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Mr. Carry-on and Family Go on Safari: A Porini Migration Adventure


Nov 15th, 2010, 09:40 AM
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That's one refreshing thing about Africa. It doles out the goodies on its own time and even renting a helicopter to zip around the skies offers no guarantees.

In the vernacular of your sons' friends let me compliment you on your fantastic report with "You really saw (and did) THAT? No way, dude. That’s sick."

Your trip report is a primer for parents of teenagers considering a safari or for spouses of one-carry-on'ers considering a safari. Heck, it's a primer for anyone considering a safari.

Like I mentioned before, you need to get this in some kind of bound copy--even if it is just a three hole punch and a binder--and present it to your sons.

Hoping you can have more enjoyable and entertaining family trips.
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Nov 15th, 2010, 07:34 PM
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crosscheck, this report has been amazing, beginning to end. Thanks so much for sharing your experience -- it sounds like you've brought back a lot of memories for people who've been on safari, and you've certainly whetted the appetite of this newbie even more. All the hilarious observations and brilliant details in your posts have left me with a giant smile on my face.

Wonderful stuff!
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Nov 16th, 2010, 05:52 PM
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Loved your report. I do not understand...why upload your photos during trip? So you have backup copy? In case something happens to card?
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Nov 17th, 2010, 02:34 PM
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Twaffle, Lynn and Leely - Thanks again for your endorsements. YOUR photos and trip reports were all inspirational - and left me feeling verklempt as well.

KathB - I suspect both hippo stories were mostly hyperbole (adults on safari tend to "brag" about their dangerous encounters, like little kids) but I will try to get more details.

Windowless - I really appreciate the kind words, and have a feeling that your report will be awesome. You're already a star on this board and you haven't even left yet.

Elainee - We did upload nightly in case something happened to the memory cards. Of course, something could also happen to the computer...Another thing to worry about!

I just remembered two more things that I left out:

1) One friend who travels often to India told me that people who enjoy touring temples in Asia usually don't love Africa. This is an UNWISE friend.

2) Another friend told me that her parents took her on safari when she was 16. She said it was the best memory of her entire childhood and cannot wait to take her own kids - She believes that a safari is the best gift you can give your family. This is a WISE friend.
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Nov 29th, 2010, 05:15 AM
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crosscheck - thank you so much for posting the boys highlights - it makes me feel better that they thought being "unplugged" was a good thing - it's one of the things I'm worrying about with my nephews. And I'm glad to read about the "slothful pace of teens", - my nephews are very active boys in sports, and I worried that they might get bored with game drives (really - this is just me worrying - they are very excited about this trip!), so reading that your boys liked the slower pace is very reassuring.

Your report was great fun to read - thank you!

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Nov 29th, 2010, 05:42 AM
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Thank you for taking the time to share your epic safari! I have been riveted. What a perfect trip for your family. When is your next safari?
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Nov 29th, 2010, 12:07 PM
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Where exactly are you going? How old are your nephews? My boys are also sports fanatics - both participants and fans. They were both more concerned with missing professional games than they were about the lack of exercise for a few days...The key was to schedule the trip during baseball season, which isn't as critical to them as basketball or football. (This has become a common theme during family trips and I have learned my lesson about when to travel - if you do a search on Fodors, you will find my desperate pleas about where to watch basketball in Ecuador).

We scheduled our trip for after the World Cup and the NBA finals. The boys use the Blackberry (which worked in the parks, but not at the camps) to find out about sports scores. And shockingly, our Masai guides (who now have internet access on their cells) were also following some of their teams.

As far as exercise, the walking safaris were a perfect solution, especially because they included spear-throwing competitions. I did also notice soccer fields adjacent to some of the larger camps in the parks, presumably for employees. My boys would have loved that, but they were fine with a few days off from all their activities.

Thanks so much for the kind words. Not sure about our next safari - maybe a gorilla trip. The great news is that I know it WILL happen, because the once-reluctant Mr. C is now on board. He even put photos of our trip on his I-pad, and has been known to show them off during meals at restaurants.
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Dec 4th, 2010, 09:12 PM
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Thank you, Crosscheck, for your vivid description of your safari. My son and I also enjoyed a Gamewatchers safari, with 2 days each at Amboseli Porini, Porini Rhino Camp, and Porini Lion Camp, in early August. It was our first trip out of North America, and we were both astonished with the variety and quantity of wildlife living together. It almost became sensory overload.
Of all the pictures we took, very few were of the camps, the guides, or the people we met along the way. I would very much like to buy/copy/acquire somehow/ 3 or 4 of your pictures, Crosscheck. The bucket shower is easier to explain with a picture of the bucket. The sundowner snack table is nice (who knew they grew macadamia nuts in Kenya?), but the inclusion of the guide's used-tire sandals is memorable. We both remember the unsmiling little boy at the Masai village, from your Silly Bandz picture. And we never took a picture of the homes in the Masai village, with their stick frames and mud/dung walls.
I'm looking forward to reading your other reports.
Thanks for a brilliant summary!
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Dec 5th, 2010, 08:42 AM
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I hope gorillas are indeed in your future plans, Crosscheck!
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Dec 5th, 2010, 02:33 PM
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I believe I met you at both Porini Rhino and Lion Camps. You were a day ahead/behind me pending on which camp, I was traveling solo and I enjoyed talking with both you and your son. I've included some photos of Porini Rhino and Lion camps and photos from my Maasai Village visit in Amboseli although it may not be the same as I stayed at Tortilis instead of Amboseli Porini. Your son was on the nature walk for the spear throwing, but unfortunately not in the photo. I did the same thing and took so many photos of wildlife that I sometimes forgot to take photos of other things and people I met along the way, but hopefully these photos help a little. If you want me to send you a photo of the bucket shower, you can private message me from my Tripadvisor account username JudyNY and I'll be happy to send any photos. I have a great photo of the bush breakfast and the balloon breakfast, but they both took place while I was at Kichwa Tembo which is just before I headed to Porini Lion camp so hopefully Crosscheck can send you her great photos.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
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Dec 6th, 2010, 02:41 AM
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what a great trip report! can't imagine I only read this now (shame on me! ).
Are you this lucky on all your trips? seeing cheetah hunt, crossings and leopards.. one can only dream of such a safari!

Are you already thinking of return trips?
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Dec 6th, 2010, 08:09 AM
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My husband and I stayed at Porini Rhino and Lion in Sept. We also didn't take many photos of the camp or staff. Just an overwhelming number of wildlife and landscape pics. I have some friends that ask about the tents we stayed in and what the camps looked like. Trying to describe the bucket shower..well I have given up!. Would you mind also sending me a pic of the bucket shower? We are planning another trip in the next year or two and will be sure to get plenty of camp pics.
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Dec 6th, 2010, 04:20 PM
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sillysue, First of all, major congrats for going to Africa for your first foray away from North America. I can't believe I spent all my prime travel years re-visiting all the other continents. Now I have a lot of catching up to do. I would be most honored to share my photos with you.

I have a severe learning disability when it comes to figuring out Flickr settings, but I will do everything in my power to make everything I have posted available to the public. And if I see my photos showing up in National Geographic, I will send you an invoice. If that doesn't work, just let me know your screen name on tripadvisor, and I can email the photos to you. Be forewarned: We have dozens of the bucket shower, the gift hut and various angles of our bathroom sinks, so be careful what you wish for.

atravelynn, I've been in the process of hypnotizing Mr. C, and he actually mentioned gorillas this morning. He is also interested in orangutans in Borneo - have you been?

Nikao, We were very lucky in the Galapagos, but I think Darwin arranged long ago for the iguanas and tortoises to stick around and be crowd pleasers. Also got lucky getting an El Bulli reservation in Spain. Super-lucky snorkeling with giant clams in the Cook Islands. Less lucky at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, where I was thrown out for wearing capris. And exceedingly unlucky in the Yucatan when, on the same day, our younger son was attacked by a monkey and our rental car caught on fire.

annah58, You too can take advantage of my free public offer on flickr. When we describe the bucket shower to friends, Mr. C routinely has to take out his I-pad as a visual aid. But if you don't have the photo, what works is describing about the horrors of running out of hot water in the middle of the shower, then whistling for the guides, but making sure they know that the "emergency" is that you are soapy and cold, rather than being attacked by a hyena.
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Dec 6th, 2010, 09:37 PM
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As one who is still in the planning stages of her 1st trip to Africa, I too am very interested in seeing photos of shower buckets, sinks,people and gift bars. Sure hope you'll post the link here for all of us newbies to enjoy.
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Dec 6th, 2010, 11:21 PM
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Here's the link, but I still haven't made them "shareable"

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Dec 6th, 2010, 11:22 PM
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Oops - once again, flickr has failed me. I will work on it in the morning.
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Dec 15th, 2010, 11:36 AM
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Thank you, Crosscheck, for your efforts on my behalf. I am so envious of your many travels. Your misfires are memorable, but the whistle for running out of hot water conjures up lots of interesting images!

I learned many things on this trip: what's important in pictures, what's really important in packing, and that good memories can sustain me for months on end.

nycjv, yes, we did meet at Rhino Camp, and you gave me the best advise I didn't take: Sleeping pills/Excedrine PM help block out 40 MPH wind noise at night. I am deeply embarrassed that my son and I did not officially say goodbye to you and the Canadiens at Lion Camp; Our desire for an unlimited hot shower in Nairobi clouded my judgement. I have actually printed some of your pictures that were posted on Tripadvisor- apparently, they do not have the same copyright exclusions as Flickr. But I haven't claimed them as my own: just knowing that the close encounter with the young lion occurred to you while we were there is story enough. I remember our conversatons well, and enjoyed our time together.

annah58, I am so jealous..."We are planning another trip in the next year or two and will be sure to get plenty of camp pics." My son joined me on this trip because his dad, my husband, would pay ANYTHING not to have to come along. Next time, I'll make him pay for my son's wife and child, too!

KathBC, how I envy you. I started reading about Africa about 50 years ago, and knew right away that I wanted an authentic experience. The Porini camps (Amboseli, Rhino, and Lion) were exactly that. The food was excellent, the guides and spotters were knowledgeable and dedicated to providing the best experience possible, and the accomodations were classic. My 30 year old son knew that we would be in tents, but was shocked by no on-demand hot water, no electric outlets, and no Internet. But we were both impressed with Porini's committment to give back to the community and protect the land. I recommend them highly.

Thank you, friends, for reading, providing feedback, and making me smile.
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Mar 20th, 2012, 08:59 PM
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I don't know if I can still reply as this is so old, but I'll try! I'm new to Fodor's - I am more accustomed to Tripadvisor - but I just wanted to say to Crosscheck I just finished reading this whole thread and I loved the trip report! Crosscheck, I found it as I have been going down a similar path to the one you trod in the search for the perfect luggage for our upcoming (June) trip to S. Africa - small bush planes, supposedly need soft-sided luggage w/no wheels, etc. I wanted to know which of the 4 different duffels did you end up liking best? or did it just not matter?

By the way, is there a way to private message people on this forum? Thanks!
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Mar 21st, 2012, 12:22 PM
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Welcome to the forum, Jane62! Nope, no way to PM people, which all of us Fodorites would dearly love to see added! Some people post e-mail addresses in their profile.

Crosscheck, I recently read your trip report after it was mentioned on Sundowner's thread... super job!

As for your luggage question Jane62, my favorite case for safari is the Rick Steves Convertible Carry On bag: http://travelstore.ricksteves.com/ca...entId=8&id=139
I've used this bag for almost a dozen safaris and it fits in all the small plane luggage pods. Some duffels can be too thick to go through the pod openings (For example, the Cessna 206 pod opening is 9.5" x 27".) This bag holds a lot and can be expanded.
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Mar 21st, 2012, 08:44 PM
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Thank you ShayTay! Ah, yes, that would be nice if Fodors added that feature.

Thanks for the idea about the Rick Steves' Convertible Carry On. I've been looking at that one and comparing it with the Ebags Mother Lode which I know a lot of people like. And then also comparing with the Eagle Creek duffel which also seems very popular. I like the ability to carry the Rick Steves and Mother Lode on your back. But then I worry what second bag I'd take - I like to have a backpack with me on the plane and then can use it as a daypack at my destination. Not sure how to carry 2 backpacks at once through airports though! Maybe I'll post my own thread to solicit others' thoughts so I don't piggyback on Crosscheck's great trip report thread!
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