Hardly back from Tanzania last year, we began planning our next Africa trip. This time we were once again 6 people, as on our first trip to Kenya in 2013.
We, that were our good friends Harry and Andrea with their niece Melanie, my wife Simone, my daughter Luise and me. This time we planned a 14-day safari in Kenya. Based on the experience of our last trip to southern Tanzania we wanted to minimize the stressful trips this time and therefore limited ourselves to a total of only three parks - with a minimum stay of 3 nights in each.
This time we wanted to see the “Big Five” again completely, including the rhinos, which we could only see once from a distance during the last two Africa trips. We also wanted to see the flamingos and go on a boat safari. So Lake Nakuru was on the list again. We also enjoyed the Amboseli National Park with its large elephant herds and the view of the Kilimanjaro in 2015, so number 2 was soon chosen.
And we all agreed immediately about the crowning highlight of this trip anywa. One location we all wanted to return to was the Mara Bush Camp - Private Wing - for as long as possible.
We sent this rough planning to Mr. Nowak from Lets Go Africa and as usual, we immediately received an offer which we could not refuse 😉 ). And the most fantastic: Eric, our guide from 2013 and 2015, would accompany us again.
August 8th - The journey begins!
We have been looking forward to it for a very long time: Our departure day has arrived. This time we flew with Lufthansa. Unfortunately Lufthansa only allows 8kg hand luggage to carry per passenger, so that I had to distribute my photo equipment on three backpacks and my wife and daughter could only store the most necessary things there themselves. However, it didn’t work out anyway, the backpacks still weighed just under 10kg each - hopefully that will work out well!
With KLM / Kenya Airways you can take 12kg in hand luggage, but unfortunately this time the KLM flight schedule did not fit for us. The rest of the checked luggage was no problem at all. Almost every airline allows 2 x 23kg free checked baggage for each person on African flights.
For those who are interested: I took with me this time:
Three camera bodies:
- Canon EOS 5DS R
- Canon EOS 7D Mk II (but almost only my daughter used it)
- Sony Alpha 7R II with METABONES Mk IV and Sigma MC-11 adapter
and six lenses:
- Samyang AF 14mm f2.8 (for the Sony)
- Canon EF 16-35 f4L IS USM
- Canon EF 50 f1.4 USM
- Canon EF 70-200 f2.8L IS II USM
- Canon EF 400 f2.8L IS II USM
- Sigma 150-600 F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports (almost only used by my daughter)
In addition the both Canon extenders were included:
- Canon Extender 1.4x III and 2x III
According to my Lightroom database, this time I took about 80% of all photos (about 13,000 in total) with the 400mm (with and without extender) and 10% with the 70-200mm. I used the 5DS R for 85% of the photos, the Sony 7R II for 14% and the 7D Mk II for only 1% (it was actually hijacked by my daughter ;-).
Also in my hand luggage: laptop, iPad, two power banks, various batteries, a Powershot G11 for my wife, an EOS 1100D for my daughter (which she quickly replaced with my 7D Mk II), a Canon 12x36 IS III binocular (a pair of binoculars with image stabilizer - it proved to be very useful on the trip) and whatever else you need to have with you…
More general safari travel tips can be found in the Tips & Tricks section.
This time the journey began quite atypically at Düsseldorf central station. We started on time (well, almost) at 7:21am with the Lufthansa Airport Express to Frankfurt. There we finall met our friends. The check-in was without any problems and our hand luggage went through without a check - phew, been lucky!
On time at 11:10am our plane took off for Nairobi. The plane, an Airbus A340, was surprisingly unoccupied - this was probably due to the fact that on our travel day the presidential election in Kenya is taking place and obviously disturbances were expected - we had not considered this when we booked.
On the other hand, it was very pleasant in the plane, the neighbouring seat remained free for me, Andrea had a complete row of benches at her disposal. After crossing the Mediterranean Sea, out of the window the following view came up:
We’re finally back in Africa!!
We landed just as precisely on time at 8:20pm local time in Nairobi, where we were very happy to meet Eric again, who was waiting for us at the airport. He then took us to the EKA Hotel, where we enjoyed our first Tusker beer in the restaurant “Soaring Eagle” with hamburgers and watched the current election results on the TV screens. Thank God the election went off without much trouble, but it was later cancelled due to irregularities.
After a long and exhausting day of travelling we finally fell into bed tired and fell asleep immediately.