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'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

Old Jul 28th 2007, 12:39 am
  #1  
Hans-Georg Michna
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Default 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

Wildlife viewing, stunning geography and unique people make
jaunt to Kenya

Christopher Clark, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, July 28, 2007

To be honest, like most people, I would not have thought of a
quick trip to Africa when planning for a vacation. By quick I
mean eight days with my feet actually on African soil. Add three
days to get there and back and you have 11 days away.

My two other trips to Africa were both a month in duration. So,
I will admit that I viewed this as a bit of an experiment to see
if the long travel time between Vancouver and Africa would be
outweighed by my experiences. Most of the people I mentioned
this trip to determined that I was a bit crazy. No one is used
to hearing the words quick and Africa in the same sentence. It
was pointed out to me that a more proper use of the term would
be to say "I am off for a quick trip to Kelowna."

Well I just recently returned from my "quick trip" to Africa and
I am glad to say that it was a resounding success. One of the
keys to making this short long-distance holiday work was finding
an itinerary that covered many places that were not too far
apart. The other was selecting Kenya.

Article continues at:
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/travel/story.html?id 75df8b-0c24-43af-b039-38c4d3832b52

[Had to laugh at, "Kenya is an amazing little country ..." Guess
the guy hasn't looked at a map. Besides, I don't agree with him.
I've tried different safari durations and invariably liked the
longer ones more. Nothing shorter than two weeks ... Hans-Georg]
--
No mail, please.
 
Old Jul 28th 2007, 6:02 am
  #2  
Pat Anderson
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

In message <[email protected]>, Hans-Georg
Michna <[email protected]> writes
>'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success
>
>Wildlife viewing, stunning geography and unique people make
>jaunt to Kenya
>
>Christopher Clark, Vancouver Sun
>Published: Saturday, July 28, 2007
>
>To be honest, like most people, I would not have thought of a
>quick trip to Africa when planning for a vacation. By quick I
>mean eight days with my feet actually on African soil. Add three
>days to get there and back and you have 11 days away.
>
>My two other trips to Africa were both a month in duration. So,
>I will admit that I viewed this as a bit of an experiment to see
>if the long travel time between Vancouver and Africa would be
>outweighed by my experiences. Most of the people I mentioned
>this trip to determined that I was a bit crazy. No one is used
>to hearing the words quick and Africa in the same sentence. It
>was pointed out to me that a more proper use of the term would
>be to say "I am off for a quick trip to Kelowna."
>
>Well I just recently returned from my "quick trip" to Africa and
>I am glad to say that it was a resounding success. One of the
>keys to making this short long-distance holiday work was finding
>an itinerary that covered many places that were not too far
>apart. The other was selecting Kenya.
>
>Article continues at:
>http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/n.../story.html?id 75df8b-0c
>24-43af-b039-38c4d3832b52
>
>[Had to laugh at, "Kenya is an amazing little country ..." Guess
>the guy hasn't looked at a map. Besides, I don't agree with him.
>I've tried different safari durations and invariably liked the
>longer ones more. Nothing shorter than two weeks ... Hans-Georg]
Hans Georg,
I couldn`t go to Kenya for less than two, or better still, three weeks
to Kenya! Over the years I have met people on aeroplanes who were
going out on business for a week, this is a different thing entirely.
On a different note, I read today in the Daily Telegraph Travel section
that crime in South Africa is so bad that people are going to Kenya,
Tanzania, Zambia and Namibia instead, the correspondent said that Kenya
relies on safaris whereas South Africa has much more. In fact Kenya has
so much diversity, such as lakes, mountain, coast, as well as safari
destinations.
Pat.
--
Pat Anderson
 
Old Jul 28th 2007, 6:14 am
  #3  
Grant Kinsley
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

On Sat, 28 Jul 2007 14:39:27 +0200, Hans-Georg Michna
<[email protected]> wrote:

>'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success
>
>Wildlife viewing, stunning geography and unique people make
>jaunt to Kenya
>
>Christopher Clark, Vancouver Sun
>Published: Saturday, July 28, 2007
>
>To be honest, like most people, I would not have thought of a
>quick trip to Africa when planning for a vacation. By quick I
>mean eight days with my feet actually on African soil. Add three
>days to get there and back and you have 11 days away.
>
>My two other trips to Africa were both a month in duration. So,
>I will admit that I viewed this as a bit of an experiment to see
>if the long travel time between Vancouver and Africa would be
>outweighed by my experiences. Most of the people I mentioned
>this trip to determined that I was a bit crazy. No one is used
>to hearing the words quick and Africa in the same sentence. It
>was pointed out to me that a more proper use of the term would
>be to say "I am off for a quick trip to Kelowna."
>
>Well I just recently returned from my "quick trip" to Africa and
>I am glad to say that it was a resounding success. One of the
>keys to making this short long-distance holiday work was finding
>an itinerary that covered many places that were not too far
>apart. The other was selecting Kenya.
>
>Article continues at:
>http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/n.../story.html?id 75df8b-0c24-43af-b039-38c4d3832b52
>
>[Had to laugh at, "Kenya is an amazing little country ..." Guess
>the guy hasn't looked at a map. Besides, I don't agree with him.
>I've tried different safari durations and invariably liked the
>longer ones more. Nothing shorter than two weeks ... Hans-Georg]

Well, he is from Canada. Remeber Kenya is smaller than British
Columbia, the writer's home province. In fact most of Canada's
provinces and territories are larger than Kenya.

GK
 
Old Jul 29th 2007, 6:46 pm
  #4  
Liz Leyden
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

In message <[email protected]>
Hans-Georg Michna <[email protected]>
wrote:

> 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success
>
> Well I just recently returned from my "quick trip" to Africa and
> I am glad to say that it was a resounding success. One of the
> keys to making this short long-distance holiday work was finding
> an itinerary that covered many places that were not too far
> apart. The other was selecting Kenya.
>
> Besides, I don't agree with him.
> I've tried different safari durations and invariably liked the
> longer ones more. Nothing shorter than two weeks ... Hans-Georg]

While, obviously, the longer you can spend on safari the better, there
are companies who do 'long weekends' in Kenya, i.e. going out after
work on Thursday and returning late on Monday, though that's from the
UK: nightmare to have the much longer flights from Vancouver. (Don't
ask *which* companies: it wasn't info I felt useful to store in my
tiny brain.)
I haven't seen this year's Kuoni brochure, but their safaris start at
four days, though you would normally be spending up to 9 days at the
coast afterwards. This is for people who either don't know if they'd
like safari, or can't afford a longer one (beach is cheaper).
Just back myself from Uganda, where I heard that it's not unheard of
for people to fly out, drive to Bwindi in a day (nightmare) do a
gorilla trek, drive back to Entebbe the next day (or sometimes they
stay one more day at Bwindi) then home again. "What will we do next
weekend?"
(Interesting the author came from Vancouver. As well as safaris, I do
a city break each October with my sister, who isn't interested in
wildlife. Vancouver was top favourite with me for this year, but the
combination of the high likelihood of wet weather and the long flights
(just from UK) were putting me off, so when she found an excellent
'deal' to Boston ...)

Slainte

Liz


--
http://www.v-liz.com - Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Galapagos
 
Old Jul 29th 2007, 11:43 pm
  #5  
Pat Anderson
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

In message <[email protected]>, Liz Leyden
<[email protected]> writes
>In message <[email protected]>
> Hans-Georg Michna <[email protected]>
>wrote:
>
>> 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success
>>
>> Well I just recently returned from my "quick trip" to Africa and
>> I am glad to say that it was a resounding success. One of the
>> keys to making this short long-distance holiday work was finding
>> an itinerary that covered many places that were not too far
>> apart. The other was selecting Kenya.
>>
>> Besides, I don't agree with him.
>> I've tried different safari durations and invariably liked the
>> longer ones more. Nothing shorter than two weeks ... Hans-Georg]
>
>While, obviously, the longer you can spend on safari the better, there
>are companies who do 'long weekends' in Kenya, i.e. going out after
>work on Thursday and returning late on Monday, though that's from the
>UK: nightmare to have the much longer flights from Vancouver. (Don't
>ask *which* companies: it wasn't info I felt useful to store in my
>tiny brain.)
>I haven't seen this year's Kuoni brochure, but their safaris start at
>four days, though you would normally be spending up to 9 days at the
>coast afterwards. This is for people who either don't know if they'd
>like safari, or can't afford a longer one (beach is cheaper).
>Just back myself from Uganda, where I heard that it's not unheard of
>for people to fly out, drive to Bwindi in a day (nightmare) do a
>gorilla trek, drive back to Entebbe the next day (or sometimes they
>stay one more day at Bwindi) then home again. "What will we do next
>weekend?"
>(Interesting the author came from Vancouver. As well as safaris, I do
>a city break each October with my sister, who isn't interested in
>wildlife. Vancouver was top favourite with me for this year, but the
>combination of the high likelihood of wet weather and the long flights
>(just from UK) were putting me off, so when she found an excellent
>'deal' to Boston ...)
>
>Slainte
>
>Liz
>
>
Hi Liz,
you are just back from Uganda? Tell us where you went, what you did,
have you been before? I`m interested to hear your safari story!
Pat.
--
Pat Anderson
 
Old Jul 30th 2007, 12:12 am
  #6  
Liz Leyden
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

In message <[email protected]>
Pat Anderson <[email protected]> wrote:

> In message <[email protected]>, Liz Leyden
> <[email protected]> writes

>>Just back myself from Uganda, where I heard that it's not unheard of
>>for people to fly out, drive to Bwindi in a day (nightmare) do a
>>gorilla trek, drive back to Entebbe the next day (or sometimes they
>>stay one more day at Bwindi) then home again. "What will we do next
>>weekend?"

> Hi Liz,
> you are just back from Uganda? Tell us where you went, what you did,
> have you been before? I`m interested to hear your safari story!
> Pat.

All in good time!
First trip to Uganda.
First impressions are just what people here have said before:
Ugandans very friendly and not hassling, like often in Kenya.
Not so many animals in the parks (QENP has an ongoing problem with
displaced people (specifically, allegedly, Rwandan refugees) shooting
lions and hyaenas etc, even in the past week).
Much greener/lusher overall than Kenya/Tz in July: they say a walking
stick stuck in the ground would sprout roots overnight. A country made
poor by a dictator. :-(
I went specifically for the gorillas, chimps and my No 1 wish bird,
the Shoebill and saw all three. Gorilla trek nearly killed me, I'm so
unfit! Discovered that tea grown in Bwindi sells for 125USh, about 5p,
per kg, and the pickers have to be paid out of this. Renewed my
commitment to being a Fair Trader.
Not successful photographically, because apart from the first two and
last two days it varied from bland heavy grey overcast to bland light
grey overcast. In the forests, bright light would have led to heavy
shadows anyway, and the enormous difference between dark and light
caused me all sorts of problems with the gorillas. We saw and heard
chimps, but in a really dark piece of forest. Flash not allowed with
the gorillas or chimps.
It was officially a group bird trip, a bit too birdy for me, really,
in that it was often running up a list of species seen at the top of
the forest through telescopes. The one time we saw elephants in nice
light, drinking and bathing, *no one else was interested* (how weird
is that?), so we didn't go closer, and I didn't get pics! That's the
compromise when you have to go on group trips and are limited to July:
just have to take what's going. :-(
I'll put info on my website and will post here when it's done. Could
take some time (weeks, not days), as I shot mostly in RAW (don't know
why I bothered!) which will take ages to process. Am transferring
images s-l-o-w-l-y - via CF cards as I can't find the cable - between
my P-2000 and the pc as I type this!

Slainte

Liz


--
http://www.v-liz.com - Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Galapagos
 
Old Jul 30th 2007, 2:48 am
  #7  
info
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

*snip*

> http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/n...9-38c4d3832b52
>
> [Had to laugh at, "Kenya is an amazing little country ..." Guess
> the guy hasn't looked at a map. Besides, I don't agree with him.
> I've tried different safari durations and invariably liked the
> longer ones more. Nothing shorter than two weeks ... Hans-Georg]


Well, if you come from the US, Canada, Australia or China, then Kenya is a
little country

And in the US they don't have that many days to spent, unfortunaly.

Corn�.

www.amukela.com
 
Old Jul 30th 2007, 3:03 am
  #8  
Hans-Georg Michna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

On Sat, 28 Jul 2007 18:14:50 GMT, grant kinsley wrote:

>On Sat, 28 Jul 2007 14:39:27 +0200, Hans-Georg Michna
><[email protected]> wrote:

>>[Had to laugh at, "Kenya is an amazing little country ..." Guess
>>the guy hasn't looked at a map. [...] ... Hans-Georg]

>Well, he is from Canada. Remeber Kenya is smaller than British
>Columbia, the writer's home province. In fact most of Canada's
>provinces and territories are larger than Kenya.

OK, that explains it. Canada has a lot of space.

Living in Germany, "little country" struck me as off the mark,
because then Germany would be a "tiny country". Kenya has some
580,000 km� against Germany's 357,000 km�, even after
reunification. I'm envious of Canada's almost-a-million km�.
(Data taken from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...tories_by_area
)

Hans-Georg
--
No mail, please.
 
Old Jul 30th 2007, 5:10 am
  #9  
Wildpicture
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

Hans-Georg Michna schreef:
>>> [Had to laugh at, "Kenya is an amazing little country ..." Guess
>>> the guy hasn't looked at a map. [...] ... Hans-Georg]
>> Well, he is from Canada. Remeber Kenya is smaller than British
>> Columbia, the writer's home province. In fact most of Canada's
>> provinces and territories are larger than Kenya.
> Living in Germany, "little country" struck me as off the mark,
> because then Germany would be a "tiny country". Kenya has some
> 580,000 km� against Germany's 357,000 km�, even after
> reunification. I'm envious of Canada's almost-a-million km�.

I just got back from BIG Africa to my own VERY TINY country (Holland) of
just over 40.000km�......

Regards,
Hans
 
Old Jul 30th 2007, 9:29 am
  #10  
Pat Anderson
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

In message <[email protected]>, Liz Leyden
<[email protected]> writes
>In message <[email protected]>
> Pat Anderson <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> In message <[email protected]>, Liz Leyden
>> <[email protected]> writes
>
>>>Just back myself from Uganda, where I heard that it's not unheard of
>>>for people to fly out, drive to Bwindi in a day (nightmare) do a
>>>gorilla trek, drive back to Entebbe the next day (or sometimes they
>>>stay one more day at Bwindi) then home again. "What will we do next
>>>weekend?"
>
>> Hi Liz,
>> you are just back from Uganda? Tell us where you went, what you did,
>> have you been before? I`m interested to hear your safari story!
>> Pat.
>
>All in good time!
>First trip to Uganda.
>First impressions are just what people here have said before:
>Ugandans very friendly and not hassling, like often in Kenya.
>Not so many animals in the parks (QENP has an ongoing problem with
>displaced people (specifically, allegedly, Rwandan refugees) shooting
>lions and hyaenas etc, even in the past week).
>Much greener/lusher overall than Kenya/Tz in July: they say a walking
>stick stuck in the ground would sprout roots overnight. A country made
>poor by a dictator. :-(
>I went specifically for the gorillas, chimps and my No 1 wish bird,
>the Shoebill and saw all three. Gorilla trek nearly killed me, I'm so
>unfit! Discovered that tea grown in Bwindi sells for 125USh, about 5p,
>per kg, and the pickers have to be paid out of this. Renewed my
>commitment to being a Fair Trader.
>Not successful photographically, because apart from the first two and
>last two days it varied from bland heavy grey overcast to bland light
>grey overcast. In the forests, bright light would have led to heavy
>shadows anyway, and the enormous difference between dark and light
>caused me all sorts of problems with the gorillas. We saw and heard
>chimps, but in a really dark piece of forest. Flash not allowed with
>the gorillas or chimps.
>It was officially a group bird trip, a bit too birdy for me, really,
>in that it was often running up a list of species seen at the top of
>the forest through telescopes. The one time we saw elephants in nice
>light, drinking and bathing, *no one else was interested* (how weird
>is that?), so we didn't go closer, and I didn't get pics! That's the
>compromise when you have to go on group trips and are limited to July:
>just have to take what's going. :-(
>I'll put info on my website and will post here when it's done. Could
>take some time (weeks, not days), as I shot mostly in RAW (don't know
>why I bothered!) which will take ages to process. Am transferring
>images s-l-o-w-l-y - via CF cards as I can't find the cable - between
>my P-2000 and the pc as I type this!
>
>Slainte
>
>Liz
>
>
Liz,
thanks for taking time to tell us about your safari to Uganda, the
gorilla trip sounds gruelling but worthwhile when you got up there, a
great experience!
You have been in the three main East African countries now so you have
seen differences in each one.
Glad you saw the shoebill and I agree, not being interested in the
elephants was weird, certainly to me as I love them.
I look forward to looking at your website when it`s done, a lot of work
for you! Enjoy the rest of your summer holiday.
Pat.
--
Pat Anderson
 
Old Jul 30th 2007, 7:56 pm
  #11  
Marc Lurie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

Well, each to his own I guess. I find that visiting a place like
Kruger gets too much after about three days, but maybe that's because
I go there often, not just once or twice a year.

I have become used to visiting countries for only a week or ten days
at a time, so it feels normal for me, and I tend to cram as much as
possible into the time.

As for Kenya being a "little country", the author clearly has never
been to Lesotho or The Gambia :-) but he is from Canada, so just about
everything else IS small. ;-)

Just for interests sake, Canada is 4 times larger than Africa's
biggest country Sudan, and 884 times larger than The Gambia!!!!

Marc


On Sat, 28 Jul 2007 14:39:27 +0200, Hans-Georg Michna
<[email protected]> wrote:

>[Had to laugh at, "Kenya is an amazing little country ..." Guess
>the guy hasn't looked at a map. Besides, I don't agree with him.
>I've tried different safari durations and invariably liked the
>longer ones more. Nothing shorter than two weeks ... Hans-Georg]
 
Old Jul 30th 2007, 11:36 pm
  #12  
Wildpicture
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

Marc Lurie schreef:
> Well, each to his own I guess. I find that visiting a place like
> Kruger gets too much after about three days, but maybe that's because
> I go there often, not just once or twice a year.

Hi Marc, that is a luxury "problem". :-) I have just returned a few days
ago from a month in Kruger. I was very glad to be there for a month as
we did unfortunately have several mishaps. First of all Air France lost
our bagage (and they did so again on the return flight!!!) and we were
without any clothes or anything for five days. Specially hard for the
kids. I got ill (40 degree fever) for two days. One day SANP messed up
our booking and we ended up in Malelane in the pitchdark with no
accomodation and no staff to assist us. One of my (two) cameras broke
down. With the public service strike being over on the day we left, SANP
staff went on strike. We had rain for three days and one day a leaking
roof (in Sirheni).

All that happened in the first week of our stay! Had we been there only
for one week, we would have hated this trip. Luckily we three more weeks
to have a great time and a great experience, specially for our young
kids as it was their first time here.

Also, we hardly saw any wildlife during the first three weeks. Just
elephant, buffalo and hippo. But we drove hours without even seeing
impala. After three weeks mopane trees definitely get very boring. :-)
The last week made up for that as we had great sightings, even saw the
"big 5" within a few hours!

We mostly stayed at all the bushcamps and even though the first two
weeks were in the middle of South African school holidays with
everything fully booked, we had the roads to us most of the time. Only
directly around main camps we saw lots of cars, specially Skukuza was
awfull. Away from there, we usually saw no other cars for hours.

Regards,
Hans
 
Old Jul 31st 2007, 11:32 am
  #13  
Alan S
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

On Tue, 31 Jul 2007 13:36:52 +0200, Wildpicture
<[email protected]> wrote:

> First of all Air France lost
>our bagage (and they did so again on the return flight!!!) and we were
>without any clothes or anything for five days. Specially hard for the
>kids.

Doesn't bear thinking about. I mean, I couldn't imagine the
anguish my kids would go through if we had to spend five
days naked together...



Cheers, Alan, Australia
--
http://loraltraveloz.blogspot.com/
latest: Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest
http://loraldiabetes.blogspot.com/
latest: Self-Testing and Type 2 Management
 
Old Jul 31st 2007, 6:28 pm
  #14  
Marc Lurie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

Sounds like a nightmare week?!?

One of my greatest fears is getting ill far from home. As I am usually
travelling for work rather than pleasure, getting ill is doubly bad.

I did get ill once in Uganda (salmonella), and I really thought I was
going to die. Ever since then I travel with a course of Ciprofloxicin
just in case.

I'm glad you ended up having good sightings eventually. People don't
understand that about Kruger. The animals are unpredictable and you
can go for days without seing much. It's not "canned" game viewing
like so many other places.

Marc
 
Old Aug 3rd 2007, 8:29 pm
  #15  
Liz Leyden
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: 'Quick trip' to Africa proves to be a resounding success

In message <[email protected]>
Hans-Georg Michna <[email protected]>
wrote:

> To be honest, like most people, I would not have thought of a
> quick trip to Africa when planning for a vacation. By quick I
> mean eight days with my feet actually on African soil. Add three
> days to get there and back and you have 11 days away.

Whatever we might think, short safaris seem to be The Thing.
The other day I was in a local travel agent's. As the assistants were
both on the phone, I started to browse the brochures and soon homed in
on the Safari one - by a company I didn't know. A quick shufty
revealed several short (I mean 3 or 4 nights ex Maun) safaris in
Botswana before an excited clerkess was available (only to be
disappointed when I was just booking a seat on the bus for the camera
club's day trip!)

Next, I browsed the Trailfinders brochure, where I find:
Gorillas through the mist: a walking safari in Rwanda - 3 nights ex
Kigale.
Fly-in Masai Mara (2 nights ex Nairobi)
... and several seven nights safaris.

Slainte

Liz



--
http://www.v-liz.com - Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Galapagos
 

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