K & T First Time Questions - Please

edited November 13 in Kenya & Tanzania

We have been to Africa twice before and the safari vehicles were open roof. The photos I see in this forum show the vehicles to be closed. Also, how many people are usually in a group? And, finally, hoping that dinner will be casual and no need to fuss with changing for dinner? We are traveling mid June.

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  • edited November 13

    The vehicles can have the roof closed. This is common when traveling between camps at a faster pace when it can be dusty, especially when you are not in the front vehicle. There are two types of these, one where the roof lifts up with a bar at each corner and the other type, the roof lifts off. We prefer the latter one because the bars can get in the way of people and cameras. These vehicles are on the K and T tour and the Tanzania Zanzibar tour. In the Southern Africa tours, the vehicles are generally higher, converted Ford 150 type trucks with seating put on top, as I understand it. They are completely open or can have a canvas roof. If you have mobility or agility issues, or you have short legs, they can be tricky to climb into.
    Group size varies depending on the Safari you chose, it can be anything from 16 to 30. But you will never have more than six In a vehicle and often less. If there are family groups that want to stay together, that is often to the advantage of the other tour members. It’s normal for the tour group to be put with a different vehicle and driver each day.
    As far as dinner. The safaris we have been on, six, most people just either go straight to dinner after the afternoon/evening drive, or go back, shower and put on fresh Safari gear. A few people here on the forum like to dress up, even with dresses, but I would say that is not normal. You need to keep as covered as possible in the evening to help keep mosquito at bay, otherwise that’s a lot more mosquito repellent to put on yourself.

  • One more thing: the jeeps would stop so we could observe something and capture photos. We often stood on the seats…. But never with shoes but always with socks! I found slip on sneakers were ideal.

  • We are likely a week behind you on the June 25 trip that just went from ;available; to ;limited;. That means we will likely have five safari vehicles. They have added an additional flight that avoids one of the more difficult drives to the Serengeti. They have also added an additional night at the Four Seasons. I personally liked having an extra night at the Mt. Kenya Safari Club. We have done this trip twice before. We were in the group that would shower after the day;s safari and put on ;tomorrow:s clean safari clothes for dinner. I would plan the laundry to avoid having it done at the Four Seasons … very expensive … cheaper to buy new clothes. This is not an ;ad; but you might want to check out ;Tilley; hats. You will need three sets of safari clothes in order to stay clean and comfortable. The extra day at the Four Seasons may raise that number to four. You don’t need much else, as this trip is all safari. We had the two duffels and a roll aboard and really did not ‘need’ the rollaboard except to use it as a cart. (Please excuse the strange punctuation. I have a new keyboard.)

  • Yes, we are on the June 11 departure. I remember June as having very cold mornings but warmish days. I will look into the Tilley hats. I do not remember mosquitoes being an issue. Do colors of clothing really make a difference? I am so excited to go back again. I read somewhere on this forum that Africa can be addictive. I think they are right.

  • If you look at your itinerary, you spend two days at the Amboseli Serena Lodge about mid tour, so it is a good time to have laundry done if you need to. It has been a few years, but when we went, the laundry service there was quick and relatively inexpensive. Just make sure you send it out the first day. We also changed into the next day's safari clothes before going to dinner.

    The descriptions of the safari vehicles are accurate, but be aware they can change. We had two types of Toyota's on K&T- all had hard sides, sliding glass windows or roll-up vinyl windows, and two types of hard, pop-up. (In B,SA,Z all vehicles were open-sided with fixed canvas roofs.) Several years ago Tauck switched to a different outfitter who supplied different vehicles. Not all vehicles on the tour or even at the same location may be the same.

  • We are on the August 20 (sold out) K&T. After postponing twice due to Covid, we can’t wait to take our first African tour. I too will look into Tilley hats. We have plenty of safari clothing as we were preparing to go on this tour back in 2020. Before K&T, we have Best of Hawaii in February and Israel-Jordan in late April. It’ll be good to travel again even with some restrictions and requirements.

  • I know we will be going back to the ‘Mt. Kenya Safari Club’ next year. I was wondering if anyone here has a report on the ‘Sweetwaters Serena Camp’ experience. It does look interesting.

  • Jan_page: I was thinking about your packing list. Being your ‘first’ you probably don’t know that the Mt. Kenya Safari Club also has horseback riding, golf, and dog walking among a number of other activities.


  • Thanks, Sealord. Since I don’t own a dog (and likely wouldn’t pack it if I did), dog walking probably won’t happen. My golf clubs are a bit much to schlepp (although rental might be possible), and I haven’t been on a horse for probably 30 years (although I did take riding lessons in my youth). In any case, my primary goal is to see the wildlife and take gazillions of photos!

  • The Mt Kenya safari club is nice, but you don’t get the authentic feel of being in a tented camp. I know it’s SeaLord’s favorite hotel.

  • British - what authentic feeling are you referring to? The hotel in the Masai Mara was tented with marble countertops. Was that authentic? What does authentic even mean? Do you have to sleep in a sleeping bag by a campfire to be “authentic”. Perhaps you mean rustic vs authentic. For me, I went on a safari to see the animals and the area. I can do both of those and still sleep/eat in the comfort of a nice hotel.

  • edited November 21

    I know British likes to sleep naked in the Kalahari and pee at the end of her cot, so I know what she means by ‘getting that authentic feeling’. (;-) That being said, I have often thought of doing a trip ‘to’ the Mt. Kenya Safari Club … a week or maybe two. It is my favorite place on the planet. On our last trip we went horseback riding, and we walked the dogs, and we did not skip anything … don’t know how we did that. On our first trip we spent three nights there, and I wished it was four. We now spend two. I did find the place where they store the wood for the fireplace, so we had plenty. They will actually reset it upon request, but I enjoy building my own fire. The only thing I don’t like about the place is the plumbing. It has not been renovated since William Holden died. You don’t arrive there until day nine, and I have always been ready for a ‘break’ at that point. You don’t need to bring your own golf clubs. (No … that’s not me with Eloise in the top picture.)

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