First Trip To Africa - Kenya & Victoria Falls

Old Jun 6th, 2007, 09:29 PM
  #1  
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First Trip To Africa - Kenya & Victoria Falls

Hi Everyone...this is my first ever post here, so Hello to everyone, it has been wonderful reading all of your posts.
I was hoping that you would be able to extend this advise to my Husband and Mysself.
We are travelling to Africa for a safari in early October...summary itinerary as follows:

6th Oct - Arrive Johannesburg
Night spent at Airport Grand Hotel
7th Oct - Fly to Nairobi
Night spent at Panafric Hotel
8th Oct - 2 nights in Amboseli, staying at Ol Tukai Lodge
Morning and Afternoon Game Drives in Amboseli National Park.
10th Oct - Drive to Lake Nakuru Lodge, Lake Nakuru
11th Oct - 2 nights at the Mara Sopa Lodge
Morning and Afternoon Game Drives in the Masai Mara Game Reserve
13th Oct - Transfer to Panafric Hotel in Nairobi
14th Oct - Fly to Johannesburg for overnight at Airport Grand Hotel
15th Oct - Fly to Victoria Falls.
3 nights stay at Kingdom Hotel
Activities in Victoria Falls:
*Evening Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi River
*Morning walk with the Lions - Lion Encounter Safari
*Guided Tour of the Falls
*Elephant Back Safari
18th October - Fly Home to Australia

I have read your advise on duffle bags, but cant buy the ones suggested on here in Australia...any Aussie's on here that can make suggestions for a good well priced duffle?
Also, what sort of weather should we expect in Africa? Will Tsetse flies be an issue?
What vaccinations would you recommend?
I am a complete beginner with camera's and was considering the Olympus SP-550..do you think that will be ok??

Thank you all for reading
Mia78 is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2007, 11:24 AM
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Are you driving throughout on the Kenya portion? If so, you don't really need to be too concerned with the particular type of duffle as your only flights would be on commercial jets. Also, if driving, keep in mind that the itinerary is pretty fast paced and you have 3 long drives in Kenya (up to 6 hours or more) with back to back ones before and after 1 night in Nakuru, so be mentally prepared for that.

I've haven't seen tsetses in any of your Kenya destinations. Early Oct in Kenya should be dry with warm days and cool mornings/evenings, perfect weather. Never been to Vic Falls. Have a great trip!
Patty is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2007, 04:59 PM
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Thanks for your response Patty. We will be driving throughout the Kenya portion..or rather being driven.
So chances are we wont be on any cessna type regional planes?
Mia78 is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2007, 05:20 PM
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it will be HOT in Victoria Falls, don't remember any tsetse flies there though.
matnikstym is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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No, it doesn't look like any of your flights will be on light aircraft. If I'm counting correctly, the only flights you have are JNB-NBO, NBO-JNB, JNB-VFA, and VFA-JNB.
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Old Jun 8th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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It is more moving around than I would do when adding up time on your holiday vs. time traveling. But you are hitting two distinct and unique areas of Africa that are not conveniently near each other. You'll love both spots.

If you could have one more day in the Mara in early Oct, I would add it since that is such a good time to be there.

Tse tses should not be much of a problem.

If the Olympus has 10x optical zoom or better and image stabilization, and you like how it feels, then I think it should work fine.

Shots, etc. You'll need anti-malaria pills and maybe typhoid (oral or shot) plus some updates on childhood vaccines and Hep A. Please consult your doctor or a travel clinic for such important advice. I use a travel clinic.

Enjoy your trip and write about it when you get back.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2007, 02:34 PM
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I'll be in Vic Falls Oct 25-28 so we'll just miss each other! I have been there several times and it will definitely be hot and not much water over the falls.
zimdonna is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2007, 08:24 PM
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The Olympus has 18x optical zoom..so that is a good thing.
Now I just nee dto research a good budget pair of binoculors.

An extra day in Mara would be great, i will certainly speak to my agent about the possibility of adding it in (hopefully it wont be too late).

I have emailed the Panafric Hotel in Nairobi and asked if we can leave our hard suitcase with them whilst we are away on the safari, and that way we can just carry what we need...is that an ok thing to do??

Zimdonna, where will you be staying whilst at Vic Falls?? I will leave you a welcome note.
Mia78 is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2007, 08:45 PM
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I've heard about the 18. That's almost a telescope.

If you type in binoculars in the search box there are many threads on them.

Leaving the hardcase makes sense. Most hotels have storage.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2007, 08:46 PM
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Mia78,

I'll be at Ilala Lodge which is near The Kingdom right in town.
zimdonna is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2007, 09:24 PM
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Mia78,

IMO you're wasting valuable game viewing time flying back and forth from JNB to Kenya & Zim (Vic falls).

I think you are better off concentrating on one destination.

eg: Only go to Kenya (or Zimbabwe) this time and stay longer at Amboseli, Masai Mara etc or go to other parks.

Vic Falls is magnificent anytime of the year but is most spectacular in spate which is Mar - May depending on the rains in Angola/Zambia.

I notice you're an Aussie. Who is your travel agent?

Geoff.

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Old Jun 8th, 2007, 10:21 PM
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Geoff we have booked through "The Africa Safari Co" who are based in Sydney.
We orininally only booked the Kenya portion with them but then I read about the Lions and Elephant Safari and really wanted to spend some time there as well. I know it is a lot of travelling time, which I must admit annoys me a little...
The reason for trying to get it all into one trip is that once we get home we are hoping to start a family...but we both need to get the safari urge out of the way first, knowing it will probably be many years before we get a chance to go back.

Zimdonna, i will leave you a welcome present for your arrival...
Mia78 is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2007, 10:55 PM
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Mia78,

If that is the case try and stay for as long as your budget will allow. I understand your reasons for extending to Zim but the travel time really is onerous.

If you do a calculation you will find that the major portion of your trip is in airfares. See if your budget will allow you to stay longer at all your desinations and also see if you can fly (light aircraft) rather than drive between your Kenyan stops.

With an itinerary like that I hope you have the stamina. You will find it exhausting and just as you settle in you will have to move on.

The other thing I would mention/question is why you have to fly from Kenya back to JNB and then stay overnight in a hotel in JNB (more time wasted) surely you could fly directly to Vic Falls or Livingstone from Nairobi.

Oh and once you've been on safari you will never get it out of your blood. I can see you dragging the kids over in a few years

Good Luck and enjoy.

GeoffG is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2007, 06:27 PM
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Geoff thatnk you so much for your invaluable input. I have emailed our agent asnd asked if it is possible to spend another night in the Mara and to also fly direct from Nairobi to Vic Falls..this will give us another night in Vic Falls as well which would be great.
When I booked our trip back in January, I really didnt know very much about travelling, I just knew I wanted to see big cats!! Now that it has all sunk in better, I am wanting to make the most of the experience. I am so appreciative to have some many people on here that are able to help enhance the experience!

I cant wait to have children to be able to drag them over to Africa. I never had a holiday as a child, so I really want to instill the magic of the world to my own.
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Old Jun 9th, 2007, 07:07 PM
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I don't believe there are direct flights from Nairobi to Vic Falls or even Livingstone. You have to go to JNB then back up. You're going to love Ilala Lodge! Great place, good food, close to the market and the falls and monkeys and warthogs running on the grass in front of your room.
matnikstym is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2007, 10:08 AM
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I don't believe there are any nonstop flights between NBO and either VFA or LVI either. They all connect via JNB. Couple of ideas -

What time does your flight to JNB depart on Oct 14? If it's later in the day, you don't need an overnight in Nairobi and can spend the night of the 13th in the Mara. Fly back to Nairobi from the Mara if necessary.

If you fly into LVI rather than VFA, it looks like you could take a combination of KQ460 and CE204 on Oct 15th without having to overnight in JNB. You could spend the 13th in the Mara and 14th in Nairobi. I don't know what the transfer logistics are from Livingstone to Vic Falls and whether this would require an extra visa. Perhaps someone else can tell you.
Patty is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2007, 10:11 AM
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yes, you would need a Zambian visa ($100 U.S. for U.S. citizens) even though just transiting through. then the Zim visa is $35. U.S. and the border closes at 6:00 P.M. Transit time through LVI-Ilala Lodge around a half hour-hour depending on the lines.
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 04:19 PM
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Our flight out of Nairobi on the 14th is at 15:40..I was thinking, I wouldnt mind if we have to go through JNB, but then cant we fly straight back out to VIC Falls without laying over? it seems that the flight from JNB to VIC Falls is all of 90 minutes...
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 05:59 PM
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The 15:40 flight gets into JNB at 19:00. There are no evening flights from JNB to either VFA or LVI. The only way you can make a same day connection is to depart NBO on the 7:40 Kenya Airways flight to JNB.

But with a 15:40 departure from NBO, you don't not need to spend the night of the 13th in Nairobi. You can take the 11:00 flight on either Air Kenya or Safarilink from the Mara to Nairobi Wilson airport and transfer to NBO in time for your flight to JNB. If you get a very early start from the Sopa, you could probably even drive back to Nairobi in time, but I think you'll appreciate the flight back after all of that driving around.
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