Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page >

The Few, the Proud, the Carry-on Only Safari-goers: How Did You Do It?

The Few, the Proud, the Carry-on Only Safari-goers: How Did You Do It?

Old Jun 8th, 2010, 12:51 PM
  #61  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OMG Leely, please give Kennedy & Val a BIG BIG hug from thier mum & dad!!! (That's Jim & I ) That's wonderful that they arranged the Mara portion for you, you will have a fantastic time!

Patty, sorry I thought you had left already - have a WONDERFUL trip too!
LyndaS is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2010, 12:55 PM
  #62  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,273
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Lynda! We leave next Tue.
Patty is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2010, 02:35 PM
  #63  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 788
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Patty. I will post some sort of Mongolia report and let you guys know, if anyone wants to read it. I'm not expecting much wildlife, but hopefully we'll at least see takhi (wild horses), and plenty of domesticated critters. Anything wild we happen to see will be a bonus.

I haven't posted our 2011 Africa itinerary yet, but I'll do that in a new thread when I get the time. I was a little nervous to do that, actually, since the southern Africa fans on this board are so... opinionated. We're working with Bill Given/The Wild Source (Predator Biologist), and he's been really terrific. I think he's helped us put together a great trip, and he's been a huge help in finding us ways to make Botswana more affordable (relatively speaking). I just wanted to do my own research and get his opinions, rather than getting too much feedback here about those expensive camps everyone seems to love so much on this board.
(I got a lot of great ideas from atravelynn's trip reports, too!)

By the way, Patty and Leely, I'm sure you've posted your itineraries, so I'm off to try and find them... Happy travels!
MyDogKyle is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2010, 02:43 PM
  #64  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,286
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Leely and all those meeting up - Have a great trip. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Just got back from a 12 day domestic trip - all carry-on. We cheated and shipped the golf clubs. (Wolves and bears in Yellowstone - fantastic!)
christabir is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2010, 03:52 PM
  #65  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,273
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
MDK,
I'm not sure if I ever posted my itinerary but we're going to be in Nairobi 2 nights, Ithumba 3 nights and Finch Hattons 5 nights. A short trip and Mark said no moving around so much this time! We're also getting a new guide. Don't remember if I mentioned this but Julius has been promoted and doesn't go out on safaris any more but we'll have lunch with him and Serah in Nairobi and give him his guitar then. We were a little bummed when we found out but I'm sure it'll be fine. Don't be nervous about posting your itinerary (I know what you mean though) and I'm looking forward to your Mongolia report! Oh and we also have a 2 night stopover in Paris on the way home, almost forgot

Thanks, christabir! Wolves and bears, how cool. I remember our winter Yellowstone trip a few years back fondly. Seeing wolves was a highlight! I've been wanting to go back in another season but haven't made it yet.
Patty is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2010, 10:32 PM
  #66  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mr. Crosscheck is a luggage nazi and refuses to ever let us check bags. Somehow we have managed three-climate journeys, sometimes with snorkel gear, with just rollaboards and backpacks.

For our upcoming safari, we have more of a challenge because of the weight/duffle/BA size requirement. We bought some state-of-the-art lightweight Travelpro carry-on duffles, which come closest to BA's specifications. They actually look fairly roomy, but were advertised as luggage for a "1-2 day trip." I always pack at the last minute, but this time I think I'll have to do a trial run...especially because I just read that the Porini camps don't do laundry...can that possibly be true?
crosscheck is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2010, 09:36 AM
  #67  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 788
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Patty, that sounds like a great trip (carry-on-only or not!). I think it's nice to spend more time in fewer places, especially since you've been to Kenya multiple times now. I would be sad about losing your great guide, too, but I'm sure it's a great step up for Julius and ESS will find you somebody equally cool. Please tell Serah we said hello!

Too bad you have to stop in Paris, though.

(Leely, have we officially hijacked your thread yet?)
MyDogKyle is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2010, 03:34 PM
  #68  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 279
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Leely,

Good luck on your trip. Can't wait to hear about it. Do me a favor when you're at Macushla? We are going in August. The staff warned that it might be crowded in the room with three of us (doube bed and a twin bed) so I was hoping you can give me your opinion when you return. They offered a nearby guesthouse but I couldn't find very good pictures and those I did find didn't look very quaint so we went with the room in the main house despite the warning. Just thought it might be easy to visualize while you standing there.

Thanks and have fun!
long2travel is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2010, 04:15 PM
  #69  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi long2travel, I think we're booked in the nearby two-bedroom guesthouse, which is called Fadhili House. It has received two stars (out of three) is a brand new guidebook to to Kenya and Tanzania, which described it as a "gorgeous little bedroom cottage at the bottom of Macushla's jungly garden...with exceptional artwork...and decor reflecting a love of African culture and wildlife..." We're going in July and will let you know how it is.
crosscheck is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2010, 04:17 PM
  #70  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Carry-on Update (and I thought I was neurotic) - My husband, the baggage nazi, is actually driving to LAX to see if our new duffles fit into BA's sizer.
crosscheck is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2010, 06:15 PM
  #71  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9,900
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Wow, crosscheck! Did you post the link to the duffels so we can see them when your husband The LN gets back from the airport?

I'm "cleaning" my house and cramming things in the liquids bag!
Leely2 is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2010, 07:06 PM
  #72  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here's the link to the duffels:

http://www.ebags.com/product/travelp...g-duffel/97219 (they are very cool, and more soft-sided than they appear in the photos - purchased them online for $65 during a super sale)

BA allows 22x18x10 and these are 22x13x10 - 1100 sq. inches less than we're allowed, so we thought we were good to go. But there is a 1" plastic handle on the bottom, which concerned Mr. C.

To further complicate things, we just discovered that AA's max is 22x14x9 (although they ambiguously also mention 45" combined linear dimensions)...and we're flying AA from LAX-BOS-LHR. AA is pretty lenient, and we might get upgraded on one leg, so I'm not too worried about that inch, but it would be ironic if we ended up having to check our luggage after all these advance preparations. I guess the LN will have to check the AA gauge as well.

If you knew us, you would be shocked that we're planning so far ahead. We usually start packing at midnight the night we leave, and last year we bought our cameras the day before we traveled to the Galapagos (we still don't know how to use them).

Will report back after the airport run.
crosscheck is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2010, 07:46 AM
  #73  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,273
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
AA recently changed their policy to say that carry-ons must fit their sizers http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2010...age-crackdown/
Patty is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2010, 08:07 AM
  #74  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Update: Mr. C did his airport run last night. BA was closed (on strike?), but sadly, the Travelpro failed to fit in the AA sizer. The agent, who thought Mr. C was actually traveling, rather than a Type A LN compulsively preparing for a safari, said not to worry and to proceed to the gate.

I thought this would inspire him to allow us to check, but no luck...He's now on a quest to find something similar, but an inch smaller.
crosscheck is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2010, 11:21 AM
  #75  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Crosscheck, try the Rick Steves convertible carry-on bag.
http://travelstore.ricksteves.com/ca...entId=8&id=139 They are on sale right now for $69.95. It's a great bag on safari and I've carried this bag onboard without problems, at least size-wise. The only time I had an issue was regarding its weight. Some airlines (Swiss in this case) have a weight limit for carry-on bags of about 8kg (17.6 lbs.) My bag was over 20 lbs and my "personal" camera bag was about 18 lbs... not acceptable, but the gate personnel and I had to check the clothes bag, even though it was fine on the previous United flight. The restrictions for Business class are somewhat less, but may still include the weight limit.
ShayTay is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2010, 11:22 AM
  #76  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
MKD, I'm glad to hear you're using Bill Given at The Wild Source for your safari next year. He's put together my trip this September (along with an extension to Zimbabwe.)
ShayTay is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2010, 01:47 PM
  #77  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 788
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi ShayTay! I remember you mentioned working with Bill at our GTG last summer, which is one of several reasons I decided to use his company. I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip later this year!

I'm very interested in the content of this thread overall, too, since we'll have luggage weight restrictions on our flights within Mongolia, and my dad is already obsessing about packing for our Africa trip next year.
MyDogKyle is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2010, 01:54 PM
  #78  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 279
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Crosscheck,

That's it, the Fadhili House! Every once in a while I think we should have taken it. It's probably booked by now but I would love to hear what you thought. We'll be a few weeks behind you, the second week in August.

Wow, I'm impressed. Driving to the airport! I noticed the luggage you found has wheels. Are you taking any intra Africa flights where weight is a concern? I'm an avid over packer and I love wheels but am afraid of the weight. We were eyeing Eddie Bauer's medium sized duffel which was very light.

We are using Egypt Air (in addition to Continental) which has a similar size limitation to AA but the weight limit is 17.6 lbs. I'm sure I can't do that without sneaking all the electronics into DH's bag.
long2travel is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2010, 03:07 PM
  #79  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm happy to hear that others are interested in this insane topic. We have now decided to abandon the wheels, for all the above reasons, and the boys have promised to carry my carry-on, so it's a minor victory for me. I will check out everyone's suggestions and report back.

long2travel, I know what you mean about not finding pictures of Fadhili. I was uncertain about it as well until I came across the glowing review in the guidebook. We didn't have much of a choice because I wanted to be in Karen and we were booking at the last minute. If it's absolutely fabulous, I'll let you know as soon as we arrive and maybe you can change. But the regular rooms look very cool, so you can't go wrong.
crosscheck is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2010, 03:43 AM
  #80  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 279
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you! Definitely interested in the luggage shopping so keep us posted on what you find. Congrats on the carry on victory. Told DH about your luggage nazi story and saw his eyes light up. Uh-oh.
long2travel is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:53 AM.