taking 80-400mm, 24-70mm and wide angle. Another thing, you don't need to get too many Kenyan shillings (I just spent under 200 last time - £1.50 - for coffee/water at the airport) but mainly USD. Can't wait to see you all in the Mara!

Thanks Emmanuelle, that's useful to know. I've just had my final joining instructions through from Exodus this morning, so nearly there!

Is anyone else on the flight from Heathrow? (KQ101, 22nd June)

Hi Mark, Emmanuelle, Dan, Digger. I'm heading out to the Mara the week after you - our paths may cross at the airstrip. It'll be my 3rd trip there with PG and i love it.

Re camera gear & baggage weights, last year i had 12kg of camera stuff, 2.5kg of clothes & (slightly over the limit!), about a kg of wine gums to pacify Paul - if you take any, just make sure they're genuine Maynards not cheapo Lidl or ASDA versions :)

Everything you've mentioned will be absolutely fine: f2.8 lenses are great for twilight shooting; the 24-70 & 70-200 give you the flexibility; my fiancée uses her 80-400 Mk2 and its excellent for this trip. Last year i took a 300mm f2.8 & convertors which was great for most things although as Digger mentioned, something longer is better for the birds. This year i'll be taking a 500mm instead of the 300 hoping to get some better shots of malachite kingfishers. (plus 16-35 or 24-70 & 70-200 lenses - ill pushing the wt limit even more this time).

Clothes wise, go light. Wear one set during the day, change to a fresh set for the evening and wear those the next day while the first set is laundered ready for that evening. The tents [we stayed at Mara North last year] are well supplied with towels, flannels, soap & shampoo so you only really need a toothbrush & toothpaste. A head torch is handy for walking to/from you tent.

Have a great flight - it goes without saying you'll have a fantastic time out on the Mara.

Thanks Paul - really helpful post. Reckon I’m just going to be on the 20kg mark - hopefully no more - well maybe 1 or 2kg (depending on wine gums)

Mark - I’m on that flight too.

Hi folks,

Just looking into final stuff to organise and just wanted to ask anyone who's been before -

On the letter we got from Paul Goldstein with hints and tips, he mentions downloading the visa forms to fill out in advance. I've had a google around for them but can't find anything obvious. If anyone's done this before, do you know where to download the form? Cheers.

Hi Mark, the form is on the Kenya High Commission website 'kenyahighcom.org.uk'. Forum doesn't allow to send a link, but you can google it. Once on the website, click on Services, then Visa or Forms & Downloads from the quick link.
It's a bad quality scan, but it's definitely the official form!
At least, you'll have all the info you need. I remember completing a card on the plane last time I went.
Digger and I are on that flight, but on 19th June. We'll meet you on the Mara airstrip! I can't wait!
See you soon, Emmanuelle

Awesome - thanks folks, that's one more thing ticked off the list! Looking forward to catching up with some of you at Heathrow, though I'm sure I'll still be on here before we go - not long now...

Looking forward to seeing you all soon, folks. If you're on group flight from Heathrow on Monday, I'll be the one with the massive green camera bag with an Exodus luggage tag. Cheers, Mark

Same Mark. I'm on a flight out of Dublin home at 4 today, then a weekend with family and friends, and train down to Heathrow on Monday for the flight.

I'll have a black camera rucksack with an exodus tag on as well.

Hopefully see you in the airport

All the best,

Dan

Well, looks like i’m tipping the scales at 22/23 Kilos.... can’t get any lighter.... after sun the next thing to go if it comes to that.....

See you soon

Dan

Add new comment

Login or register to post comments
Call us on 1300 131 564