AYUR -Gorrillas and Masai Mara Reverse departing 29 October 2010

Hi, it would be good to hear from anyone else who has booked on this trip.  Sounds such an exciting trip.  Kind regards, Paula. 


Hi Paula, I've just booked on the same trip! It does sound absolutely amazing, I can't wait! I've not been on one of these orgnised trips before - have you? It would be great to hear from you. Ruth

Hello, I have just booked for this trip and I am so excited and really looking forward to it - I'm travelling on my own so a bit nervous but can't wait. Kind regards Janis


Hi Ruth and Janis.  Good to hear from 2 fellow travellers.  My e-mail address is [email protected] - it would be good to keep track of where we all are with preparations, vaccinations etc. just so that we don't miss something.  Keep in touch.  Paula

Hi Ruth & Paula, great to hear from you both  - my email is [email protected]  Hope you are both well. I'm also getting excited just shopping for binoculars, clothes etc - dont know if you could help me with something I have been looking at rucksacks and not really sure what size ( so many to choose from) to go for. any thoughts?  Will keep in touch. I'm looking forward to meeting up with you both in October.


Hi Janis.  I have a 60L rucksack that happens to be on wheels too.  I had a 75L rucksack, but it was really too big for me to carry.  With your handluggage rucksack too a 60L should be fine.  As for clothing, my advice is to start looking in charity shops for t-shirts, walking trousers, shorts etc. and then give them away in Africa so that you don't have to carry them home.  When I climbed Kilimanjaro I was so taken aback by the amount of poverty that I gave away all my best Berghaus, North Face and Rohan clothing.  This time I am going to buy stuff to give away.  You will find yourself wearing the same clothes 3 or 4 times so you won't need to pack much.  The key is quick dry fabric so you can wash things out overnight.  Make sure you have a couple of long sleeved blouses because of the mozzies in the evenings.  Also, roll your clothes up and you will fit more in your rucksack. Hope that helps.  E-mail me if you want to know anything - even the smallest thing can make a big difference - like wet wipes - God bless wet wipes!  LOL  Paula


Hi there,  I'm also booked on this trip and am very excited.  I will be in Kenya for two and half weeks prior to this trip.  Can't Wait.



Hi Rebecca.  Great to hear from another fellow traveller. If you let us have your e-mail address I will add you to our little group list where we are sharing tips etc.  We are all very excited.  Take care.  Paula


It's my first trip with exodus, and first trip to so exotic place. Departure from Heathrow.

I’m starting being little excited. Anybody eager rafting at Jinja ?





I definately want to go rafting, so it would be great if there was someone else keen too! 


I was rafting few yeaqrs ago. It was superb. I hope somebody will join to us.




Hi everyone,

I am also booked - it doesn't seem quite real and feels a mixture of excitement and complete nerves at the moment! I am a complete novice at this type of holiday so should be interesting.

Would be good to hear back from you - by the way my name is Caroline and not Dulcie - Caroline had already been taken - I didn't quite realise you couldn't edit the information when I thought of Dulcie and am now stuck with it!!

Has anyone started having vaccinations yet? Any thoughts on which maleria ones to take?






Hi Caroline.  Great to hear from another fellow traveller.  If you have never done this sort of thing before you will love it.  Just remember to bring loads of old clothes and not your best ones because you will be tempted to give everything away to the African people.  They are so warm and friendly and yet they have nothing. Oh, and wet wipes (loads of them) as washing can sometimes be difficult, but I understand we will be staying in some quite sophisticated camp sites on a few nights so we might be ok.  It gets pretty cold at night so make sure your sleeping bag is up to it.  Some of us have booked the hot air balloon trip over the Masai Mara.  You might want to consider that, and I know a few people are thinking of going white water rafting.  Janis and I are definitely not bungee jumping, but we are happy to guard your stuff while you do it :-)   Kind regards, Paula


Hi Paula,

Where else have you been to in Africa? Was it a similar type of trip? I was thinking of doing the hot air ballooning, but have not booked it yet - have you?   Good plan to scour the charity shops - I will start looking! So old clothes, wet wipes and a decent sleeping bag - anything else?!




Hi Caroline.  Yes, I have booked the balloon trip and I know that Ruth and Janis have too.  If you let me have your e-mail address I will add you to our little group where we are sharing information.  The more the merrier.  Paula x


Hi Paula,

My email address is [email protected].  

Be good to hear from you,





Hi All,

So excited about going on this trip. I have just read all of your comments and would really appreciate some tips for going on this trip. It's my first time to Africa and some of you have great experience on previous adventures! Would appreciate hearing from you all!




It's great that more people from our trip are logging on. If you email me on [email protected] I'll add you to our little group where we've been sharing information.  I'll maybe put all our emails together into one document so that you don't miss any useful tips that we've come up with. Any advice that you could add would also be greatly appreciated.

103 days to go! Not that I'm counting you understand! ;-)

Hope to hear from you both, Ruth

Jeff Wilkes

Hi Folks, I've just returned from this trip and it was everything I hoped for and much more. Do the ballooning, despite the 5.00am start it was tremendous and the champagne breakfast is worth the wait. Sitting out on the Mara with a never empty glass is the way to go. The rafting at Jinja is electifying. There is a new dam being built so this stretch of rapids will be lost forever, be one of the last to survive it. More practical notes. There was only one night where we had no showers whilst camping. The trick is in the timing, I found early morning showers to be the hottest. Malarone is the best anti-malarial but be prepared to be bitten, nearly everyone in our group of 18 had a few red lumps. Some folks on our trip were pressured to have anti-rabies innoculations by their GPs. Rabies is only a problem if you are in the habit of petting cats and dogs, not recommended in Africa. Take a warm top, we had a few chilly nights and early morning game drives are cold till the sun comes up. On the long drives with sides of the truck raised can also be very cold. Even though we were there in the dry season we had rain, plus hail and thunder, so take waterproofs. Good idea to take old or cheap clothes and offload as you go. We visited two orphanages so any kit for youngsters will go down really well. If you do the Masai village trip they are keen on red clothes, sun glasses and watches so you can use these things for bartering with. A four pound watch on our trip netted a couple of local bits of handicraft. This part of Africa has poverty but always be mindful of the fact that too much generosity may put pressure on later groups to be equally as generous, especially true with giving money to children. There is a growing trend of them putting hands out asking for cash, hard to resist at times but you must not do it. You will all have a superb experience, especially if you get Often as a leader, it really is his name.


I did the rafting (from Ginja) in 2008 on the "right-way-round" version of this gtrip.  "The Bad Place" is incredible - I thought I was going to die (that's a weird feeling - quite relaxing) - but the day was utterly superb, and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.


Thanks for all the information. I'll have to look out some welsh rugby shirts!

I can't wait for the rafting and enjoyed the video. I've been slowly recruiting one or two others to join me rafting but I'm not sure the video is really going to help! ;-)

When did you both go on the trip? Do you by any chance have any advice on cameras to take. I can't decide between a DSLR with a couple of lenses or an ultrazoom bridge camera. I'm not very experienced in photography and have found the bridge type camera quick and easy to use in the past but the SLR will have better image quality but I'll need to keep changing lenses and the long lens will probably need a tripod. What camera did you take?

Thanks for your help!


P.S. 76 days to go! :-)


Jeff Wilkes

I got back on August 1st having done the trip in reverse as you will. I use DSLR with a long telephoto lens. It's the only way to get good animal shots as they aren't always close to the vehicle. I didn't use a tripod and had no problems having used automatic settings most of the time giving pretty quick exposure times. I used a shorter lens for all the general shots in town etc., so do take both lenses. The truck has ample 13 amp square pin sockets for charging any batteries so take all your chargers with you, phone, camera and iPod. I'll keep checking this site so if you have any more questions just post them and I'll be happy to help where I can.


Well Hywel and Jeff - I take my hat off to you both for doing that white water rafting!!  Ruth - you have no chance of getting me in that boat now ;-)  Thanks for all the tips on what to take for the children at the orphanages etc.  I have an idea my bag will be filled with so much stuff to give away that there won't be any space for my things.  Well, look at this way - it's a great opportunity to clear out the wardrobe.  LOL

Not long now ... woooo hoooo!!!!!

Jeff Wilkes

Go for the rafting Paula. You have the option of a half day trip and not doing the Bad Place.

The full day is 31k on the river with a lunch break and three levels of difficulty. You can do half a day and finish at the lunch break. Nine of our group did the rafting and five finished at the lunch break. I'll let you into a little secret, I'm over sixty and did the full day. Is that a challenge or what!!!

Well, I've just rang up and paid the balance of the trip which is the worst bit !

But it means the trip is getting closer so that's the good bit !!

I'll definitely be doing the balloon trip and as long as there is enough people I'll do the rafting as well.

Can't wait




Hi Tim,

I've just paid up as well. Starting to get even more excited now. Great to hear that you want to do the rafting. I think that's five of us so far but we've got time to work on the others - especially Paula! ;-)

We've had a little group discussion going on via email (seven of us so far). So if you'd like to join in, then email me ([email protected]) and I'll add you to our list.

Jeff - I've just seen your photos, they look fantastic! It made me change my mind about a bridge camera and so I've just ordered a Canon 500d with an 18-55mm and a 55-250mm lens - hope this is going to be OK? I figured that I'd probably struggle to hold a longer lens. 

Hywel and Jeff - Do we need to take mosquito nets and water purification tablets? A while ago I read somewhere that we do, but I'm not so sure now. 

Thanks for all your advice!

Have fun!


P.S. 57 days to go!!!!


Jeff Wilkes

Hi Ruth, glad you liked my snaps. I used a 100-400mm zoom for most of the animal shots. I agree it is heavy but I have been using it for a couple of years and am used to it. Most of the others on our trip used lenses of the size you are taking and judging by the results I have seen you will get some great shots. With regard to nets you won't need one. The hotels and fixed tents had them already and a good spray of DEET in the tent when you close it before going for your evening meal should do the trick and always keep it closed, some of the pests are babboons who will steal anything so take no chances. We were supplied with safe drinking water so no worries there either. Hope that answers your questions. Again, you will have a great time. I would do it all again. Jeff

Hi, wondered if someone could please help me. I was gonna take my camcorder but after reading the forums & seeing what lovely photos you all took I am thinking about taking a camera too- problem is I don't really know what sort to get & I have to confess I don't really know a lot about them either, I just don't want to regret not taking one and missing out on getting some great shots.

Can anyone please give a beginner some advice I would greatly appreciate it.


Jeff Wilkes

Hi Janis. If you are used to using a camcorder and have an editing programme on a computer, then you should stick with that. You can buy a camera but it's a question of price. There are some very good digital cameras out there with a built-in zoom facility or go for an SLR with changeable lenses. Better to take time to go to a reputable photography shop and get the info that way, plus you get to handle the cameras.

Hope this helps,  Jeff. 


Hey folks - great to virtually meet everyone online. I'm on this trip too and it's getting close enough to be getting excited now. Still bits and pieces to do yet.
My email is [email protected]


I'm actually going on this tour but on 9 oct...just looking for some advice re camera gear for those that have already been in their trip. I am thinking about taking my tripod...will I need this or be able to actually use it anywhere?
Thanks...and hope you all have a great holiday.

Meena :-)

Hi Soozy,

Glad to hear from you, I will email you and include you in our list, so you can then get to know everyone else, I think there is aboout 6 or 7 of us at the moment.

Janis x

Hi Meena, I don't really know a lot about cameras but I'm going for a Canon or Nikon SLR- i know someone who's a photographer & he's gonna show me how to use it hopefully!! Hopefully someone else will read this and answer for you.

Have a great holiday.


hi all finally cottoned on to where to locate other bods on this trip and look forward to meeting you all later on this week, yes this week!!!! excited me- much???

are you all travelling on the group flight??


Just found how to log on, my I hope the trip is a bit easier to navigate :-) getting really excited now, packed and unapacked my bag a few times and now panicing wahat to take, long steeved, short sleeved shorts, no shorts.  One for the girlies, what is everyone else packing!!!

Are we all meeting up on Friday at the Airport.

Freddie x


My Mum (Joyce) and I are booked on this (reverse) trip as well.

We heard the children especially like writing pens and small school supplies as they have very little of that.

See everyone at the airport on Friday!
Thanks to everyone above for all the tips. :)


Hey, it seems that there has been a lot of talk already about this holiday!!!!
I am also coming - so I think that makes 2 Susie's on the trip????

I will look forward too meeting you all on Friday at the airport.

ps - how do you pre book the hot air ballooning???And am definitely up for that and the rafting....eeeekk!!!


I think that now makes it 13 out of the 18 booked on the holiday. Those of us meeting up at Heathrow are planning on meeting up at Garfunkel's for food and drink. So please do join us if you can. If you email me on [email protected] and give me your phone number, I can call you if you like? Susie - if you phone Exodus they can book the hot air ballooning for you. Be warned though as it's not cheap - £350, but hopefully it'll be worth every penny! Another volunteer for the rafting - excellent! :-)

Ok, so I'm think I'm all packed but am sure I will forget something ! When I rang Exodus several weeks ago they wouldn't let me book the balloon and do it at the time. I'm sure anybody who is charging that amount of money will be willing to accept my credit card whenever....

Garfunkel's - OK, once I've got myself checked in and through security I'll head on there.

Looking forward to meeting everybody and leaving the cold of London behind.



OK so my maths needs improvement! I think that's now 15 out of the 18! Yes I'm sure you'll be able to pay for the ballooning there. Right I really should try and decide what clothes I'm going to wear. You'd swear I'd got weeks to go and not just 2 full days! Hope you're all better prepared?!

Thank you so much for that information re - air ballooning..... wasn't given to me was told too book when there!!!

OK - so will also aim to meet at Heathrow..... will drop line now :)

 Panic panic - no where near ready..... just hope I do not forget anything vital!!


Well this time tomorrow we will be in the air yippeeeeee,I'm so excited I'm driving everyone nuts:) Looking forward to meeting up with you all.
See you soon
Janis xxx

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