Into Africa - A Kenya and Tanzania Photo Safari 2001
By Corbin and Charlotte Ball
©2001 Corbin Ball Associates
Our journey to Kenya and Tanzania was by far the most exciting trip that we have ever taken. It was as if we were transported back in time to when the vast balance of the predator-prey ecosystem still exists. To a time before humans conquered, killed or tamed all predatory threats in their environment. To a place where one can get a feel for what nomadic tribe life was like hundreds or even thousands of years ago. This amazing mix of wildlife, cultural diversity, and wild scenic beauty is unsurpassed in the 40 countries and 5 continents we have visited.
Kenya / Tanzania Photo Safari Diary 2001
Kenya / Tanzania Photo Safari 2002
Click to enlarge thumbnail pictures:
Mt. Kenya Safari Club
Sweetwater Game Reserve
Samburu Serena Lodge
Samburu Game Reserve
Mara Safari Club
Nairobi - Norfolk Hotel
Serena Mountain Village Hotel - Arusha, Tanzania
Serena Lodge Ngorongoro
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Suggestions and recommendations to those considering a similar trip:
In reflection on our experience, we have a few recommendations for those considering a similar journey:
1. The use of an experienced destination management/safaris company was indispensable in making the trip as efficient, fun and interesting as it was. Destination Kenya was superb in taking care of all of the details, never missing a step in our complicated itinerary - with us each step of the way. Their support added enormously to the trip.
2. Quality hotels such as Lonrho and Serena Hotels made what could have been an arduous journey, instead one of luxury. To have a pampered refuge after full days of amazing, but bumpy and dusty, game drives, made the trip more enjoyable. These hotels also provided very competent and knowledgeable naturalists and drivers who contributed greatly to our appreciation of the sites.
3. Email access is generally not available at the safaris hotels and is limited, slow, and can be quite expensive at the other hotels. Cyber Cafes can be found at lower rates, but still with low connection speeds.
In general, pack as lightly as possible - we recommend limiting to a single carry on bag per person - the rolling type was helpful in the heat, humidity and/or high altitude experienced in the different locations.
A wide-brim hat, sunglasses, a cotton short-sleeve shirt, a long-sleeve shirt, 2 tee-shirts, safari pants (that convert to shorts doubling as swim trunks), 4 pair socks/shorts was just about all that was needed. Laundry is available at all of the hotels but can be quite expensive (i.e. $3US for a pair of socks). It is possible on safari, to hand wash with the sun drying in less than an hour.
Medications and aids:
- prescribed sleeping medication was very helpful to assist adjusting with the 11-hour time differential from the west coast of the U.S.
- anti-diarrhea medication (Imodium)
- motion sickness medication (Dramamine) if your are prone to this (several of the small plane flights and the ground transportation were quite bumpy).
- anti-malarial medication (Larium) *
- mosquito repellant (containing DEET)
- sunscreen (SPF 30+)
*The locals in Nairobi had strong feelings about Larium, the most commonly prescribed anti-malarial medication in the U.S. Due to a high incidence of adverse side-effects in about 1 in 20 persons, they recommend Proguanil or Doxycycline instead. The locals do not take anti-malarial medication, but act quickly when any symptoms appear (flu symptoms or aching) by going to the doctor and insisting on a blood test. In our entire time there, we did not see a single mosquito (anopheles) or not.
- a camera with a high-power (300mm minimum) telephoto lens
- twice as much film as you think you might need (we used 12 rolls of 24 exp. film with our 35mm camera for telephoto shots and took more than 700 shots with our digital camera)
- better yet, a digital camera with high storage capacity with a 8-10x zoom lens and battery charger (with socket adapter)
- good quality binoculars, one set per person, with at least 8 - 10 power.
- day pack for carrying the camera equipment
- large Ziploc baggies to seal film and other small items from the dust
- money belt
- notebook and pen to keep a journal of your experience
This was the trip of a lifetime for both of us. The wildlife, cultural diversity and warm Kenyan/Tanzanian hospitality encountered have given us a new perspective on the world. We have come back greatly enriched in life experience and we are eagerly counting the days until we return.
Click here for our diary of the trip.