Two weeks and counting.. my first Africa trip!

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Jan 4th, 2006, 06:11 PM
  #1
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Two weeks and counting.. my first Africa trip!

Breathe, girl, BREATHE.

I am getting SO excited. Each day, I review another segment of our itinerary.

While I am completely stressed out at work and due to the fact that I will be traveling in Amsterdam for a week (departing one week from tomorrow) before my husband and I depart for our first trip to Africa, I cannot let any of that distract me.

I am now running through last minute details.. what to pack, what I still need to purchase (little things like extra batteries, travel size toiletries, etc..), things I need to photocopy and bring with us as well as leave with trusted family/friends, etc.. the list seems to be neverending. Each day passes and I cross one thing off, it seems that 3 more items appear! I guess I just want to make sure we have everything covered. I've never been away for more than 2 weeks, and this is double that!

Just wanted to share our excitement, vent a little and if anyone has any last minute additions or advice, I would be so appreciative if you could share!

I also wanted to send yet another thank you to all of you that helped me along the planning process. This is my trip of a lifetime, and the research I have done on this site has proved to be more helpful than any other.

With gratitude,
BostonGal
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Jan 4th, 2006, 06:44 PM
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bat
 
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You have given yourself the best advice, but I will repeat it--breathe, girl, breathe--and soon you will be breathing in that exotic African air. Have a great trip!
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Jan 4th, 2006, 07:13 PM
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I am very, very, VERY excited for you. Safari njema!
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Jan 4th, 2006, 08:01 PM
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Have an amazing trip! Don't you just love that out of breath excited feeling??!!!
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Jan 5th, 2006, 10:00 AM
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Here's the best piece of pre-trip advice I can come up with - as you are photocopying those visas and passports, in all the excitement, don't leave the originals on the scanner! (actually happened to a friend of mine, had to go back to SF from NY en route to India....!)
Enjoy your trip and we are all looking forward to a trip reprot to add to my index when you get back!
Lynda
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Jan 5th, 2006, 10:14 AM
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In addition to your regular packing list, make a seperate one to use for your departure day. Make a list of everything you need to do or put in your carry-on before you leave. For example, if you need to use your hairbrush, etc on the last day and then pack it to take with you, put it on your "last day" list. List your tickets, passports, money, itinerary etc. By having this list (made out beforehand) it takes a little of the stress out of actually leaving the house and wondering if you have forgotten anything.

Have a wonderful trip!

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Jan 5th, 2006, 11:39 AM
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Oher advice I am sure you've heard:

Carry a notebook or journal, jot down some great things that happen.

Carry 2 - 3 times as much film as you think you will need

If you are a photo junkie like me, you will be prepared to shoot 50 pics per day. You may not do that but it is good to be ready.

But don't get so caught up filming that you don't just sit there and enjoy. TAKE IT ALL IN
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Jan 5th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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bat
 
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hey BostonGal:
Thanks for soliciting this advice. I am taking notes. Lynda, your advice made me laugh out loud--but then scared me that I might do that!
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Jan 5th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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I read this idea in the wine column of the Wall Street Journal, and I intend to follow it from now on: Put a bottle of bubbly in the fridge to welcome yourself home after the trip!

I love the "last day" list, Sundowner. I'll do that from now on too.

Have a wonderful time, BostonGal!
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Jan 5th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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ooh that last day list is genious, thanks sundowner!

Lynda - oh no! I'll be sure to grab the originals.

wayne - trust me, no worries about pics. My husband and I actually take a camera each and always take at least 200 per day, I know we're crazy!

Celia - I never thought of celebrating upon arrival back home.. hm something to consider =)

Thanks for all the great advice and tips!


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Jan 6th, 2006, 06:50 AM
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Wow - I remember that excited/nervous/anxious feeling so well. My husband and I took our first trip to East Africa last January and the week before leaving was so exciting and so emotional! Just wait until the feeling of when the plane first touches down on African soil... it's very surreal!

Have a wonderful trip - I'm extremely envious!
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Jan 6th, 2006, 07:42 AM
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Have a great trip and safe travels! And remember, it's never too early to start planning your 2nd trip to Africa!
Dennis
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Jan 6th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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Hints: we were in Kenya and Tanzania in November. Bring an adapter and you can recharge an electric toothbrush in the 'shaver' outlet in the bathroom. You can also use same to recharge lithium batteries. No one asked about yellow fever shots and we never paid 'departure' taxes. Have a great time. We did!
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Jan 6th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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sandi
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eezam -

The departure tax from Kenya is included in your air ticket. Only from Tanzania is there now a security departure fee, payable in cash. As to Yellow Fever, it not a "must" requirement for admittence to either Kenya or Tanzania. The decision to have this is based on your discussion with your physician and whethere you will, within a given time (believe 6-wks or 6-months) be traveling to a country that requires it after having been to Kenya or Tanzania.

BostonGal -

I still get excited when heading off to Africa; never any different, in fact, I'm more excited with each trip. So just keep breathing... it'll be worth every breath you take!
 
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Jan 6th, 2006, 04:33 PM
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Check your electrical equipment to be sure it runs on 240 V (as well as 110 V), if it doesn't pick up a converter. Even if it does, you will also need adapters so they will plug into outlets in Africa. Bring good binoculars for each person. I can't believe the number of times I've seen people who spent lots of money on transportation and lodging miss an amazing sight because they skimped on binoculars. Have a great time!
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Mar 15th, 2006, 07:12 AM
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enjoy your trip.great.
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Mar 15th, 2006, 07:32 AM
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I definitely remember that excitement too... I must be honest and say that whilst I'm wishing the very very best trip for you I'm also consumed with envy too! I HAVE to get me back on safari this year if it kills me!

I'm leaving for India myself next week and am getting somewhat excited about that trip though it's tempered by the fact that my husband isn't joining me for this trip (it's expensive, he didn't fancy it that much and I know lots of others doing it anyway so he encouraged me to go on my own) and it's the longest we'll have been apart for well over 10 years...

You're going to have a WONDERFUL trip and we'll all be here waiting to hear every detail about it when you get home!
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Mar 15th, 2006, 09:09 AM
  #18
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The truly horrible thing is that I've been home for over a month and STILL haven't finished my trip report! I am on day 13, page 19. A couple more days to finish and then I'll post, I promise!!!

Thanks for all your well wishes though
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Mar 15th, 2006, 10:00 AM
  #19
 
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Doh! I'm sorry, I saw the thread at the top and thought it was a recent one and you were about to go!!!

So TELL US ALREADY!
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