AYK938 - Kenya - Tanzania Adventure

Hi all

I've just booked onto the Kenya-Tanzania adventure for sept 09.  I'm really keen to hear from anyone else whose either doing this one or has done it.  I'll travelling on my own and to date the furthest I've been from the UK is Paris, I'm a bit a late starter in that respect.

Personally looking forward to seeing some wildlife as well as some amazing scenery - looks like it's going to be great (and only 11 months to go!)

 Paul

Hi Paul,

I've just booked on to the same trip, it should be great. Are you doing the balloon ride?

Cheers, Rob

Hi Rob

Only a few months to go now ! (not that I have been counting).  I'm still undecided about the balloon trip - I also like idea of a game drive as well; I'll ponder that one over the coming months!

I've been spending the last few months pulling together suitable clothing and kit - the contrasting conditions of hot days and coolish nights makes for an interesting mix of stuff. 

I recently found a Flickr stream from some guys who had previously done the trip - have a look at www.flickr.com and search for exodus ayk.  Looks awesomely good!

Hi Paul

I'm on the same trip. I'm sooo excited about it! Only few months to go. I'm travelling on my own too and at the moment I'm trying to sort out the vaccinations. I haven't done anything yet about packing. I'm travelling quite frequently and I always leave this boring part until the last minute.

I just wanted to ask you, if you are going to arrange your visas from here? You see I've got Greek passport and I'm not sure if it's going to be that easy to take the visas from there, but I presume that they have the same rules for all EU countries.

All the best

Johnny

Hi Johnny

The trip is getting closer by the day, seems like I've still got so much to do.  I am just in the process of organising my vacinations - which is proving to be a task in it's own right.

 I'm going to organise my visas in advance through travcour.  It's more expensive but at least I'll be able to arrive and not worry about it (I'm a first time traveller - so it's all kind of new to me !).  There's a link on the web site to Travcour - they can advise you on exactly what you need (They are really helpful).  If you give them your trip code, they be able to direct you to the forms you need to fill in (there's one for Tanzania, one for Kenya).

 Look forward to meeting you on the trip

 

Paul

 

phantomsnapper

Did this one last year, it was a classic!

Take plenty of spare batteries for your camera as charging is difficult, a 3 way adapter might also be useful. It can rain and get quite cold but the next day it can be blisteringly hot.

be prepared for interesting surprises.

Hi Paul and Jonny,

Not long until this trip now! Did you decide on the balloon trip Paul? I decided to do it and have booked on. I got my vaccinations last week so starting to get organised. Did you guy's get your visa's in advance? I was going to just get them on arrival.

Looking forward to meeting everyone.

Cheers, Rob

Hi Rob

 I also decided to go on the balloon safari - I saw something on the TV recently about ballooning in Africa and thought it looked amazing.

I've done all my jabs apart from yellow fever, which is booked for next month.  I'm also planning on doing my visas in advance - as it's just one less thing to have to think about.

I think I've more or less got all my kit together (my local outdoor store has been doing a lot of buy one get one free offers on clothing, which proved to be useful).  I spent last week practicing rolling up my Therma-rest, it can be a bit of a fight to get is small enough to fit in the bag.  I've a few camera bits to get still, and I'm fighting the temptation to get a bigger lens !!

I have a feeling the next few weeks will pass quite quickly !

Hi guys!

It's getting closer and I'm getting more and more excited! :) So we' re all going on the balloon safari, great! I'm finishing next week with my yellow fever jab and I want to ask my GP to prescribe me some antibiotics for travellers' diarrhoea just in case... I've got the malaria tablets and I've sent my papers for the visas. You pay more if you get them in advance but better to have peace of mind. I'm sure you can get them on arrival too. Trying to sort out other things now, clothes,bags, sleeping bags etc. I don't know what money to take with me.Exodus recommends USD, Kenyan and Tanzanian shillings, better cash but how much??I thing I'll take more USD which can be used in both countries, hopefully...

About the camera, I'm getting my compact Olympus m800. Might not have great zoom but so much easier to carry it around and I really hope the animals to come very close to me so I can get good captures of them!Not so sure about the lions though... :)

All the best

Johnny

 

With regard to the money I'm thinking of just taking USD cash, from what I can gather you get the best rate of exchange in the country itself.

I have given in and bought a telephoto lens for my camera for this trip, I'm hoping to get a couple of decent photo's fingers crossed. Really looking forward to the balloon trip too. Less than 8 weeks now :)

Rob

I'm think along the same lines - USD in cash, I'll keep a credit card in reserve (I'm thinking about a prepaid one).

I read somewhere that when travelling in Africa you should (before you leave) lay out all of your gear and all of your money on a bed, then take half the gear and twice the money!  I'm kind of in that position with camera stuff, I have a 70-300 zoom, but kind of find myself wanting a 120-400 - which has more reach, but is heavy and expensive (two words I don't like!).

The trip seems so close now, it's almost a bit of a panic - every time I think I have everything, I think of something else I must have.

I took my kids back garden camping at the weekend and that gave me the chance to test my sleeping bag and Thermarest - they worked well, so hopefully they'll be up to the Ngorongoro crater. 

Hi Paul

I've just got back from this trip and am writing in reply to your queries on our forum. First of all, don't bother getting visas beforehand. You won't save any time and they'll be cheaper at the border. 

Secondly, take only US Dollars. I took $750 with me. It was a little more than I needed, but meant that I had plenty of money to do all of the optional trips/buy souvenirs etc. Some of the prices of the optional activities on the trip notes are incorrect. The kili hike only cost about $70, the t-shirt is $20, they don't do the cooking/drumming lesson anymore and they didn't mention a $20 walking safari at Lake Naivasha that you can do.

The weather was pretty good throughout the trip. Hot and sunny during the day, cool at night. The Ngorogoro Crater wasn't as cold as we expected, and the facilities at the campsite were quite nice (Simba A camp). I took a microfleece and a the Northface windwall fleece. They were a perfect combination for the cool evenings/windy game drives. I would also recommend a cotton scarf to cover your face during dusty drives though (Nakuru means place of dust!!!). 

Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip. You're going to have an amazing time. 

Angela

 

Hi Angela

 Thanks for the info - really useful stuff to know,  with less that six weeks to go I'm started to officially feel exited about the trip. I'm currently mentally packing my bags and wondering if I've forgotten anything. 

Pleased to hear about the visas being easy - I was going to do them in advance, but I think I'll wait to I arrive now - having downloaded the forms from Travcour, they're a nightmare to fill in and expensive!

Pleased to hear your trip went well - can't wait for ours to starts.  

Less than month to go guys !

How's everyone's preparation going - I have my yellow fever jab booked this weekend (should be fun) and hopefully find out what anti malaria tablets I'll be taking.

Tried test packing my stuff at the weekend - no real problems, other than that my camera bag seems to weigh more than my kitbag.

Hi Paul,

Yeah not long now, 4 weeks tomorrow! Think I've got everything I need now, fingers crossed anyway. I haven't been as organised as you and done a test pack yet but hopefully it won't be too heavy. I'm trying to decide wether to take my little camera as well as my SLR, or just the SLR.......

Ha yes - I've been through so many debates as to what camera stuff to take.  I decided to take a compact as well as the DSLR kit, so long as I still have pocket space.  I was always aware how much space I'd sacrifice to camera stuff, however I seem to adept to keep adding more and more stuff !

 I thought it would be worth taking a compact for those snapshot moments, when fast shooting and long reach are not massively important.

Hi All,

 Just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Julie and I am travelling with my husband Matthew on the same trip as you in 3 weeks time. With people I have spoken to while getting things together for the trip, I have only heard good things about Exodus and the places we will be visiting.

After reading your posts, it is reassuring that you all have the same queries and have been doing the same preparations as us. I organised our visas from here direct with the high commission. For Kenya, we just got a single visa entry, but have been told that since we are coming back to Nairobi to fly out, they will include the transit visa in this if we let them know when we enter Kenya.

We also have our sleeping bags, thermarests and all the other bits and pieces sorted, but we do have to do a test pack, as I feel I won't have room in my bag for clothes! We had a very good sales person in North Face and he told us not to worry, that we would probably pack our bags 3 or 4 times before it all fits, but he reassured us everything we need will fit in the bags and we will eventually find any spare space.

He also told us to make sure we take good clothes for Zanzibar. Apparently it can be dressy especially for restaurants and clubs and wearing shorts and trainers for example can mean they won't let you in. Something to keep in mind, when you start taking things out of your bag that won't fit!

We also got a good tip on rolling the thermarests. If you roll it once with the valve open. Then close the valve, roll it out, fold in half and roll it again. Open the valve to let out the excess air, then roll it up properly. It should get most of the air out this way and be easier to roll. I think I still need more practice! I haven't been camping since I was about 15!

Hope everyone enjoys the trip and looking forward to meeting you all

Julie

 

Hi Julie!

Welcome to our group!Thanks for the tips. I'm glad I'm not the only one with these problems. I haven't packed anything yet, but it seems that the only thing I can fit in my bag is the camping equipment. It would be useful to pack some clothes as well!:)

Paul won't worry too much about formal clothes, a pair of good jeans with a shirt and a pair of shoes would be enough.Not sure where am I going to put the extra pair of shoes though...

Exodus recommends to get some more formal clothes for Zanzibar too.

The most important thing is to enjoy the whole trip and not to get stressed with these things. And if we don't have everything needed, it will only make the whole adventure, more adventurous!Fantastic!:) 

Looking forward to meeting everyone in 3 weeks!

Johnny

Hi Julie,

Top tips, thanks! Not sure I'll be able to fit a pair of shoes in though lol.

Can't wait to meet everyone in less than 3 weeks now! :)

Rob

1 week to go !

I think after many attempts I've finished packing - kit bag weighs in at 15Kgs and the camera backpack 7kgs.  Sadly the shiney shoes had to go - I figure if shoes are needed I'll get them there (I have my eye on a pair of white winkle pickers like Ewan McGregor got in Long Way Down!).  I also had to discard my gorilla-pod in favour of a bean bag (now that's a phrase I bet no-one has ever said before!)

  I keep thinking there's something I've forgotten or something is going to go wrong at the last minuite -  I had a nightmare last week that I arrived, but my bag had split in the hold loosing my camera charger and boxer shorts !!

 Does anyone have any thoughts about maybe meeting up at the airport and grabbing a coffee or something before boarding?  I have no idea of what facilities terminal 4 has to offer!

Hi Paul!

Less than a week!I can't believe it! My packing is nearly done but I keep adding things all the time!

I can imagine being on a safari trip without camera charger and boxer shorts... it's a proper nightmare!lol Hopefully it wont happen in real life!

Meeting up before boarding it's a great idea. Now finding one another will be a bit of a problem but what about wearing our safari hats, we can be spotted easier and we will be into that safari spirit! Arranging a specific time it's not easy as we don't know what the queues will be like in the check-in but I will be there around 4-ish.

Can't wait!:)

Hey Paul, hey Jonny,

Less than a week, I can't believe it, suddenly I'm not feeling prepared at all! I think meeting before is a great idea, there's a Costa Coffee in terminal 4 departures (on the first floor), we could attempt to meet there at 6:30pm, assuming the check-in queues aren't too horrendous. What do you think?

I'm struggling with my packing at the moment, I'm blindly assuming it all be ok in the end!

Rob

Hi guys

I think meeting at  Costa from around 6.30 is a great idea - I'll stick a bit of A4 paper with AYK on it on my camera bag (either way I'll be the bloke with glasses looking dazed and confused!).

 

Fine then, 6:30 at Costa Cafe! Paul you are funny :) I wear glasses too, have stubble (not very clear on the picture) and possibly wearing something in khaki.

Looking forward to meeting you all!

Johnny

 

Hi Guys,

I think meeting up is a great idea. I presume you mean airside - after we have checked in and gone through security?

We could always start asking random people sitting in Costa enjoying their coffee, if they are on our trip :) I am sure we will be able to find each other!  My husband Matt also wears glasses and I have long hair (but no glasses), but probably best to look out for the north face logo on our bags!

Just 4 days to go!

Julie 

Hi Guys,

I did this trip last Christmas and the wildlife was great.  I found that I could charge the camera OK on the truck (just try to share out access as there is only a few sockets).  It sounds like you might have come across my pics on Flickr (if you haven't try searching AYK044).  A long lens is a idea good.

One tip: pack stuff in plastic bags as you leave most of it in the truck and it can get very dusty.

Enjoy.

Hi All

I think I've reached the point where if I've forgotten anything it's too late to do anything about it!

RobT - I had look at your Flickr set - great set of images, gives a terrific idea of what we can expect.

RobP - hope the packing has worked out - I did the blind faith approach and it eventually works out.  I've packed a fair amount of my kit into a 20L compression sack I got in Millets, it's waterproof and should also help with dust.  Funny experience packing - I've wound up with a good 7Kg grace one weight, but still have a full kitbag (darn camping stuff!)

Julie, I like the idea of asking random costa customers if they're on the trip - that could be good fun and help pass the time too.

See you all soon !

Hi All

I think I've reached the point where if I've forgotten anything it's too late to do anything about it!

RobT - I had look at your Flickr set - great set of images, gives a terrific idea of what we can expect.

RobP - hope the packing has worked out - I did the blind faith approach and it eventually works out.  I've packed a fair amount of my kit into a 20L compression sack I got in Millets, it's waterproof and should also help with dust.  Funny experience packing - I've wound up with a good 7Kg grace one weight, but still have a full kitbag (darn camping stuff!)

Julie, I like the idea of asking random costa customers if they're on the trip - that could be good fun and help pass the time too.

See you all soon !

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