Kenya and Tanzania Mini-review



  • edited August 2019

    Phew, just got back from a very long walk, it’s slightly cooler here today. Have to keep fit for next Africa trip!
    Yellow Fever vaccine is only available at special centers, like for instance Passport Health, it’s always been that way.
    The debate on Malaria is endless here. Do read up as much as you can about the disease. We always take Malaria meds. I’ve nursed a couple of patients with the disease when I lived in England, that they contracted abroad, the fevers are horrendous, the Protozoa that carries the disease is a sneaky little thing and can hide in your liver for years and then reappear at stressful times in your life. My father caught Malaria during the Second World War in Africa and I remember him telling me about his stay in the hospital and how ill he was. And as I’ve said here before, George Clooney contracted it in Africa some years ago. If you get any type of Fever for one year after visiting any country that has Malaria carrying mosquitoes your should tell your doctor this as Malaria can appear even after a year. People comment on the forum that they didn’t see any mosquitoes, that’s the point, you often don’t but it does not mean they are not there at night. They tend to rest and then pounce on their victims, they are not the same as ones in the US. Can you imagine when it was common to have Yellow Fever outbreaks in the US that killed people.
    In recent years, it has now been decided by every country, that hte Yellow Fever vaccine is good for life not ten years. Some countries dragged their feet on this change, Botswana being one of the last to make the change.

  • If you live in or near a major metropolitan area, there may be hospitals with travel clinics. We have utilized a hospital travel clinic for many years. In addition to processing the insurance claims, they are very experienced and have always had the immunizations available.

  • edited August 2019

    Yellow Fever vaccine can only be obtained at Special Yellow Fever centers. Like Travel Health, it’s always been that way. Once it was required to have the vaccine every ten years. Then after research, some countries said it was good for life. Botswana was one of the countries that held out to keep it every ten years, but now every country accepts the new protocol.

    There is endless discussion about Malaria here. We always take the pills. I nursed a few people with Malaria in England, the fevers are dreadful. The Protozoa that causes it can lie dormant in your body for years and then reappear at times of stress. Millions of dollars are spent on research every year, much of it given by the Bill Gates foundation I always quote that George Clooney got Malaria when visiting Africa. If you have a Fever within one year of returning from a country that has Malaria, you should tell your dr, it can take that long to show up. We always take our Malaria meds. Even if you don’t see the mosquito, they canbe there at night, they don’t fly around much, they rest in a corner and pounce on their prey at night.
    We always take Malaria meds. As Cathy says, if you go to your pharmacy, they have most vaccines. It may be covered on your insurance.
    Even babies in hte Us now routinely get Hep B vaccine.

  • Cathy, sent you a personal message today.

  • Here's a funny for you all....when I told my friends about bringing a small tube of super glue, they asked if I was also bring a roll of DUCT TAPE? Told them if it didn't weigh so much I might!!! Can never have too much super glue or duct tape!!

  • Yes, I have a small scissors, sewing kit, eye glass kit, the works! GMTA!!

  • Carrying duct tape is actually quite common for travelers apparently. When we took another Africa trip with that other tour company that someone recommended to us ( would never travel with them again) I read on their forum that the duffel bags they provided were prone to falling apart. Seeing as that was the only bag we could use for the entire trip, no suitcases at all, I was quite concerned. Lots of people mentioned taking duct tape, some said they always carry some. We just made sure that we had a large plastic bag each that we could put our belongings in and then place that in the duffel bags if they started to fall apart. Sure enough, before long, my bag got a biggish hole appear in the bottom of it, so we did have to resort to the plastic bag. Anyway, after that trip, I realized it is indeed possible to take everything you need for a safari in a duffel. I still take a big suitcase, but no bigger than Tauck allows, but every time I see people with small bags, I see how freeing it can be to travel that way.
    On the other hand, there was a woman on that tour who wore the same orange and white tie dye t shirt almost daily, her body odor made us want to throw up. One day, she said she had not had time for a shower that morning, omg, she did not need to tell us all that. Of course she was the one who chose not to take out any insurance and ended up with a severe urinary tract infection, fever, went to the hospital, which was apparently very dirty. She did get some antibiotics. So anyway, I wonder if it would have been better if she had taken a suitcase!

  • Does anyone take a battery to recharge cell phones, tablets, etc.? I am not sure how much electric is available during the days away from the hotels.

  • When we did the Tauck Canyonlands by Rail which was a 10 day trip with extra days all we took were our carry on's and back packs. Different carry ons though than on this trip. But that was fun. I tried to fit everything into the carry ons but it just didn't work. Even with packing cubes, rolling, etc.

    British, I would think someone, maybe even the tour director would have said something to that lady. How embarrassing for her although she probably didn't realize what was happening. Would love to know which tour company you won't use. Like we won't do Viking River again ever.

  • MIH34685. 10:52AM. Does anyone take a battery to recharge cell phones, tablets, etc.? I am not sure how much electric is available during the days away from the hotels.

    I'm sure someone must have taken a "power cell" but I never saw one. Only you know how much power your devices need and the age of your batteries. My Canon DSLR will last several days to a week without charging the battery, unless I shoot a lot of videos. I can't charge the battery in the camera so must use a charger. I also carry a spare battery. On K&T every place we went (all hotels and camps) had power. Unless you really need to be in touch or use your phone to take photos, forgetaboutit! On Z, SA, B I also carried spare batteries for my Canon and GoPro but almost ran out of charge on both- I left their changers in my suitcase when we switched to duffle bags. D'Oh! That only came into play at our last camp, Camp Kalahari, when I literally got down to a few tens of exposures left!

  • It’s difficult to make phone calls from Africa, mainly because of the time difference and Tauck not allowing people to make phone calls when the group is together....thank goodness. Never mind lack of signal. I believe the tour directors have satellite phones for those situations.

  • We went on the K&T in July 2018. No discussion. Just get ALL the shots you need and take the malaria pills. We got all the shots over months. Don't play games and don't risk getting sick or being detained by country immigration. Is it really worth the gamble? You spend a lot of money to enjoy a safari not to be sent back home or worse yet immunized in Tanzania or Kenya. We preferred the piece of mind knowing we were immunized against almost anything. Look on the bright side - you can go on future trips almost anywhere in the world !

  • edited August 2019

    If for a medical reason you are advised not to get the yellow fever immunization be sure to go to a yellow fever clinic and have them give you a yellow card with the contraindication section filled out, signed and stamped. They should also give you a letter on their letterhead stating the medical reason you shouldn’t have the vaccine - again signed and stamped. All countries are supposed to accept an official waiver - on the yellow card, but there is no guarantee.

  • Cathy and Steve or others doing K&T the Classic: My wife lost her ‘big five’ silver neckless she purchased at the shop at the Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge. If anyone is at all interested in making a purchase for us send me an offline at: trijet0 at comcast dot net. That’s a zero.

  • Yes, isn’t it, I just now googled big five silver necklace and it came up. You are not going to get one are you? Think it would look great on you.

  • Nope. That’s not it. This neckless has all of the big five and costs a lot less.

  • Made our first part of the journey to our overnight hotel near the airport.

    The adventure begins!!

  • Have a great time Nedda and send us news!

  • cathy and steve: My daughter and granddaughter both have one, so I hope to have a picture soon.

  • Cathy, you are going on the Botswana tour? Sealord, Did your wife get hers on K and T? Which lodge, let me know and before I go in December I’ll find out if you still need one and take a look around for you.

  • edited August 2019

    It was at the Amboseli Serena Safari lodge gift shop. We bought a couple the last time, but gave them to daughter, and granddaughter, then Eloise lost her’s. This is not ‘fine’ jewelry, but they are cute.

    Having been there before, we kind of raced into the gift shop while everyone else was getting their keys to get the neckless. Someone else saw what we were doing and they bought the last one they had.

  • Ok Sealed, jog my memory before I leave December on December 12th. Mr B hates shopping so it will be a good excuse to say I have to go in and take a look.
    Right now we are wondering whether our China and Hong Kong trip is going to be changed or cancelled in October if things don’t improve out there. Passports are out getting visas.

  • Thanks all. Now at airport waiting for boarding. One note...make sure your boarding passes say TSA Pre-checked...somehow we goofed and ours didn’t but at the early hour going through security was easy.
    I’ll post when I can.

  • It is certainly likely that this neckless is in other shops, but the only place we saw it on our three Africa trips was Amboseli.

  • Arrived but luggage didn’t. Supposed to get it tonight by one of the drivers. Apparently not unusual here. Beautiful foliage, much like home though but bigger.

  • Good to hear you arrived safely Nedda. Yes, not unusual at all for luggage to not arrive from the Amsterdam flight, that’s what happened our first time. We got all the clothes we we wearing laundered and wore the outfit from out backpack in case the luggage never arrived. The next night, we went to the hotel entrance gate and saw everyone’s luggage from the flight that had just arrived. Saw our bags, no one was around, we just took them. The next time we went to Arusha, there was no problem.One reason we are trying Qatar flight this time.
    Are the rules you took a photo of the ones Tauck provided or the hotel?

  • Tauck provided them as part of our “instructions and information”

  • Nedda what airlines where you on?

  • luggage finally showed up, marked RUSH, came during the night, delivered this am. All’s well.

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