Sonnenuntergang in der Masai Mara

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:

The African coast is in sight

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.