Kenya safari/trip advice


Feb 2nd, 2005, 09:54 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Kenya safari/trip advice

Hello, My wife and I are going to Mombassa, Kenya from Feb. 17 - 26. We'll be staying at a timeshare resort and our main activity will be a 3-day safari to the Masai Mara. We'll be flying to the Masai Mara. We're supposed to go on six game drives during the 3 days. I've purchased a Canon Rebel T2 camera and 75 - 300 mm zoom lens for this trip, and my wife has a digital camera. We have a 10-hour layover in Nairobi. We are terrible overpackers. I have several questions:
1. What is the minimal amount of clothing we should bring?
2. What are the most essential items to bring?
3. Is it safe to leave Nairobi airport and look for a hotel room where we can lie down for a few hours?
4. Will we have a weight limit on what we can take on the plane flight part of the safari?
5. How many people are usually in the vehicles used for the safaris and what times do they usually take people out?
6. How many rolls of film should I take for the 6 game drives?
7. Can we realistically expect to see a wide variety of animals at this time of year?
I think that's all for now. Thanks to anyone who responds.
Sarge is offline  
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Feb 2nd, 2005, 10:28 AM
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Apparently you're arriving in NBO late at night and not flying to the Mara till the next morning. I would suggest you get a hotel room to catch some sleep. The NBO airport isn't somewhere I would want to spend 10-hours if there is an alternative. Besides, your flight to the Mara will be out of Wilson (domestic) airport at some distance from (JKIA) Kenyatta There is an Intercontinental hotel not far from the Int'l Airport. Have your tour operator arrange a pick up from the airport to hotel, and pickup following morning (after breakfast) to take you to the Wilson (domestic) airport.

You are limited to 15Kg (33-lbs) on these planes in soft-sided luggage. Since most of your beach clothing shouldn't weight all that much, I would suggest you pack a smaller soft-side bag where you can pack your safari clothing. Leave the remaining luggage with your tour operator. On return from the Mara and before continuing onto Mombasa, your tour operator will meet you with your other bag/s for your flight to Mombasa.

Here too, you have weight limits depending on type of equipment you will be flying. Your tour operator should have that information and specifics re weight and be sure to find out from which airport the Mombasa flight departs - it might be JKIA.

For safari,y ou'll need 1 or 2 pr. slacks, shirts, t-shirts, 1-pr shorts, heavy sweatshirt or sweater for cool mornings and nights; something to sleep in, comfy shoes, swimsuit and coverup; personal items and medications. Again, your tour operator should have provided you a "Suggested Packing List"

You don't mention where you will be staying at the Mara - lodge, camp - but generally, no more than 6 guests to a vehicle, sometimes less, rarely more - depends on how many guests/vehicles at a particular accommodation. Safaris go in the morning about 6:30am to 9am/9:30am, return for breakfast and free balance or morning (you can arrange a game walk if you wish, or just relax), then lunch with a late afternoon safari around 3:30pm or 4pm till dark (6:30 latest). Some camps do night drives, but these are at camps located outside the reserve boundaries.

Film - take at minimum 3-rolls per day, but always have extra as some people often use more. And don't forget you'll need film while in Mombasa. In addition, consider a disposable waterproof camera if you do any snorkeling or diving; regular disposables are good to have just in case your regular camera "acts up" during your trip - it's been known to happen. And it's a good idea to have a disposable 800 speed camera for night photos, unless you feel your regular camera can handle night situations.

Animals, are animals, and while you should be able to see the Big 5 in the Mara - there are never any guarantees. With the exception of the elusive Leopard, the others shouldn't be difficult to find. Enjoy your holiday.
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