Anyone coming on the gorilla trip?

Hi,

 I've just booked myself on this trip - I'm really excited but also a little nervous as this is my first Exodus trip. Would love to hear from anyone coming on the same trip!

 Laura

Hi Laura,

I've also booked myself on this trip - I think it's going to be fantastic.

 I did my first Exodus holiday last year and it was brilliant which is why I'm back for another one.

Emily

Laura4444

Hi Emily,

 Thanks for replying to my post! Where did you go with Exodus last year?

I've just booked myself on the hot air balloon ride as I read some of the reviews for the trip and lots of people seem to rave about the balloon trip....It's made me start to get excited about the trip already! I'm just starting to think about what I'll need to pack...

 Are you travelling alone on this trip?

 Laura

silverback

Hello Emily and Laura, I have just booked myself on this trip and am very excited too.  I have never been with Exodus before but hear they are very good. Am in training for the walk up to see the Silverbacks, I just close my eyes when the going gets tough and imagine them, brill.

Gill

 

Laura4444

Hi Gill,

 Glad to hear that there will be another person who is new to Exodus as well!

I'm now a little nervous after reading that you are in training for the gorilla hike! I think it maybe wise for me to do the same!

Looking forward to meeting you both on the trip....

 Laura

 

Hello everyone! I'm booked on the Gorillas and Masai Mara trip too, but I'm departing from London on 6th August - is that the same trip you are all on? It's also my first trip with Exodus and am so excited! I would really like to book the Hot Air Balloon trip too - how did you book that and what day did you book it for? Can't wait!! Lucy

petesax

Hi Laura and everyone else!

 I'm booked on the trip leaving on the 7th of August and really cant wait! I'm flying in from Dubai on the 6th so I guess I will be meeting you all at the airport with our guide!

How are all of you doing with the required kit? I'm gradually getting things together but still got a little way to go! Is anyone else a keen photographer and planning to bring much kit with you?

Look forward to meeting you all and hearing your updates before we leave.

 Pete 

Laura4444

Hi Lulu and Pete!

Thanks for replying to my post! Started to get very excited now!

Lulu - I booked the hot air balloon ride by just phoning up Exodus. You do have to pay for the balloon ride as you book it, it's £350. As far as the day of the balloon ride, I wasn't given any choice so I think there's only the one day that you can have the ride.

Pete - I'm a keen (but novice) photographer! The thought of the fabulous pictures to be taken was one of the main reasons I booked this trip in particular. Camera kit - it seems to be adding up at the moment! I've got a DSLR camera, 2 lenses (but I'm in the process of trying to buy another one from Ebay), gorilla tripod thingy, batteries, battery chargers etc. Not really sure how I'm going to carry it all to be honest!

 What kind of bag is everyone taking? I rang up Exodus to buy one of their kit bags (as I thought this was what they were suggesting on the trip notes) but the lady on the phone suggested that this isn't the best option and to just bring a ruck sack with me, so I guess I'll do that.

Money-wise - are you guys taking cash in US Dollars? I really have no idea about how much money to bring with me to be honest...

 If anyone has any tips about what to bring please do let me know as any advice would be gratefully received!

I look forward to meeting/hearing from you all soon!

Laura

petesax

I can't believe we are less than 2 months away to our departure date it's come round so quickly! Also made me realise how much I have left to do before we go! Trying to find somewhere in Dubai that gives yellow fever injections is proving to be an absolute nightmare although I have been told that one of the hospitals will have it next week!

Laura: I know what you mean about the camera equipment mounting up! I have just bought a 400mm lens for my Nikon and it weighs a ton! I just keep thinking that I will get just one more bit of kit and then I buy another etc etc!!!!

Not sure about the money side of things i'm still trying to decide how much I need to bring, its tough when you know that there are few chances to get additional money whilst travelling.

Is anyone else meeting the group in Nairobi or are you all travelling from the UK?

Pete  

Hi again everyone! I can't believe how soon it is and how much there is to do first either - these next two months are going to fly by!! I've got travel insurance, paid the final balance and have my jabs booked, but still need to sort out visas and get all the required kit together...

Thanks for starting this forum thread, Laura – it’s great to be able to ‘talk’ to you all before we meet in Africa! Thanks also for letting me know about the balloon ride - I’m now booked to go on that too!  I'm also unsure about bags/what to take…like you, I had thought from reading the Trip Notes that the Exodus Kit Bags were recommended and was planning on taking one of those or something similar. Maybe I'll have a look at rucksacks instead now!

Pete, I'm also a keen photographer and I'm trying to decide what kit to take with me and how to carry it all! Money wise, I’m guessing that with all the food, accommodation and trips paid for in advance we’re not going to need that much at all, just a little for some souvenirs/emergencies perhaps? Good Luck with finding somewhere to get your Yellow Fever jab!  

See you all soon!! Lucy

P.S. Have no idea why all that rubbish appeared before my last post...very strange!

Laura4444

Hi,

 Me again! Thanks for your replies Lucy (not Lulu!) and Pete. Just bought myself a mosquito net which is very exciting!

Lucy - well done for booking the balloon ride, glad to know that someone else will be there with me! I've never been on a hot air balloon before, but from the previous notes written by people that have been on this trip it does sound amazing.

Pete - I've also just bought myself a 400mm lens...I must admit I really didn't realise how heavy or big it would be! I'm hoping I can get some photography tips from the keen photographers on the trip! Did you manage to get your jabs yet? I was got mine all done in the one session, the nurse told me she was 'a pro' at injections and to be fair she was absolutely right! She did all three injections in about 15 seconds!

Just wanted to check one other point - have any of you got your visas yet? I was planning on getting them in the airport? Is this what everyone else is doing?

Also, are you carrying your camera and lenses as carry-on, or will you be checking it in?

 

Sorry for the barrage of questions - I just want to make sure that I don't forget anything!

Laura

 

petesax

Hi again all,

Finally manged to get my injections sorted in Dubai although worried that the only anti malaria drugs available here are Larium based! Think I'm at the end of spending now happy with my camera kit although still tempted to get a better wide angle lens!

 I def will be carrying all my camera kit on to the plane, not worth the risk of putting in the hold! I would also recommend bringing several memeory cards with you on the trip rather than one big card, I have heard a few horror stories from the photographers I work with of cards losing all data. 

Has anyone decided how much they are taking with them and also if we need to invest in hiking boots rather than hiking trainers? I have also seen on a few other posts people taking mosquito nets has anyine bought one?

Because were coming in from Dubai we will be arriving the day before we travel is anyone else going to be there then? 

Pete

 

 

Hi again everyone,

Is it really 5 weeks?! I can't believe it!! 

Laura: Don't worry, you can call me by my screen name if you want!! I'm so looking forward to the hot air balloon ride - it is going to be an amazing experience!! Have you booked any other trips? There are other optional excursions, such as the white water rafting etc, on the trip notes, but is isn't clear whether we should book those in advance too or wait until we get there to decide what we fancy! Re visas - I haven't got mine yet, but will probably get them in advance because I have a couple of other visas in my passport that sometimes cause problems and I'd rather know that everything was sorted. However, from reading other forum posts it seems that getting them on arrival isn't too much of a problem. You seem to be really organised with your kit etc. already - I must start getting mine together!

Pete: I'm arriving in Nairobi from London on the morning of the 7th and, like you, I will also be taking my camera kit on as hand luggage. I'm hoping to borrow a 400 lens as I'm not sure I can afford to buy one, but we'll see...!! Bringing lots of memory cards is definitely good advice. Also remember to pack plenty of spare batteries too!  

Typhoid jab tomorrow...wahoo!!  Lucy

P.S. Any more thoughts on what type of bag/rucksack to take? 

Laura4444

Hi,

 

Can't believe it's just over a month away until we leave! Woo hoo!

 Pete - thanks for the advice about the batteries and memory cards, I'll definitely make sure I have spare. I'll also bring my camera stuff as carry on luggage then, although not quite sure what bag I'll be able to fit the camera + lenses in yet!

Lucy - well done for booking the hot air balloon flight - really looking forward to this. Don't think you can pre-book any other excursions as far as I understand. Thanks for letting me know about what your plans are for organising a visa....think I'm going to just risk it and get mine at the airport. My friend who lived in Kenya for a year seemed to think that it wouldn't be a problem so fingers crossed!

 

I'm also travelling from London so hope to see lots of you on the flight! My next thing to get is the money - I think I'm going to take mine in US dollars but at the moment I'm really not sure what sort of amount to take...don't want to be caught short and miss out on something exciting, but also don't want a load of dollars left when I get back. Is everyone getting US Dollars?

 Hope everyone's preparations are going well and I'll look forward to meeting you all soon,

 Laura

p.s. Lucy - I'm definitely going to take a rucksack type bag (not sure if it's technically called a rucksack or backpack!) Just need to work out a way to secure my sleeping bag to it now!

Hi again,

Thanks for replying so quickly. This forum is definitely one of the most popular for the August departures!!

Just a quick question - which anti-malaria tablets are you taking? Also, what approx size is your rucksack/backpack thing? And, what type of mosquito net did you get? I've got a lot of shopping to do in the next month...! Looking forward to it!

Re. money - I was thinking it might be worth asking someone on a previous AYU forum how much money they needed whilst on the trip to give us a rough idea of what to take?

See you soon, Lucy

Laura4444

Yes, it's me again! You guys must think I spend all my time checking this forum!

 Malaria tablets - when I got my injections the nurse recommended 'Mefloquine' as you only take one tablet a week, but I've since seen Pete's post which mentioned Larium based tablets in a negative way - Mefloquine does have Larium written clearly on the pack! Does this mean they aren't great?

 Mosquito net - I have a tendancy to get eaten alive so I'm not taking any chances! I bought a 5-point net which can be hung in lots of different ways - but when it arrived the bag was bigger than I imagined! Also planning on getting 100% mosquito repellant!

Rucksack - I've tried to look up the official size of my rucksack online, but can't seem to find it as the rucksack is so old! I'm guessing it's 65 litre....at the mo I'm trying to work out a way to attach the sleeping bag to it!

 Money - Good idea Lucy to post a question for past AYU trippers - I'll try and do that now...I'm now thinking around £750 in dollars - but really not sure if this is ludicrously too much or too little!

Walking boots - I'm going to take hiking boots - but thinking I may have to wear these of the plane as I don't think I'll be able to fit them in my bag!

I checked with Exodus and we should take a water bottle and chlorine purification tablets, so still need to buy those....does anyone else have any useful tips that I might have forgotten?

33 days until we go!

 Meet you all soon!

 Laura

Laura4444

Just remembered one other quick point about the malaria tablets - I got Mefloquine via a private perscription from my NHS GP surgery....

 Laura

Haha, don't worry - I'm glad you check this forum regularly! It's the first time I've done anything like this on my own and it's nice to know that there is someone else out there going through the same preparations! I'm starting to get things together properly now and will be looking on here to get your advice more frequently over the next few weeks...

The last time I went to Kenya I took Meflaquin and, as far as I can remember, had no bad side effects from them. I was perscribed Doxycyline for this trip by the nurse last week, but when I picked the tablets up from the pharmacy I discovered that they make you more sensitive to the sunlight and also, as they are are antibiotics, they are not particularly useful for women. I'm furious that the nurse perscribed these tablets without even mentioning those two vital facts. I asked about the side effects and advantages/disadvantages of each type etc. before she gave me the perscription and she told me they were all pretty much the same as each other -  clearly that isn't true!! Anyway, after reading lots of terrible things about doxy online I spoke to the nurse again on the phone the next day and she said they were fine as long as you are careful and wear sunblock etc., but to have a think about it and if I wanted to change to Malarone I could go in and get another private perscription. I don't know what to do..! 

I spent hours looking at rucksacks online last night to get an idea of prices and sizes etc. Think I need to go into a shop now and see how big they really are! I don't want to take too much stuff and be overladen, but there is a lot on the kit list! I'm hoping that my sleeping bag will fit inside the rucksack (but perhaps I'm being optimistic there) and am also planning to wear walking boots/shoes (not got those yet either...) on the plane to save space/weight.

 Bye for now, Lucy  

Hi,

Just read that plastic bags are illegal (and will probably be confiscated) in Rwanda. Something to think about when packing! Lucy 

Marie-Aude

You all seem so organized, well done...  This is also my first trip with Exodus, I will be travelling from London on the 6th.. 

Balloon trip sounds really good, so will ring tomorrow to book...  As regards malaria tablets, I'm going to take Malarone, I used it before and no side effects so sticking to what I know!..! I wont get a chance to organize visas before I go, but it seems to be straightforward to get them on arrival.  

Really looking forward to tre trip and meeting you all!

 

Marie-Aude

 

petesax

Hi All,

I go away for just a week or so and you all go mad on the forum board, took me 15 minutes to catch-up on everything!!

I don't know if it is too late but with regard to the malaria tablets I STRONGLY recommend going for Malorone tablets as these have very very little known side effects. The only reason most doctors don't recommend them is because of the risk you forget to take the tablet daily! I'm sure that with a group of 18 of us we will all be able to remind each other!!

So my camera kit is now pretty much complete unless any of you can think of something im missing: SLR camera, 18-200mm lens, 120-400mm lens, 50mm lens, flash, polarizing filters, UV filters, zip lock bags (for protection from dust), cleaning stuff and normal small camera. I'm trying to decide if to take a tripod or not? I have got a beanbag as a camera rest (highly recommended for safari apparently) but not sure if I should also take a tripod? My bag it a Kata 3in1 30 bag this is perfect as its a good size u can adjust the straps from back pack to sling bag and also has room at the top for other bits such as jacket etc.

Booked the Balloon flights yesterday, a lot of money but I'm sure it will be worth it!

If anyone arrives in Nairobi on the 6th let me know as we arrive the day before the London group arrives (staying at silver springs hotel)

Any feedback on the amount of money we will need?

I really can't believe we are so close now!

Pete

Laura4444

Hi,

 

Glad to see that the forum is still going strong!

Hello Marie-Aude, great to hear from you, thanks for you advice about the malaria tablets....it seems even more important now hearing about Cheryl Cole catching malaria!

Pete - what can I say? You snooze, you lose! You've missed about on some great forum posts, glad you've managed to catch up again (just kidding!). Great to hear that other people have signed up for the balloon ride, that is definitely going to be one of the trip highlights I hope!

Money front - I did start a new forum in the 'Arrivals gate' but unfortunately only had one reply. They couldn't remember exactly about how much money they took, but they thought that £750 in US dollars sounded quite a lot. They thought they took around £300..... I think I'm going to try and organise my money this weekend. Think I am going to go for £750 as I really don't want to miss out on any fun excursions, plus will need to leave tips for the guides and cooks etc. Also, at least the money will be in US dollars so I'm sure I'll be able to use the money in the future.

Can't believe it's so soon til we leave! Very excited as I've just received the joining instructions via email!

Laura

Hi all!

Great to see so many of you on here! Sounds like lots of us are signed up for that balloon ride too - it is going to be fantastic, I'm sure! 

After doing a lot of research, I changed my malaria tablets to Malarone last week and I'm feeling a lot happier now! If any of you have a perscription for Malarone and are yet to buy the tablets, it is definitely worth phoning around to get the cheapest quote. I found that Morrissons were by far the cheapest near me. The pharmacist there told me that lots of people get Malarone from them as they do not put any mark up and make no profit from the tablets. Worth a phone call!! 

Laura - thanks for posting re. money on the arrivals gate forum. Shame you only had one reply. I was thinking of taking £500ish and thought that was probably too much until you mentionned £750!  US dollars are easy to get, so I'm not planning to buy mine for a couple of weeks yet. If no-one else posts on the forum I might just send an email to Exodus asking for advice first.

Pete - I don't have as much camera kit as you, but I have been thinking about getting a Kata bag - they look really good. 

If you haven't seen it already, check this out for some inspiration (sorry no hyperlink):

http://www.photoanswers.co.uk/Video-Tutorials/Search-Results/Camera-Tech...

Lucy

 

P.S. I've now decided to leave getting my visas until arrival too...I hope that will be okay!

Laura4444

Not long to go now!

Lucy - it's good to see that I'm not the only one who will be getting the visa at the airports. From everything I've read it doesn't seem to be a problem.

I can't believe plastic bags are illegal in Rwanda! That seems crazy!

 Does anyone have any bright ideas about ideas about how to attach my sleeping bag to my rucksack? My rucksack isn't a traditional one with an opening at the top, it sort of opens more like a suitcase.....do you think I could check it in separately? I'm not too concerned if I need to leave it there to be honest, just need to get it on the plane there!

Also, did any decide about the hiking boot vs hiking shoe/trainer? I have both and was planning on taking hiking boots but I'm worried they maybe too hot? Also are you all taking trousers that are quite thick-ish for the gorilla trek, or just standard walking type trousers?

 Thanks to everyone for all your help with my previous questions, sorry to keep asking even more!

See you all soon!

Laura

Hi Laura,

I had a look on the Kenya Airways website and you can check in 2 bags (up to 23kg) on the flights from London to Nairobi and from Nairobi to London, but only 1 bag (up to 30kg) on the flight from Kigali - Nairobi so it looks like you could check the sleeping bag in separately to your rucksack on the way out there at least! 

I'm taking walking boots that support the ankles, but they are quite lightweight and breathable. 

Have you sorted out your currency yet? I posted a message on the Exodus Travels facebook page asking past trippers for advice on the amount to take and also what proportion of local currency to US dollars they recommended, but no-one has replied yet!  Lucy

Laura4444

Hi Lucy,

 Thanks for the reply. I think I will definitely take my sleeping bag as my second piece of luggage then, and worry about bringing it back later on....

 I also asked Exodus for advice, but I don't think they can really comment to be honest....they referred me to the cost of excursions on the trip notes, and suggested the following...

Approximate prices for other optional excursions are detailed below:
Walking safari Lake Naivasha (incl. boat ride) $30 USD
Boat trip on Lake Naivasha $40 USD per boat (max 8 per boat)
Rafting at Jinja $125 USD
Masai Mara village visit $15 USD
Kigali city tour $20 USD

 $60 for food

Plus tips for the guides....

 I've changed £700 into dollars.....but as I mentioned before I'm not too concerned if I have dollars left over as I'm bound to use them at some point.

THanks for the walking boots advice as well.....I think I'll bring my boots as well.

Think I'm going to have to wear a lot of the warmer clothes on the plane as I'm not sure I'll fit it all in the rucksack!

Getting excited now!

Laura

 

Hi, me again...

I emailed Exodus asking a couple of questions yesterday and thought you all might like to know that we can use credit cards to pay the tour leader for optional excursions if we want/need to. Also, mosquito nets will be provided so we don't need to pack those. 

2 weeks today we'll be at the airport waiting to fly to Nairobi!!!!!!!! 

Lucy 

petesax

I can't believe its so soon! I just hope the next few days pass by quickly!!

Were staying at the Silver springs hotel as coming in from Dubai the day before you all arrive from London, according to Exodus you will meet with us at the hotel for breakfast after being met at the airport!

Still got the last few things to get before the trip, I'm sure despite all the prep I will be running around next week trying to get the last things before we travel!! 

 For anyone taking an SLR camera I have been reccomended that you take a polarizing filter for each of your lenses. (thats right yet more expense!!) Is anyone taking a tripod or some kind of camera support?

 Money wise I'm going to take about $1,000 in cash, as you all mentioned we can always bring it back if not needed!

 

I finally received my joining instructions yesterday and picked up my currency today so it all seems a bit more real now!!

I'm definitely taking a monopod (for the Gorillas) and a bean bag (unfilled, for on safari). I also have a gorillapod which I will probably take too.   

What is everyone doing re. footwear? I'm wearing my walking boots and packing some flipflop/sandal type things, but was wondering about some light trainers too? 

Lucy 

 

petesax

I started to pack my bag last night as was a little worried I would not get all my kit in! it seems to be okay although not much room for anything else!!

Footware wise I'm taking a pair of flip-flops, light weight outdoor trainers (they have a mesh top) and a pair of walking shoes/trainers. (my only concern is if I should take some walking boots with ankle protection?) has everyone worn their boots in?

I'm having a tough time deciding on what camera support to take! I want to take my tripod but its quite big, I also have a gorilla pod, bean bag and monopod but don't think I can take all of them, can I??

Pete

 

I don't have a tripod so I definitely won't be taking one, but I have read lots of articles about what expect/what to take on safari/gorilla treks recently and there seem to be many conflicting ideas about the advantages and disadvantages of taking tripods/monopods.

Here's a mini summary in case it helps...

 - Most authors seem to think that taking a tripod on safari when you are sharing a vehicle with other people is a waste of time and that a bean bag is much better.

 - For the gorilla trek... Some people say you can take tripods/monopods (although you have to carry them a long way, the ground is 'difficult'  and the gorillas move around a lot making tripods in particular slighly unpractical, especially with lots of people all trying to get the same photos)...Some recommend monopods over tripods (can be used as a walking stick, smaller, easier to move around with people or if gorillas come closer to you than they should!)... Others say that no tripods/monopods are allowed at all (some say that 'sticks' scare the gorillas) and that these have to be left with the rucksacks which you have to remove before you reach the gorillas. We will be using shorter lenses here anyway, so hopefully handholding will be okay!

Thanks for the advice about shoes...I will probably also take some lightweight trainers too. Good idea to start packing now!!

Re. walking boots/shoes - I was recommended to buy ones that support the heal and I'm really pleased with them so far. I've been wearing a bit to break them in, but actually they are really comfortable anyway - just like trainers but more supportive!

These forums are so useful in preparing for the trip (especially for those of us travelling on our own!), but whatever we do or don't remember to take with us and whether we get just 1 or several thousand decent photos, I'm sure we're going have such an amazing couple of weeks!! Can't wait!!! Lucy

 

 

LizSandell

Hi there

Not actually on the trip, did this last summer and it was incredible. Am a keen photographer so I thought I would pass on a few things.

1. For the Masai Mara - bring the longest and best quality lenses you can. I had a 400mm lens and it was invaulable when we got a few long distance sitings of leopards. The rest of the group could hardly see a thing but I did pick it up and got some incredible shots. You will not need a tripod but definately bring a bean bag.

2. Gorilla's - Definately the highlight. Don't panic about being fit - it wasn't a bad hike and with all the excitement you won't even consider feeling tired. We were incredibly close to them and they are constantly on the move so a tripod would have been useless. I only had a short lens and this was sufficient. I just had it on the setting for taking lots of shots and pointed the camera in their general direction and hoped. Most of the time we were precariously perched on the edge of the hillside in the middle of the undergrowth (certainly not on a path) trying to keep up with them. You will need walking shoes/boots and long trousers as your legs will get ripped to shreds.

3. Chimps - Had a 300mm lens which was perfect.

4. Ballooon flight - definately not an experience to miss - the brunch alone was worth it before I even mention the view. Only booked it when was there so it can be done - and used a credit card. Visa was far more accepted than mastercard - others with a mastercard had problems.

5. Rafting on the White Nile - you have got to do this - it was amazing

Basically just have loads of memory card space - and you can charge any batteries on the truck (UK plugs) so don't stress about that and just enjoy the most amazing holiday of your life - wish I was coming back again. And if Leo is the chef - please say Hi from Liz - he is a legend and the nicest guy ever !

Liz

leanneandcarl

Hi guys, hope you don't mind us crashing your forum post- we are not on your trip- we are going on the Kenya & Tanzania adventure on 28th August and have been so excited that we are reading tips on all of the departure lounge forums. You guys definately have the most to say and your excitement is contagious!! Think after reading this we will go for Malarone too as our pharmasist was not convincing.

Its nice to see that everyone else is also stressing about kit, shoes, bags, tripods, money and all the other stuff - but I just keep thinking that the sights that we will see in Africa will be amazing whether we have sore feet or not.

Hope you all have an absolutely fabulous trip and look forward to seeing your reviews on the arrivals lounge when we get back in September. Maybe we will do this trip next year!!

 Carl & Leanne

Ste1664

Hi All

 My wife and I are going on this trip at the end of August, I am after a little bit of advise.

What size bag are you taking and are you taking hand luggage.  Also what type of sleeping bag are you taking.  I have read with interest the advise about cameras, do you have any other advise.

Thanks

 Steve & Hayley

Mattjo

Hello everyone,

We'll be meeting up with you at the Silver Springs Hotel on the morning of the 7th, we're really excited - especially for the Gorilla tracking! Bag-wise we are taking rucksacks, shoes-wise we are taking walking boots, flip-flops (useful for wearing in the showers!) and trainers. We are taking Malarone too as we have taken it before and had no side effects. Money-wise we worked out from the trip notes that we would probably need around $700 each (apparently you aren't allowed to bring any Kenyan shillings into or out of the country, so we are bringing it all in dollars - has anyone heard different? Is anyone bring Rwandan Francs?).  Thanks for the advice on the chlorine water tablets (we missed the fact we might need these, as it isn't mentioned in the trip notes advice) - we managed to get some from a travel/ outdoors shop called Cotswold (I think it is a chain) if anyone else needs them - only about £10. We are not bringing a fancy camera - we will probably have camera-envy from the sounds of it! 

Can't wait to meet you all!

 Matt and Wendy

Wow, lots of new posts! Hello everyone!

Liz - thanks so much for your post! It was really useful to read some advice from someone who has been on the trip previously so thank you for taking the time to write on here. Sounds like you had a great time!

Carl and Leanne - glad you've enjoyed reading our posts so far! I hope we will have lots of inspirational reviews for you to read on our return too! Have a fantastic trip!

Steve and Hayley - I'm taking a very light 70 litre holdall type bag with rucksack straps to carry. It is durable and waterproof, but doesn't have a hard bottom or a frame like a rucksack so it compresses really small and should easily fit in the lockers.  My sleeping bag is a (women's) 3 season sleeping bag, in a compression sack and it fits easily inside my bag. I'm just taking a normal rucksack as my day pack/hand luggage and all my camera kit fits in that, plus I have some room in that for other things like food and a jumper. Enjoy your trip! 

Matt and Wendy - Exodus advised me to bring money in US dollars, although I do have a small amount of Kenyan Shillings changed just in case of emergency at the airport or something. I've read the advice on the FCO website and other Kenyan travel sites and as far as I understand there are no restrictions on bringing currency into Kenya, but you can't take more than 500,000 Kenyan Shillings out of the country without written authorisation. It is also illegal to destroy Kenyan currency. I am not taking any other local currency as Exodus advised that it is simple to exchange US dollars. Looking forward to meeting you!

Lucy 

Hi All

Looking forward to meeting you all in a few days! Some good advice on the forum. Thanks in particular for the link to the Andy Rouse video - Some expert stuff that I'd never have thought about, suggesting adusting exposure compensation by -2/3 on the gorillas because they are so dark.

Seems like you're all well organised. We've been on African trips in the last couple of years (it seems to get under your skin) and always take too much stuff. Will we learn this year?

One tip that might be useful - Let your bank/credit card company know where you might use the cards before you go - It's frustrating if you find a cash machine and it spits back your card because of security rules!

See you in Africa!

Linda & Ade

 

petesax

Finished my last day at work today! so it feels like it really is close now!!

Great to see some new people that will be joining us! We will be staying in the silver Springs hotel on the night before everyone arrives so if anyone else will be there let me know and we can meet for a few drinks the night before.

 

Laura4444

Hi everyone,

 Wow this forum is doing so well! Can't believe we've only got a few days before we leave now, very exciting!

I'm going to check I've got everything I need over the next few days and probably have to make a few last minute purchases!

Thanks for all your tips Emily, I think I may need to take a thicker fleece than I was going to, just in case.....

I'm now slightly nervous about the rucksack I'm taking.... when I rang Exodus the person suggested that I didn't take an Exodus kit bag but took a rucksack instead... I have a rucksack but I don't think the bag will fold up that small after I've taken all my stuff out as it has reinforcements inside etc. Does everyone else's rucksacks completely collapse?

Emily I would be happy to meet in Heathrow, I think I will be like you, and be there far too early. Just let me know how you would like to arrange it.

I'll look forward to meeting you all soon!

Laura

Laura - I wouldn't worry about the rucksack, I'm sure that it'll all be fine.  There is obviously storage at the back of the bus and I'm sure your rucksack can go there if necessary. I booked on the balloon flight today and am going to go and get last bits and bobs tomorrow.  I'm making a friends wedding cake (don't ask) between now and going so my mind is currently occupied with fairy cakes, butter icing and sugar paste roses.  And no - that is not my day job!

 As for meeting in Heathrow - I'm trying to think what terminal 3 looks like!  I was only there in February but I'm pretty sure I'm muddling it up with Gatwick in my mind!  It would probably be easiest to meet by the check in I guess as we both definitely have to go there and that is a fixed point.  Say 4.45 there?  Or 5?  As I said, I'm really uncool about these things - I have a pathological fear of missing a flight.  Not that I have ever come even remotely close!  I also secretly quite like airports and mooching around the bookshops etc...

Anyone else want to meet up then?

 Emily

Nearly there!

I've got a neat backpack of cameras & other electronic kit and a jumble of necessary chargers and spare batteries! There's a fortune to be made if someone can develop a genuine universal charger!

Emily - Please don't go to Terminal 3 - I think the Kenya Airways flight (assuming we're all on the same one) goes from Terminal 4, which is the separate one in the SE corner that you get at from the A30. Please let me know if I'm mistaken.

I looked at some of the videos on YouTube of the rafting at Jinja today. Anyone thinking of trying it? Nerves of steel required I think -  I may have a headache that day!

Linda & Ade

Good call Linda - thanks!

I was on autopilot, which is evidently a little faulty.

Laura - assuming I manage to make it to the correct check in desk, do you still want to try and meet there, or somewhere else in terminal 4 (!)  Name your time.

Emily

Laura4444

Hi Emily,

 Reading the forum this morning made me chuckle! Going to the wrong terminal sounds like something I would definitely do!

Emily, meeting at the check-in desk sounds like a good idea. Shall we say 5 o'clock? I am always mega early for all flights, so shall we say wait at the desk until 5.20ish and if one of us isn't there then just go through without them?

Does anyone else want to meet up with us?

I emailed Exodus about the bag situation - apparantly the rucksack can be stored in the overhead shelves so it shouldn't be a problem....

Hoping I don't forget something vital now!

Laura

petesax

Hi all,

Things have gone a bit crazy on the forum in the past few days! DSo you think we might all be excited, about the trip?!!

I leave Dubai at 5:00 in the morning on Friday so my trip starts a little earlier than you guys! As I said before we will be staying at the Silver Spring Hotel in Nairobi the night before most people arrive so if anyone is there let me know. I have pretty much packed my 70litre bag today and although I feel that I 've cut back to the minimum clothes I can take its still a BIG squeeze.

Anyone seen the weather for Nairobi? It looks like we will be welcomed by rain over the weekend! mind you coming from 47c in Dubai I will be thank full for slightly cooler weather and  little of the wet stuff.

Anyone got any last minute panics? other than going to the wrong terminal!! Remind me not top be following you when were trekking!! 

Does anyone know if we will be able to re-supply for soap etc on route?

Anyway I best go and see if I can actually shut the zip on my bag now.

 Pete 

Laura4444

Hi,

 I've also just had a quick look at the weather forecast - looks like your right Pete, think we may have rain for part of the first week. I think I'll have to pack a brolly...

I've also just packed my bag and it is bursting at the seams! Although I don't actually seem to have many clothes at all! My bag seems crammed with other items like torches etc!

Laura

petesax

My bag is also bursting to the seams with everything but clothes! Put it this way I have enough medication etc to open a small hospital, along with chargers, sleeping bag etc.

I will wearing my clothes several times over me thinks! 

OMG I just had a quick look at those videos of Jinga on youtube - looks...um, interesting!! AGH!!

Shame it is going to be raining in Nairobi next week - I've packed lots of suncream as I was hoping to escape the 'wet stuff' for a couple of weeks.  Ah well!

Laura and Emily - I will be hanging around Terminal 4 (!) on Friday evening too. I'm not exactly sure what time I will arrive/check in yet. I will probably have a wander round the shops and get something to eat (I'm vegetarian and despite always double and triple checking I've ordered vegetarian meals on the flights, 50% of the time they give the food away to non-vegetarians or 'forget' to put them on the plane so I have to stock up just in case!) once I'm through security. Perhaps I'll see you at the gate? If you see someone fairly small and blonde being drowned by a rucksack and looking ridiculous in walking tousers, boots and a big coat waiting to board a plane to Africa, chances are it will be me!!

WAHOO!! 2 days to go!!!  

 

Marie-Aude

Hi everybody

Great to read all your comments! Have been away for a while and there was a lot of catching up to do! Packing nearly done, and I'm definitely joining the club of "bulging ruck sacks" ! Looking forward to meeting you all!

Marie-Aude

PS  Dont forget your malarone!  ;-)

 

 

Righty - Laura, see you (and anyone else) at the check-in desk at Terminal 4 at 5ish tomorrow (in my defence when I flew Kenya Airways before it was from T3!),  Otherwise see you all in Nairobi ;-P

Better go and start packing.

 Emily 

 

 

 

 

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