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

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Mar 23rd, 2012, 11:36 PM
  #241
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Hi Jane62 and ShayTay,

Thanks for your kind words. This was one of our greatest trips ever, and it's nice to see that the thread has been revived. As far as luggage, Rick Steve's may be practical, but it's not very attractive. The Mother Lode is way more presentable, but I agree about the two-backpack issue. I believe Leely2 and I discussed this on one of her trip reports because she's a veteran safari goer who uses the Rick Steves.

The Eagle Creek duffel (medium size) was my favorite of the ones we took because it held more than the others and zipped open wider, so it was possible to not unpack and still find everything (of course, it helped that we hardly brought anything). We also used lightweight folding luggage wheels from Bed, Bath and Beyond - each caddy held two of the duffels. I believe Mr. C posts a link somewhere in this report, but if not, I can post them for you.

For a backpack, I had a Victorinox, which I still use for most trips.

Happy to discuss luggage endlessly. You can PM me at studiojr on tripadvisor.
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Mar 24th, 2012, 09:41 AM
  #242
 
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I think I have the Mother Lode not the Rick Steves. Headed back to Kenya in June and have four days in Paris first. Time to start worrying about luggage!
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Mar 24th, 2012, 12:29 PM
  #243
 
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Leely2, you think, you don't know? I thought all safari-goers had to obsess so much about what kind of luggage to buy that they'd never forget it as long as they live LOL!

Crosscheck, thanks for the info. I had already gone ahead and ordered 3 Mother Lodes in different colors (with matching packing cubes, of course - though wasn't sure whether to buy 3 mediums, a set of 3 different sizes or what - went so far as to chat with an ebags rep who had to check for me which size packing cubes to get and then told me to get the 3-different-sizes set so I hope he's right)! They are on their way so I'll see what I think when they arrive. Will try doing a mock packing. Still interested in the Eagle Creek duffel though, and still have time to return a Mother Lode and get an Eagle Creek - we don't leave for over 2 months!

Now I'm on to worrying about footwear also. Any tips on that on the forum? (I'm sure there are if I search). What WILL I do with my time when this trip is over?
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Mar 24th, 2012, 06:15 PM
  #244
 
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Thank you so much for your excellent trip report. After many years of travalling to many countries in Asia and Middle East we are doing our first trip into Africa. It will not be until November and to Tanzania foa a safari and the post safari to Zanzibar. Again thank you.
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Mar 24th, 2012, 10:58 PM
  #245
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Leely2, Hope it is the Mother Lode that you have - much more suitable for Paris.

Jane62, Of course I have shoe advice. You'll need lightweight trailrunner type sneakers and some comfortable yet stylish sandals. That's about it. I made the mistake of also bringing closed clogs - I like to wear them in airports because they're easy to take off and put back on. They did, however, ultimately cause my ankle injury in Nairobi because I tripped while wearing them, but I guess the injury did add some good conflict to the trip report.

Garfield, I appreciate your kind words. We've been thinking that our next trip will be to India, but Tanzania and Zanzibar sound very enticing.
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Mar 25th, 2012, 07:47 AM
  #246
 
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Crosscheck - thanks - the Merrell running shoes I got are barefoot type but with more cushioning on the bottom than usual barefoot. They have a good sole but not officially trail runners. I read that about your ankle injury, what a shame - but you're right, it did make for a good addition to your trip report!

So you think I will use sandals even in June?
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Mar 25th, 2012, 10:12 AM
  #247
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My trailrunners were lightweight Merrells as well, more like quasi-hiking shoes, and of course they coordinated perfectly with my safari wardrobe: http://www.zappos.com/merrell-siren-...dark-gull-gray
I take these on most trips and thought I would need them for our 14k walking safari, but of course, our guides wore flip flops. I also have (and love) the barefoot type Merrells - those will be fine if you are not planning a big trek. I did use my sandals in the afternoons in July, but they're probably not essential.

For over-the-top agonizing about footwear, check out my Belize trip report. I ended up taking every kind of athletic shoe that REI sells, all in my carry on, of course.
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Mar 25th, 2012, 11:50 AM
  #248
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Yikes - sorry for the overuse of "of course." Wish we could go back and edit!
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Mar 25th, 2012, 06:37 PM
  #249
 
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Thanks again, Crosscheck. Those Merrells you have look a lot like mine from Costa Rica. Comfy and cushiony at first but if I walk in them for long, my bunions and/or arches get tired. But I feel I'm on the right track with what to bring now! LOL at the reference for over the top agonizing about footwear - I shall look for your Belize report. You make me feel less obsessed and neurotic - or at least that I have company! And yes, editing is a nice feature they have on TripAdvisor (at least for a few minutes after you post) of which I've taken advantage on several occasions. But no worries.
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Aug 17th, 2012, 05:07 AM
  #250
 
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Great report! Sorry I missed it earlier.
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Aug 17th, 2012, 10:52 AM
  #251
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Thanks, Marija. I'm a big fan of your reports as well.
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Aug 20th, 2012, 05:38 PM
  #252
 
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Crosscheck - first let me say that I have thoroughly enjoyed ALL of this information and laughter. My husband is exactly like your Mr. C. We are heading to our first safari trip in October and all had to be arranged with AA frequent flyer miles/points/ perks/ rewards/benefits, etc. We live near Boston and are flying as you have - going to Nairobi via London. (By the way where is the short cut hallway to uncrowded immigration area when we finally arrive? That would be very helpful as we too only travel with carry on bags.) Your suggestions regarding clothing and colors is also very helpful. My husband lives in black polo shirts or maybe navy so this is going to be a switch. I told him pale colors are it. Did you every wear anything but khaki, beige, olive green and light grey? How about really light lavender or light blue for a shirt? I know I can't take my black fleece or vest but I hate to buy more clothing just for this trip. Guess I'll just have to keep looking for cheap substitutes for shirts and a warm layer. Again thank you for so much helpful information. I'm new to Fodors and find this invaluable particularly when you have a delightful and fun way expressing yourself while describing your adventures. You make me laugh.
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Aug 25th, 2012, 09:27 PM
  #253
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Thanks so much, Spunkie. Here are the answers to your Qs:

SHORTCUT AT NBO: At the moment I cannot remember how to find the secret hallway, but with some luck somebody will chime in. I think you head toward the office where people are getting visas on arrival and keep going.

ATTIRE: Yes, lots of khaki, olive green, beige and grey, but also lots of brown (and my usual black in Nairobi). But the locals we met and our guides were all dressed in the forbidden colors. Take your black fleece and lavender skirt - the animals won't care! I think they might even be color blind.

Have a wonderful time! I feel your pain re: packing. We're off to India in two weeks and I just got an email from my trip planner about no black (but apparently it's okay if I accessorize with bright colors).
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Aug 26th, 2012, 08:10 AM
  #254
 
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It's not a shortcut but rather there are 2 sets of passport control/visa desks connected by a hallway in between. People tend the head to the ones closest to their arrival gate so if those are busy just head down the hallway (either to your right or left depending on which set of desks you're standing in front of in the first place) to the other set. You'll pass the prayer room and Kenya Airways Simba lounge which are located along this hallway on your way.
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Sep 3rd, 2012, 05:09 PM
  #255
 
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Crosscheck and Patty: Thanks so much for answering my questions. Crosscheck if you haven't left for India - have a wonderful time. If you read this after the trip, I await another amusing tale of your adventures.
One last question: What camera do you recommend for safari? I'm looking at the Super/Zoom - Bridge Cameras: Canon SX40HR, Sony DSC HX100V, and Lumix FR150. I'm going crazy with all the information on line. My only other camera is a Canon elph300 so that definitely will not do. I don't want to deal with multiple lens and am definitely not skilled at working too sophisticated a camera. Any recommendations would be very welcome by anyone that has a camera they love.
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Sep 4th, 2012, 09:26 AM
  #256
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Hi Spunkle, We use the Canon G12 (previously G10) for all of our travels. This is the point and shoot that our photographer and cinematographer friends use when they're traveling for business. An amazing camera. But for zoom capabilities, we also took the Panasonic Lumix FZ35 and got some great shots with that.
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Sep 4th, 2012, 09:28 AM
  #257
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correction: Photographers use the G12 for vacation travel.
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Sep 4th, 2012, 12:03 PM
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Spunkie, I just got back from almost 4 weeks in Kenya and Tanzania where I used the Canon SX40. This was my 13th safari and I've used a variety of still and video cameras. I'm quite happy with the photos and videos that I got with the Canon. It's a great, all-purpose camera with a long zoom lens (35x) that's great for safari. A few recommendations if you take this camera on safari... This camera isn't threaded for filters. However, you can go to www.lensmateonline.com and get an adaptor, UV filter and 58mm lenscap, all for about $40. It's definitely worth it to have the UV filter protecting your lens. You can also get a polarizing filter if you wanted one. Also, Canon no longer supplies a paper manual with their cameras. You can get a "cheatsheet" at www.photocheatsheets.com. It's a laminated tri-fold sheet with info about all the camera settings and can be invaluable while out on safari or any time you're traveling with your camera. They also have the "red pod" available on that website. I used it on the safari and found it was an absolute necessity for shooting videos and stills while using that long zoom lens. It's basically a beanbag that screws onto the bottom of your camera and provides a stable platform from which to shoot. It works on the vehicle rooftop, window ledge, seat arm.
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Sep 5th, 2012, 08:10 AM
  #259
 
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Crosscheck and ShayTay, I have to say again how marvelous it is to have found this forum and receive such fabulous information from terrific people as yourselves. You are my life savers as I plan for our trip to Kenya and Tanzania next month - only my first! I just checked out the G12 and agree I need more zoom. the Lumix is over my price range but very interesting - thanks crosscheck. Shay Tay you are the first "real person" I have connected with who can speak about your experiences with the Canon SX40. I have been very impressed by everything I have read on line but have 2 concerns:1. Was the size of the LDC satisfactory for you in that it is on the small side of most super zooms. Also what the screen grainy? 2. (and most concerning) - I have a few accounts about the continuous auto focus being inconsistent and slow - jumping rather than being a smooth movement/not readjusting as you zoom out or back in. Any thoughts? Overall what do like most about this the SX40? Thank you so much for the additional recommendations. Do you think I should have the Polarized filter in addition to the UV? I'm new to this - do you use both at the same time? If not which is for what? (I'll be OK once I make my purchase - I have a friend who is a photographer who is going to help me learn how to build my skills!) Again thanks to both of you for your continued support.
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Sep 5th, 2012, 09:34 AM
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Spunkie, I rarely use the LCD on the back of the camera. I only use it if I need to shoot from a difficult angle such as above from my head or from my waist level. One reason I like the Canon SX-40 and its predecessors is that it has an eye-level viewfinder, which I find to be much better to use, especially if you're following action. Both screens (back of the camera and the viewfinder) are much more clear on the SX-40 than the ones on the SX-10, which is what I previously used. I didn't have trouble with the auto focus, just the usual "focusing on the grass, not the lion" issues. That will happen with any auto focus in certain safari situations.

As for filters, you'd use either a UV filter or a polarizing filter, but not both at the same time. The polarizing filter can deepen the blue of a sky and cut reflections on water. However, you "lose" an f-stop or two (the amount of light coming into the camera.) You don't necessarily need one on safari. The UV filter cuts some glare, but mostly protects your lens. On safari, you're on a lot of rough roads and you can damage or scratch your lens if you're not careful. I always keep my lens cap on when I'm not shooting.

Whatever camera you decide to use, get it early and do a lot of shooting before you go. Try for different situations... landscapes, wildlife (even if it's just local birds or pets), sunsets, etc. You'll want to ensure that there are no issues with your particular camera and that you know the settings well enough to automatically go to them while you're on your safari. For instance, I usually use the "P" or "Program" setting so that I can adjust things like the ISO settings. However, I also use the "Sport" setting for action shots.
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