TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green - Page 3





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  1. #41
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Our drive back to Nairobi was uneventful. Shortly after Sekenani the road is brand-new tar, thank God, we were not too keen on spending time on murram roads again.
    Traffic on the A104 after Mai Mahiu is pure madness, an avalance of slow-moving heavy trucks, busses and matatus are all climbing from the Rift Valley up the hills towards Nairobi and we were very glad to arrive back in Karen in one piece, 7 hours after we had left the Mara.

    Our B&B felt like a palace to us, abundant hot water, nicely-smelling bed linen, crisp fresh towels... Upon enquiry where we cold have a memorable last dinner in Nairobi our hosts recommended us The Talisman and kindly got us a table for 7.30pm.
    Atmosphere was great, we could sit outside (no rain!) and the food and cocktails were amazing!

    Early next morning Sunworld took us back to the airport and with a heavy heart we arrived back home on Sunday evening - another adventure in Africa has come to an end.
    Thanks for your interest and kind comments - again it was a pleasure to travel with you!
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  3. #42
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Thank you, Anne, for taking me on your travels with you around my beloved Kenya.

    It was such a shame that the Indian Ocean ďEl NinoĒ was hitting with such ferocity and that you had a rather intrepid, muddy and wet time.

    Oh dear, about the A104. It is a hair-raising road made so much worse by the roadworks. Survival of the fittest! And I am so pleased you had a nice dinner at the Talisman. We spend an inordinate amount of time in that lovely restaurant as it never fails to deliver.

    I know the wonderful feeling of getting back to Karen in one piece - and then diving into a HOT bath. Pure and utter bliss!

    Rudi tena Kenya!

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  5. #43
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Thank you Anne for this wonderful report and photos to match. You have just re-ignited the will to re visit Kenya.

    Thank you.

    AP

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  7. #44
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Hi Anne,
    thanks a bunch for posting your nice report and adding some wonderful and stunning pictures. Too bad for all the rain! Iím glad you enjoyed the trip anyway and I think you had some amazing lion sightings despite the long grass. I gave Dirisha a miss for our upcoming trip in Late August early September. I just didnít want to be locked in as far as the time is concerned. So we will shuttle between Oloololo and Eluai and my husband always feels better in Africa with a toilet nearby. I understand that Eluai is just a grassy knoll without any facilities, so we will have to either adapt or spend all our nights at Oloololo.
    Did your car have a second battery for the cool box? Mine wonít have one and I just donít get it why itís such a big deal in Eastern Africa to install a second battery. It would make life a lot easier.
    if you had to shut down your fridge at night, how did you manage with your cold and then Warmish supplies?

    Thanks for a great report and Iím sure I will read the Mara part another few times before our trip.
    take care, Katrin
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  9. #45
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Hi Kalica,thanks for your nice comment. I am not sure what you mean with "being locked in" as far as time is concerned. As far as I know you have to be back at both public and private campsite at a certain time in the evening. Our car did have second battery but I think you will not have a big problem with just one battery. We had this one-battery-solution in Uganda (or was is Tanzania?) and it was never as hot as in Southern Africa so the fridge stuff was all still pretty cool in the morning. I don't know if this works with meat, we hardly carry any meat with us on our travels in Africa.Enjoy the pleasant anticipation and it would be great to have a TR when you are backAll the best, anne

  10. #46
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Hi Anne,
    I meant to say that we will not HAVE to go back to a special campsite but that we can choose to either be at Eluai or Oloololo depending on people, migration, time, need for bathroom etc.
    I meant it gives us more freedom to move around without having to go to a booked site.
    in your case, it sounded as though you did not venture far from the river because of wet roads. We will be there during migration and it should be dry so we can go further afield or we could stay at Eluai and see from camp if the herds are bunching up, the way Stan explained it when he was there. To summarize, we will have more flexibility shuttling between two public campgrounds rather than be booked into one special campground.
    On the other hand, maybe I donít know what Iím talking about since I have never been there!
    Regarding the coolbox, Iím afraid that we canít keep meat fresh for more than 3 days, so I will have to cook vegetarian meals.
    what kind of meals do you prepare when camping?
    Iím thinking rice and vegetables stir fry and pasta with tomato sauce, tuna in can...
    Iíd be thankful for a few more idea since you know whatís available to buy in the Carrefour.
    incidentally, do you think they have plastic crates for sale in this store for organizing supplies in the back of the Landcruiser?
    We are renting from Roadtrip Kenya and only get minimal gear.
    Did you get plastic water canisters from your rental company?
    Iíd be grateful for any practical help you can share with me.
    Liebe GrŁsse aus Florida,
    Katrin
    If life is a journey, be sure to take the scenic route!

  11. #47
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Carrefour does have plastic crates available which are useful for organizing storage in your vehicle. They're a bit flimsy though.

    If you go to Village Market mall, there's a store there called Nobri Home that has some much bigger and sturdier plastic bins with lids (black with a yellow lid) including holes allowing you to tie them down if you like. If you're going to reuse the bins for a while those seem pretty good.

    Also, all of the big grocery stores will sell large size (up to 20L) water bottles.

    Regarding keeping things cool in a fridge when you don't have a second battery, consider getting some of those gel boxes that freeze. If you keep them in your fridge or coolbox during the day, they'll hep keep the temp down when you have to turn it off overnight.

  12. #48
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Kalica was planning on doing her shopping in Carrefour Karen. Village Market is on the other side of Nairobi. Yes, you can buy plastic crates/boxes in most supermarkets, and we bought some plastic storage boxes in Tuskyís Karen a few months ago (Iím sure Carrefour Karen sells them too). It seems an extravagant thing to buy plastic crates for only two weeks - cardboard boxes work fine too (so long as they donít get wet) as do baskets for fruit and veg (and then they donít sweat).

    As for keeping the fridge contents cold overnight without a second battery, freeze or keep cold bottles of drinking water. Double use - keeping the fridge contents cold and water for drinking. We donít get on well with gel packs.

    You can buy anything you want in Carrefour (and many things you wonít want).

    As for vegetarian dishes - rice, pasta, lentils, couscous, bulghar wheat, aubergine dishes such as ratatouille, baked potatoes/aubergines/squash/pumpkin, risotto, tomatoes, ďugaliĒ (cornmeal), chapattis, eggs (omelette, frittata etc). And then you could also carry some cans of corned beef, baked beans, sweetcorn, tomatoes, chick peas etc.

  13. #49
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Hello bDKeller, and WW,
    Anne actually sent me a personal message regarding food ideas and supplies.
    My biggest concerns are how to transport washing water, as Ortelius was mentioning that Roadtrip Kenya does not provide water canisters because of health reasons. I guess I could always use a drinking water container but that means wasting drinking water for washing dishes until I can then use the container to fill with washing water, which I donít like to do.
    Do you know if the Carrefour sells watercontainers? Or do I bring with me a collapsible container from the US?
    My second problem is crates for storage. Iím guessing this will depend on price. If they are reasonably priced, I might buy a few, or just go with cardboard boxes like WW suggests. I do like to store things in boxes and have the back of the car somewhat organized.
    We are just coming to the Mara for 10 nights, so buying Gelpacks for a one trip use might seem excessive. In the past, I have used frozen water as additional cooling elements which can then be used for drinking. It all depends if the fridge will actually freeze things on its bottom.
    Corned beef will never be part of my camping kitchen! Haha WW, the stuff is nasty 🤢. Thanks for the other suggestions though!
    Now Iím hoping that the corona virus scare will not prevent us from going to SA and then Kenya.
    Canít wait to see the Mara for my first time.
    If life is a journey, be sure to take the scenic route!

  14. #50
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Quote Originally Posted by KaliCA View Post
    Hello bDKeller, and WW,
    Anne actually sent me a personal message regarding food ideas and supplies.
    My biggest concerns are how to transport washing water, as Ortelius was mentioning that Roadtrip Kenya does not provide water canisters because of health reasons. I guess I could always use a drinking water container but that means wasting drinking water for washing dishes until I can then use the container to fill with washing water, which I don¬’t like to do.
    Do you know if the Carrefour sells watercontainers? Or do I bring with me a collapsible container from the US?
    My second problem is crates for storage. I¬’m guessing this will depend on price. If they are reasonably priced, I might buy a few, or just go with cardboard boxes like WW suggests. I do like to store things in boxes and have the back of the car somewhat organized.
    We are just coming to the Mara for 10 nights, so buying Gelpacks for a one trip use might seem excessive. In the past, I have used frozen water as additional cooling elements which can then be used for drinking. It all depends if the fridge will actually freeze things on its bottom.
    Corned beef will never be part of my camping kitchen! Haha WW, the stuff is nasty ��. Thanks for the other suggestions though!
    Now I¬’m hoping that the corona virus scare will not prevent us from going to SA and then Kenya.
    Can¬’t wait to see the Mara for my first time.
    Definitely you can buy water containers in most places in Kenya. Even on the side of the road you ought to be able to buy water containers. After all, that is how most people (women predominantly, unfortunately) in Africa carry water to their homes. If you remind me again when you are travelling to Kenya and I can see if I can get you some to borrow. Does the Roadtrip Kenya vehicle have a built in water tank? If so, your problem is solved.

    You can get borehole water from the Mara Conservancy HQ. We, however, use river water for washing-up and showers, and take metal buckets and metal “debes” for heating up the river water. However, I don’t advise you to use river water for anything. We also take large water containers which we fill up at the Conservancy HQ for cooking (going every two or three days to fill up). And bottled water for drinking although we use borehole water for tea and coffee. It would also be fine for drinking having boiled it.

    Corned beef on its own is not very nice, but “campers hash” is a different meal. Fry up some onions, put in a tin of corned beef and a tin of baked beans and heat it all up. It is our emergency rations and it is reassuring to know that we can be stuck for weeks on end in some remote place, and deep in the back of our kitchen drawer will be that tin of corned beef and that tin of baked beans!
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2020/02/28 at 12:34 AM.

  15. #51
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Hello WW,
    thanks so much for your reply. We are starting out in Nairobi with an overnight at Wildebeest Eco Camp August 25. The vehicle take-over from Roadtrip Kenya will take place there the next morning at 8 am. As far as I remember from Orteliusí reports, there are no water tanks in the RTK vehicles. So it would be very much welcome to borrow some water canisters if you can arrange it.
    Your idea with emergency food being spam and beans does sound a little more appealing now that you added fried onions, just a tad more....
    With many thanks for your kind offer,
    Katrin
    If life is a journey, be sure to take the scenic route!

  16. #52
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    True, RTK vehicles don't have built-in water tanks. End they don't provide any water containers either. Even when I specifically asked for one, they refused. Too health/highyenic risky, they said, and they don't want to have anything with it.

    But as WW said, you really shouldn't have any problems with obtaining them. Among all other places, you'll also find them in any bigger supermarket or hardware store.
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Hi Ortelius, thanks for your reply.
    My other idea is to use the empty drinking water containers. How did you solve the problem?
    Also, if I ask Bram for a second mattress each, do you think that there is enough space in the car to keep them?
    if he removes the last bank of seats, Iím assuming that there are still seats in the middle, other than the driver and passenger seats, correct?

    Are you planning any Africa trips?

    greetings from Katrin
    If life is a journey, be sure to take the scenic route!

  18. #54
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Hi Katrin,

    Yes, we also simply used empty drinking water plastic bottles. Regarding additional mattresses - they are quite bulky, but you will probably manage to squeeze them in the trunk. But why do you want to have additional pair? We have found them quite OK, sufficiently thick and quite comfortable. And yes, if you get the "stretched" LR model with three rows of seats, by all means insist that the rear row of seats be removed. With them in place, the trunk of the car is really small and storing your luggage on the last row of seats is really clumsy and impractical.

    We are waiting for our August trip to Zimbabwe to come....
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Thanks for confirming about the water containers and the LC. I think ours will be a stretch LC.
    would you have a picture of the mattress you had in Kenya?
    Iím imagining some thin foam that would leave me with a backache each day. I do have some back problems once in a while.

    Zimbabwe? You are brave... best of luck and hope to hear from you about Hwange NP. In 2021, we are planning to hang this park on to our trip after Kasane. Crossing via Pandamatenga. As of now the dates for Hwange are August 19-27 next year.
    Are you prebooking any picnic sites or Hides? I decided not to and try our luck as walk ins.

    All the best, Katrin
    If life is a journey, be sure to take the scenic route!

  20. #56
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Agree that 5L empty drinking water bottles will be fine for water storage. We used these plus a tank and barely touched the tank water through East Africa. Always best to keep things simple and those 5L bottles are so simple to replace if need be. There is plenty of commercial water available to buy in all East Africa as most of us know, and it is not as if water for general use- washing- is difficult to find and to store separately if need be.
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  22. #57
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Quote Originally Posted by KaliCA View Post
    would you have a picture of the mattress you had in Kenya?
    I’m imagining some thin foam that would leave me with a backache each day. I do have some back problems once in a while.
    The green thing at the right of this picture is their mattress. It folds like harmonica and it is quite thick. Don't be scarred, this photo is of their Rav4 that we (three passengers plus complete luggage) used in Uganda. Your LC will have much larger luggage space.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    P.S. I hope that Anne will not be too angry with this hijacking of her trip report...
    Last edited by ortelius; 2020/03/08 at 08:39 PM.
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  24. #58
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Quote Originally Posted by ortelius View Post
    The green thing at the right of this picture is their mattress. It folds like harmonica and it is quite thick. Don't be scarred, this photo is of their Rav4 that we (three passengers plus complete luggage) used in Uganda. Your LC will have much larger luggage space.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    P.S. I hope that Anne will not be too angry with this hijacking of her trip report...
    No problem at all ortelius

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  26. #59
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Hi Kalica,

    Pertaining to the Extended LC from RTA, the space available for the luggage is from the rear axle backwards, as they normally remove the back row seats for extra luggage space - please see att.

    In this, one has to fit all rented camping gear (tent, mattresses -like the one shown by Ortelius - nice pick Ortelius!, chairs, table, fridge, etc...). This leaves just a small amount of space for one or two extra storage boxes (groceries, etc..).

    In relation to water, we normally buy several 5 L bottles (4-5) and one or two 10-20L water bottles. We start using the 5L containers and as they get empty we start refilling them from the bigger ones. Normally these are substituted with new ones as the trip goes, as they have the tendency to crack at the bottom. In order to prevent this, we normally fit them tightly in the leg space between the front and the first back row seats. We find this portion of the car to be less bumpier, thus minimizing a cracking event. We always check the bottles everyday.
    In these terms i.e., not having a water tank in the car, we generally use bottled water including for cooking. Of course that means, being imaginative regarding cooking spending the least amount of water possible (couscous, noodles, etc..).

    The mattresses provided were quite comfy and we did not feel being necessary an extra set.

    Pertaining to the fridge : Indeed is not ran on a dual system. We had it set at just on/off freezing point ( -2/2ļC) and kept all our stuff properly frozen / refrigerated. At the bottom we kept the frozen meats, and at the top the refrigerated items. Still on this topic, we always buy some 0,5L/1,5L liter water bottles that we keep on changing them as they get defrosted. This way we help to maintain the temperature low, when the fridge is not working, and having always a nice cold water in front for quenching our thirst on hot days. A collapsible cooler bag in front helps.

    Again, I apologize Anne for "hijacking", her beautiful report thread.


    Happy planning!


    AP
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  28. #60
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    Default Re: TR Kenya Dec/Jan 20: of roaring rivers, a muddy Mara and 50 shades of green

    Dear Stan, Ortelius, apac,
    Thank you all for taking the time to post very useful information and pictures for me. It is so nice to have access to friendly forum people who are so willing to invest time to help a fellow self driver. I truly appreciate all of you, including WW and Anne, whose trip report was my jumping off board for asking very selfish questions for our Mara visit.
    Sorry, Anne, hoping that others will find your TR and the rest of our exchanges helpful to them as well.
    Now, we just need this virus scare to calm down so we can fly to Africa and enjoy our safaris.
    Iím sooooo hoping that by July, I can visit Switzerland without fear of catching this bug and then from there fly to Kruger and the Mara.
    Ortelius is probably hoping the same for Zim....
    Keeping fingers and toes crossed! We were supposed to go on a Caribbean cruise, but canceled that one for obvious reasons.
    All the best to all of us, KaliCA, Katrin
    If life is a journey, be sure to take the scenic route!

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