Kenya and Tanzania Mini-review



  • Well, this adventure gets better and of our suitcases was pried open and our two binoculars were stolen. We should have put them in our carry on but didn’t because of space. Lesson learned the hard way.

  • Only good things must happen to you from now on Nedda.
    Everyone, always put anything like cameras, binoculars, even adapters and cords in hand carry. Nedda, claim on your insurance.

  • It’s likely that you will only need to ‘check the tires’ maybe once on the whole trip. Don’t worry too much, try doing what I had to teach my daughter who always seemed to want or go at the least convenient times when she was small...drip dry! And then use a small amount of toilet paper if it’s required.🤪🤪 or how about taking a couple of paper lunch bags or small zip locks, whichever are still Ok.
    Re stolen stuff. When my hubby was traveling around the time of the guy with the the bomb in his shoe, everyone had to travel with just wallet and passport and phone. He had to check all his adapters and cords, they were stolen from his checked carry on bag. True, we all learn hte hard way.

  • On our South Africa trip, both of our suitcases arrived in Cape Town with the zippers clipped. The TSA locks had been placed in the suitcases. Fortunately, nothing was missing. The locks could not be used because the zippers were broken. I had some twist ties that I was able to use to keep the zipper pulls together. A subsequent Google search indicates that this happens occasionally. I have also become more diligent about placing anything tempting and electronic in my carryon.

  • edited August 2019

    This is my carry on bag, I have several to chose from. I carry one or two changes of clothes. Maybe an extra pair of shoes, a swimsuit if there is a chance to swim, rainwear/umbrella, feather packable jacket, camera, iPad, binoculars, cords and adapters, book and small things like tissues, my medicines, or a portion of them, we sometims split each other’s.
    . It could be a life saver.

  • Nedda HonigNedda Honig
    Well, this adventure gets better and of our suitcases was pried open and our two binoculars were stolen. We should have put them in our carry on but didn’t because of space. Lesson learned the hard way.

    I have had occasion to use the Tauck insurance. Check with them when you get back. They might cover your binocular theft.

  • Just returned (August 20 from Great Migration (Tanzania and Kenya) and a side trip to Capetown. fABULOUS ! Only Kenya asked for proof of Yellow Fever vaccination. We are over 65 so a waiver from our doctor was the only thing necessary. We were advised (by our travel doctor) not to take typhoid shot (unless we planned to eat "street food) and there were absolutely no mosquitoes or tse tse flies. We did NOT spray our clothes with permethrin but we did carry picaridian wipes (never needed to use them, nor did anyone else)

  • edited August 2019

    This is our backpacks...headsets, fleece jacket, camera, some meds, tissues, small purse, extra $, bug stuff, TP, all fit in while flying. We will be checking with Tauck ins when home... spoke to Tour Director about it too. We thought his carry on suitcase was missing at the hotel but the hotel checked the baggage room and it was there... thank goodness. Favorite hotel was the Fairmont Mara which was the Tents. Loved the bellowing hippos. Favorite for animal view was the Four Seasons but not much African atmosphere. Saw lions fornicating, males fighting, moms taking care of 4 cubs, lion in tree, lion coming down from tree, vultures cleaning up gnu carcass, I have a huge list of animals and birds we saw. Amazing!!! Every day was better and better. Came close up to rhinos too and some elephants. Took close to 2000 pictures between SLR and iPhone camera. Some people took even more. Found a new camera that was wonderful that someone was using...Canon PowerShot 70SX or a Nikon P900. Fast, high resolution, Canon goes to 1365 and Nikon goes 2000, Nikon 1000 goes to 3000. Saw the results of the Canon pictures. Way better than our Canon with Tamron lens up to 275. One person with super big giant camera envy camera liked the PowerShot and is planning on getting one of the two I mentioned. We are researching more after we get home. Killing time in Nairobi tomorrow before flying out.

  • Nedda

    Your name tag on your backpack shows your address and phone number

  • Yes, spotted your phone and address, need to delete your picture ASAP
    Wondering what happened to you. Please post full report. Did you take the right amount of clothing after all your concerns?
    Thought the Four Seasons might be a bit generic after our first K and T tour with nearly all tents. Will see how it is in December. .

  • I bought a new camera before our trip and had just enough time to learn the basics. My goal was great zoom, automatic + manual override,lightweigt and less than $400. Got everything I wanted except lightweigt (1.5 lbs) but since we rode in trucks the whole day, there was no problem with the camera and neck strap. The pictures taken with zoom ( 60X) look like I am standing right next to the animals. Its a Panasonic Lumix FZ80 .However, one of our friends got glorious shots using her iPhone.

  • British....did have enough clothing, only one or two things not worn. Did wash out in the shower some pants, shirts, underwear, also had laundry done in Amboseli, was less expensive than at the other hotels we were told.
    Re the Four Seasons, beautiful hotel, inside and out, but not much in the way of African atmosphere or character which the Fairmont Mara had in spades!!!! Fairmont Mt Kenya Safari Club was a 5 star on the outside but a 3 star on the inside. Did I write that the shower was so hot we couldn’t get any cold water, couldn’t take a shower and the faucet broke? There are a bunch of things we brought that we didn’t need... Maybe because of the time we surgical face masks for the dust, we used our buffs and a bandana, didn’t need the second bandanna either. Didn’t use our TP, took some from hotels into the bush, Couple of people had to “Check The Tires”! Our adapters worked great for charging. Most places had USB ports too and some had internet and some only had it in the lobby area. Can’t remember which is which. USED BOTTLED WATER TO BRUSH TEETH!!! Stressed this big time and everyone did it. One thing to be sure to bring...Imodium...couple of people had this issue and couple had the opposite issue. People in the group had what was needed and shared. Imodium worked quickly so be sure to bring it. Long pants and socks and closed shoes a must. Layering a must also. No problem with that. Fleece jackets were a little warm and could have been a bit lighter but fine otherwise as they mush down in the back pack.
    Be aware that whereever you go from the dirt airstrip to the hotels there will be shopping. Prices are all over the place. At one place I bought a t-shirt for $20, embroidered, good quality, then at the fancy Nairobi Serena I found another for $17. Same thing with the Masai beaded work, and carved statues...I don’t see how they can all be made by hand, Too many all over the place and you can even barter and buy directly from the Masai dancers that come to the hotels for entertainment. One of the gals did that a couple of times. The Culture Market in Arusha had the most diverse shopping anywhere. Including Tanzanite, both raw stones and set stones. And I did enjoy that shopping experience. I was able to also ask for a reduction in price at the Fairmont Mara when buying some beaded barrettes.
    Seeing the rhinos as the ranger station where they take care of these two huge ones was fantastic. We saw two pairs of lions fornicating. TD said this was a first for her too. Some people saw a buffalo kill by a lion from start to finish. I have pictures but didn’t get to see it. We saw a lion up in the tree, and then come down, saw a pride of lions, about 10 in the pack, waiting and watching the Buffalo at a big water hole, knowing there would be a kill there later on. Have a great picture of vultures cleaning the carcass of a Gnu aka Wildebeest, complete with blood and bones. There are so many things we saw it is hard to know where to begin. Vervet baby monkeys right outside our door nursing at their mom. Then playing around.
    Some pictures did come out better on the iPhone, like the sunrise and sunsets. The night safari pictures came out on the iPhone, didnt’ even try on the camera. Everyone was sharing pictures as the angles changed depending on where people sat on the vans/jeeps. Saw some birds we haven’t seen before, and three kinds of hares that come out at night.
    Saw a cheetah a couple of times too. Of course, zebras, elephants, giraffes, including some babies. Have a great picture of a baby zebra nursing. Can you tell I like a certain type of picture???? LOL

  • One more comment, our tour director said not to present our vaccination certificate unless asked, don’t bring it up. No one in Kenya asked. or in Tanzania.
    Saw also today that Rwanda is plastic bag free. Which reminds me,,,,no one at immigration asked about plastic bags at either entry ports. No one was pulled over.
    Also we met Jill from St Louis who I think is on one these forums. Her husband, Scott, had one of those “camera envy” cameras. Bet he got some super pictures. But I think he liked the other pictures from the Canon PowerShot.

    Sherry, we also have a LUMIX camera but we didn’t bring it, don’t really care for it and will probably sell it along with the Canon once we get the new one. I am kidding we need to get two new ones so we don’t argue over who will use it.

    Now to determine our next trip!

  • edited August 2019

    Thanks for sharing Nedda, so glad you had a good time. Because we have been to Africa before, we of course knew already about your tips, but they will be very useful to read for others. Though I don’t know who suggested you take surgical masks, they would have looked funny. For us, we focus way less on the animal experiences, we always find that the Safari drivers add to at least 50% of our enjoyment along with the other local people we meet or see and of course the wonderful scenery and awesome sunsets. Who was your tour director?

  • Nedda and Sherry, thanks so much for your input, as British said these posts are very helpful to future travelers. I have tried to pay it forward on the B,SA&Z trip. We also have the LUMIX hybrid and it worked great for us. Basically kept it on automatic the entire time and for our needs took great pictures. Thanks again and welcome home!!

  • Great photos!

    Typical lion behavior which is sometimes referred to as the "honeymoon." :) During a game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater we observed what appeared to be a harem honeymoon. A male, on the right, and several females and a few juveniles were lounging about until one female decided "it was time." She casually got up, walked right in front of, and "signaled" the male who slowly got up and sauntered and begrudgingly(?) obliged :D . This can happen several times an hour and go on all day until the female somehow senses the efforts have been successful. Let's hope for the male's sake, only one of the females was in this condition! :o

  • OMG Lion porn on the G rated Tauck site :D:D:D

  • Took the words right out of my mouth Taxare! This needs flagging 🤪🤪🤪

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