Last minute questions

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Jun 21st, 2014, 04:26 AM
  #1
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Last minute questions

My wife and I are flying to Kenya/Tanzania for our first African trip for 25 days 17 of them safari, 2 at an orphanage near Arusha, 4 in Zanzibar, and 2 flying. We are driving to Philly, Pa for overnight stay and fly out this Tues 6-24 am flight.
We want to take thousands of pictures and I have 3 16 gb, an 8 gb sd cards but not sure that will be enough. Is it a good idea to bring my laptop so I can upload my pictures or is there any other options to uploading them? Is it safe to leave at camp/hotels or would I need to worry about bringing it on the jeep with it bouncing around. Is there much service in Kenya/Tanz as we will be staying in semi luxury tents/lodges on our safaris?
We would like bring some small gifts for kids at the orphanage. I know soccer balls has been mentioned that aren't blown up but that seems to still be a lot of space taken up in our luggage and we have like 8 stops before we get there.
We have 19 hour flight times. Any suggestions anything to take for comfort for the flight and maybe double on the jeep rides?
Wow, we are almost ready for one our lifetime dreams we haven't done yet.
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Jun 21st, 2014, 08:56 AM
  #2
 
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There are two groups out there, those who back up and those who don't back up images. The former group includes those who wish to avoid disaster and those who experienced, or nearly experienced, disaster. Losing a card or having a card go bad, with the loss of precious images, will stick with you forever.

I always back up photos. A laptop tends to be too heavy, and while netbooks were around they were a popular option because they were light and small and had lots of storage capability. Tablets are very light but are limited as to storage. I used a Nexus 32 GB recently and it served my purpose as it was a short trip. There are products out there that are recommendedfor backing up, including HyperDrive which is rentable.

Here's a link to a discussion you might find helpful:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...-Tanzania.html
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Jun 21st, 2014, 09:00 AM
  #3
jgg
 
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We just returned home last night from a 12 day safari to Tanzania. Which orphanage will you be visiting in Arusha? We visited Faraja Orphanage there. Can't answer the question about photo uploading - hubby took care of all of that and he is still asleep, but I know we didn't bring a laptop (just mini iPads) and I don't believe he ever did any uploading so I'm assuming he bought very large memory cards.
We stayed at mostly luxury tents and camps and they all had safes to put valuables in. I wouldn't want to bring a laptop in the jeep. We found all of the places we stayed at had wifi though mostly only in the main lodge or main tent - not necessarily in our room or tent. The last place we stayed (Singita Sabora in Serengeti had excellent wifi, incl in our tent).

We did not bring gifts for the kids at the orphanage as we had read that many orphanages don't like the kids always expecting a handout - we plan on making a money donation to the orphanage now that we are home. The kids did not mind that we did not bring anything for them - they absolutely loved playing with us and their favorite thing to do was having us take their picture with our phone and showing it to them afterwards - they absolutely loved that!! We did buy a soccer ball while we were there and they took us to a field to play. Also, my son gave the baseball cap he was wearing to a young boy who couldn't have been happier/prouder.

My favorite comfort item was my fleece!! We did not find the jeep rides that uncomfortable - very fun! Now the long haul plane flights - that's another story. We had two 9-10 hour flights. On the way there we had one leg in economy and one leg in economy plus. Definitely try to get economy plus if you can. On the way back hubby and I had both gotten sick so at the last minute we upgraded to business (kept kids in economy/plus) - expensive but sooooo worth it. If you are already flying business all your comforts will be taken care of.

Have a fabulous time - it was an amazing trip for us!!
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Jun 21st, 2014, 03:23 PM
  #4
 
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Backup, backup, backup! I suggest bringing a lightweight laptop, copy the photos to the laptop each day, and also get an online backup service like Carbonite. I’ve been on safari in Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa. Some camps have Internet in public areas, but it is super slow (so that may impact online backup). In addition, some rooms have electricity and some don’t. My husband and I always bring laptops and lots of tech devices and haven’t had any issues with theft in our hotel rooms.

Comfort suggestions for jeep rides: layer clothes, warm jacket, hat, super comfortable pants. Depending where you go, handy wipes (we were in Tanzania after a rainy night and got a bit mud splashed one day).

Have fun!!!
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Jun 21st, 2014, 04:43 PM
  #5
 
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I took three 8 gig, one 16 gig and one 32 gig card on both of my safaris. I took 3000 photos the first time and about 2200 the second time. I changed cards every time we changed camps, which was every 3 days or so. I never filled a card and I also never backed up to anything else. I kept a small digital card wallet with my passport on my person, so I knew where they were all the time (minimizing the risk of losing them).

I did bring my iPad to write a travel diary at night and left it locked in my duffel bag in my tent, no problem at all, so if you do bring a laptop, it should be fine in your tent.
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Jun 21st, 2014, 08:59 PM
  #6
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I didn't hear anything to adverse to bringing my laptop that is pretty small and light weight especially as far as leaving in our tent/lodge when are away. Do most have a safe at the tents and lodges?
We will going to Noras that is recommended by Safari Infinity who we is our TO.
Sounds like we can purchase a few things in Arusha the kids.

Another question. Can anyone tell me what we are allowed to bring on flights thru Precision Air. I know there is a 50 lb limit on checked in bags but couldn't find anything on any carry on bags?

Just two more days till we take off. Seems like it wouldn't ever get here nows its getting me a little nervous. What did we forget?
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Jun 21st, 2014, 09:00 PM
  #7
 
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It will be a lifetime dream and don't be surprised if you are planning another one on your flight back!! I know about long flights to Africa, I live in California, mine are two flights totaling 22-24 hours. After 9 hours in the air I'm afraid I'm going to die - after 10 hours I wish I would!!

Wait - you did not mention a back up camera. You really need one (or two).

There is much to said for amyb's procedure. A card a day or camp gives you some protection against massive picture loss. Unless of course you loose them all!!! So, I'd rather have/use 12 4G cards than 3 16G cards.

For safaris I use a back-up hard drive (actually two of them). As sdb2 mentions, a Hyperdrive. Small, light but probably $250 or more. For vacation just last month in USA I used a notebook computer, also called a mini-laptop. Ten inch screen, here's an HP at Amazon for $230, has 320G hard drive. http://tinyurl.com/k9sarso . The mini also has all the capabilities of a regular laptop. Even if you upload your photos to laptop, do not re-use the card. Not until all is home back safe.

regards - tom
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 07:31 AM
  #8
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I m sure it will be as it been one of things on our bucket list. We definitely taking 2 cameras.
As for taking sd cards for everyday or camp, I m not sure that's too practically as we will be there 23 days and about 11 camps/hotels.
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 10:57 AM
  #9
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I just reread Precision Air baggage policy and its policy dates have expired and I couldn't find anything addressing carry on bags. Can anyone provide any info concerning their policy on that. We are going to Zanzibar to and from JBO.
Thanks
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Jun 23rd, 2014, 04:22 AM
  #10
 
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Crlover, there's NBO in Kenya and JRO in Tanzania but as far as I'm aware no JBO anywhere. I suggest posting your question at the appropriate country forum at TripAdvisor. There are some resident experts who might give you your answer.
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Jun 23rd, 2014, 05:30 AM
  #11
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Sorry sdb2, your correct its JRO. My TO just got back and said that as long as its not over the 50 lb weight we should be ok with a carryon that goes in the overhead. Carrying electronic equipment we don't want to have that check in plus following another suggestion on here we will have one set of clothing separate from the rest just in case of lost luggage.
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Jun 23rd, 2014, 07:17 AM
  #12
TC
 
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We back up on an iPad. Its wonderfully light and easy to carry and so much fun to look at the photos at the end of each day without depleting your camera battery.
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Jun 23rd, 2014, 08:28 AM
  #13
 
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You won't find me hoisting 50lb into an overhead!! Good on you if you can!!

regards - tom
ps - yes, do not check anything electronic. Plus carry any critical medications and a copy of your passport. 50lbs? 25lbs each persons, I could handle that.
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Jun 23rd, 2014, 12:58 PM
  #14
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Not even close to 20lb. all the less to lug around for 25 days. YIPEEEE...about ready to drive to our Philly hotel for easy shuttle in the am. Not ready for our 19 hour 1 stopover flight to NBO but I know it will all be worth it.

THANKS EVERYONE FOR ALL YOUR INFO AND HELP. I COULDNT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT ALL OF YOU.
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Jun 23rd, 2014, 01:57 PM
  #15
 
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Safari njema!
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Jun 23rd, 2014, 08:48 PM
  #16
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I had pretty good chance encounter while picking up my rental car to go to the airport. The person at the counter waiting on me asked if I was driving the car out of the state of PA. and I said no just to Philadelphia. He then asked why I was going there and I replied that we were going to Africa. He really perked up then and asked what country to which I said Kenya/Tanzania. He got a huge smile on his face and stated proudly he was from Kenya. Whats the chances of that happening.
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