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Kenya in January

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Nov 21st, 2006, 10:10 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Kenya in January

Our Safari is planned for mid January so it is really getting close. I have been reading the postings for the last couple of months--so I have printed all the suggestions for clothes and things to take along--but I have a few questions about weather. We are leaving a few days early--Jan 12 for a Jan 14 trip with Micato. What advice can you give us about what to expect in regards to the weather??

I am also still concerned about the weight restrictions. Did you find the bags supplied by Micato to be adequate or do you suggest?

We are starting our search for cameras now--going to be our Christmas gifts to each other--boy those expenses do add up dont they? but we can hardly wait.

Thank you for all of your suggestions. all of the trip reports are so fascinating. Thanks to all who have taken the time to share their experiences and advice. Jan
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Nov 21st, 2006, 10:32 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Be sure you allow plenty of practice time with the new cameras. Don't leave home without being very familiar with your equipment or you may have problems.

Have a wonderful trip.
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Nov 21st, 2006, 12:54 PM
  #3
 
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Hi Jan-

I can't help with the weather in January, but we were there with Micato in May, this year.

So, I can hbelp you with the duffle bag question - are you on the Stanley Wing, or one of their shorter trips?

The bag issued by Micato was incredible - well made, tough, sturdy, too much room. All of which is a recipe for being overweight! I'm not sure what you meant by adequate, did you mean would you need to bring more? The answer to that would be no, you wouldn't need more, and you can't anyways. You are allowed, per the intra-Africa airline regs 33 lbs in one bag each only - plus a reasonable size carry on. Basically, the reasonable size means that if you are comfortable with it on your lap in a small aircraft with squishy seats, then that is reasonable. There are no overhead bins on the planes, and not much room under the seat, so.... if it's big, in your lap it will be! For sure, the roll-aboard type of carry on will not be a good thing to bring. Two people on our trip had the roll-aboards and they said 'never again' by the third flight in. My shoulder bag did fit under the seats most of the time, but it's not big.

As for the duffle bag weight restrictions - yes, they mean that too. We were a few pounds over, and combined with some of the others who were probably way over, we had continual problems with weight. At one point our concierge had to ask all of us that were travelling in a couple to pack into one duffle (per couple) and then Micato stored the other bag (when we were going up to Mt Kenya on the last leg of the trip). I can't remember which airline it was, but they flat out said no way were they taking the extra weight.

The duffle by the way weighs 8lbs in itself - so you only have 25 left....

The good news is that it can be done with a little bit of 'beforehand' knowledge of what to bring. We brought things we didn't use.

Have you read my trip report, there is a whole section on packing in there; or I can send you the list I made up AFTER we got home for what to bring next time - let me know?
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Nov 21st, 2006, 03:22 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Weather in January shoud be dry and hot (unless global warning intervenes)
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Nov 21st, 2006, 04:46 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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The bags are fine for the trip...they stack in the back of the vans perfectly when you are moving from one camp to another or headed to/from the airstrips. All the bagage handlers at the airstrips are used to them. They are a little heavy, but the bags provide good protection for any items that might be a little fragile. We returned from a Micato Stanley Wing in October and the weather was perfect. I have no idea what to expect in January. Depending on your trip, the rim of the Crater was really cold, and about the only time we really needed warm clothes. It was rainy and foggy both nights we were up there. The Crater floor was pleasant. I took a lightweight Goretex shell and layered. Zip off pants (two pair)dark green and dark tan were about all I wore along with some long- sleeve shirts I wear fly-fishing that can be rolled up if it gets too warm. I used suggestions from LyndaS. I actually had a clean shirt when I returned to Nairobi. Included in my 25 lbs. was a flask (scotch) for after the drive and before dinner. So there is plenty of room. You will have a blast. If you are going to the Mt. Kenya Safari Club, you will want something to be a little dressed. Which Micato trip are you on? Re your camera...we got so close to some of the animals, you didn't need anything but a digital point and shoot lens to fill the whole frame with the animal. Actally used the digital movie feature of my Canon more than I thought I would as lions, elephants etc. walked by us. I was going to take my brother's digital Nikon with all the lenses, but at the time the carry on restrictions were at their worst, and I didn't want to risk checking and losing his camera. In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't have a big camera to lug around. Our best photos were of the people we met. Have a great trip.
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Nov 22nd, 2006, 06:21 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 157
This might be of use for your camera search - I found this link when searching for our future safari camera:

http://articlespage.com/photography/52847.php

I was an Olympus and Nikon fan, but after futher research, the Canon Powershot S2 (with a 12X optical zoom) has all you need, unless you jump to a digital SLR. Canon has great image stabilization, and two pro photographer friends also backed up this recommendation.

We are definitely taking this little canon on our trip in January 2008.

Have a wonderful time on your trip and look forward to your report when you get back!
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Nov 23rd, 2006, 02:37 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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We just returned from a Stanley Wing Safari in November and found the weather was cooler in most places than we had expected, esp at Ngorongoro and Mt. Kenya. As for the bag, I was reluctant to use the Micato bag because it seemed too big and heavy, but I ended up using the bag, and I'm happy I did. The Micato staff and the lodge porters will be apt to overlook or misplace your bag if it does not look like the other Micato bags. This happened to one unlucky person on our safari. Also, if you pack no more than the 25 lbs you are permitted, your bag will be about 1/3 empty, which comes in very handy at the end of the trip as you will have plenty of room to pack the stuff you buy in Nairobi at the end of your safari. Finally, you do not need to pack much for this safari. The lodges had excellent, inexpensive laundry service. And we found people were not particularly dressed up at the Mt Kenya Safari Club. Have fun!
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Nov 23rd, 2006, 08:38 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 391
As Philw says the weather should be hot and dry in January.

It seems to have been raining here for the last 6 weeks. But as I look out of the window now it's a fresh day with a clear blue sky. That could change in the next hour! People are saying the pattern has changed, and the short rains are much longer now.

Flooding is no good, but there has been some sustained regular rain which should be good as long as it's reached the northern areas of Kenya.

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Dec 23rd, 2006, 11:55 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 191
Lynda S: Yes, I would love a revised copy of your list--and Yes, I most certainly read all of your reports--they were great-as were so many others--I enjoyed your report of the balloon ride and the tuskers --certainly appreciate all of your advice. I too now have the Tilley hat--its just those bags seem so heavy--but someone else pointed out Micato can certainly spot them when looking the groups' luggage--I am checking my lists of lists again. THanks again in advance. Jan
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Dec 23rd, 2006, 12:03 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 191
I hope we made the rigth choices regarding the cameras--since it was Christams time and since we did need new cameras anyway--we ended up with Pental Digital SLR--i bought a slighter lighter one because of my arthritis--and since we were in the safari mood--of once in a life time- we splurged for the 28-300 lens so we wouldnt have to change lenses because of the advice of the dust--I hope this was a good idea--but neverthe less there we are--I guess we will have lots of Christmas picture taking and experimenting. Again, thanks for all the help. We can hardly wait. Jan
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Dec 25th, 2006, 12:48 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,252
Still rain around on the 24th December but it is definitely drying out and heating up in general. However, you'll be in a van or a lodge and so rain gear would be optional even if you were going tomorrow.
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Dec 27th, 2006, 10:48 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Sorry Jan, I have been lax in checking the posts and have only jumped in occasionally to see what was going on, and I missed this post. I have the 'revised' packing list in Excel, please email me at lyndadswain at telus dot net and I can send it to you (if you have Excel). If not, then I can copy and paste here, that will probably work!

You must be so excited! Its really coming close...
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Dec 29th, 2006, 05:16 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Lynda: Thanks so much--let try both--my computer at work has excel--as does my husbands mac--but my laptop does not--so please if you dont mind lets try both methods.

I read a lot before the holidays--then I rather lost focus for awhile--but now the trip is sooo close--we are so excited but have so little time. Thanks so much in advance. Jan
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Dec 29th, 2006, 07:28 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Hi Jan-

It didn't come out as neat as it was on Excel, but I think if I do it in sections it will come out better-

LADIE'S

4 t-shirts
2 short sleeved shirts or blouses
(just to look a little dressier at dinner)
1 long sleeved shirt for evenings (re mosquitoes)
1 black pants - comfy but nice ( traveling & dinner)
2 convertible pants
1 capris
1 multi pocket safari vest (lightweight)
1 'packable' blazer - for Mt Kenya Safari Club
and traveling in on international flights
1 fleece hoodie for warmth -use as sweater too
1 rain/wind jacket - 'packable' is best
1 pr walking sandals
1 pr closed in shoes
1 pr Clarke's sandals that I use as 'slippers'
1 pr pyjamas - light weight 'summer' flannel is good
2 pr socks - quick dry
6 pr underwear - quickdry if possible
3 bras
1 bathing suit
1 cover up (double duty - pool & around room as robe)

---------------------------------------

MEN'S

3 short sleeve shirts (Cool Max is good)
1 long sleeve shirt
2 polo shirts (Cool Max is good)
2 pr khaki pants (like Dockers)
2 pr convertibles
1 pr walking sandals
1 pr closed in shoes
4 prs socks
8 underwear
1 fleece jacket (light but warm - Columbia type is good)
1 stuff in sack rain jacket
1 multi-pocketed vest
1 bathing suit
1 light weight cotton bath robe

---------------------------------------

NOTES:

- Micato will supply a very nice olive green 'Tilley' type of hat. I loved mine - Jim wore his original Tilley.
- Smalls (underwear & socks) has to be laundered in the sink at night, shirts/pants can go to lodge's laundry
whenever you are on a two night stay (everywhere but Taranagire).
- fleece hoodie is a must for warmth at the crater & Mt Kenya
- the only place you have to dress even a 'bit' is Mt. Kenya - nice black pants, a packable blazer & a nice blouse is good
this will also be good for the Pinto's dinner
- sandals that I use as slippers of course would be optional - I have plantar factiatus (spelling) & must always have arch support







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Dec 29th, 2006, 07:41 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
Yes, that did work - here's the rest:

OTHER THAN CLOTHES:

PERSONAL TOILETRIES
shampoo, conditioner (shampoo provided in every camp, but not conditioner)
facial cleanser, body wash, moisturizer,deodorant
bubble bath-for Mt Kenya Sfari Club sunken tub
small washcloth - not always provided!
All toiletries should be in small, disposable containers - ie I packed 4 little shampoos (hotel size) & tossed the containers
as I used them

OVER THE COUNTER DRUG STUFF
a few bandaids - I used a few times
small tube of neosporin - I used a few times
Gravol-didn't use, but you never know
Immodium - same as above
Contact C - hubby used
Advil - used a few times
Non- drowsy antihistamine- I used for the 'rash'
Rolaids or Tums - hubby used

SUN AND BUGS
Cortate cream/ after bite - I took both & used both
pkgs of OFF wipes - I liked these, easy to carry
small bottle of insect repellent - some lodges had this
sun-burn lotion SPF 30- I burn easy - a must for me

BUSH LOO STUFF
travel roll of TP- I used a whole roll
antiseptic wipes - used extensively
a few sandwich bags - used for bush breaks for the TP

LAUNDRY STUFF
small bottle of hand wash soap-Zero is good
twistable pegless clothes line
Tide To Go pen - invaluable to me!

MISCELLANEOUS:
one paperback book - not much time to read
a small field guide - not necessary, Micato drivers have
a few pens - a necessity
pencils & erasers - if you sketch or do crosswords
small note cards with envelopes - for drivers tips
journal book - VERY important to me!
small notebook - out in the field notes if your journal is of 'good' type
small exchange calculator - I found it handy
cheap dollar store plastic file pouch (8 1/2 x 11) - good for balloon certificate & itinerary
portfolio or zipped pouch for valuables for safe - to have your valuables in one place for the safe
airline neck pillows (inflatable) - doubles as a cushion in the vans
camera's & gear
some sheets of bubble wrap - for fragile purchases or gifts given to you
small Kleenex packages (2)
converter and adapters for the area
very small multi plug outlet - only one electrical outlet in your room usually
binoculars - Micato vans had, but I like mine
travel alarm clock - used when wake up calls were not early enough for us
extra batteries
extra sunglasses & sunglass cords
small basic sewing kit - just enough to fix a hem or two
duct tape - travel compact roll from Magellans or some around a pen
flashlight or reading light - the one Micato sent you is fabulous
small travel coffee mugs - optional but we like coffee on the early morning game runs
suitcase locks , combination is better - for locking bags while at lodges, etc
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Dec 30th, 2006, 06:18 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 191
Lynda: Thanks so much----my printer is working now--I love the suggestion of bubble bath--it's on my to do list--plus the bubble wrap--good idea and not a weight problem. I have taken to traveling with a bubble envelope in case the person I encounter when I go thru security finds something in my bag they wont let pass --so far I havent had to use it--but then too you have to have the stamps to mail it. I am starting my list and checking it four times--little ocd--but I am so excited!!! Jan
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Dec 30th, 2006, 12:06 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
Just curious which Micato safari are you going on Jan?
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Dec 31st, 2006, 06:12 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 191
Thanks again for the list--I am starting to
"gather" things together now--We will be on the Jan 14 Grand Safari--To abel ato upgrade we have to fly in two days early--so one night at The Norfolk and one at Girafe Manor--then back to The Norfolk, Amboseli National Park (Tortilis Camp), Mount Kenya Safari Club, Maasai Mara National Reserve (Batelaeur Tented Camp, Serengeti National Park (Kirawira Camp), Ngrorngor Conservation Area (Ngorongoro Crate Lodge)--then that long flight home--and it will seem the whole vacation will just have been a blink of an eye. Right now we are sooo anxious.

I checked weather and looks as if the highs are around 80--??? Thanks again for all advice. Jan
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Jan 20th, 2007, 03:55 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 26
jlpx3, LyndaS,
We are seriously looking at Micato but are put off by Mt. Kenya Safari Club. Several postings here have said it isn't worth it. Your experience?

Any experience with Tauck?

Thanks for the superb packing list and explanation of weight restrictions.
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