AQW - East Africa Safari

Hi,

Anyone else booked to go on this tour on 21 October? 

Debbie

jballam

Jenny

Kat76

Hi there

Yep, I'm booked on this trip. It's my first with Exodus so am both excited and a tad nervous. Sounds like a few now booked on too - should be amazing! :o)

Kathryn  

 

Hi Kathryn

This will be my third Exodus trip and I can't wait.  Have you been on safari before?  If not, a word to the wise, don't pack any black or navy t-shirts to wear.  There's a particular fly that is drawn to the colours and they hurt when they bite!  We learnt the hard way in Tanzania!

See you soon!

Debbie

I'm going too.  I'll be carrying Debbie's bags and winding Jenny up.  Lots.  This is my 4th trip with Exodus (3rd safari), and all have been great so far.  The wildlife and closeness of it is amazing, in fact the only boring bits are the flights there and back ;-)

 Grant

My 8th or so with Exodus but first Safari. Anyone else arriving in Nairobi the evening before (21st)?

Dave 

We're arriving on the scheduled flight but staying an extra night in Nairobi on the way home. Not long to go now!  Next job - get the visas sorted...

Debbie

Kat76

Hi folks

Nice to see some replies - getting close now! I'm travelling on the Exodus organised flights there and back. 

Debbie - thanks for advice re: black and navy tops. Think I read it's the tsetse fly or something?! Nice! I went to South Africa afew years ago on a conservation project but 1st time to Kenya and Tanzania, 1st time with Exodus and my 1st experience of having to sort out malaria, yellow fever etc. Nightmare!  You mentioned getting visas sorted - I asked Exodus if best to get these before the trip and she said you can just leave until you arrive. Would you recommend sorting out beforehand though? I'd rather sort and have one less thing to worry about to be honest. 

Kathryn

Hi Kathryn,

yes, you can get the visas in country, but it can be quite slow.  We tend to get ours sorted out beforehand, to save the faffing on arrival and you can get through customs a lot quicker when we're in the vehicle (transit Kenya to Tanzania and back again) if everyone has a visa up front.

See you at Heathrow!

 Grant 

Kat76

Hi Grant

Thanks for the advice - sounds like it'll make life easier to sort the visas beforehand. Another addition to my 'to do' list! It seems to be never ending! Lol

Am sure I'll be back with more questions before we go if you guys don't mind advising me :o) 

Thanks, Kathryn 

Exodus advise just get them on arrival and there's no way I have time to get visas in advance as I'll be using my passport too much before then.

 

Dave 

jballam

Hi Kathryn, defintitely get the visas sorted before you go as it saves so much time and does not delay starting our holiday!  We use Travcour the Exodus recommended visa company - really quick efficient service.   Don't forget plenty Jungle Fever mosi repellant!!! 

Cant' wait - 32 days

Jenny

jballam

Hi Kat,

Have to say, we did not bother with rabies or meningitis jabs, although I believe Deb had the meningitis.  Don't forget to attach your yellow fever certificate to your passport - after your visas of course!  I was lucky enough to get my jabs done at my loal GPs and was also fortunae just to need a Typhoid booster this year.  Don't forget whilst you are at the Docs to get your Malarone or equivalent.  Just think, a little pain for a lot of gain! 

If you are local-ish to London it may be an idea to actually take them there yourself, I think it is a three day turnaround at both embassies.  Don't forget you need a multiple entry for Kenya which is £60.

Just received final joining instructions - can't wait!

Jenny

Hi all

Just thought I'd mention, 18 days to go!  Passports received back from the embassies safe and sound so all set on that front.  Insurance documents arrived today - just need to remember to pack them!  Now, how many memory cards shall I pack.....

Kat - fancy meeting up with me, Grant, Jenny & Nathan at Heathrow for a drink?

 Debbie

Kat76

Hi folks

Yes, memory cards and spare camera battery still needed. Am collecting my Tanzania visa Monday so gradually ticking things off. 

Debbie - thanks very much for the offer. That would be lovely meeting you guys at Heathrow. :o) I'll probably be the person with too much luggage! Must pack light, must pack light - I keep telling myself. Keep me posted... Are you guys a fair way from Heathrow out of interest? I'm SE London so not too bad. 

Need to sort out my money pronto too though unsure how much to exchange?! Any thoughts?

Last time we went to Tanzania we found out after we got there that we would be taking an internal flight with 15kg luggage allowance each.  My hand luggage alone weighed about 10!!  Lots and lots of camera equipment!!

Grant and I will be heading down from Bristol via the New Forest, Jenny & Nathan from Guildford way.  Why don't you drop me an email ([email protected]) and I'll send you my mobile number.  That way you can give us a call when you're at the airport and we can meet up somewhere.

As for money, still not decided on that one.  On the last trip are main costs were water and munchies.  As we're camping in the middle of nowhere not much opportunity for souvenir shopping but usually some.  Am just going to take dollars (accepted most places in Kenya) and then change it into a few Tanzania shillings when we get to Tanzania.

 Only two weeks to go! :-)

Kat76

So my lounge floor is now covered in stuff to take, money still to get (just can't decide how much I need plus is it better to get smaller notes in dollars? I know they need to be clean, unmarked notes and no earlier than 2004), visa for Tanzania obtained and picking up Kenyan one on Friday.

Question is....what have I forgotten?! To the experienced Exodus travellers out there - any additional items I should take?!

 Debbie - I'll drop you an email tonight. Apologies for delay. Been a busy few days...

Kat, sounds like you've forgotten a bar of cadbury's caramel ;-)

1) smaller notes (especially 1s and 5s) are good for dollars.  Big notes and Sterling can be chaged for local currency at the airport / banks, but small notes are really handy for taxis and bartering for local goods ("you've got to barter"). We tend to take no more than about £200 worth of currency each, as we mostly spend on water, snacks and the odd meal.  Also, it is difficult spend much on local goods to take back, as you have to fit it in the vehicle and get it back to the UK inside your baggage allowance.  We spent about £60 on paintings on the last trip and that was about it in terms of goods to bring back.

2) batteries or sunglasses?  they tend to get forgotten.  There is an example packing list that exodus do (can't remember the link), and it is pretty comprehensive.  We use that as a base and add extra bits on (like all the specific camera gear).  Plenty of drugs are always good (medical not recreational).  Stuff like painkillers, imodium, beechams (yes, really), rehydration stuff, sun tan lotion/after sun, insect repellant, insect bite stuff and plasters.  A money belt can be useful to hide cash in public. Oh, and a hat (not basaball cap) is a must, as is travel insurance.

See you on the 21st, Grant

Oh, and ear plugs if you're a light sleeper.  Nature can be quite loud at night.

Kat76

Lol! Chocolate, of course! Knew there was something missing... :o)

That's all really helpful - thanks Grant. I do have the Exodus packing list - laid on my floor amongst all my 'stuff' and it seems pretty good. I'll stick to that then and remember the bits you've mentioned too.

One specific question - I'm taking my walking boots but also a pair of tevas too. I am wondering if I can get away with just these 2 pairs (living in my boots I imagine) but would a 2nd pair of trainers be advisable in case boots got wet or anything?  

I tend to wear sandals, in fact I've got a pair of "Kenyan Addidas" that I love.  I tend to take 2 pairs (lets one dry out if it gets wet), so a pair of trainers or whatever as extra would be a good idea (but keep the weight down).  I don't bother with walking boots - they're heavy, hot and provided that you don't have super-weak ankles, sandals or similar are usually fine (I've survied two safaris, a trip around Petra and the wadi rum and a walkabout in the outback with sandals).  Not flip-flips though.  Sorry, I'm a bloke, so I have no idea what "tevas" are.

PS chocolate isn't a good idea, unless you like drinking it (it tends to melt).

Kat76

Just thought I'd send a quick hello as it's nearly time to depart!! Amazingly I've done the bulk of the packing though I have a feeling it's all the little last minute bits that'll panic me.

Looking forward to meeting you all.

Debbie - will call you at Heathrow!

See you all soon... K x

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