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pomkiwi last won the day on March 30

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About pomkiwi

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  1. Aplogies @wildcatfan - I meant to add - welcome to SafariTalk
  2. My first recommendation would be to pour yourself a large glass of wine (or mug of coffee) and have an evening reading the trip plannig and trip report sections of ST For a first safari I think there is a lot to be said for South Africa as travel is easy - especially if you are going to be in Mozambique. National Parks such as Kruger encourage self-driving and do not generally allow you to go off road. Accommodation witin the park is witin a number of camps in which you can pitch your own tent or stay in a a range of chalets / huts (which are generally comfortable). All will allow self catering but some have restaurants as well. There are some trp reports from the Kruger tht give an idea what to expect. Game reserves in South Africa generally have acommodation in small lodges or camps and pretty much everything is provided for you. You are generally taken out on game drives and can get closer to the animals as off-road driving is allowed. There is a huge range of lodges and camps and budgets but you would have no problem finding a lot of options at under $800-1000 per couple per night (you canpay a lot more but won't necessarily get any better game watching - the extra cost will usually be reflected in accommodation and food/wine etc). Do have a look at the trip reports from South Africa as it will give you a lot of good ideas - you can then come back with lots of questions!
  3. @plambers I wrote one of the trip reports from Porini Lion that you may have read. My general comment is that 13 nights on safari is quite a long stretch as I feel it is quite a passive holiday and wonder if teenagers need to mix it up with some more active time (I know I do). However you know your kids rather better than me! In terms of Porini Lion acommodation I am not really sure what more anyone could want on a safari - they have roomy, comfortable tents with hot showers on demand. The beds are comfortable and the camp quiet (apart from nocturnal animals). I don't recall spending much waking time in there anyway. I thought food was OK - tasty, varied and good quantities. It wasn't goumet but that isn't what I expect or particularly want on a safari anyway. I personally found the guiding excellent - well informed, flexible and responsive to guests wishes. I hope to return to Porini Lion in the next couple of years.
  4. @AmyT It does get addictive doesn't it? I'm sure you will already have thought of it but if you liked Porini overall then late March is getting to low season and it may be worth contacting them directly to see what sort of itinerary/deal they can put together for a returning guest at that time.
  5. Humpback whales breaching 100 yards or so off of the Noosa north shore, Queensland, Australia. This pair of whales brached several time in unison and did not vary the pattern of the left hand whale jumping forwards and the one on the right turning to land on his back. These whales appear to be heading south and my son who lives locally told me that both the northward migration and return south have been unusually early this year. We saw whales on 2 or the 4 days we were at the coast this week. Taken using a Nikon D7200 and 18-300mm lens @ 300mm. 1/320 sec, f/10, ISO 200. Not the best of shots but a lovely moment.
  6. @Alexander33 Welcome along and thanks for your kind comments. There were 6 of us in the vehicle and all of us fairly relaxed I think. I have commented earlier on about the guiding and probably best just to say that my impression is that he was very, very keen to get a leopard sighting.
  7. @Whyone? Remember you need to take it in your hand luggage and not checked luggage.
  8. I agree with the comments from @Julian about ATR. I haven't booked through them but on one occasion did approach them for a possible trip and was very impressed with the careful and detailed response. I certainly did not feel at all pressured into any particular camp or company. And their website is also an excellent resource.
  9. @hannahcat It is very easy to manage a long weekend from the UK From both London and Birmingham (my local airport) it is possible to leave my desk at 5pm and be on the afternoon drive in South Africa the following afternoon. Coming home I can leave after the mornig drive and be back at my desk by 8.30 the following morning. There are a large number of airlines and routes into JNB which keeps costs down. ....And I don't work on Monfdays in any event!
  10. The larger prong on the UK/Africa plug is for the earth/ground connection. Most appliances/countries don't use this (and use 2 pin plugs). Many UK style sockets however have a safety shield that depends on the large prong to move it away which is why it is there even if it has no electrical function.
  11. @modleski I have stayed at Porini Lion and felt that the descriptions I had read beforehand were generally fair. The accommodation was comfortable and perfectly adequate especially given the fact that the focus for me was on the safari experience rather than luxury. The food was fine without being special (although I think at times some critics of camp food are less than sympathetic to the logistical issues involved in supplies and preparation). I found all of the staff in camp to be friendly and helpful. As others have commented I think it is important that they are almost all from the local Maasai. I found the guiding excellent and although I note that there have been one or two complaints I note that the owner appears to have been taken seriously. I also think that in any service industry there will inevitably be the occasional mistake or interaction that doesn't go well. I'm not sure what was meant by the warning to take the Tripadvisor reviews witha grain of salt - I think that is neccessary for all of Tripadvisor. In te end there are a lot of trip reports from the Mara here which will hopefully give an idea of the whole experience. I would also guess that individuals are happy to answer specific questions. Happy planning
  12. @Steven NY I agree with @Peter Connan that the filters are easy to take. However I'm not sure how much they will get used as most of the landscapes tend to be at their best early in the morning or at sunset and I've never found glare (as opposed to generally too much light) a big issue. I must say that I don't use filters (other than a UV skylight) now I use digital - it is pretty easy to get the effects I want in post processing.
  13. @Tulips Glad you made your flight. Yes security at JKIA is tight for very good reason. I always aim to arrive at the airport 3 hours before a flight in Africa as delays getting there and getting through the process are likely. It has taken me over an hour to get checked in and through security and passports at Johannesburg before now (and that's without the fingerprinting). Hope the blood pressure has settled!
  14. @samuelsski27 Opportunities to charge in camp may be limited - all the guests and staff are sharing few outlets. Additionally some camps do not have power 24/7. In Kenya the vehicles had charging sockets as above but they were not functional. I agree take a few adaptors as shown by @Atravelynn but I wouldn't bother with a power strip. Not sure what camera you use but the batteries for my Nikon will last for close to 1000 shots so a couple of spares will cover a few days. I try and escape from my phone on safari so not much need to charge that but as @AmyT says a powerbank is helpful (although mine seem to take an age to charge up).
  15. @janzin Try looking in hiking shops for soft shell layers - thin and light, windproof and shower proof. I have one by Haglofs which is a lovely shade of dull green!

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