It would be good to say hi to the August 30th to 15th September 2013 group.
I am Annie from London, now counting down the weeks before the adventure starts.
It’s looking like a full truck load of us, give or take a couple. No spare lockers then!
I have just checked the baggage allowance and it is 20kg, because our bags go straight through it stays the same, Phew!
Does anybody happen to know where the first nights accommodation is (31st August) in Kigali as part of the tour?, I need an address to give to the Rwanda Visa dept. Thanks.
luggage going direct Doh - Thanks Julie, had checked it out back in September when I first booked. Lots of internal flights in Botswana are just 12KG but that's only because they are tiny planes, this route was showing 20kg or 23kg I can't remember but our limit with Exodus is 20kg.
Michele I have read some where the Hotel Exodus use on first and then next two nights but a quick email to exodus would confirm.
Big birthday today for my son, and the longest day of the year! oh this weather.
Happy birthday to Annies son, hope you have a good one. The weather is a brighter type of grey, so hopefully might get better as the day goes on.
I posted a question about accommodation in Kigali, and got 3 message alerts come to my email, so logged onto exodus to read them and,.......nothing there, not even my original message, so I am going to ask the same question again, sorry!, can anybody tell me the name and address of the accommodation in Kigali on the 31st August?, sorry guys, but thanks :)
Ignore above question, this website is a bit odd, I scrolled to bottom of page to find latest message, of course right at the bottom is your own message box ready to post a new message, but just above that is the "next page" button, doh!, didn't see it initially, so no need to answer message "again". Thanks.
I tried that before, wanted to know accommodation somewhere else (we don't get that info in the first instance, and probably will only get that info when we receive our final travel pack, which is about 3 weeks before we depart!), so emailed exodus, 3 times! and never got reply, was bitterly disappointed in them since we had paid for our tour in full back in March, and even told them that we had paid and they still did not reply, I tried to put that out of my mind so it didn't negatively reflect on the holiday as I HAVE heard good things about exodus, just put it down to a slack office admin person, thanks Anne for that, I'll put that on our visa application anyway, I'm sure they wont phone the hotel and check!!!
Sorry, I haven't got the name of the hotel in Kigali, hopefully you have had contact with Exodus, if not ring them, I have found them really helpful but as you say it might just be a moment of slackness, but no excuse. I also didn't see the arrow for page 2 at first!!!!
All the best, Julie
Feeling good .. just paid my balance today.. on the countdown now, 59 sleeps for the Heathrow group.
Todays count = 17 in the group
Wow, 17 in the group, is that 17 from the UK or is it 17 including us Kiwi's too?
We got 47 sleeps from today before we leave NZ, just added to my camera luggage too, Ross (husband) splashed out and bought me a macro lense - love macro photography, you catch the things you otherwise miss, love it, somewhat intrusive though, getting up close and personal with a bees butt to capture the fuzziness of their legs etc, in two mind about this though but am kinda looking forward to getting some awesome macros shots of strange African bugs - preferably the ones that wont bite me!!
We finally finished getting all our vaccinations, also managed to get our Rwanda pre-approval visa's (can apply on line, but I don't think you UK lot have to get one?), our Tanzania visa's are still being processed, we had to send away our passports to Melbourne, Australia (eek, hate sending them, you never really know if they will make it back), so all going well we should have them back in a week or two???
Talking on this forum makes me even more excited about the trip, looking forward to meeting you all and see you all soonish :)
You are included in the 17. I think there is a maximum of 18 for this trip, so one spare seat and locker at the moment !
Really looking forward to meeting everyone and also hearing about TZ . I am meeting Julie at Heathrow airport on the 30th Aug. Neither of us have a photo on the forum so will have to have some other way of
recognising each other
For UK passport holders it seems easier just to get the visa on entry to Uganda and Kenya. No visa required for Rwanda- seems a bit unfair on you Kiwi's
I love taking macro shots but I am not very good at it, we should have lots of opportunities for bugs around the campsites. Em only love them outside my tent.
These cameras all sound very complicated, I'm still practasing the basics, taking and deleting!!
I have just bought some natural instect and mosi products. I have got sprays, cream and also a shampoo and body wash 100% natural, the make is Incognito and Mosi guard, we got them from Amazon.I also got a thing called Zapit, which if you are bitten you press this onto the bite a few times to stop the itching (so they say!)
At least we can say we are going on holiday next month now, and hopefully have a sunny week- end to help us get used to the heat.
I would put up a picture of myself but haven't a clue how to get it on there, so we will have to think of something Annie, maybe a Exodus sticker on our forehead or something.
Anyway speak soon,
Thanks for that Julie, it's on my 'to do list' to buy natural shampoos etc save having to do the research now.
I am one of these people that within a few hours of getting bitten by tsetse fly/insects I start to itch, go blotchy and blister up- not a good look. I now take antihistamine (hay fever tablets) before I leave home and every day, at least until I get back home. My reaction now are just slight. My husband used to say I could clear a restaurant in minutes.
Will look at the airport plan for T4 for a meeting place. Are you thinking coffee or a glass of wine. I think the sticker is a must.
This holiday is making me go backward a little, trying to have my household go chemical free, make my own cleaning (personal and house cleaners) products, shampoo and soap etc etc, just made a batch of soap, first attempt actually, not too sure it worked the way it should so have to do another lot, but anyway, it's going to be the base of some of my personal cleaning items, so hopefully I will have some on our trip, one reason for this is not only being chemical free and knowing exactly what is in my products but on the safari mosquitos are also attracted to perfume, so need to have unscented everything, also mosquitos are attracted to bright clothes, so need to dull it down a little. All we are using for mosquito repellent is personal spray and dip our sleeping bag liner in a mosquito dip, Ross has a couple of shirts that have been treated with repellent during the manufacture process and we have a bottle of surface spray for a few other things like, tent or mosquito net flaps etc, that's about it, so hope it's enough!
I love what you said Julie, it's only next month, sounds a lot closer when you say it like that.
You might be able to post a picture if you go to your profile, it should allow you to edit your profile and download a picture from your photo album.
Hi Annie and Michele,
What photo album! never mind we'll think of something.
I think I will go for the coffee Annie and have a wine on the flight. Oh! I so can't wait.
You should be able to get a natural olive oil soap from health food shops, and it lasts well, if all else fails Michele, but well done making your own. There is something you could also look at, called 18-1 Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, it is made from organic oils and can be used to wash yourself, clothes etc
All the best,
Hi Everyone -
After a lot of research, and a temper tantrum in Tesco, I have found the cheapest place for Malarone. Don't believe everything you see online. In Asda you have to go in person, but after that it's plain sailing. Tesco zap you with a consultation fee. A private prescription would have set me back £30 for the two of us, and when I added up the cost taking this into consideration Boots came out at £171.50, Tesco at £162.50, and Asda at £125. Happy medicating!
Getting really exciting now, five weeks and one day for the UK lot.
What amazing weather we have had over the last few weeks. I got my Malarone last week from Asda £2.50 per tablet, thanks Liz confirmed it was a good price.
Michele, do you have your final instructions yet ? we don't expect to get ours for another two weeks but just interested in who will be guiding us ( I think Often will be guiding the group before us) and places we will be going to, that we don't know already (if any) Please let us know ASAP.
When do you leave NZ?
The short answer is no, we do not have our info pack yet, we are expecting it in a week or two, any longer than that and I'll start to get a bit titchy!, we leave in 3 weeks and 3 days (19 August), and getting very excited, we are staying at an awesome hotel called "The Palace" in Dubai for 2 nights on the way to Tanzania, you should google it, it's very nice!. We didn't get such a good deal on our Malarone, but happy that we are well covered with the best product anyway.
See you all soon.
Just looked The Palace hotel up, looks beautiful, really lovely for a couple of days. It will be a great start for your holiday and help with getting over the jet lag. Something to dream about when you are on a hard mattress in the tent cold wet...
Yeah you are right Annie, nothing like coming crashing back to earth, from a Palace to a "tent"!, however the Palace is very fitting in a location like Dubai, and likewise regarding the tent, lets just hope it's not cold or wet though.
We are flying from Heathrow but sorry not the dates you are leaving We are 30Aug - 15th Sept also reverse group.
Enjoy your trip, really close for you now. We still have another four weeks to wait. Love to hear from you on your return
Hi there fellow travellers, 17 sleeps to go (for us), and we can all now say that we are going on our tour THIS MONTH now.
Annie, our travel docs have arrived, they came about 2 or 3 days ago and they are currently at the travel agents, we go get them on Monday so lets hope all is in order, I'm sure our agent will inform Exodus if something is missing. I'm not quite sure if I am more excited about his up and coming trip or our last trip to Antarctica, both were childhood dreams, both are wild and unpredictable, but both so very different from each other.
So Monday/Tuesday we should know our guide, via you Michele!
Michele are you stopping over anywhere on your return journey or just keep going. Long journey in one go.
Looking forward to hearing about Antarctica, any photos?
I think we have someone from Canada in the group.
Hi Julie (and anyone else wanting to meet up)
I know it’s still 28 sleeps for us but …..
My plan is to do the bag drop after 5pm. I intend to get to Heathrow T4 before 4pm, so, if all goes to plan, shall we meet up near the Kenya Airways bag drop off desk? I am happy to just find a seat and read, until we meet up.
I will have my red bag with the Exodus tag attached, plus a black carry on bag.
Lets wait until 5.15 and then go onto plan ‘B’ and meet up in PRET A MANGER after security emm.. red bag will have gone by then but I am sure it won’t be difficult to find each other in there.
On the way home we literally go direct, we transit in Dubai but only for about hrs.
I will have a tablet with me so I will save some Antarctic photos on a flash drive and show them to you.
That has just reminded me, I read somewhere to take a USB stick, for the images from the white water rafting day.
JSargent Hi guys,
Not sure if I sent half a message or not!!! So not long now is it, and esp for you Michelle. I am also looking forward to hearing about Antartica.
Thanks for the information on the memory stick, will get one to take.Annie, I will probably be getting to Heathrow early as not sure of train times, but shall we say to meet at the Kenya Airways bag drop off desk, or if it does go wrong where is the place inside? My rucksack will be in a black zip bag and brown small ruck sack for plane. If I give you my email address, maybee we could swop mobile numbers just in case!!! email@example.com
Can't wait to put faces to names and meet you all this month!
......I have no idea, that information was not available in our pack, we didn't even get the luggage labels I was looking forward to getting, so I requested for them to post us some, judging by the lack of response from their "contact us" I am doubting I will get any labels, so we will have to make do with our Polar Expedition ones instead. Anyway, I guess we will all just have to wait and see who we end up with.
Everybody in the tour more than likely will be in Kigali before us, our flight doesn't arrive in from Nairobi until about 5:30pm on 31st, we are both a bit nervous because our plane change in Nairobi (coming in from Arusha, Tanzania) is only 50mins, so we are very sceptical that our luggage is actually going to be transferred in time, FINGERS CROSSED, FINGERS CROSSED. Will have to put some emergency stuff in our carry on just in case the worse happens, however, on the bright side there is another flight later that night so the luggage MAY still follow us.
Thanks for the offer of the luggage labels, maybe that would be a good idea, can you try it for us?, thanks.
Exodus have marked the request as urgent and are sending them via your agent, you might gets loads if they respond to your emails as well . Hope you won't be disappointed with them, when they arrive !
Nairobi airport news not good, the 6th Aug UK departure should have arrived round about that time.
As soon as we found out about the fire at the airport we contacted our agent to see what the protocol was, he contacted Emirates and they seem to think everything will be up and running pretty quick, in fact they have made a head start already, so it's about 2 weeks before we need to go through Nairobi so we should be ok, we don't really need another challenge to deal with!!, the cancelled flight was bad enough without having a fire add a new challenge.
I have read that we are able to pay by VISA, on the day (not MasterCard) so long as the machines are working! I did check with Exodus some time ago as to the availability, as I really want to do it and was told they had not had any problems with bookings, so far.
See you in just over two weeks
I have to say that Murphy's Law says that if you rely on only using a credit card for the balloon ride then you run a high risk of missing out due to their eftpos machines not working, it is a third world country and there is a high risk of things going wrong, you do cover all bases by having the cash as a back up, or the cash as a first option and the credit card as a back up, I'd hate to think somebody would have to miss out because they didn't have a back up plan, give it a little more thought.
5 sleeps before we fly out - wahoo.
As promised when I replied to something on here a while ago, some feedback on my trip for you! I got back yesterday and can honestly say this was one of the best trips ever! You are going to have an amazing time!!!
As you have been discussing the use of credit cards, just a word of advice - avoid Mastercard as Barclays Bank seemed to be the only place you could use it - Visa is widely accepted though. I had run out of money by the time I had to pay for the balloon trip and paid half in cash and the balance on my Visa debit card with no problems. Take plenty of money (cash in sterling, dollars or Kenya shillings for when you get to Kenya) as there are optional trips you might want to do and you get through a lot of money tipping. It's perfectly safe to leave cash in your lockers as the truck is staffed 24 hours a day. We had several stops at towns where there are plenty of ATMs to use to get cash - but again not Mastercard. I even paid for things half local currency and half dollars or sterling - they are very flexible and accept just about any combination as long as your notes are in good condition and not old issue.
Anyway, you are going to have a fab time - it really is an amazing trip. Just ask if you have any questions before you leave.
Hi Guys, I am sure we will be able to get cash out the day before or couple of days before the balloon ride, we could ask our tour guide about that, this way as you say, we are covered but not carrying it around.
Liz, Annie and I are meeting at the baggage check in around 4pm, we could meet you there or if you would like to meet on the other side, we could do that but not sure where, so if you have any ideas, it would be so nice to do that, I think the label on the hand luggage is a good idea, what do you think Annie?
If I don't speak to you before you go Michelle, have an amazing time and look forward to seeing you both in Kigali.
Hi Ann, thank you so much for that feed back, I'm am getting so excited now. What sort of extra trips did you do, did you the all day mountain hiking in Ruhengeri?
I must stop or I will bombard you with questions. I am so glad you had a great time and good memories.
The extra trips that I did were a fascinating village walk in Ruhengeri, visit to Little Angels school at Lake Bunyonyi (free of charge but I was so inspired I sponsored a child while there), a really lovely bush walk with a ranger at Lake Mburo, a very informative and relaxed sunset boat ride on the Nile at Jinja, a boat ride to see the hippos on the way to Elsamere at Lake Naivasha and walking with the giraffes and other animals on our last morning at Lake Naivasha (whatever you do, do not miss this trip!!). I'm not sure what you mean by the all day mountain hiking at Ruhengeri. If you mean the hike to see the gorillas, then yes but it's not optional - you have to do it to see the gorillas. Our hike up to the gorillas lasted around two and a half hours each way. It was hard work at times because we started at around 2500 metres and could really feel the effects of the high altitude. It rained a bit too and was muddy underfoot in places but take it slowly and you'll be fine. It will be one of the most beautiful and atmospheric hikes you will ever do!!
I wish you a fabulous trip!
hI Ann, They all sound fantastic trips, I have written them down to remind me at the time. The all day hike is not the gorilla one, but not too worry, it sounds like there is plenty to do and see. Have you got some good photos of the gorillas? I am really looking forward to it, this may sound mad, but I'm glad it takes a while to hike to them I want the whole experience to last as long as possible.
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