15 days and counting


May 19th, 2006, 05:49 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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15 days and counting

Well, it's almost arrived. Our trip to Tan/Ken/Rwanda is almost here. We're 2 couples who live on a mountain in NC USA. I've followed the various threads here on preparation, we've twiddled with our itinerary with reference to things lerned here and elsewhere. We even changed the itinerary as late as yesterday after we realized the travel company goofed and had us coming home a day later. So we added a day in Rwanda courtesy of the company and will do a golden monkey trek as a bonus. Here's our itinerary:
Date Day Location Lodge
June 4 Sun CLT-DTT-AMS (Flight 5573/6054) In air
June 5 Mon AMSóAmsterdam Hotel Prinsenhof
June 6 Tues AMS--Amsterdam Hotel Prinesnhof
June 7 Wed AMS-JRO (Flight 569) Dik Dik Hotel
June 8 Thur SerengetióMobile Camping Nyabeho/Seronera
June 9 Fri SerengetióMobile Campsing Nyabeho/Seronera
June 10 Sat SerengetióMobile Camping Nyabeho/Seronera
June 11 Sun Tarangire Kikoti Camp
June 12 Mon Tarangire Kikoti Camp
June 13 Tues Amboseli Cross border to Kenya Tortilis Camp
June 14 Wed Amboseli Tortilis Camp
June 15 Thur Lewa Downs Flight to Lewa Lewa Downs
June 16 Fri Lewa Downs Lewa Downs
June 17 Sat Masai Mara Flight to Masai Mara Kichwa Tembo
June 18 Sun Masai Mara Kichwa Tembo
June 19 Mon Masai Mara Kichwa Tembo
June 20 Tues Mara-NBO-KGL Novotel-Kigali
June 21 Wed Gorilla Trekking I Gorillaís Nest
June 22 Thur Gorilla Trekking II Gorillaís Nest
June 23 Fri Golden Monkey Trek, drive to Kigali Novotel-Kigali
June 24 Sat Kigali touring
KGL-NBO (Flight KA473/NW8566) In air
June 25 Sun AMS-DTT-CLT Flight NW39/NW1570 In air

Sorry about the formating of the itinerary. It was beautiful in word, but doesn't cut/n/paste well into the little box here. I'd be glad to share our packing list, etc. later in case it's any help to others.

My wife and I haven't been to Africa since the 1960's when we were in Nigeria in the Peace Corps. So we're really looking forward to this.
martync is offline  
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May 19th, 2006, 07:28 AM
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Your trip itinerary looks like a whirlwind of fun. I will miss you by 5 days at the Gorillaís Nest and trekking in Rwanda. What companies are you using on your trip?

Sure, I would like to see your packing list.

I once was lucky enough to spend a long and very luxurious business weekend in the beautiful mountainous Asheville NC area. Near you?
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May 19th, 2006, 07:51 AM
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Have a blast!!! Great itinerary and yep.......have fun....

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May 19th, 2006, 10:38 AM
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Yes we're about 15 minutes outside Asheville. We live at 4300ft. above sea level, so I hope that conditioning will help with the gorilla trekking. Hope you were in the Grove Park while in Asheville! We are meeting Doris from this Fodors board at the Gorilla's Nest. My wife and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary there the night of the 21st. (Won't say what number.....)

We're using International Expeditions out of Birmingham, Alabama. I've worked with them lots--perhaps 20 + trips and they've always come through for me. They use Tanzania Photographic Safaris in TZ and Origins in Kenya & Rwanda.

I will post my packing list once I tweek it a bit more. Just thought to add one of those waist things that let you carry a water bottle...thought that might be good for trekking.
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May 19th, 2006, 10:44 AM
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Congrats on your anniversary and have a great trip! Please post a report when you get back.
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May 19th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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Looks great. Have a wonderful trip.
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May 19th, 2006, 10:51 AM
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Fantastic, dream itinerary, Marty. Please oh please post a report, photos if you have them, and tips when you return.

But most of all have a wonderful time.
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May 19th, 2006, 01:21 PM
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How fortuitous a goof up has provided you an opportunity for the golden monkeys!

Thanks for mentioning the ground operators. Both top notch.

The waist water holder was very helpful for me. Not to be confused with waste water holder!

Itinerary looks fabulous. Have fun and report back.

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May 19th, 2006, 03:23 PM
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We used Tanzania photo. safaris last Feb. and loved them. Ask for Baricke - he's very personable and extremely knowledgable. We stayed at Kikoti and liked that very much as well.
Your trip sounds fabulous - enjoy!
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May 20th, 2006, 10:21 AM
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Thanks for all the nice comments. We're certainly psyched for the trip. We did a trial packing today and my Rick Steeves bag weighed 16 lbs and my photo backpack 8 lbs. I just need to add a few things, like ipod stuff, headsets, toilet kit, etc. I'm betting the whole thing will weigh out at 28-30 lbs, entirely carryon. Here's the packing list I've been using. May help others, and please feel free to comment. My photo gear consists of a Canon Rebel XT with 17-55 & 100-300 lens, + 4 gig of cf cards + ipod storage stuff + Kodak 10X zoom camera DW will use. I decided to leave out the monopod. Don't think there will be many places to use it. I do have a Safari Photo Sack though. Must remember to get beans in Arusha!

Martyís Africa Packing

Quantity Item
2 Zip off pants
1 Chinos--plane
2 Convertible shirts-wear 1
1 Water shorts
4 T-shirts
1 Fleece
4 Underwear briefs
1 set Long underwear
1 Boxers for sleeping
1 Rain jacket
1 Bandana
1 Hat
1 Hiking shoes
1 Tennis shoes--plane
1 Flip flops
1 Hiking socks
4 Socks
1 Travel handkerchief
1 Travel Vest
1 Nylon anorak
1 Gloves for gorilla trek
1 Nylon belt

2 lenses
memory cards-7
USB cable-2
lens pen
camera cleaning kit
AC charger
Earphones-2 (airline dual thingy)
Camera connector
Dock connector
Adaptor plugs-4
Books and guides
Journal & pens
Neck pillows
AAA battery for earphones
Flashlights & extra batteries (AA)

Meds (normal + malaria, cipro, etc.)
Insect repellant
Hand sanitizer
First aid kit
Tissue packs/camping toilet paper

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May 20th, 2006, 06:37 PM
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Thanks for the packing list Marty. How / what made you choose those lens sizes/specs? Looking at Rebel XT myself and some are sold with body only and some with lenses (think that the 15-85).
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May 20th, 2006, 07:04 PM
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Love to discover:
the 18-55 is the kit lens which comes with the XT. I choose the 100-300 f4.5-5.6 USM lens on the advice of a friend. It's not an expensive L series image stabalized lens which I couldn't justify on price. My feeling is that I can boost the ISO with the XT to 1600 if need be and I've got the Safari Sack for stabilization. It's all a compromise. One thing I've discovered by practicing photographing birds at my house, is that by using the 300 and cropping the pics, I can get something that looks like it was taken with a much longer lens. Overall I really like the XT. I've been able to get really good pics with it and it bring me back to the old days of using a film SLR.
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May 20th, 2006, 09:09 PM
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Thanks Marty. Sounds like a good balance of cost / benefits. I'll have to check cost of IS type lenses - think my picture taking compensation may not be enough to get the "once-in-a-lifetime" pictures. But the trip costs are quite high already, so maybe the $ instead could go toward a good pair of binoculars.

Look forward to seeing your pictures if you do share them. Given the company name Tanzania Photo Safari - sounds like the picture taking is a priority. How lucky we will be if you post them here!
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May 21st, 2006, 01:33 PM
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Marty....I'll be looking for that red carnation in your safari hat!! Are you freaking out with excitement? We leave in 18 days. Iv'e promised myself I'm not going to get over-the-top excited until the week befor I leave ("Yea,right").See you in Rwanda.
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May 21st, 2006, 07:40 PM
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Hi Doris,

Yes, I'm freakin' out. Only 13 days for me! And I'll be the one with the carnation in my safari hat!!

Our trip got extended so we'll be at the Gorilla's nest for an extra night now, the 21st and 22nd and we're going golden monkey trekking on the 23rd! Yeah.
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May 22nd, 2006, 09:48 AM
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Greetings Marty:

I am jealous of your 4300 ft. above sea level that give you a head start on your conditioning. I live in the Southeastern Piedmont Region of Pennsylvania at almost exactly 430 ft. above sea level!

Thanks for posting your gear list, I forgot about the gloves for gorillas trekking!

Have a great trip!

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