Kenya - travel tips needed


Feb 28th, 2012, 10:59 PM
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Kenya - travel tips needed

My wife and I are going on a safari in mid-March. We are going to Aberdare, Lake Nakuru and Mara. We are looking for travel tips as this is our first visit to Kenya. We may also spend a night at the Mount Kenya Safari Club. Is there a dress code at the MKSC??

Is it necessary to take anti-malarial medication? We have been vaccinated against Yellow Fever. Any other vaccines that we should take?
Pawan is offline  
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Feb 29th, 2012, 04:50 AM
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The CDC website has some really good information on malaria and vaccines.
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Feb 29th, 2012, 07:38 AM
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When you say you MAY spend a night at MKSC, that means you are still considering? What is your purpose of going to Mt. Kenya? To see the flora, fauna (which includes unique species of antelope, ostrich, giraffe, and perhaps zebra)? To see the landscape of the area, including Mt. Kenya? To increase your odds of rhino? To enjoy another one of the waterholes, lit at night (it appears you'll see that if you go to Aberdare)?

If any of the above, I'd suggest a spot other than Mt. Kenya Safari Club. How about Sweetwater or Serena Mountain Lodge? Or the fantastic Lewa Downs?

If you'd like to see the Mt. Kenya Safari Club facility itself, then of course, those other places don't fit the bill.

I think dress code has been relaxed to "smart casual" at MKSC.

For med advice, best to talk to a travel clinic. Some vaccines are oral--like polio, which I get every 5 years.

Hep A is good too. I always take anti-malarial pills as a precaution for short-term travel. Malarone has worked well, but there are others.

Other tips:

Wide brimmed hat, good SPF lip balm, sun screen, dress in layers. Bring envelopes where you can place your various tips. Binoculars for each, no sharing. Don't have to be expensive binocs. Lots of memory for photos. Extra camera batteries and 2 chargers and 2 adapter plugs. The 2 is in case something happens to one of them. Call your credit card co in advance to let them know you may be charging in Kenya. Carry copies of all valuable docs and email scans of them to yourself. Buy visa upon arrival so you and your passport are never separated. Carry on as much as possible in case of lost luggage. Tie extra shoes on the outside of carryon for more room inside. If you have any small interest in birds, bring a bird book.

Have a wonderful time!
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Mar 2nd, 2012, 01:36 AM
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Lynn, great tips, and all miraculously in one paragraph! Asante sana!!
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Mar 2nd, 2012, 12:15 PM
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MKSC is 'nice casual' but for dinner, men are still required to wear a jacket (sports coat is fine).

MKSC is not much more that a country-club and unless you choose to stay at one of the River Cottages, the rooms in the main building are much as any hotel anywhere in the world.

Even a manicure here cost me more than I pay for a mani/pedi at home, but when a gal needs something done to her nails... you pay.

How many days total for this safari and how many planned at Aberdares, Nakuru and the Mara?

YES, you do require malaria meds. I use Malarone.
And, do have other inocs that adults should have even if not leaving home, as: Tetanus (DPT... lasts 10/yrs), Hep-A (also good for 10/yrs) and Polio Booster (as an adult should last rest of your life; mine was a jab not oral).
Always discuss with your personal physician based on your individual health histories.

NO, you do not need Yellow Fever inoc for entry to Kenya.
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Mar 4th, 2012, 12:23 PM
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Calinurse, when I can fit ANYTHING into one paragraph, it is indeed a miracle.

What did you decide Pawan?
atravelynn is offline  
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Mar 5th, 2012, 08:09 AM
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Thank you all for your advice.

We start out on 13th March. There are very few options available from India in the budget category. Since this is our first trip to the continent, we are going by the itinerary planned by our travel agent here.

A night each at the Mount Kenya Safari Club and at the Lake Nakuru Lodge and 3 nights at Mara at the Keekorok Lodge. Still undecided about spending a night at the Ark. Heard the facilities are very basic. My wife has just about recovered from a surgery and we are wondering whether she would be able to handle the Ark.

Also, would like to get back to Nairobi on the 18th. Our flight is on the 19th and again we think a 5 hr drive from Mara to Nairobi and then a 5-6 hr wait at the airport will be too much for her.

I need to transfer the funds tomorrow. Any thoughts on my itinerary??

Is the voltage 220 or 110V in Kenya? How smooth is the power supply? I am carrying an extra battery and data cards. Will i be able to charge the batteries at all?
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Mar 5th, 2012, 11:33 AM
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The rooms at The Ark are very small, like cubby holes on an ark. There can be some jostling around when lots of people are at The Ark. But it is a decent lodge.

Nice to have 3 nts in the Mara.

The 5 hour drive and several hour wait could be a long day. You might be able to do something else upon arrival in Nairobi such as go to a restaurant.

I think it is a nice itinerary for a first trip and you'll have a marvelous time.

From the US, I use a plug adapter and my charger reads 110-240. You should have no problem charging batteries where you are going. The power supply was smooth, sometimes out at night.
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Mar 5th, 2012, 11:34 AM
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13 - Drive 2.5-3/hrs to Mt.Kenya/Nanyuki - o/n Sweetwaters
14 - Drive 3/hrs to Lake Nakuru - o/n Lake Nakuru Lodge
15 - Drive 5/hrs to Mara, then game drive thru to the South, about 2/hrs to lodge - o/nKeekorok
15 & 17 - Masai Mara - o/n Keekorok
18 - Drive 6/hrs to Nairobi - homebound

Unless 13th is arrival and require overnight before heading out on safari on 14th, the above still works... just move above forward 1/day.

Realize you wish to keep prices in line, but that 6-7/hr drive from Nakuru to Keekorok is long and on some nasty roads, so you might want to consider,
- on leaving Nakuru, drive 1/hr south to Lk. Naivasha*, do a boat ride to Crescent Is. for walking safari amongst tame game, then transfer to airstrip for 3:30pm flight to the Mara, where airstrip arriving here is practically right outside the Keekorok Lodge.

*there is no airstrip at Nakuru

- and as you flew into the Mara, on last day fly from Mara (1/hr) to NBO and homebound.

Only an estimate, but these two flights might add: $350/person. Ask your tour operator for costs.

Kenya is 240V, using the UK adapter plug with 3-flat prongs. You should always have extra batteries and media cards. Charging can be done in your tent/room or at Reception... varies depending on where staying.
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