Trip Itinerary

Apr 20th, 2006, 10:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 174
Trip Itinerary

Hello Everyone!
Well, I wish I had found this site before I booked my trip as perhaps I would have done thngs a bit differently but this is what is set up for me and I am wondering if anyone has any comments on any of these places,k my trip etc.:
8/20-21 SF - London - Nairobi
8/21 Ngong HOuse
8/22 & 8/23 Elsa's Kopje
8/24, 25 - Loisaba Lodge
8/26 Loisaba Star Bed
8/27, 28 & 29 Lewa Downs Wilderness Trails
8/30, 31 & 9/1 Ol Malo
9/2, 3, 4, & 5 Lil gov's
9/6 - Mairobi / Day room / Giraffe Manor
I originally wanted to get to the Crater too but was advised against trying to go to 2 c ountries in one trip. In reading all of the posts it looks like this is down all the time. My interary is through Anne Kent Taylor Intern'l (daughter of the A& K folks)and seems to be a bit expensive ...around $14,000 for the land as a single. did I blow it or what? I am in need of some support as I am now wondering if Ihave done myself (and pocket book) in? what thinks anyone?
13moons is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
If you've spent the money already, don't worry about it. What's done is done, and you will have an incredible trip. I haven't been to Kenya other than Nairobi, but I know from reading this board that you are staying at excellent properties. I envy you.

When in Nairobi, do try to visit the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, open to the public from 11am-noon.
Leely is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 03:10 PM
Posts: n/a
Welcome aboard!

If you've booked and are already confirmed at these places, don't even give it another thought. Trying to find space at this late date will be almost impossible.

Yes, it's expensive, but these properties are hi-end = hi-prices. Sure, you've overpaid... but you'll know better for the next time.

Don't concern yourself with it any longer, just plan for your trip. You'll find a wealth of information here on the Africa board. You can search for information or post your own questions. I do suggest, however, that if you do post your own you keep them together in this thread; easier for you to find and for us to track your progress.

And now that you're here, cost of admission (ha! ha!) is that you owe us a trip report and link to your photos when you return. The Africaphiles here on Fodor's will be waiting on it!
Apr 20th, 2006, 03:17 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,790
I am with leely and sandi. Don't second guess yourself about money especially since you are staying in very, very nice places--plus as a single you had to pay a supplement. Intead, have fun between now and when you leave by reading trip reports about posters' stays at the places you are going to (for example, sandi wrote about the losaba star beds). Have you seen Llynda's trip report index?

Plan your purchases, etc--have fun!
bat is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
I can comment personally on Lewa Downs and Little Governor's. You just informed me about Ol Malo. I looked it up and it should be a lovely stay. The other places I have heard or read about and they are top notch and will provide a beautiful safari.

Lewa--Gorgeous setting with each luxury tent far apart so that you can actually get some exercise walking the path that connects each tent's entrance way. At the end of the path is a blind/hide overlooking the same valley that the tents overlook. I spotted oryx, giraffe, and elephant from the hide. The food here was some of the best I've had anywhere in Africa and my traveling companions confirmed that. You should have some excellent rhino sightings here, both black and white. There is a nice blind/hide near a lagoon for good birding and the occasional sitatunga. We were lucky to catch a glimpse of one.
Views of Mt. Kenya are possible, but may be better from some of your other locations.

Little Governor's--That's good you are staying 3 nights in the Masai Mara at such an excellent time of year to be there. The location in the Mara is nice, away from some of the more crowded parts. Balloon rides are given from this camp, so it should be convenient if you choose to do one. So convenient that you might want to request a tent far away from the balloon activity because take off is extremely early each morning. The camp overlooks a lagoon and there are often elephants or antelope grazing. There were resident warthogs that dined along side the outdoor tables at lunch. To get to and from camp a very short creek crossing by canoe was needed. It is a classic safari camp and a fine place to end your safari.

As the others mentioned, you would not get these accommodations at this peak of wildlife season for budget prices, no matter who you went with. This is a top of the line safari that will provide excellent wildlife far from the crowds.

Doing two countries in one trip is common, but if you wanted to just add the crater, it would make more sense to also visit other areas in Tanzania. If you are going to do that, then the itinerary gets longer and even more expensive. Or would you give up some of your Kenya stops? That might be hard to do. It is always a trade off. If you think you may go back to Africa, then Kenya in one trip and Tanzania in another is a good strategy that reduces time and money in transit.

No worries, just start planning your packing strategies. This is a fantastic safari.

atravelynn is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20,129
hello 13moons,
Your trip sounds lovely. Is it a private safari?
cybor is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 06:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 174
HI Everyone,
okay, I thank you all for replying and making me feel reassured about my travel plans. the trip is now jus 116 nights away! I am now going to focus on what to get clothes wise and then purchasing camera equipment. I have read all the threads and just wonder how does one person pack all the stuff? I cqan get it when two share but alone? oh well, I am sure I am not the 1st soul to wonder afar alone so somwhow I will get it done. Does anyone know if one is allowed to carry on a messenger bag (with camera equip etc.) and a small roll on. I am flying United from SF to Londaon and then BA on to class on both. (I can't believeit, but my ff miles got me 1/2 way there. I am so excited I am already planning to go to Botswana or Rawanda next years and only using my ff charge card!!) Oh, and has nayone slept in the Star Bed...alone of otherwise? I can't believe I will sleep a wink. And what can one pack as gifts? Everything I think up seems to take up so much room. I am thinking about getting a bunch of Bay Area pins, you know, the kind tourists buy and pinning them allover my vest. that way I can carry them on my person. I am also wondering about what Icould get the kids or the women? Got any ideas?
oh, and why 13 moons? cuase 13 is my lucky # (I was born on Friday the 13th at noon and my rising sign is the moon! Ha!) til the next time, searching for weightless clothes!
13moons is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 06:55 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
get the camera equipment first, then focus on clothes. You'll need to practice on a new camera, it's not like taking pics at the SF Zoo! Just go to Mervyn's or Target and get 3-4 t-shirts (neutral khaki, green, tan). wear 1 pair pants on the plane, pack another, a few pair of shorts, a light jacket, some undies, socks, a hat and you're set. Wear your hiking/safari shoes/boots on the plane and pack a pair of flip-flops or sandals. I'm sure all the lodges you'll be at will do laundry so you won't need much clotheswise. Have a great trip, i know how exciting your first trip is and glad to see you're planning your second...join the club!
matnikstym is offline  
Apr 24th, 2006, 07:11 AM
Posts: n/a
You're traveling in August which is "winter" in East Africa. The mornings and evenings/nights will be chilly to cold, though the days will warm to the mid-60s/low-70s. The convertible pants that zip off just above the knee is what many take. They're not very fashionable, but are quite useful. If you can't find these at a Mervyns or Targets or the like, check out the REI, Travel Smith or Magellen's sites. Otherwise, you need t-shirts, some sort of jacket, a thermal t-shirt is good for the mornings and nights. Don't forget socks for your feet.

If not doing heavy walking (trekking), you do not need boots of any kind. Walkers or light weight desert boot-type shoes work (I only wear mocassins or slip-in Keds) and they don't add weight to your bags.

Rolling duffles are a no-no. Your duffle bag should be soft-sided as these get squished into the planes. For travel on these flights through Kenya allow 15Kg (33-lbs). Rarely did they weigh our carryon or camera equipment. But realize the planes are small that you can barely be comfortable with more than your camera equipment on your lap. I use a backpack in addition to the duffle; this sits on the floor, the camera equipment on my lap.

Arriving at SFO with a soft duffle, you can get a cart or just have the sky cap bring this into the terminal. Once in Africa, you will not have to lift anything. Hey, if I can manage with a 30" duffle with all my "stuff" anyone can (and eventually, there's always some items not worn). Consider a pair of black pants and a nice sweater for evenings, if you just don't want to look at/wear your daytime safari clothing 24/7. You really don't need that many cloths.

Your laundry can be done at all of your stops and believe included in the price. They do not, however, do women's "smalls" (underwear), so either bring enough or wash your own (anywhere you stay more than 1-day). In some cases, we've gotten a pair or two laundered, but there's no guarantee of this.

Starbeds - is wonderful. They have 3-platforms; two with a double beds; the other with two double beds on separate connecting platforms (for families or two couples). We were two women who stayed on the latter, so in reality, we were out there on our own. My friend who had never been on safari was freaked when she saw that she'd be sleeping alone and said "don't be surprised if you find company in bed sometime during the night." She never showed up. So, Scary? No? You're so darn tired, the mattress and down comforters so welcoming, that you fall asleep with no problem or concern. The Laikipiak Samburu host you here and they walk the grounds throughout the night. And, as you lay in bed starring up the the skies and stars, the amazement of it lulls you to the sandman! Then, next morning, you wake to the sounds of Africa as it awakens. The chirping birds, the sun peeking above the horizon. You can choose to go out on an early game walk with the guides, returning about 1.5 hrs later with a wonderful breakfast set for you.

While at Loisaba, inquire about going to the local school and manyatta... lots of fun and quite interesting (not touristy). And consider a camel safari; they're fun. Can do during the day or for sundowners.

You'll have a wonderful time.

Apr 24th, 2006, 09:58 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 174
Hi again,
ok. I am now going to focus on camera stuff.I am thinking to get a Nikon D50 with 18 - 200 zoom and then taking a LUmix FZ5 as 2nd. any thoughts?

Also, Sandi, can I really wear black at night? I thought black was a no no color?
Til the next time!
13moons is offline  
Apr 25th, 2006, 11:12 AM
Posts: n/a
Of course you can wear black at night.

You can wear it during the day also, but it can be hot when sun is beating down on you. But you'll be more comfortable in safari colors during daytime hours. Besides, these colors don't show dirt/dust as would others.

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