Whose Going?

Hi, Reading through the forum, is anyone else doing this trip?  I note that there are no others posted and I know I am not going alone.............................Confused by the departure date showing as my paperwork show deaprture 28 August '10 so can only guess the date of 29 Aug is the land only date!!!

 Perhaps I will see you there?

Hello there Heather. It will be nice to see you on this trip. I am under the impression that the flight will leave from London on Saturday 28th August. I am travelling with my daughter, Jennifer, and looking forward to this very much.  Something that is worth seeing, apart from wildlife, are the sunsets, especially with a cold beer or glass of wine.  Sunrises too - if you can get up in time!  Take care - Munch (Derek)

Hi Derek thanks for your reply and am glad there are at least another two on the trip, though I am sure there are more peeps but they may not use the forum, though this is a first for me to pose a question on here!  I am really looking forward to the trip, not only to get away from work but to share the experiences of a beautiful continent and its inhabitants both animal and human.  The departure date shown here is actually the date we land so it was deffo me getting confused lol.  I do see that there are a lot of 'steps' to the accommodation in Zanzibar so guess I better improve on my fitness before we get there!  Well no doubt I will see you and your daughter at the airport and heres hoping for a fantastic holiday and meeting some fantastic people.  Hev :-)

Hi Hev -  Don't mean to be too nosey but I'd be interested to know what anti-malaria tablets you're using, if any. Everyone has their own preference, but I've used Larium on previous occasions without any problem. I know that it has had some bad publicity in the past but I've been fine. I also like the fact you only need to take it once a week. Jennifer and I will be in London from Monday 23rd doing touristy things and some West End shows. Can't wait really. If you see me not replying on this forum after Friday I'm not being anti-social - I'm going to a family do in Ontario Canada. Back on 6th August. It's great being retired, should have done it 35 years ago! Munch (Derek)

Hi Heather, Derek & Jennifer, I'm booked on this tour too. It looks as if you have both used the services of Exodus before, but it's my first time both with Exodus and on safari. I've arranged my own flights, as I wanted to fly from my nearest airport rather than Heathrow, so I'll meet up with you in Arusha. See you soon, Jim   


Hi Jim, Nice to hear from you, No I havent used Exodus before but have been on Safari only once mind, I think Derek has used them a few times before if his proflie is anything to go by!  So where are you flying out from then?  One thing I meant to ask Derek (and probably will still ask him when he gets back from his trip) is are you getting your visa before departing UK or waiting til you get there?  Some people say it is hassle free and cheaper      ($50 which at todays rates is only the same as applying direct to the embassy).  If you are anything like me you will catch the safari bug and want to keep going back again and again though to different places.  Previously done a bit of Kenya but still got to do Tsavo East/West and Amboseli so maybe next year.................  Well we shall look forward to seeing you at Arusha, have a safe flight out and see you in August!  Heather :-)

Hi Heather. thanks for your reply. I wanted to fly from my local airport, Birmingham, which is about 30 minutes from where I live. It's much eaiser to get to and from than Heathrow. Exodus kindly gave me details of their flights, so I was able to match the flight times using KLM. What's more is the cost of the KLM flights was only £10 more than the reduction for booking the land only tour. It also means that I arrive at Arusha on the evening of the 28th, rather than the morning of the 29th. The transfer and extra night in the hotel cost another £90, but I think it's well worth it for the convenience of flying from Birmingham. I hadn't considered getting the visa in advance, as it seems much easier to purchase the visa on arrival, I think you just have to make sure you have a crisp, new $50 bill. Regards  Jim

Hi Heather, Jim - I got our visas direct from the Embassy in London - I feel more comfortable doing it that way. I have used the services of Travcour in the past for which you pay extra, but is reliable and hassle free,  but didn't feel them necessary on this occasion.  I would use Travcour depending on the political nature of the country being visited, but I won't name countries here. Tanzania is a pretty stable country in general, and is very conscious of the value of tourism to its economy. If I could, then I would call at the Embassy or Consulate in person. I did that when travelling to India since there is an India Consular Office in Edinburgh and I happened to be passing through when visiting friends.

I don't think you'll find a better adventure company than Exodus. They bend over backwards to go that extra yard to satisfy their clients. Their group leaders are very knowledgeable and professional. I'm maybe biased as I've been with them a few times now. And that's not to say I wouldn't travel with other adventure companies. You need to be of a certain nature to do that job and have found that the customers (namely us) have to be adaptable and flexible in their outlook, and also of a similar nature and outlook. 

I've been lucky enough to have been on several safaris, and in fact was in Tanzania 10 years ago. It's like a drug - once you have experienced it,  then you need to do it again. But any of Exodus's trips are worth going on - trekking, culture, discovery.

I hate giving advice as everyone is different, but all I can say is to expect the unexpected, adapt to the situation and muck in together,  and you'll come away  with great memories and with friends who you may stay in touch with for years, as I have.

Hi Munch, hope you had a good time in Canada?  I am slowly counting down the days now and am like a kid on their first white Xmas lol.  I have sent off for the visa as wasnt happy about applying when i get to the airport as some people have had to wait three hours and not happy to hold everyone up!  Biggest problem I have at the mo is packing!  Maybe thats a girl thing?  Busy humming and haaing over which rucksack to take, need to ensure I can secure it properly and will really have to cut things down, tho when I did Kenya most of the stuff I took got left there so came back with rucksack inside my case (we were allowed to take a case and leave it in a secure place as it was safari followed by beach stay).  Dusted off all my travel docs and just keeping fingers crossed that passport and visa arrive back in one piece and in time.  Guess if the ten days pass and no sign of them, then it will be an expensive trip to London to get new passport and hopefully visa done at the same time Arghhhhhhhhh.  Thankfully I have five days off work prior to the trip.  Well off to work in a bit so will sign off for now.  Take Care, Hev :-)

By the way, Heather - I was fortunate enough to attend the Calgary Stampede with Jennifer and my wife back in 1999. All I can say is it made for a real spectacle. Thrills and spills galore with  riding bareback horses,  lassooing and tethering young calves, and the bull-riding. In the evening there are chuckwagon races, which make the chariot race in Ben-Hur look like a pony gymkhana. In fact, sadly one rider died the year we were there, when he crashed during a race. Sadly you have missed it this year - it goes on for a week in early July each year. I guess to some folk it looks a bit cruel on the animals, but unlike Spanish bullfighting there is no deliberate intent to injure or harm any livestock. In fact I thought they were well cared for.  There's more than just the Stampede - there are shows, entertainment, concerts throughout the week all over the Stampede showgrounds. And of course there are lots of good-looking cowboys around - not from my point of view of course!!

Pay dispute settled! Threat of strike action lifted!  - Big sigh of relief! PHHHEEEEWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!! Munch

Hi Munch, Such good news waking up this morning to find the strike is off yippee :-))  Was debating how they could get us there, guess the solution would be to fly to somewhere like Amsterdam from a non BAA airport here and catch a long haul from Amsterdam.  Now I dont mind if they wanna strike whilst we are out there but come on lets us get out first.  Currently have my ankle strapped at the moment as twisted it last night at work so fingers crossed that it is less swollen in just over a weeks time!!  Should be according to our works nurse, think it is just a case of slightly torn ligaments, it was so nice that my colleague fell about laughing when it happened but hey ho at least it lifted the mood at work.  lol.  Enjoy the sights and sounds of London when you come down, if you are doing any shows I can highly recommend Priscilla Queen of the Desert or Mama Mia, both fantastic shows.  See you at the airport I guess though not sure whether that will be here or there!  Hev :-)

Forgot to say that from posting to receiving back my passport including a weekend it took five days to get my passport and visa back intact.  Out of curiosity, people who get them there, does that mean they have to take two pics with them as you have to send two pics to the high commission here? 

Hi Heather, (and Jim, and anyone else on this trip) - I expect they will indeed have to take photos with them if they apply for the visa out there. In fact one of the photos is incorporated into the visa. I can't remember what happened entering Tanzania 10 years ago. Well I CAN remember what happened - it's a bit of a story that I'll tell you about when we meet up. But what I mean is I can't remember what happened in respect to visas then. But we entered Tanzania on that occasion at a land-crossing from Kenya near Lake Victoria, and not through an airport as we are doing this time.

A bit of a nightmare for you to damage your ankle at this stage, but it doesn't sound too serious. The fact that your colleague was laughing their head off at your predicament is a good sign, as it means that you must be popular at work.  

I take it you work shifts. I don't know what you think but I believe working shifts for over 30 years has been the reason that I have never suffered jetlag. Occasionally I'd be called out in the middle of the night and that has also helped. Another thing I do is as soon as I get on board the plane at this end, I set my watch to the local time at the other end, and so my mind immediately starts thinking in local time.  I don't believe jetlag will be a big issue on this trip though, as there is only a 2-hour time difference. But even on trips to Australia or India I've never had jetlag. Very lucky really as I know some people can take days adjusting.

Pouring rain today here (Inverness) so it looks like a day of housework.


Hi Munch and Jim and the others we will no doubt meet up with at some point!  Munch you are right one of the pics is incorporated into the visa so it will be interesting to see who actually takes pics with them as nowhere on looking have I seen people mention this when talking about getting out there..................................fingers crossed it doesnt delay things too much unless the peeps who issue the visas at the airport do the pics at the same time?  I too have been dragged out of bed an some unearthly hour for work and work shifts so jet lag has never been a problem for me either, not unusual for me to have four hours sleep in a 72 hour period during a busy time at work!  You will have to spill the beans about the last time you visited tanzania I am intrigued!  You and I obviously think alike as I too change my watch as soon as I get on board to local time, my friends in NA were gobsmacked when I visited them a few years ago as after 27 hours travel (5hrs at Bangkok airport with a nice Thai massage thrown in.....bliss) they kept asking at 11pm if I wanted to go to bed............BED! No thanks!  Pull up a chair by the pool and keep the conversation flowing, was so funny cos when they emigrated I think they both slept for about 2 days lol.  Well two more shifts to go then total wind down in prep for the hols, mind still looking for my spare memory cards for the camera~ last seen a year ago after Egypt, ah well no doubt I will find them buried at the bottom of a case somewhere!  Well thats it for me, 5am comes around too soon.  Will catch up later, take care and if I dont catch you before you hit London Munch, safe journey down and see ya at the airport.  Hev :-)

Hi Hev & Munch, Sorry I haven't kept up with your exchange of messages here. Life just seems to get in the way or simply fly by. Anyway, my boss is out of the office this afternoon so, while the cat is away .... Any advice on insect repellant? Jungle Formula say it must be their "Extra" strength (50%), but Poundland do a 30% DEET rollon for just £1! From what I've gathered the lower strength just needs applying more often. Have you any idea what sort of quanity will be needed for the tour? I'm going to risk picking up the visa on arrival. As I fly in a day earlier, it shouldn't  have any impact on you even if it does take 3 hours. Exodus have arranged for me to stay overnight in a hotel near the airport, then I'll be picked up and taken back to the airport the following morning to meet your flight when it arrives. I've expressed an interest in the optional tour of Arusha National Park on the day or your arrival. Apparently these excursions are booked locally. The tour is dependent on a minimum of two people. As I'm travelling on my own, I hope you may join me so that the tour can go ahead. I'm also very interested in the optional Spice tour in Zanzibar. Again that tour has a minimum requirement of two people. Oh well, not long now. See you soon. Jim

I have to say Jim, that I'm no use at giving you advice about insect repellant. I've never used the stuff. But however much you decide you need, then double it. Make sure you pack it in your checked-on baggage that goes in the plane's hold, and not in your cabin baggage. I've found in the past that there is usually a supply on board the trucks that we used.  However I don't think we are using the Mercedes 12-ton safari-adapted trucks that I've been on with Exodus previously, so best bring your own (insect-repellant that is, not a 12-ton truck!) The Australian hats with dangling corks may look a bit daft, but they were excellent at keeping flies away. However the flies in Oz weren't malarial and it didn't bother me if they landed on arms or legs - as long as they were kept out my face.

I intend to go on the optional excursions that you have mentioned, but hoping I can just book them at the other end. I went snorkelling when I was in Tanzania 10 years ago - well worth a try. Beautiful warm water and colourful marinelife. I have a snorkel & mask in the house somewhere, but buggared if I can find them.  We never made it to Zanzibar on that occasion because of political unrest on the island. We diverted to a place called Pangani Beach on the mainland - absolutely stunning and peaceful setting - very beautiful. No problems now.   Hope you and everyone has a safe journey.   Derek

Hi Jim/Derek, Well Matalan is my favoured place for picking up the insect repellant they do the high strength stuff for a couple of quid tho like Derek in Kenya I think I used it once!  What I do have are little velcro bands that you can wear on the ankle or wrist and swim in that contain very little deet and appeared to do the trick, but perhaps the Tanzanian mossies are more resilient, touch wood I never got bitten or actually seen more than a couple of mossies in Kenya it appears tho that the english mossies appear to bite me.  I too am hoping to do the national park and spice tour so at least they should go ahead, as it appears that us four want to do them! As for snorkelling I want to do this too, having gotten the bug in Kenya so lets hope we can do this and either hire the gear locally or as part of a trip.  I know in Kenya I paid using my debit card for any trips booked out there not sure what set up Exodus has though?  Well work has now finished for me giving me a chance to keep packing and repacking my rucksack lol I really must be strict this time, I always end up with much more than I need so am going to lay it all out and be cruel in what goes in (or at least thats the plan!) Well I am off now to try and sort out my dollars and do the last bits and pieces (and see if I can find all my camera memory cards!)  See you all soon :-)

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