august trip 2018 Kenya Tanzania

looking for suggestions on what you didn't bring that you wished you had and what you brought that you should not had. also what type of jacket or warm weather gear would I need for early am or late night. Arriving one day early in Arusha. Any suggestions on what to do with the day after arrival but before the trip begins. Traveling with twenty -something adult kids and hubby,. Any reviews on the binoculars that are recommended from the web site necessarygear.com? thanks in advance

Comments

  • Regardless of what ‘primary’ luggage you use, pack everything in the Tauck duffel first. If it doesn’t fit, you don’t need it. We used binoculars very little. Your driver will have binoculars that you can borrow occassionally if you really need to see something. Unless, you are a birder ... then bring them. We do carry binoculars, but small ones. Flip flops for the pools. I recommend a ‘Tilley’ hat. I used something else for my first ‘excursion’, but I’m a convert. Mine has been all over the world several times. We brought more than would fit in the Tauck duffels, but it was mainly for a place for the checked liquids. On this trip you mainly live in safari clothes. I have several changes of Columbia sun proof clothes in muted colors. Sunscreen! We used the laundry at the hotels, but I would recommend not using it at the Four Seasons. Fifty dollars for four pieces.
  • Thank you so much. Do you have any info on the type of plastic bag that is prohibited? from reading other previous blogs it is the grocery plastic bags and what I would call trash bags. did you bring any zip lock bags? not too interested in spending time in jail.
  • edited June 2018
    marytyson wrote:
    looking for suggestions on what you didn't bring that you wished you had and what you brought that you should not had. also what type of jacket or warm weather gear would I need for early am or late night. Arriving one day early in Arusha. Any suggestions on what to do with the day after arrival but before the trip begins. Traveling with twenty -something adult kids and hubby,. Any reviews on the binoculars that are recommended from the web site necessarygear.com? thanks in advance

    We didn't really bring anything that we wouldn't bring again. I wore a sleeveless safari jacket as did my wife. She sometimes wore a light fleece vest. The key is to dress in layers- cool mornings become moderate or even hot afternoons. Read about the climate here and on the web- K&T is on the equator, but high plains (6000'+) so is not as hot as you might think. Due to clear skies and thinner air, sun can be strong, so cover up and wear longsleeve shirts that can be rolled up. I wore pants with lower legs that zip off. I used that feature only a few times.

    Things to do- well covered in K&T archives- walk around the lake, hire driver and guide for tour of Arusha National Park (covered extensively here). Do not go into town without an escort/guide. We rarely used binocs- opinions differ wildly on this topic. I suggest you read all the old K&T forum threads.

    I posted a link to the actual Kenyan government website and quoted the text- "The ban applies to all plastic carrier bags and flat bags used for commercial and household packaging." Read my post here.
  • Binoculars. I am one of those people who would not be without my binoculars. My husband and I have a pair each, they are quite compact but effective and we always have them ready round our necks when out on safari vehicles, we feel they are better than looking through a big camera lens when you have to use them for more than a few minutes. There are quite a few occasions where we might have missed seeing animals/sites in the far distance when a vehicle might not be able to get any nearer, for example....spotting a Honey Badger or lions mating over and over come to mind. Relying on sharing binoculars from the driver may mean you miss a siting, animals can move away in an instant, it's not the same as looking at a view. You can use binoculars on lots of Tauck tours. I'm not impressed by the New Headings in general, you can research binoculars on line and get them cheaper. The clothing, try REI, Eastern Mountain Stores, Columbia, LL Bean or any regular clothing in safari colors you may already own, avoid white, it will look filthy very quickly, dark blue or black, attract tsetse flies.
    I find a BUFF useful-- covering nose and mouth from the dust, extra head warmth, and especially round my neck to cushion my camera and binocular straps, they can be found in many colors and patterns and different price points and brands these days I found some for around $5 when I was in Namibia. In the US they are around the $20 range. We use them on many trips and are quite the fashion statement.
  • edited June 2018
    Like I said, you'll find differing opinions about binoculars.

    Let me add one thing, I have no issue using them, but my wife who wears glasses, finds them extremely difficult to use- impossible with glasses on and with her visual acuity, difficult to adjust and use otherwise. So, since it is just me, I more often than not just use my camera, whose lens has greater magnification than many binoculars, to see distant things.

    Let me also make one additional point. I'll use an argument similar to one that British and others have used when discussing cameras and photography- you don't want to spend your whole trip looking through a view finder (or the eyepieces of binoculars) at distant subjects while missing the big picture. As you might expect some of the best views are right in front of you. And, due to the extremely rough dirt roads (some little more than paths), it is nearly impossible to use binoculars while the vehicle is moving. Let the drivers spot the animals and drive up closer so you can view and photograph them.

    I used my buff quite often, especially during the long, dusty drive across the Serengeti to the Four Seasons.
  • I agree with Sealord. For our K/T safari, all I took was the duffel, plus a small backpack. I took old clothes to discard along the way, in favor of any new purchases. My go-tos were SPF50 shirts/tops from Ex Officio and Insect Shield items from various retailers. I took full advantage of the easy/inexpensive laundry options throughout the trip (except the Four Seasons), so ended up not wearing everything I took! Also, we were thrown off by the "nothing blue" warning and invested in more white/tan shirts ... turns out, they mean "navy blue/black" and I could have used the lighter blue garments I already owned. I didn't break anything extra/special for cool mornings and evenings — just layered additional garments to accommodate cooler temps. Pack clothing within a particular palette for easy mixing-and-matching. Bring things that serve double duty (a scarf = shawl, head covering, light blanket on the plane, sarong, etc.). No need for jewelry or anything fancy. You WILL get dusty and sweaty. We also arrived a day early. My husband and another early-arriver used a guide from the hotel and took a walk around Lake Arusha (you'll want the guide, and it's free except for maybe a tip). I stayed behind to enjoy some peace and quiet on the resort grounds before the safari hubbub began. A final tidbit: don't drink the lovely flavored waters at the last hotel. I had been conditioned, by all the welcome receptions everywhere else, to think they were set out for us — but they weren't, and after an entire trip of no tummy trouble, I had a little discomfort there. Nothing serious, just enough to miss a couple optional excursions. :-( However, it was rather blissful being along in our tent with the breeze blowing and listening to nature. :-)
  • For Alan..... I wear bifocal glasses, transitional lenses and have no difficulty with binoculars. Get your wife to try pushing in the ‘cups’ in the binoculars , adjusting the focus for her right eye, then your other eye should compensates and re-focus in conjunction with using the adjustable focus. The view should be in one circle not two. I hope this is not double Dutch. Don’t forget on some safaris you cannot leave the ‘road’ so binoculars have been essential for me. And when you go to Botswana there might be a stretch of water in the way as for example when we were sitting in one of the camps and watching those lions on the other side of the water having fun for quite a long long time.


  • From what I am reading I gather there is no need for really nice clothes...that safari style clothing will also work for dinner at the resorts?
    I’m also wondering if anyone knows the size of thenTauk duffel.......
  • edited June 2018
    LaurelLee wrote:
    From what I am reading I gather there is no need for really nice clothes...that safari style clothing will also work for dinner at the resorts?
    I’m also wondering if anyone knows the size of thenTauk duffel.......

    There is a post in the forum archives with model and dimensions and a photo- just search on "duffle" or "duffel". Or, just Google Eagle Creek Duffle Bag and check out the medium size.

    Our Tauck duffle bags being unloaded after arriving back in Arusha from the Serengeti.

    IMG_1974r.jpg
  • LaurelLee wrote:
    From what I am reading I gather there is no need for really nice clothes...that safari style clothing will also work for dinner at the resorts?
    I’m also wondering if anyone knows the size of thenTauk duffel.......

    correct -- no fancy clothes needed!
  • Thanks for the good information ....especially the photos of the bags!
  • The dimensions of the bag are 24X12X11 inches and has a capacity of 3600 cu. in. It also has a “No Matter What” warranty. Tough bag. They will fix it or replace it ‘no matter what’ happens. I have used this as carry on luggage several times, although it is technically about an inch too large for some airlines. But it is soft if not ‘stuffed’, so the dimensions can become ‘smaller’. We are down to 33 days now so I expect our new duffels could arrive anytime ... the next milestone. (;-)
  • Sealord wrote:
    The dimensions of the bag are 24X12X11 inches and has a capacity of 3600 cu. in. It also has a “No Matter What” warranty. Tough bag. They will fix it or replace it ‘no matter what’ happens. I have used this as carry on luggage several times, although it is technically about an inch too large for some airlines. But it is soft if not ‘stuffed’, so the dimensions can become ‘smaller’. We are down to 33 days now so I expect our new duffels could arrive anytime ... the next milestone. (;-)

    Our duffles had straps that you could cinch down to make the bag smaller.
  • The duffel was larger than the suitcase I'd intended to bring, so that was nice. If you don't pack it full, the soft sides and cinch straps make it easy to fit into carryon spaces.
  • marytyson wrote:
    Thank you so much. Do you have any info on the type of plastic bag that is prohibited? from reading other previous blogs it is the grocery plastic bags and what I would call trash bags. did you bring any zip lock bags? not too interested in spending time in jail.

    Our tour guide issued us a large ziplock bag with tour info, etc., so those are okay.

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