Gorillas and The Masai Mara

I shall be taking my first solo trip with Exodus Travel and my first trip to Africa / Safari in October 2010.

I would appreciate if anyone, who has been on this tour, could give me any advice/tips on Visa's, Currency, Camera Charging, Clothing etc etc.

If anyone knows about a decent mid range digital SLR camera / lens, that would be a great help too.


Natalie x  


HI Natalie

Just got back from this trip and it was excellent - you will have a great time. Some answers to your questions -

Visa's  - they're all done at the borders so don't bother getting them in advance - our tour leader sorted it collectively with the group. She also helped us change money at borders as well - as we got better rates when we pooled change. I would follow the trip notes advice and take dollars in cash - travellers cheques would be a real pain to change. THere were a couple of ATM's around - but few and far between

Battery charging can be done of the truck - although this will need some planning as there is often a queue to plug your kit in

It got quite cool at times in the higher areas of Rwanda and Uganda - although we went in Jan so October could well be warmer for you

I used a Nikon D60 - they don't make that particluar model now but Nikon now do an equivalent mid range one that would be the same sort of spec - prob more important to go for a good zoom lens - whatch out for deals in Jessops that offer reduced prices on a zoom when you buy the camera - mine goes to 300  - which got in close enough for the wildlife (the snaps are on the gorillas and masai mara page)

Have a great time



Thankyou for the reply :)


Thanks Nicola for the advice and Natalie for raising the questions.  Natalie, I'm going on this trip but departing on the 15th October 2010. Lookig forward to it.  Judging by the reviews, we are going to enjoy this one very much.

Nicola - Great advice re the Visas.  Let me congratulate you on the superb photos that you shared with us.  They are excellent and a great reiew too.  I will be taking my DSLR, but I was pondering on what kind of lens to take.  I was thinking of 100-400mm but I don't know how close you actually get to the wildlife.  You mentioned earlier that you used a 300mm lens.  I think 200mm might be fall short.  Did you find that it satisfied your zoom in requirements?  I went to India last year and the maximum lens I had with me was 105mm, which was rather short for capturing the tigers.

This also might be a silly question, but did you take a tripod? or did anybody in your group take one?

I'm slowly gathering equipment like walking boots, sleeping bag etc.  Still a long way to go yet before departure.   

Thanks in advance.



Hi Andrew

I didn't take a tripod, although one of the people on the trip did - but I think she only really used it for the eclipse. The tour leader had a great little bean bag that she used for resting the zoom on when taking pics from the truck - I would do that next time. My zoom was fine for most things except the leopard, which was a bit too far away from it. Another person on the trip had a slightly smaller zoom but her pics looked fine with whatever she had.

You get surprisingly close to the animals most of the time - sometimes way too close for a larger zoom!

Have agreat time - as I'm sure you will




Great!  Thanks Nicki for the information.  I've heard about using bean bags.  Good tip!  I'm in two minds now about the zoom lens.  As you say, you get close to the animals most of the time.  I'm just thinking whether a 400mm would be a bit of an overkill for such purposes. I think 300mm would be slap bang in the middle. I'll definitely take my 50mm for portraits.  Did the Masai Warrios and people in general mind you taking their photos?  

I might take my tripod.  It's light enough.  I know how tricky it can be for long exposure.  I'll decide nearer the time or might just settle for the beanbag.

I'm sure it will be a trip of a lifetime.  Really looking forward to going.  Might have some more questions later when I can think of them.  Hope that you don't mind.

Thanks again






Hi Nicola, I have another question! What baggage did you take? I've been currently looking at something like a Tatonka Barerl Bag. Would I be expected to fit my sleeping bag into my main luggage or do you think I could carry it seperate along with a day bag that I will carry my SLR in?



HI Natalie

I took a soft mid sized kit bag - you don't want anything too big as it has to be thrown in and out of the truck most days - but yes you need to get your sleeping bag in there as well. I then used a day bag for the camera, drinks etc. You get a small locker under the seats for valuables

Could I pick your brains please?  I am off on this trip next month and wondered if you could give me an idea of how much money to take.  I intend to take mainly US dollars in cash as per the trip notes just not sure how much to take?  Doubt I will do the ballon trip as have already done this in Kenya nor will I do the rafting as done that in Nepal and not really my thing.  Otherwise will do all other optionals - any guidance you can give would be much appreciated.  Also noted can't take hard bottom bag so will be taking the Exodus kit bags supplied on their treks but as will have a long journey to London intend to use a fold away wheelie- I assume it will be ok to store this in the truck? What do you think?

Thanks in advance for your help

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