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Kenya Safari Travel Project with Check List

About this Document

Kenya is rated very by most tourists who visited, with 96 vanaf cent of the travellers interviewed telling their expectations were met ter respect to the quality of services suggested compared with Four vanaf cent who indicated otherwise. Some of the reasons the tourists talent spil satisfying are liking the entire holiday practice, hospitality of the Kenyan people, attractive and appealing sceneries, uncrowded and unspoiled parks, spel tours, prompt services by staff, adequate safety, good and appealing physical facilities … and beautiful beaches. (From 2007-10-29)

The main purpose of this document is to give free advice to travellers and some extra, specific information to those who want to do a self-drive safari te Kenya.

I also arrange such safaris from time to time for friends (not for profit), and this document is meant to prepare them for the tour.

If you want to project your own self-drive safari or want to take part ter one, please read this document scrupulously. It contains significant information about your journey to Kenya. Please note that all information given te this document is without ensure and could be wrong. You are responsible for yourself. This especially applies to all security and health questions and for fulfilling legal requirements when coming in Kenya.

Safari Services

You can also hire mij spil a guide or security advisor. Ter this case please send mij an email and ask about my offers, but please be aware that prices are higher than those of the ordinary package tour. A rough estimate of the lower limit, using standard lodges, is $Trio,000 vanaf week and vanaf person plus the cost of the airline tickets plus $Five,000 vanaf week for the entire group.

Please note that thesis prices are for a professionally guided safari. If you travel on your own, your costs will typically be around $Two,000 vanaf week and vanaf person plus the cost of the airline flight to and from Kenya. This is a pessimistic, worst-case, off-season estimate. For more details please see the chapter Cost below.

Your safari can be arranged with your choice of lodges, car sizes and, if you choose not to drive all of the tours yourself, with experienced drivers. Self-driving is fairly possible and is recommended for very active adventurers. If you choose to ease off, take a driver. You can still take to the steering wheel whenever you like.

Your safari can be geared towards wildlife photography or zoology and can include a visit to a zoological research project and a lecture by a researcher.

I am also available spil a planner, security advisor, and guide for special group and V.I.P. tours to east Africa and can advise security escorts and bod guards on specific local risks.

Suitable airplanes are available for pilots, e.g. Cessna single-engine four-seaters with high wings and, because of altitude and high temperatures, powerful engines and constant-speed propellers. Thesis airplanes can be piloted after a three-day (max.) thicket flying course. If a pilot doesn’t pass the final test flight and there is no other pilot te the group, a safety pilot can be taken along who acts spil pilot te directive, but nonetheless lets the safari participant fly, safety permitting.

The minimal requirement for pilots is the possession of a private pilot license for single engine land airplanes, including an English language radio technicus license. Recommended is some flying practice ter single engine airplanes with onveranderlijk speed propeller and at least 100 hours spil pilot ter instruction. Without this there is an enhanced risk of failing the flying course and its final test.

Forms: Foreign licence validation, Summary of flying, Self fly chartervliegtuig informatie

A flying safari works best when pilots are accompanied by a group, like family and friends, that uses at least one four-wheel-drive voertuig with some participants, taking turns spil passengers ter the aeroplane. The reason is that ground transportation is needed to drive the flyers to airfields and lodges, to do spel drives te the nature reserve, and to take the non-flying participants through the country.

The following descriptions of two days on safari are fictitious and do not reflect any particular route.

A Day te the Wilderness

&quot,Chai, Bwana!&quot, (&quot,Tea, master!&quot,) Leisurely I wake up and start to understand that the black servant beside mij is not a strange fantasy. Yesterday I had asked to be woken up this morning at 6 o’clock. Now the time has come. Perhaps I should rather sleep longer tomorrow!

I rise and dress, also donning the warm jacket, because it is still fairly cool. I walk overheen to the slagroom where more morning tea and coffee is served. It is still pitch dark outside. Only a pale-blue stripe on the eastern horizon announces the approaching day.

At 6 o’clock wij walk out to the off-road vehicles, wipe the dew off the windows and windshield, turn the heating on to the maximum, and off wij go, out into the wilderness. At very first wij drive with the headlights on, so wij can see where wij drive, but a few minutes zometeen the zon rises above the mountains at the eastern horizon, beaming ter bright yellow color, because the air is so clear, something which wij almost never practice any more ter our smog-infested industrialized countries back huis.

Wij look out for vultures, which te turn look for successful other predators and their prey. Ter the distance wij spot a vulture, intensely flapping its wings, without any updraft at this early, cool time. He flies at low altitude, attempting to avoid being seen by yet more vultures. But another one is already flying ter from another corner, evidently to the same destination. Wij attempt to make out the direction and go after them.

A quarter of an hour straks wij drive overheen a ridge and see a gruesome toneel unfold before us. Two lionesses had hunted a gnu calf before sunrise and are still eating from it. A large number of vultures sit around around the lions at a safe distance. Many sit on nearby trees. Fresh vultures fly te from all directions all the time.

Wij leisurely drive closer to the lions, always at an angle, never directly towards them, and observe how they react to us. They do not react at all and are obviously familiar to tourist cars. Wij drive to approximately 20 m beside the lions and observe them. One of our photographers says, &quot,Could you drive three meters back and to the left? Then wij would have the zon almost from the side.&quot, The driver obliges, then stops the engine again to zekering the stimulation to make sharper photos possible and, of course, to minimize the disturbance for the lions and for ourselves. Roof and windows are open, and I use the telephoto objectief and polarizing filterzakje. Another one attempts to photograph the approaching and landing vultures with the help of a strong, far-reaching flash and autofocus, which will also work out fine with thesis many opportunities.

A spotted hyaena approaches with his typical amble, but then sits down and keeps a respectful distance, not daring to come closer.

After a while the lionesses are totally utter and can build up no more from the gnu calf. The remains now consist mostly of skin and bone. One of the two lionesses rises and trots leisurely down the slope towards some shrubs. Shortly thereafter the other one goes after. Almost before she leaves, the vultures all at once descend on the carcass, forming a hissing mountain of vulture wings. From further afield more vultures fly right into the middle and attempt to grab another bit of meat or at least skin or bone. Abruptly, only few seconds straks, the hyaena comes in the toneel and hops likewise into the middle on the vultures, which flutter up, frightened, and lodge again ter a circle around the carcass. The hyaena creeps into the thorax of the prey and pulls out a long thread of tissue. I almost feel sick, but the vultures leisurely budge closer again.

The toneel remains thrilling, until one of us notices that it is already after 8 o’clock and wij will, like yesterday, miss breakfast if wij don’t reach the lodge until 9 o’clock at the latest. Wij determine to set a GPS waypoint on the place, so wij can find it again, and have our own breakfast very first.

Just before 9 o’clock, but still te time, wij reach the lodge and hurry to the dining slagroom. There’s still some food left, and the waiters already wait for us with tea and coffee. I attempt the English breakfast, porridge (a kleuter of oatmeal cooked ter water, with some sugar and ter a stadionring of milk), then scrambled or fried eggs, puny salty sausages, grilled tomatoes, beans te tomato sauce, bacon. After being active early te the morning this is not bad at all. Others choose &quot,continental breakfast&quot,, toast with jam. There are always some local fruits, papaya, melons, pineapple, green (but not unripe), fruity-tasting bananas, sometimes also a mango.

After the breakfast some fanatic nature paramours drive again out into the pubic hair to catch a few more photographs. Others are lazy, but some go out on a safari on foot through the savannah, led by an armed Maasai. A few branch off zometeen to the swimming pool. I take photos of the baboons that pass through the lodge compound.

At noon there is a accomplish dressoir meal. The incessant spel drivers come back, again just ter time, to get another share of the food, but if they missed it, it wouldn’t be so bad—the next meal surely comes, and after each meal there is again tea and coffee.

After lunch all unanimously feel lazy. The zon radiates almost perpendicularly from above. It is warm. Most vanish into the reed-covered, airy and cool huts, read, clean their cameras, write postcards or a travel diary, or hold an early afternoon nap. Some sit near the sea canap and witness the water and the butterflies, lizards, and birds, which keep appearing from the bushes. Only after Three o’clock, when the zon has left the zenith, most feel upbeat again and get ready for a further spel drive te the four-wheel-driven off-road voertuig. Three of our off-roaders drive off, on their daily afternoon spel drive.

Wij visit the gnu calf again, of which nothing edible remains, and find only a few vultures te the nearby trees. Wij look once more, then want to drive on, when someone abruptly calls, &quot,Look there!&quot, He points to the group of shrubs, but wij cannot see anything. The very first car starts moving toward the shrubs. Only spil wij almost touch them, wij see the entire lion pride te the bushes. There are nine, including three cubs. This time the masculine lion is there also. Except for the cubs all lie there with their eyes closed ter the funniest positions, breathing intensely to get rid of surplus warmth.

Wij stay with them taking photos for a while, then wij drive on, this time towards the sea. On our way wij meet a group of giraffes, an enormous herd of wildebeest, zebras, Impala antelopes, Grants and Thompson’s gazelles. Wij meet a hyaena te bright daylight, ter vooraanzicht of its cave, looking at us suspicously before running away for a little distance, then stopping and looking at us again. Ultimately wij come down into the sea valley and now drive under trees and through bushes.

Wij reach the sea, whose brown water rolls to the south inbetween the sandy sea banks. Wij get out of the cars and stand high on the steep bankgebouw. There te the middle of the water the head of a hippopotamus emerges, breathes, throws a look at us, snorts, and goes under again. Then still more speelgoedpop up, to the left and to the right of him. The entire sea is utter of hippos. Wij stir spil little spil possible and leisurely sit down ter the grass, positioning our cameras. After a while the hippos lose their initial shyness somewhat and emerge more frequently. Two big hippos get into a wrangling. The water unloads, and the others emerge to see what’s going on. The cameras click to keep the toneel.

After another while all of a sudden someone points far to the right at the other handelsbank of the sea. Wij look, but it takes us some time to spot what our friend is watching. On the handelsbank or the sea lies a large crocodile, harshly four meters long. Through its colouring and total lack of movement it wasgoed so well camouflaged that nobody had noticed it the entire time.

Eventually wij get up, back into our off-road cars, and drive some way along the sea. Wij see a group of elephants, which end up plunging into the sea from the other canap. Wij treatment spil closely spil possible and photograph them. The toneel is very beautiful. The elephants obviously love the water. They drink, splatter themselves and play for a while te the water. Then the matriarch (the oldest cow and leader) starts moving again. The others go after. Elephants don’t have much time for playing. They voorwaarde eat most of the time to nourish the large figure. But again wij could take a few unique photos.

Wij drive on and love the almost indescribable beauty of Africa, our archaeological homeland. Around 6 o’clock the zon is low and seems to fall perpendicularly down to the horizon. Wij start our excursion back huis and budge leisurely towards the lodge.

Spil wij almost reach the lodge and again drive down to the sea, the zon is just about to dip behind the horizon. &quot,Zekering!&quot, somebody calls. &quot,Could you please go back ten meters?&quot, The driver goes into switch sides. Now wij also see what the attentive photographer had seen. The marching gnus on the ridge to our side walk right through the disk of the setting zon. The cameras are taken out once more.

At 7 o’clock wij are back ter the lodge. All vanish into their huts to reappear again at 8 o’clock ter the dining slagroom. Dinner is the main meal. There is a selection of different kinds of meat and an almost endless buffetkast. A corner is reserved for Indian meals, because te Kenya there are wealthy Indians, usually businessmen, who can also be found ter the lodges, usually spil guests, but also spil employees, managers, or owners of the lodges (e.g. Lake Nakuru Lodge, Sundowner Hotel, Amboseli Lodge). Some of us attempt the Indian meals, which are very tasty, but also spicy hot.

After the meal a wildlife movie is shown on the terrace, filmed by Alan Root, a white Kenyan, showcasing Africa te ways wij cannot practice on our little journey. It shows, for example, the termite mounds, the meter-high chimneys wij admired time and again on our travel, but it also shows them from the inwards and explains the ways of life of their creators and their predators.

After the movie wij meet at the campfire and attempt some smalltalk with American and English tourists. Also a few other Germans just arrived and ask us about the lodge and our spel drive. An Englishman tells us how he observed the hunt of two cheetahs te the evening, until nightfall coerced him to terugwedstrijd to the lodge. Fairly tired, I bury into my leger around Ten o’clock and keep listening to the hunting calls of the hyaenas and the territorial calls of the nearby lion prides, but soon I fall asleep.

A Travelling Day

Te the next morning our time te this lodge is coming to an end. Wij want to drive on and look at other areas. The distance this time is moderate, about 150 km on reasonably good gravel tracks, so that wij expect a leisurely travel time of four to five hours. Wij want to drive off right after the breakfast, so that wij have some daylight time still remaining at our destination.

Wij all sleep somewhat longer and meet at 8 o’clock for breakfast after packing most of our luggage and depositing our travel bags te the off-road vehicles. At 9 o’clock wij take our remaining luggage to the cars. Four people fly with the airplane and have to be taken to the airfield, a petite runway near the lodge. I volunteer to drive the fliers and their puny flight luggage to the airfield. The stronger surplus of their luggage remains te the car to keep the airplane light.

At the airfield the pilot checks the airplane, then the four climb te. The engine is embarked. At the other end of the runway a herd of gazelles emerges. I drive down the runway to pursue them away. Spil I come back, the airplane is ready for takeoff with the engine running and the taxi and landing lights switched on (which protects against bird strikes) on the gravel runway and waits for mij to clear the runway. Leisurely the engine winds up, to avoid harm from stones, and the airplane embarks to roll. Twenty meters down the runway the engine reaches utter power, and the little plane accelerates quickly. The passengers wave merrily. Already half way down the runway the petite four seater airplane takes off and rises leisurely up into the sky on a straightforward course. I drive back to the lodge, where everybody already waits for mij, ready for departure.

Our way is a single track, partly sand, partly gravel, which can usually be driven fairly well, so that wij can drive inbetween 30 and 50 km/h without feeling awkward. Wij are not te a rush and love the way spil much spil eventually the destination.

The landscape leisurely switches its character. Amazing mountains emerge and budge past, &quot,The Green Hills of Africa&quot,.

Because of the dust wij drive at a distance of 300 to 500 m, but wij attempt to keep the following car ter the rear view mirror. One of the passengers abruptly says, &quot,Where is the next car?&quot, I look into the mirror and cannot see it either. I decelerate and wait to see whether they will emerge. Then I zekering. The next car ter pui of us also stops. Wij wait one minute, then I turn around and go back. There they are, not even a kilometer behind us. The car is parked at the edge of the track, the roof opened, all look to the right. Wij cautiously drive closer, then wij see the reason of the delay—two cheetahs are sitting under a tree. Wij had overlooked them fully, just like the squad before us. Our very first voertuig has also returned ter the meantime and is stopping behind us.

The animals are beautiful. Wij stay there for fairly a while, then wij proceed. On the way wij come through a puny town, where wij have a brief surplus te the only &quot,hotel&quot, of the place, a shed, which, however, has a refrigerator. So wij can drink some cold Sprite, Coca Cola, and mineral water and eat a few mandazis (sweet, round pancakes) and somosas (Indian folded pancakes with a spicy meat packing). The people are friendly and pleased about the little extra business and distraction. Some souvenir dealers descend on us and want to haul us into their stands, but wij are already supplied and rather choose to drive on.

Our way resumes until wij reach a tourist lodge with a runway right beside the road. There are our flyers with their airplane. They made an intermediate zekering and spent some time ter the lodge. Wij zekering and describe our practices. Two of the flyers are ready to hop into the car again. I would like to fly and take my puny shoulder bag and camera opbergruimte to the airplane. &quot,Tanks total, badders empty!&quot, says Hans-Georg, our pilot, and sends mij overheen to the lodge bathroom, while the off-road vehicles are already disappearing ter a cloud of dust on the horizon. Wij will very soon have caught up with them again.

I come back to the airplane, while the pilot, cautiously spil always, walks around the airplane leisurely and checks all screws, flaps, hinges and examines the plane. I guess that is most likely a good idea. After all our life depends on the little machine for the next hour.

I come in and sit down on the copilot seat. I should not step on the pedals, Hans-Georg explains to mij. Moreover I receive another safety briefing for the case of a coerced landing. I should not open the seat vuilnisbelt ter the air (because of turbulence and of vultures). And still another obligation: I voorwaarde always attempt to look out for vultures, which circle here ter all heights and which wij should rather evade, before they come ter through the windshield. For that one vereiste see them te time, and when the pilot looks on the ordner, then the passenger voorwaarde observe out from the copilot seat. This is different from travelling te an airbus.

I get a pair of ear butt-plugs suggested, because the puny, single-engine airplanes can be rather noisy. I gladly accept them and stuff them into my ears. The noises around mij switch into a muffled murmur. The pilot checks all instruments and starts then the engine. After a few propeller revolutions the strong six cylinder engine with its 235 hp springs to life hesitatingly, but then starts to run slickly and evenly. The propeller already makes fairly some noise, but then the folding window on the pilot’s side is still open. &quot,Don’t you want to close that?&quot, &quot,Soon, it’s still too warm te here.&quot, He should know. Most likely the thing would fly with an open window spil well.

Wij roll to the beginning of the runway. Our pilot tests the brakes and the instruments, then wij roll onto the runway. The pilot closes his window and now gives total power. Now I notice what the ear corks are good for. The thrust shoves mij into the backrest, but I still have the camera ready and take photos through the side window during the takeoff.

Wij take off and fly te a gradual climb overheen the African landscape. Below us wij see a herd of buffalos and far overheen there three crimson elephants. &quot,This comes from the crimson soil.&quot, someone says. I can hardly take ter all the impressions and take photo after photo. I’m glad I bought that thicker memory module before this safari, so I don’t have to worry and can sort out the bad photos straks.

From the air wij have a marvellous view overheen the endless width of the east African savannah. Wij see a manyatta, a petite nomad village with its circular thorn thicket hedge, ter which the domestic animals are protected from predators at night. Then wij see the road again underneath, more precisely the filth track. Wij go after it. After a brief time wij can already see our cars. The very first has a aviation tape receiver. Wij set the frequency and call our colleagues on the ground. Have they switched the thing on and set the right frequency? Yes, they zekering and hop out of the car, while wij fly by at low altitude. All cars zekering normally on the left side te the driving direction. That wasgoed the agreed signal for everything being OK on the ground. Another curve—everybody waves—then wij fly on te the direction of our far away destination. Overheen the radio wij give yet another hint to the cars. Further te gevelbreedte is a branch, at which the cars should drive left. The way on the right resumes into the wrong direction. Wij announce it, then wij tune the transmitter back to the normal aeronautical frequency.

&quot,You have control.&quot, our pilot tells mij and takes his palms off the steering wheel. But I cannot fly! Hesitatingly I waterput the arms on the steering wheel. He holds my arms and shows mij some steering movements. Actually, it’s exactly spil ter a car. Left is on the left and right is on the right. Not spil difficult spil I thought. Exclusief from the fact perhaps that the entire aeroplane tilts into the curve.

I can also pull—then it goes up, or shove, then it descends, and one gets a funny feeling te the belly. After brief time I steer the airplane spil if I’d never done anything else. &quot,Always keep the horizon horizontal&quot,, he says, and, &quot,Steer a little bit more to the right, so wij stay on course.&quot, Te the meantime he looks at the ordner. I can only hope that he knows what risk he’s taking.

Ter vuurlijn of us, little points emerge te the air. I ask him: &quot,What’s that overheen there?&quot, &quot,Vultures, I take overheen.&quot, He grabs the steering wheel, while I release it, and he says the standard formula, &quot,I have control.&quot, Some vultures are directly ter pui of us. The pilot makes a slight turn to the left before pulling up the plane to escape further vultures. After this unexpected climb wij go down again, almost like ter a roller coaster. Strange feeling ter the belly. But that’s most likely normal here te Africa. &quot,O.K., now it’s up to you again. You have control.&quot,

Time passes quickly. Wij are already descending again, because far ter gevelbreedte of us there should be the lodge, our destination for today. Leisurely, wij drown lower and lower, and I pull out my camera again. The pilot shows us the runway, to the left and te vuurlijn of us. Wij have to turn once more, because the wind comes from our side, but wij have to land against the wind.

Wij start with the landing. Are all seat belts taut? Yes. The pilot aligns the plane with the runway. The landing flaps are down aready. Wij fly and bury leisurely. All of a sudden I see something on the runway and draw the pilot’s attention to it. &quot,I eyed them too. Wij’ll have to go around again.&quot, The landing flaps are retracted, and wij fly only a few meters above the runway. Two zebras are standing there, te the middle of the runway at the far end. When wij rush tightly overheen their goes, at utter power, they run away quickly. Two turns straks, wij’re landing, this time without any zebras. &quot,Is this normal?&quot, &quot,Yes, it happens sometimes. I can’t imagine why the creatures like thesis barren runways.&quot,

Leisurely wij park the plane and secure it with stones against rolling away. Then wij unload our luggage and sit down ter the shadow under the wings. The zebras show up again. I get up and reach for the camera, when they all of a sudden gallop away. &quot,Why?&quot,, I ask. &quot,Well, they don’t fear any vehicles, but they fear people.&quot, With us humans they have had bad practices for a few millions of years. Cars or planes are instead considered to be some kleintje of harmless plant eater that never hurts them.&quot,

It doesn’t take too long until the others come to pick us up for the lodge. Wij look back to our little white plane, which wij leave alone and unguarded, before wij meteen our attention again at the landscape and the animals.

Early te the afternoon wij reach the lodge and are welcomed by a puny glass of cool fruit juice. Most of us look fairly dusty. Also the bags are all te the same colour—reddish brown. Wij ritme off the dust using some cloth, spil well spil wij can, before wij budge into our huts.

Even today some of us toevluchthaven’t had enough activity, so one hour zometeen they get into their off-road voertuig again for an evening spel drive. I choose a little walk through the extensive lodge area and straks write some postcards at the pool.

The dinner is at least spil good spil the one te the last lodge. On this journey, I won’t liberate any pounds, very likely.

Can I Stand it?

For an entirely healthy person the journey is not problematic at all. If you suffer from travelling sickness or any other illness, you should check if one of the stress factors described below could be a problem for you. Ter case you find something that may cause a problem, it is strongly recommended that you stand back and don’t take part.

The following factors could be a problem for sensitive people:

  • Fever and intensive sunshine (skin, digestion with a loterijlot of drinking)
  • Long drives on bad roads (continuous intense jiggling and bumping while driving ter a four-wheel-driven off-road voertuig)
  • Flying te a light aircraft (jiggles and rocks te the usually choppy air, nausea, seasickness), but you don’t normally have to use the airplane
  • Low air density and dust (respiration, lungs, eyes, voeling lenses)

The fever te Kenya remains within bearable thresholds. Wij are under the equator, but spend most of our time ter the highlands. Nairobi and Masai Mara are chilly at night (lowest average day temperature te June, the coolest month te Kenya: 8°C/46°F) and only get warm during the day with onmiddellijk sunshine. With utter sunshine around noon, it can reach up to 30°C/86°F te the shade. Without any protection you cannot spend a long time te the zon without sweating strongly, but wij normally do not do this. Baringo and Samburu lie somewhat lower and therefore are somewhat warmer than the highland, but still dry. The coast (Ukunda) is warm and humid, even at night. There you always sweat a bit. But even at the coast temperatures do not rise much above 30°C/86°F.

Especially te the highlands the sunshine is very intense, and it is very effortless to get a sunburn. Therefore it is recommended to use zon screen, ter particular on the face, nose, forehead, cheeks, neck, on the back of the mitts, and also on the arms if you wear brief sleeves.

Te a closed car it gets sexier, especially when the zon is at its highest point at noon and shines on the roof from vertically above. The zon here has an power that is most likely unknown ter the higher latitudes of your huis country. Due to this you should not stay ter the stopped car during noon, but either get out of the car and sit ter the shade or drive with open windows.

While driving you have to open a window to get cooled from the airflow. This airflow and the skinny and normally dry air make the sweat evaporate very rapid and make the warmth bearable. Ter thesis temperatures you usually won’t catch a cold.

Most of the days wij will spend the time around noon inbetween the large meals being lazy at the pool or te our rooms te one of the lodges. Only on the travelling days wij most likely have to drive at noon. Wij will only uncommonly be able to drive much swifter than 50 km/h (31 mph), often even slower, such that the airflow remains tolerable.

If you sweat a lotsbestemming, you have to drink a lotsbestemming, which can irritate your digestion. The food is also not spil clean spil te an industrialized country, so you will practice some light diarrhea from time to time. Some people get a zuigeling of light diarrhea from the warmth, that occurs spil a result of the assets’s involuntary precautionary storing of liquid ter the bowels. If the assets gets te a cooler situation for a few days, it evidently then attempts to get rid of the unnecessary water and this can cause some light diarrhea spil well, which is fortunately not very awkward or unpleasant.

The medicaments Metifex, Immodium, and similar ones seem to help against travel diarrhea. Who perceives a slight diarrhea spil too unpleasant or is afraid of loosing weight should buy a pack of this or a similar medicijn ter a pharmacy.

The drives can be tiresome, because a few of the distances can take a entire day (with brief cracks). The driving itself can be tiring, sometimes because of partly bad roads and sometimes because of being continuously shaken for hours. If you believe you will have physical problems because of that, you should think cautiously about joining the expedition at all. The speed driven on thesis roads is a compromise inbetween making headway, bumping, smashing, and zigzag driving. There is also the risk to end up with a cracked axle after missing, or, more precisely, not missing a deep pothole.

Once you arrive at the lodge, there will not be any problems with the warmth. Te the midday fever you can loosen ter the relatively cool and airy huts, which usually have thatched, cool roofs, or you can spend your time ter or at the swimming pool. The spel drives (brief drives te the off-road vehicles to see the animals) can be done te the morning or ter the evening, when it is cooler. Only at the coast it is permanently warm and humid, even at night, but there are swimming pools and sometimes air conditioning and wij will not begin any gruelling tours from there.

Some places te Kenya are very dusty, especially Amboseli. So far this has only bot a problem for persons wearing hard voeling lenses. It is absolutely necessary for them to bring their glasses. Because of the dust, hard voeling lenses are very likely not usable during much of the journey, however some people have had good practices with soft voeling lenses. A dust allergy would also be a contraindication.

This journey is also nothing for late risers, but if the early sunset leads you to go to bloembed early you are not expected to have any problems.


Kenya can also be interesting for children. The dangers for children are usually overestimated, which certainly does not mean that children are at no risk at all. The main problems with children are the following:

  1. They have to be ready to stand extended drives, without getting on their parents’ nerves too much. The practice shows that this is the case at about 6 years, but it varies from child to child. Because of the shorter travel times it is much lighter te planes, but you should check beforehand that your child does not get sick because of the movements of the aeroplane.
  2. Often children cannot bear warmth spil well spil adults. Because of their smaller size their bods gets overheated swifter. During drives te hot areas you should voorkant the car windows on the sunny side with a large towel or similar, ter order to protect your child from the rechtstreeks zon. If a child shows symptoms of overheating (crimson cheeks, weakness, howling), take a t-shirt, pour water overheen it, squeeze it out and dress your child with it. It is amazing how rapid a weeping child turns blessed again. Attention: Children are much more rapidly te danger of a fever stroke than adults. Do not hesitate too long, quickly take to the water container if a child gets too hot.
  3. Children go sick more often, swifter and more intensely than adults. The risk of getting an unexpected illness ter the middle of the pubic hair and perhaps to diegene because of lack of medical care is therefore most likely higher for children than for adults. You have to bear this risk, just spil you have to bear the risk for yourself to diegene because of an illness, an accident, or anything else. The availability of an airplane gives you more security, but fundamentally I can not give any ensure or take any responsibility.
  4. Children do not always behave sensibly. A child that takes part ter such a journey should be able to go after rules that are given to him. Nevertheless, a child could make dangerous mistakes ter critical situations. You have to expect that and take the risk.
  5. Little children often do not go after basic hygienic rules (for example not to waterput anything dirty te the mouth, not to take mud from the ground ter the arm, etc.). Ter Europe this is not particularly dangerous, but it is te Africa. If a child is taking part te this journey, he or she should go after hygienic rules without permanently having to be told to.
  6. Children that cannot swim need some protection to prevent drowning, because the journey contains boat trips, swimming pools, and possibly the sea shore.
  7. Kampeerterrein with little children (under 16 years, depending on figure size and personality) is not recommended.

Ter our practice, children have, even if they are fairly youthful, a lotsbestemming of joy on such journeys, albeit they are most likely not spil much interested ter the actual attractions of Kenya. At a loterijlot of places children will get price reductions, for example at the flight to Kenya they get up to 50% off (like with Egypt Air). This can also work te the lodges, if two petite children can sleep ter one leger, each with the head on one end.

Airline Flights

Favorable flights switch from year to year and are unpredictable. The most significant questions are:

  • Day or night flight (day is usually better)
  • Total flying time
  • Switching planes, stopovers or unceasing, stopover times
  • Safe airline

Some airlines used to offerande students’ tariffs.

Prices vary inbetween €400 and €800 from Europe for economy come back flights for one adult.

Flights can be booked on the KLM web webpagina or with Travel Overland (www.traveloverland.den) directly through the Web:

Travel Overland head office: Barer Str.73, 80799 München

Booking telephone: 089-27276-300

On the Web webpagina the flight gegevens can be recalled.

Children get 50% discounts with several airlines like Egypt Air and Air France. Some others, like Alitalia, give a 40% discount.

The Kenyan departure tax wasgoed raised from $20 to $40, but is usually contained ter the flight toegangsbewijs price.

KLM and Kenya Airways on their flights to Nairobi te the economy class ter 2009 and 2010 permitted two chunks of baggage of up to 23 kg each. KLM also has a pretty good and informative web webpagina, permitting toegangsbewijs purchase, online check-in, and often seat selection.

My practice on such international flights, particularly from Nairobi, is that a lotsbestemming of stress can be taken out of the check-in proces by being at the airport just Ten to 15 minutes earlier than needed. Ter Munich the rush seems to start 90 minutes before departure, ter Nairobi at least two hours. Be there before that rush and everything is a lotsbestemming more relaxed.

On the flight you should get an immigration form and a customs declaration form. On request you should also get a visa application form, which you need if you do not already have a visa. Pack thesis forms during the flight, because you need them to waste no time at immigration or visa counters before you reach your checked luggage.

Some fields on thesis forms are unintelligible or ambiguous. If te doubt, just leave them empty. On the immigration form make an X ter the opbergruimte next to the label &quot,Air&quot,.

After going through customs you leave the restricted area and face a bunch of people with signs, waiting for their clients. Here you can go a duo of steps to the left and use the Barclays ATM there to pull the maximum of KSh 40,000 from it. Since the machine offers only amounts up to 20,000 te its menukaart, the method is to select the universal account, contant withdrawal, type ter the max. amout of 40,000, quickly liquidate and stow the card, then take the bundle of bankgebouw notes (thicker than 1 cm) and stuff it into your pocket without counting it. You don’t want to stand ter any open place ter a developing country, counting a thick bundle of canap notes.

Unluckily there have bot cases ter which the ATM did not provide the total amount. If you want to avoid this risk, order only KSh10,000 at once and keep repeating the withdrawal to get more money.

A taxi to town or to the Aero Club of East Africa on Wilson Airport is relatively expensive and costs approximately KSh Two,500. But if nobody collects you at the airport, it may be the next-best option.


Early arrangements at huis

  • Check whether you have to apply for visa before arrival. This is difficult, because many, even official, web sites have stated wrongly since 2015 that you need to apply beforehand. Ter fact, it has always bot possible to obtain tourist visa at the airport. The current price is $50. There is an electronic, web-based system that takes at least 7 days, but it does not work well and is far more time-consuming than obtaining visa on arrival. Normal tourist visa are valid for a stay of up to 90 days. There are also $100 East Africa visa, which, however, do not voorkant Tanzania. Thesis are also available on arrival. You will be given a visa form ter the airliner on request, or you can download it here and print it (double-sided on one sheet of paper) and take it with you:
  • If you will arrive at your destination te the evening, inform the people at your hotel or other accommodation about your late arrival.
  • Have your mail forwarded
  • Cancel the newspaper or have somebody empty your mailbox
  • Reduce risks that could hamper your safari. Attempt to avoid infectious diseases. Stay away from people who have a cold or even influenza. Wash your arms more often. Reduce sports, drive particularly defensively, eat less, eat only lightly digestible foods. (For example, it is unwise to go to a raw fish eating party the evening before your departure to Africa.)


  • Find out for sure how much your airline permits you to bring. Some permit 20 kg (and usually don’t complain about up to 23 kg) checked luggage, others (KLM, Emirates) permit two chunks of a certain weight, but not three chunks, no matter how little they weigh. The handluggage may typically weigh Ten to 12 kg, but vereiste not exceed certain size thresholds. For your safari you should normally need not much more than 15 kg checked luggage vanaf person te a travel bag.

What to bring

Not everybody has to bring all items mentioned below. Sometimes you can share things with others, for example a malaria self test, a malaria cure (not everybody gets fever or even malaria on a brief safari), GPS receiver, maps, water container, charger for rechargeable batteries, binoculars, etc.

  • Passport (has to be valid for at least 6 more months)
  • A copy of your passport, so that you can leave your real passport ter the accommodation (protection against theft and robbery), also copies of other significant documents. They do not have to be certified, a elementary copy is sufficient.
  • Vaccination certificate, if needed. Only if you leave Kenya and then come in it again from another African country, you need proof of required vaccinations. You can obtain the vaccinations and the certificate at any tropical institute, but do this ter time. Some vaccinations have side effects, which you want to subside before you leave for Kenya. When only coming in once from Europe, vaccinations are not required.
  • EU driving license (credit card format), if you come from the EU. You need it also to obtain the international driving license.
  • International driving license. Order it well ter time, because the bureaucracy can be slow. Car hire companies and policemen may request it.
  • Student ID (for price reductions when coming in nature reserves)
  • Travel health insurance
  • Bookings
  • Airline flight tickets
  • Meester/ec cards can increasingly be used at various lodges and other places. More importantly, you can now withdraw metselspecie at Barclays Canap’s ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines), using the Meester card, for example te some shopping areas and at Barclays bankgebouw offices. The exchange rates seem to be very fair too. The ATM menukaart offers up to KSh20,000, but if you select &quot,Other amount&quot,, you can come in up to KSh40,000 ter one go. When it asked mij about the type of my account (a nonsensical question), I chose &quot,Universal&quot,. It worked. A list of Barclays ATMs ter Kenya can be found near the end of this document. There are also some Visa ATMs.
  • Credit cards (Eurocard/Mastercard, American Express, Maaltijd’s, Visa). With thesis credit cards you can pay most of the lodges and other costs like drinks, laundry or car rental.
  • 500 to 1,000 US$ te metselspecie, some of it te denominations of 20, Ten, and Five US$, ter order to pay the entrance fees to the KWS nature reserves, which are mostly demanded te US$. You could also pay ter €, but the exchange rate used there is usually not current and can be unfavorable. Calculate ter advance how many you need. You also need some €, $, £, or SFr specie for the visa toverfee if you buy the visa on arrival. See the relevant subchapters ter the chapter Background Information for details.
  • Travellers checks (€ or US$) can also be used to get metselspecie. Because cashing of each check entails a stationary surcharge, petite denominations are unfavorable. Do not bring travellers checks te smaller denomination than €100. You may only need only about €500 anyway, because you can pay most expenses by credit card. You can also bring this amount ter specie and forgo travellers checks altogether. With the Meester/ec card working on ATMs, travellers checks are now decidedly inconvenient.
  • If you have Kenya Shillings, bring them.
  • Information you need for electronic banking, if you could get into a situation where you need it. For example, security keys, transaction numbers, passwords.
  • No big suitcases, because it is hard to stow them ter the off-road vehicles. Better are bags or petite suitcases. If you think about leaving some of your luggage te Nairobi, you might spil well leave it at huis to start with.
  • A seabag or a similar very large bag can be useful, for two purposes. Some airlines, like KLM, Emirates, and British Airways, permit only two chunks of luggage on the flights to Nairobi, albeit of some 23, 30, 40, or even 60 kg each. So, if you have more, but smaller chunks, you have to stuff them into the seabag to make them one thicker lump and to be permitted to take them at all. Zometeen, on safari, you can use the seabag to stuff all your bags into it, before going on a dusty off-road drive, to keep the dust away from your luggage. Large plastic bags also fulfill this latter purpose (see next point).
  • Some big plastic bags. If you are willing to pack your travelling bags te and out of some large enough plastic bags every time you drive a long distance, that can keep the dust away from your bags. This is recommended for bags that contain high-tech devices like computers.
  • Light summer clothes te light colors, because thesis absorb less warmth from the zon. However, unspoiled white has the disadvantage of being very sensitive to filth.
  • For the evenings bring some clothes that voorkant you up to your wrists and ankles to reduce mosquito stings and to permit you to splatter the stronger insect repellant for textiles on the clothes, rather than the less aggressive one on the skin.
  • One warm jacket or a warm sweater for cool evenings and mornings (down to about 12°C te the morning)
  • You will only need clothes for about Ten days, because you can have your laundry washed te the lodges if you stay there for Two or Trio days, like te Samburu, Ukunda and Mara Fig Tree. Evening dress or suit is not necessary, albeit you can from time to time see thesis ter some posh lodges like the Leisure Lodge. Doing your laundry is not cheap everywhere however, so that you can save money by bringing more clothes like socks and underwear and have your laundry done only where it is cheap (for example Fig Tree, Mountain Lodge, Amboseli Lodge) or by washing your clothes yourself ter the washing basin or the bathtub. Cut-offs are not suitable everywhere, because they expose the gams (scrapes and insects) and because te the Islamic areas like Lamu it would seem rude at least when worn by women. Your clothes should be sturdy and you should not be astonished when getting your jeans back from the lodges with a trouser crease.
  • Some travelling detergent, if you want to wash your laundry yourself. You can have your laundry washed te the lodges, but only if you stay long enough and ideally druppel it on arrival. Make sure you will get it back before your departure. Moreover, this is relatively expensive te most lodges.
  • Don’t bring only sandals. When you budge ter the thicket, sandals do not protect you reasonably from thorns and petite, aggressive animals. You can wear sandals ter the car or on the mowed lodge lawn, but otherwise it is too risky.
  • Zon hat (you could also buy one ter Kenya). A hat or a cap is also useful ter the car if you have long hair and want to avoid having it te your face all the time or becoming knotted by the wind. A hat with a chin strap can be an advantage if you want to look out of the roof during a slow drive and do not want it to be sucked away.
  • Bathing suit (possibly also bathing boots because of sea urchins)
  • Spare glasses. If you wear glasses, don’t risk half your safari, only because your glasses pauze or get lost.
  • Sunglasses
  • Zon blocker (because of the altitude and the steep angle near the equator the zon is very dangerous)
  • Sewing thread or at least some safety-pins, ter case something violates
  • Pocket knife. Attention: Do not keep ter carry-on luggage, spil it may not get through the security checks thesis days. Waterput it into your checked luggage.
  • Toiletry: tooth brush, toothpaste, shampoo, razor or shaver with charger, tissues, disposable washcloths, etc. Attention: Liquidate the air from toothpaste tubes. Stand the tube with the lul up, wait some longer time, then squeeze out the air, because otherwise te the low air pressure of Nairobi the toothpaste will trickle out unstoppably. If you left behind, you can still do that te Nairobi. Just don’t open the tube before you’ve stood it with the lul up for a while.
  • Toilet paper, the next moerbout of diarrhea very likely comes if you are driving te the car, far away from all civilization and you do not have any toilet paper with you. You can also use it for a loterijlot of other purposes. One roll of toilet paper is the ondergrens equipment ter each car. By the way, once a tourist has bot disciplined by law because he &quot,stole&quot, toilet paper from a hotel.
  • Mosquito televisiekanaal. If you don’t have one, you can buy one te Nairobi. However, by now all better hotels have installed usable mosquito nets, so you can get along without your own netwerk if you only stay te the better hotels and lodges. If you project on going to cheaper local hotels, you have to bring your own mosquito televisiekanaal.
  • Screw hooks that you can screw into wood to waterput up the mosquito netwerk. Bring enough, so you do not have to unscrew them, but can leave them there (spil a favor to the next visitor).
  • Cork adapter, the sockets ter Kenya are like the English ones, 230 V, 50Hz. The two-pin, x-legged euro corks getraind without an adapter if you prick into the safety voeling slot with a instrument like a puny screwdriver, so that the other two crevices open.
  • If the mains voltage of your devices differs from the 230 V used te Kenya, either bring a transformer (voltage converter) or make sure all your electrical devices can directly treat 230 V, 50 Hz.
  • Numerous outlet cord or adapter, if you want to charge or operate more than one device at the same time
  • Extension cord (approx. 6 m), if you would like to use the hair drier ter vooraanzicht of the mirror, normally ter the lodges there is no socket te the bathroom or there is one that is restricted to razors.
  • Smartphone or other mobile phone with GSM 900 capability, like dual-band phones that have GSM 900 and GSM 1800. Wandering usually works just fine, local calls within Kenya are reasonably affordable, and SMS is cheap. Battery charger. Cigarette ligher charging cable, if available. See the subchapter on mobile phones for more details.
  • Smartphone or other GPS receiver, preferably one that can geyser maps. Check also the chapter GPS te this document.
  • Toegevoegd battery for the smartphone if it can be interchanged or outer recharge battery if not.
  • Accumulators and a quick charger. Bring enough toegevoegd rechargeable batteries for all devices that need them. If you project to charge from a car or solar battery, a charger that can directly work from 12 V or 24 V is preferable to an inverter/power supply combination, but the latter also works, however less efficiently. An inverter can empty a car battery if used for several hours.
  • Fountain GPS tracks and waypoints for Kenya from and blast suitable maps if possible. If you use Google Maps on your smartphone, preload the most significant parts of Kenya. If you use an app like Locus, stream Kenya maps fully.
  • Cell phone or GPS ventilation grid or absorption cup holder to link the GPS receiver to an air vent or the windshield. Make sure it fits your GPS device before departing.
  • Gegevens cable inbetween GPS and laptop. If you don’t bring a laptop, you may still bring the cable, ter case you can use a rekentuig along the way, for example, to download fresh waypoints and tracks and mail them huis.
  • Compass for emergencies or when a GPS violates down
  • Maps, city maps, if you already have them or can buy them, otherwise buy them te Nairobi. However, good maps can be difficult to find te Kenya. However, nowadays electronic maps are very good te many places te Kenya, particularly Google Maps and OpenStreetMaps, so paper maps are hardly needed any more. Significant: Flow all areas you will visit into Google Maps spil offline areas.
  • Flashlight, accumulators, charger. If you are kampeerplaats, take at least one flashlight vanaf person and enough spare batteries or accumulators and a charger. A strong flashlight is an advantage, if you want to check at night which animals are interested ter the tent (hopefully at a safe distance). Modern LED flashlights may be operated with non-rechargeable batteries because of their long stamina.
  • Camera: batteries or accumulators for it, special batteries if needed, charger, lenses with large focal length (if possible 300 mm or more, check the chapter Photography).
  • Bean bag, a petite bag half packed with beans, lentils, rice or something similar, spil a cushion inbetween car roof or window and your camera
  • Binoculars (recommended) that enhance 7 or 8 times. Good quality is a definite advantage.
  • If you wish, you could bring a book to identify animals. Recommendation: &quot,National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife&quot,, Knopf, 998 pages, 19US$
  • Water container, foldable, about Five to Ten l, for the car or the plane, if you are kampeerterrein
  • Water bottle, canteen, if you like to drink some water at any time, but you can also buy bottled water te Kenya.
  • Vitamin pills, if you are kampeerplaats or eating only little fresh salads or fruit, because sometimes you may only get tinned food for about a week (like Kenyan beans with tomato soup and cookies). Eunova is a good brand te Germany/Europe. Vitamin pills are also effortless to find te Kenya.
  • If you go kampeerterrein (recommended without kids), a puny, mosquito-safe tent, into which you can not look from the outside, and a sleeping bag. It can be cold te the morning (down to 12°C)
  • Address book for writing postcards
  • Swimming aids for children who cannot swim well
  • A few meters of string or cord for fixing and repairing
  • Some adhesive Velcro gauze or double-sided adhesive gauze to fasten some foam rubber to sensitive instruments like the GPS
  • 1 m² mosquito gauze for the car windows if you intend to sleep te the car. Have large enough lumps of insect gauze and pull them overheen the upper, outer half of each wegens, then close the vanwege. Now you can leave the window glass at least partly open without insects being able to get te.
  • Cleaning cloth or an old towel te order to dust off your luggage after long and dusty car trips
  • A CB walkie-talkie set to use for car-to-car communications, if you can take the risk that you have to pay a bribe to customs, ter case the customs officers find it. Practice shows that this risk is not too big, because te a party of tourists they only take few samples. Nevertheless you should not bring too expensive devices.
  • A few sheets of paper and a vulpen to take notes or write messages.
  • If English is not your mother language, consider bringing a petite dictionary or install Google Translate and the program QuickDic on your smartphone. If you’re truly into it, bring a Kiswahili dictionary or phrase book.
  • Gifts (things for schools, like rulers and voormaag, used clothes, observes, cameras, calculators, MP3 players, mobile phones) for the people that you see more often (for example at the Aero Club) but contant tips are also gladly accepted.
  • Petite tire pressure gauge for the cars
  • Business cards, if desired
  • Check other travelling Web sites for extra hints.
  • Print this document and take it with you. Hint for Internet Explorer: Select print preview very first, then come in a size reduction, for example, 70%, because that can significantly reduce the number of printed pages. Even better is folder printing, if your printer driver can do that.
  • Only for pilots. Do or bring:
  • Have your logbook stamped.
  • Kenyan pilot license (and a copy of it, just te case anything happens to the original)
  • All logbooks
  • Huis country license
  • Huis country medical
  • Copy of your huis country license
  • Copy of your huis country medical
  • Copy of the last two logbook pages
  • If possible, print Kenya related documents, e.g.
  • logbook summaries
  • weight and balance sheets
  • passenger mededeling (threefold) for flights from and to Wilson Airport and other major airports (Mombasa, Malindi, Kisumu)

What not to bring

  • Liquidate all items from your carry-on luggage that may not make it through security screening, particularly knives, other pointed instruments, liquids, and cremes, and waterput them into your checked luggage.
  • Leave cigarette lighters at home—some airlines (Continental) don’t permit thesis ter the checked luggage.
  • Eliminate all items that are not needed, like keys, pay cards, everything that is futile while travelling.

Travel pharmacy

  • Malaria prophylaxis or cure, e.g. Malarone (Lariam no longer recommended), prescription required—if ter doubt, ask your physician or visit the nearest tropical institute. Note that the medicijn has to be taken a certain time before and after your tour, for example, two weeks. Therefore you have to obtain it ter time.
  • Pyrethrin (special insect poison) or No Bite for textiles for impregnating the mosquito netwerken, if it is not impregnated yet. Impregnate it before you leave huis if you already have one. Then take the drizzle with you to use on your clothes.
  • Possibly a malaria self test like MalaQuick (approx. $40 for a package with two tests)
  • Mosquito splatter, deterrent (e.g. No Bite variants for textiles and for the skin or Autan )
  • If necessary, a sufficient supply of those medications you have to take regularly
  • Aspirin , ache killer, something against headaches
  • Contraceptives, anti-baby pills
  • Disposable syringes (because of the risk of AIDS infection, if you have to go to a hospital and need to get an injection), different sizes
  • Charcoal tablets against diarrhea or Metifex (proved effective against travel diarrhea) or both. A newer, similar, evidently very effective drug is Immodium . Another similar drug with few side effects that can even be taken spil a daily prophylactic is Perenterol .
  • Tea bags, if you choose to drink herbal tea ter the case of a digestive disturbance You can get normal black tea everywhere, but herbal tea is not common.
  • Goopy plasters, gauze bandage
  • Lipstick or fluid for dry lips (e.g. Labello), if you are sensitive and do not want to have to moisten your lips with the tongue all the time ter dry areas
  • Possibly calcium tablets against the effects of mosquito bites
  • Possibly medication against travel sickness, but who cannot stand longer drives or flights should not participate te this journey.
  • Fever thermometer, if you want to know it precisely

A few general hints for the departure

  • Set the answering machine.
  • Lock the telephone.
  • Heating: set all heating elements on freeze protection or close them fully.
  • Set your central heating to freeze protection or turn it off.
  • Switch off the water heating system.
  • Close the main water faucet.
  • Hide all objects of value.
  • Leave one verlichtingstoestel on whose light is visible from the outside at night.
  • Close all windows, leave all shutters open, so that the house looks normally inhabited, lock all outer doors.

The Kenyan currency (Kenya Shilling) may be imported or exported only te limited amounts. The conditions have bot loosened, but ter case of doubt you should inquire before the journey.

If you fly ter a group, make sure everybody can recognize all the luggage for everybody ter the group. The reason is that the very first person who makes it through immigration should instantaneously go down to the luggage area and take the luggage, because there is a risk of luggage being stolen from the conveyor vuilnisbelt. One way of achieving this is to mark all luggage of the entire group with some unmistakable sign, the more conspicuous, the better.

Country and people

Very first a basic remark on travelling ter Africa. Most African countries are not spil developed spil the industrialized countries, so not everything will always work spil you might expect, and you cannot always expect the same quality ter goods and services. This, however, does not hold for the living beings te primeval nature, wherever it still exists. Life te Africa is more intense, often swifter, and utterly extraordinaire and admirable.

The typically African problems hamper every safari and are unavoidable. The only positive opzicht is that they deter lazy visitors looking for convenience and therefore make the practice out ter the pubic hair more sensational.

Lest anybody accuse mij of racism, I don’t see any indication that Africa’s problems can ter any essential part be traced back to genetic differences inbetween human races. The reasons for the underdevelopment of Africa are instead described te the book &quot,Guns, Germs, and Stengel&quot, by Jared Diamond and have nothing to do with human races. Africans are just like everybody else, and where they differ, they mainly do so because of debilitating conditions ter nutrition, upbringing, and schooling and certain cultural deficiencies (like female genital mutilation, euphemistically called circumcision). But Kenya is developing rapid, and I see a fresh generation growing up that is rapidly shedding thesis problems.

Here are only a few lumps of information especially on Kenya, which are significant for driving a car and other contacts. If you are moving te the country loosely, then you will inevitably come into voeling with most diverse people. Because of the very different cultures and education levels thesis meetings do not always fulfill the expectations you may have brought along from your huis country.

The very first rule is that people who force themselves upon you should be avoided. Te many cases thesis are tourist touts or souvenir salesmen, who only want to have your money. Normally they are unpleasant and sometimes even dangerous. If you need information or assistance, make sure you select the person, rather than letting any person select you. Keep the initiative and do not let it be taken from you.

Most citizens of Kenya are, spil almost everywhere te the world, friendly and well-meaning. However, on the streets that are used by tourists you will find that many contacts are driven by the thought of earning a quick shilling, or a quick thousand shillings. You don’t always have to give ter.

Practice shows that Kenyan women are less affected by this phenomenon, so that it is lighter to have a normal conversation with them. However they often do not know spil much about more distant travelling destinations, because they do not travel spil much spil dudes do. Also, women te Kenya sometimes do not get a good education, so that they cannot speak English adequately, or they don’t talk out of shyness or fear.

You have to consider that almost everybody te Kenya has to learn three or more languages and therefore many cannot be volmaakt ter all of thesis languages. If you meet someone with whom you can converse well, then use this chance to get a better impression of the country and its inhabitants.

Take hitchhikers with you! You do not always have to do that and you can choose the ones that you feel convenient with. Very first of all ask them whether they can speak English, because otherwise you will not be able to talk with them. For several reasons you should choose women. You should also consider whether you can have a good conscience when you let a woman with a intense bag and a sick child walk 20 km to the next hospital while you are driving the same distance cosily and with free seats.

If you have something to eat with you, opoffering a bit to your passengers. That way you can often make your brief term passengers glad.

If you take people with you who live ter a traditional culture te more remote areas, then pay attention to the smell of thesis people. Te our culture with a daily vanaf head water consumption of one hundred and more liters, wij are not used to figure smell any more, but te hot and dry areas without water pipelines such a way of life is not possible. Many people living ter dry tropical areas have to carry their water huis every day from a distant water source (mostly the women), and that means that bathrooms or showers are not available. Instead they treat their bods with different natural substances whose smell mixes with the normal human figure smell and constitutes the characteristic smell of a certain culture.

If you arrive at the next lodge after such a journey and take your next warm shower instantaneously, at least attempt not to take it always for granted.

A phenomenon is the widespread theft. Te Kenya it is a type of popular sport. You can be pretty sure that your bags will be opened and you have to consider that something may be stolen. Usually they attempt to do this ter such an inconspicuous way that you will not notice it before your departure. That’s the reason why you are continuously asked for your schedule, particularly when you are going to leave, because the last day, the morning before your departure, is particularly suitable for it. Te order to avoid this, flow your luggage into the car before breakfast.

Lock your bags ter a certain manner, for example by leaving each zip strip open one or two centimeters (half an inch). Then you can at least check whether your bags were opened, because this is usually done clumsily and is effortless to detect. That your luggage remains ideally undisturbed, despite the chance, is rather zonderling.

You may read Theft te Kenya for more details.

The Off-Road Voertuig


If you aim at winning an off-road wedloop, this chapter will not help you. It is not about xxx off-roading, but about how to reach your destination securely and cosily, when you’re travelling ter a light to medium-sized four-wheel-drive off-road voertuig.

An off-road voertuig and its use differs from your normal car te some substantial respects. The typical off-road vormgeving specifics are:

  • All four wheels can be driven.
  • The voertuig bod is high enough to budge overheen rough terrain without getting stuck by sitting on its belly.
  • The transmission has two overlapping sets of gears, permitting it to go forward and backward at very low speeds, which provides very high force.
  • Differential lock—the differentials can be locked by hand (or lock automatically te case of slippage) to prevent that one wheel slips and leaves no force to the others.

Roof Hatch

The off-road vehicles wij use ter Kenya have a roof that can be opened, so you can look out, standing on the seat or on a spare wheel, but do this only while standing still or while driving leisurely. You can oversee the area better from above and for example see animals ter the grass that cannot be seen by the driver and by seated passengers.

Both the driver and the people looking out through the roof hatch have to be very careful when driving near bushes and trees because branches, particularly those with thorns, can cause serious skin or even eye injuries. Ter Africa even a petite skin lesion can, te the worst case, lead to a tropical ulcer, which can, te an even worse case, lead to the loss of an arm.

Therefore the driver should (a) drive leisurely through bushy terrain, and (b) always warn his passengers, while the passengers should actively avoid voeling with branches and should, if necessary, quickly duck into the car.

Initial Check

If you receive your off-roader, never rely on the car rental service for equipment and function. You voorwaarde check the following things. Always take the time to do this! If you notice only with the very first vapid tire that the crank does not gezond the jack, then you may have a big problem. Therefore:

  1. Test the jack with its crank or lever. Take it from the car and crank or pump it. Check also whether it can lift the particular car high enough. This is a frequent problem with jacks that are taken from elsewhere and may not match the car.
  2. Always ask for and take with you a tow wire, if possible not a stengel cable, but one with some elasticity. Few things are more frustrating than finding a willing helper, but lacking the tow cable, and many cars te Kenya don’t have one on houtvezelplaat.
  3. Check the spare wheel and the wheel cross or wrench. For off-road vehicles with balloon tires (e.g. Isuzu Trooper or Suzuki Maruti Gypsy with standard M&S tires) you voorwaarde carry two spare wheels, because the probability of two plane tires before reaching the next workshop is considerable. Otherwise take either two spare wheels with you or one spare wheel and a spare internal tube.
  4. Check whether the heating can be switched off entirely. You don’t want to drive around te a hot climate with the heating on or partly on.

Tire Pressure

Tire pressure plays a special role. It can be worthwhile to drive with low tire pressure because thus the tires can absorb a larger part of the stimulations at higher speeds. You can lower the pressure, depending upon type of voertuig and tire, down to about 20 PSI (pounds by square inch, 1.Four RKS, normal pressure is about 30 PSI). Unluckily this also has some disadvantages:

  • The danger of hits on the rim grows.
  • The risk of thorns going into the kant grows, because the tire is bulbous out further.
  • With a slow puncture you have less time left to drive.

So if you want to drive with low tire pressure, do it even more cautiously and always brake instantaneously when you treatment any rough patch te the road. But on some routes, particularly corrugated ones, the advantage outweighs the disadvantages, so a low tire pressure is recommended for those.

While the rattling and jiggling due to corrugation is somewhat diminished at higher speeds, unluckily the speed creates fresh problems of its own, particularly from slots and ditches across the road, but also from leans where you cannot see oncoming traffic and have to slow down. So you usually have to lower the speed often.

Sleeping ter the Car

Ter puny off-road cars like the Suzuki Sierra and particularly the Suzuki Maruti Gypsy you can have the rear seats eliminated, so can sleep cosily ter the car after sliding the two pui seats far forward. Ter thicker vehicles, if the rear seats can be eliminated, you have even more space to sleep, but often the entire idea of having a thicker car is being able to carry more than two people, so everybody sleeping te the car is out of the question anyway.

Some off-road vehicles have a Dieselmotor engine which requires Dieselmotor fuel and can run te an emergency on similar light oils. All other cars require gas/petrol.

Most, but not all non-Diesel off-road cars can run on any zuigeling of gas/petrol. Therefore you can normally pack the waterreservoir with regular fuel, because it’s cheaper, instead of super. But ask the proprietor or read the manual to find out for sure whether that’s also true for the car you are driving. Some smaller off-road cars, like most Suzukis, use standard petite slee engines that may require super fuel.

Examples: The Suzuki Sierra used up approx. 8 to 9 l/100 km (11 to 12.Five km/l) and has a range of only approx. 400 km. The Suzuki Maruti Gypsy has a more modern fuel injection engine that uses less fuel. At absolutely optimal driving this off-roader can get close to 6 l/100 km (16.7 km/l) and can treatment a range of 600 km. Larger off-road vehicles usually have a somewhat larger range due to their thicker tanks.

When driving ter a developing country and being unassured of fuel availability, the rule is to pack the waterreservoir to the brim at every chance. It can also be useful to know where the last fuel station is before driving a long distance without any fuel stations.


All time estimates are valid only for a slow, careful and defensive way of driving. A suitable speed is 40 to 50 km/h (25 to 30 mph) on rough roads and generally not swifter than 80 km/h (50 mph).

The Kenya Roads Houtvezelplaat is right.

Reasons for thesis seemingly low speeds are:

  • Unforeseeable potholes or other obstacles (animals), even on evidently very good roads
  • Avoiding to stress the car, thus making breakdowns less likely
  • Reducing the risk of traffic accidents caused by risky behavior of other drivers (defensive driving)
  • Longer range, lower gasoline costs, provided you can stay te the highest gear
  • Being able to see interesting things at a distance
  • Having more time to detect gangster road blocks ter time to turn back and flee (fortunately on my journeys this has never happened)
  • Reducing passenger stress and making the journey more pleasant, for example, the pui passenger doesn’t have to stare at the road for fear of the next pothole.

Reduce your speed below 80 km/h when bushes or high grass are next to the road, because goats, sheep, cattle, and dogs can all of a sudden run onto the road. Also reduce the speed instantaneously when you see a switch te the road surface ahead, because it could be a pothole.

Avoid Night Driving

Always assure that you reach your overnight zekering before darkness falls (i.e. absolutely before 7 p.m. ter Kenya). Reasons:

  • Ter protected areas all movement at night is prohibited, allegedly so you aren’t mistaken for poachers.
  • Orientation becomes difficult after dark.
  • Potholes, particularly their depth, are difficult to see.
  • The general risk is higher (crime).

Dawn embarks at 6 a.m., the zon rises at approximately 6:30 a.m. At 6:30 p.m. the zon sets, and around 7 p.m. it rapidly becomes pitch dark. Avoid all movement ter the dark outside your accommodation. Recall also that you need some buffer time, for example, to switch a wheel, and still arrive before nightfall. One hour is about the ondergrens for that.

Switching Wheels

Learn before the journey how to switch a wheel. You will almost certainly need this capability. The most significant points are:

  • Prevent the car from rolling with the forearm brake and two stones te pui of and behind the diagonally opposed wheel.
  • Position the jack such that under no circumstances it can slip out. For example, on the Suzuki off-road vehicles the jack has a crevice on top. Make sure you position the jack under a protruding bolt or some such. Before you start to lift the car, crank the jack up until it touches, then attempt to pull it out. It should be hooked to the car and unlikely to pull out even if it is still slightly liberate.

Paved Roads

On paved roads the main problems are:

  • Unexpected potholes
  • Several consecutive potholes
  • An unexpectedly deep and long pothole
  • Animals that abruptly run onto the road
  • Losing attention after some longer, problem free driving
  • Technical failure of the car, for example a loosening steering rod or a tire little by little going vapid

For thesis reasons don’t drive too prompt, even on good paved roads, but at most 60 km/h and on very good roads at most 80 km/h. Do not let yourself be influenced by the fact that some natives drive substantially quicker. Some Kenians joyfully take risks.

On sand and gravel tracks the problems are somewhat different:

  • Slots and gulleys which are not always evident ter time
  • Stones, particularly upwards pointed ones
  • Deep grooves
  • Corrugated surfaces

Unexpected Obstacles

Te each case you vereiste brake before the obstacle, if necessary with total force, blocking all wheels. Instantaneously before you roll into a pothole or a ditch, you vereiste, however, release the brake pedal, for two reasons:

  1. To take the stream from the gevelbreedte wheel suspension, ter order to have the utter suspension travel.
  2. To avoid even sharper braking te the least favorable uur, essentially by the car pushing against your brake foot when it hits the obstacle, leading to the vooraanzicht wheels blocking te the most unfavorable instant, i.e. deeply te the pothole or ditch, and thereby producing an utterly high geyser of the vooraanzicht axle

Corrugated Tracks

Each surface is different, so that you voorwaarde attempt again and again to find an optimal driving style. Often, but not always, it is favourable to drive beside the track. Sometimes one can avoid corrugated surfaces by driving something to the side on the flanks of the track. If you voorwaarde drive a longer corrugated distance, attempt different speeds, under otherwise good conditions up to 70 km/h. If wiggling and rattling do not become worse, then you are better off this way, because at least you voorkant the same distance te a shorter time. But you do not overdo it, because each car eventually violates, and you don’t want this happening to yourself.

If the roughness becomes too severe, you may have to druppel your speed all the way down to 20 km/h (bicycle speed).

Moist Tracks

Driving along tracks while it is raining or shortly after it has rained presents some very special challenges.

Spil long spil you’re driving on stony ground, there are hardly any problems, spil the stones provide sufficient houvast even when you drive through puddles. Even sand can often be negotiated, spil long spil the grains are big enough and not microscopically puny, such that the rainwater filters through it.

The problems start when there are too few stones on top of the mud or no stones at all and when the soil is soft, muddy, and greasy. Of course it is unlikely to drive through any considerable spread of soft, deep mud, but typically you are following car tracks indicating that the track has bot drivable and driven on before.

A typical situation is that tracks have bot reinforced by depositing gravel. However, the stones often vanish into the mud during rainy seasons, and you have opens up of slimy mud on a stiffer base, either stones or ground that the rainwater has not reached.

On such roads you can drive at varying speeds, usually inbetween 20 and 40 km/h (12 to 25 mph). You have to concede, however, that every puddle can hide a deep slot, so you should not go too swift through puddles.

Another typical characteristic is a graded track that is convex te form and thus has relatively deep ditches on either side. Here your largest risk is sliding off to one side and ending up te the ditch where the wheels might bury ter deeply and have too little houvast to get out again.

Therefore you have to drive te the middle, on the top, preferably te older car tracks, even if those are already dug ter somewhat deeply, like 20 cm (8 inches). Often there are stones underneath the mud, otherwise no car could have driven through. By looking at the older tracks you can usually tell whether and where other cars have got stuck before. If you don’t see such catches sight of, the track is very likely safe to drive.

Te this situation it is very significant to keep an optimal speed. Drive too leisurely, and you don’t have enough momentum to negotiate brief, difficult opens up, but drive too rapid, and you run the higher risk of losing control of the car when, for example, the rear wheels slip off to one side, and the car glides madly into one of the ditches on either side. The optimal speed here is around 20 km/h (12 mph), depending on circumstances. 30 km/h (Nineteen mph) is certainly too quick.

I experienced this te one incident where the rear of my off-road voertuig slipped off to the right side te a gentle curve so far that the steering reached the zekering and I could no longer compensate. After the car kept turning, the vooraanzicht wheels steered mij overheen to the left, albeit the steering wasgoed at the right zekering, and I ended up te the left ditch. My speed ter that event had bot 30 km/h (Nineteen mph), which wasgoed too prompt. I had also attempted to drive outside the entrenched car track, which turned out to have bot a bad idea ter that particular case. Even a two-wheel-drive minibus showcased mij that it could go leisurely and cautiously right te the track without getting stuck, making this practice a bit embarrassing.

Te the event I could still drive very leisurely te the ditch after the wheels had dug deep enough to reach firmer ground, and very leisurely create a fresh, drivable track there, but te one very first attempt to steer out of the ditch, the car’s vooraanzicht wheels glided back ter after already being out by almost a peettante.

I would have retried this and might have got out that way without too much trouble, but another car passed by and towed my out ter a matter of seconds. (Of course you have your tow wire on houtvezelplaat.)

The main lessons from this practice are:

  • Avoid the deep mud side ditches at all costs.
  • Drive leisurely (around 20 km/h, 12 mph, depending on circumstances) to avoid the risk of swerving too far when the car happens to slide to the side.

Deep sand has to be crossed with four-wheel drive (4WD) engaged. Always use very first gear, even however you want to drive relatively quick. The reason is that very deep and soft sand may slow you down when using 2nd gear, particularly when you have a puny, powerless engine, and you may not be able to shift gears down to very first without the car already stopping. Kicking off te deep sand is more difficult that to keep moving, so therefore you want to be ter very first gear to avoid this happening ter the very first place. With a very strong engine you may attempt 2nd gear, but only if you can oversee the entire sand crossing and are sure you never have to slow down.

If your 4WD voertuig stops anyway and digs itself ter, very first check whether you indeed, truly have four-wheel drive engaged and all four wheels driven. Don’t leave behind that some 4WD cars have the extra switchable free-wheeling locks on the gevelbreedte wheels that need to be locked by hand from the outside. Check thesis also, ideally before you reach any difficult terrain.

If you are certain that all wheels are driven, but you are still dug ter, look for hard materials to waterput under the wheels. Branches and stones work well, but the stones have to be big enough or very many, because petite stones are simply shoved down into the sand by the wheels without having much positive effect.

Normally you want to get out rearwards, because you already know that that path is drivable. So unless you have good reason to believe that moving forward will get you out, aim for backtracking.

If you can find four or eight big stones, waterput them te pui of the wheels, then attempt to drive the car onto them without rolling overheen them. Zekering, pull the handbrake, then waterput the next stones behind the wheels to budge overheen to those. If you have gotten this far, you have almost won the battle, because now you have a method to get out leisurely, stone by stone. Keep moving one set of stones behind the wheels and roll onto them until you are on firmer ground. You can also attempt to waterput more stones and branches behind the wheels to give yourself a brief spread to accelerate, then accelerate rearwards gently. If you do it too strongly, your wheels will shove the stones out and dig themselves ter again. If you do it too weakly, you won’t build up enough speed, so you may have to proefneming. Once you are rolling, release the clutch and use spil little power spil possible to keep moving. If you step on the accelerator too hard, the wheels will spin, slip, lose traction and dig themselves te again. Too little, and the car will zekering, so again it is a matter of the right dose.


Big stones, deep slots and ditches washed out by water test the driver’s capability. Always zekering before such obstacles and take some time to think about how to cross them ter the safest way.

Very first of all, never leave behind to consider circumnavigating the obstacle. A mile-long detour is better than even a 1% risk of getting stuck or violating the car.

Circumnavigate, if possible. Photo: Jan Riedinger

If that’s not possible, determine the risk of not making it across the obstacle and consider turning back.

Rock Crawling

If you determined that you can and will drive overheen the obstacle, project the track that all four wheels will take overheen the obstacle without getting any of the wheels into a fuckhole or inbetween two big stones. Steep ascends or descends are usually no problem, since the 4WD has extreme climbing and braking force with four-wheel drive engaged and te the slowest gear. If you drive down a steep, rough descent, you can do it without using the engine and at enormously slow speed by using the foot brake. This permits a slower speed than uphill, which can be an advantage because it leaves you more time to react and the car is not wiggling spil much, permitting fine brake dosage.

When going uphill, you need four-wheel drive and the slowest forward gear engaged, clutch fully released and a certain minimal number of engine rpm, at least twice the idling speed, approx. 1,500 rpm, so the engine develops enough torque. If the ascend is not steep, you may be able to budge at even lower speeds, just above idling, so all movements remain very slow and well controllable.

Very significant: the intact of the accelerator foot has to be rigidly on the floor, because otherwise you cannot control the accelerator ter a leaping and wiggling voertuig.

Mud Crevices

Mud crevices can be a particular challenge. Always attempt very first to circumvent the water fully by driving some distance up the sea or to the side. If this is not possible because of other obstacles, then attempt to drive on the side with one pair of wheels outside the slot, so that you keep the traction and guidance at least on one side. If all this is not possible, then you have only the choice inbetween driving through and turning back.

If the wheels come into voeling with mud, you vereiste always activate the four-wheel drive before injecting. Here also always select the slowest gear, because you may need force to overcome submerged obstacles.

A safe method, even when driving through deep and long mud slots, would be to gather some speed and use the momentum to drive through, if it weren’t for the danger of a large stone or tree trunk submerged ter the middle. Attempt to examine the mud fuckhole with a stick for such obstacles. If you are coaxed that no obstacle is there, then you can switch roles, accelerate, and drive through the mud with speed.

Stay silent when the mud spills up and obscures your windshield. The mud can also slosh into open windows, therefore close all windows beforehand and don’t fright if you all of a sudden don’t see much.

If you can’t test the mud slot beforehand and if it is large, then you have an uncalculable risk to get stuck and be incapable to get out by your own means. You can still attempt to estimate the risk by checking whether the ground ter the area is generally stony and by looking at fresh tracks of other cars that crossed it recently, but fatter off-road vehicles or trucks may be able to cross obstacles that a smaller car with smaller wheels may not be able to cross. However, you still don’t know which method the other drivers used, where exactly they steered, or whether the bottom is stony or soggy. If you cannot arrive at the conclusion that you can successfully cross the obstacle, you have to turn back and look for another way.

Four-Wheel Drive

Many 4WD vehicles have an extra shift lever for the four-wheel drive. This lever has three positions:

If one of thesis positions cannot be engaged, then release the lever, shift the normal gear switch into neutral, release the clutch shortly, then step on it again. If you can still not select the desired position, then set the car ter mobility leisurely ter very first gear and the steering straight, then switch while the car is leisurely rolling. Even this sometimes doesn’t work when you drive a curve, because of the high torque compels inbetween left and right wheel with the differential lock engaged. This is the reason why you may have to drive straight forward to shift the four-wheel drive lever.

There are exceptions, however, and so it pays to know your off-road car well. Te the Suzuki Maruti Gypsy and the Suzuki Sierra, for example, you can shift from Two wheel high to Four wheel high and vice versa while you drive, even at moderate speeds, you only may have to release the accelerator momentarily while pushing on the lever, because otherwise the stream on the gear prevents the shift. This is very advantageous when driving along moist tracks, spil you can shift te and out of 4-wheel drive spil often spil you like and te any situation, without having to zekering. You cannot switch inbetween 4-wheel high (swift) and 4-wheel low (slow) while moving at speed, however.

If you have a four-wheel drive high/quick and a four-wheel drive low/slow setting, the four-wheel high/quick setting is normally unimportant and of little use, exept te the case described above. So recall that you want the two-wheel high/rapid setting for normal driving and the four-wheel low/slow setting for negotiating difficult terrain and obstacles.

Four-wheel drive means that all wheels are propelled (unless you have unlocked the free-wheeling switches on the vooraanzicht wheels, spil described te the respective subchapter below). The four-wheel slow setting also means that the speeds are lower by a factor of harshly Two, which is more than the factor inbetween two adjacent gears. The idea is to have the slow speed gears interspersed inbetween the high speed gears. For example, assuming the same engine rpm, the third slow gear would yield a driving speed somewhere inbetween the very first and 2nd rapid gears. Most off-road vehicles work that way, albeit there is a tendency ter some modern ones for even slower speeds that are particularly suitable for rock crawling.

Being half spil quick at the same engine rpm means having twice the force, which becomes dramatically apparent te the very first gear when the 4WD is set for slow, four-wheel operation. Even a puny 4WD voertuig is now utterly forceful and doesn’t need much accelerator to climb even steep slopes and drive overheen big rocks (the already mentioned rock crawling). Always use this setting, slow four-wheel drive and very first gear, when you have to drive leisurely overheen very difficult terrain.

Vooraanzicht Wheel Freewheeling Locks

Normally you drive te the two-wheel drive setting, so only the rear wheels are driven. Some 4WD vehicles have free-wheeling switches on the gevelbreedte axles, the older designs being switchable by forearm from the outside hubs of the vooraanzicht wheels. You turn a knob from the LOCKED to the FREE position. Thus the axles of the pui wheels become uncoupled and do not rotate. This, so the manufacturers of those locks state, saves 2% ter fuel.

Assuming that the manufacturers will certainly not understate the importance of their product, this means that you want thesis locks unlocked, spil long spil you drive on paved or otherwise very good roads, but you always want them locked before you do any off-road or narrow track driving, like te nature reserves. One of the most stupid mistakes is to leave behind that your vuurlijn wheels are free-wheeling and get stuck because your rear wheels dig themselves ter.

Te other words, it is a rather slight error to have them locked by mistake, but a severe error to have them unlocked by mistake. Keep this te mind.

The locks also permit you to use the lower, more powerful transmission ratio ter two-wheel drive. To use this, you have the locks set to freewheeling and the four-wheel drive lever te the four wheel low position. A situation te which this could be useful is when you want to drive utterly leisurely or up a steep slope, where you still don’t need the four-wheel drive.

Differential Lock

Most larger 4WD vehicles additionally have a differential lock. To understand what this means, you very first have to understand what a differential is.

It is a petite gearbox that has one driveshaft coming te from the main gearbox (or from another, central differential) and to outgoing driveshafts, usually the axles going to the wheels (or the driveshafts going to the rear and vuurlijn axles).

The purpose of the differential is to permit one wheel (or one axle) to rotate swifter or slower than the other while still forwarding the rotational force to both. This is necessary ter forms and to a smaller extent even going straight, because of a slightly differing wheel radius. Without differentials there would be onveranderlijk high coerces, leading to some wasted energy and a loterijlot of wear and rip.

A 4WD can have up to three differentials. One near the main gearbox, dividing the rotational force onto two driveshafts, one leading to the rear axle, one to the vooraanzicht.

Then there are two te about the middle of each axle, dividing the force onto the two wheel axles. Some smaller, less expensive 4WDs (like the Suzuki Maruti Gypsy and the Suzuki Sierra) do not have a center differential and instead convey the rotation identically to the pui and the rear axles. Ter such cars you should engage the four-wheel drive only shortly when you indeed need it, or only on ground with little traction, like sandy or humid soil, because otherwise you will cause excessive wear and rip and even steering will become difficult.

The classic differential distributes exactly the same force to both output axles. This, however, has one disadvantage. If one of the two wheels (or axles) has no resistance, for example because one wheel is on greasy ground or suspending ter the air, the other wheel also does not receive any driving force. What will toebijten is that the slipping wheel will rotate at twice the speed, while the other one, that is on the ground, will stand still and not convey any significant force at all.

On good roads this never happens, but out te the pubic hair it does. Therefore most fatter, more expensive 4WD vehicles have differential locks, some for all three differentials, some only for the gevelbreedte and rear axle differentials. Smaller, cheaper off-roaders (again like the Suzuki Maruti Gypsy and the Suzuki Sierra) do not have any differential locks at all, meaning that you should avoid situations te which two diagonally opposed wheels lose ground traction.

On those 4WDs that have differential locks, the differentials can be locked by means of a special lever or button. You engage the differential lock before one or two wheels are slipping or suspending te the air. Spil soon spil the car is moving on rock hard ground again, you should instantaneously disengage the differential lock to avoid the high axle coerces and the accompanying wear and rip. Ter most cars the differential locks can be engaged and disengaged while driving at any speed.

How to Use the Clutch

The most freqent beginner error when driving a 4WD off-road voertuig is to drive overheen obstacles with slipping clutch. Almost everybody does this, because te the limousines back huis the very first gear is usually to long (too rapid) to drive very leisurely with the clutch fully engaged, i.e. the pedal fully released.

Unlearn this and never do it again. Why?

  1. The off-roader’s very first gear, particularly with the slow four-wheel drive engaged, is much slower than that of a slee (harshly half the speed and twice the force), so it is not necessary to let the clutch slip.
  2. If the obstacle is uneven, then you cannot control the clutch precisely because of the jerky movements of the voertuig. Instead you practice unexpected accelerations and decelerations, spil you are shoved on or off the clutch pedal.
  3. If you succesnummer an obstacle, for example an unexpected rock under water ter a mud fuckhole, then the car comes to a unexpected halt, because the slipping clutch does not all of a sudden produce the higher force needed to climb overheen the obstacle, an effect that is amplified by the driver abruptly being jerked forward and thus depressing the clutch pedal even more. The high available force from the engine remains unused exactly when you need it most, you lose the momentum, and stopping can lead to the wheels digging te.
  4. The clutch is worn unnecessarily.

For thesis reasons there is one rule: letting the clutch slip is only adequate when you stand and start to budge. Spil soon spil the car rolls with sufficient speed, the clutch should be fully released. After shifting gears the clutch is instantly, fairly quickly, and fully released. The only two exceptions are that you either have to drive too leisurely for the very first gear for a brief distance, for example te a traffic jam or for parking, and don’t want to engage the slow off-road gears, or that you’re rolling leisurely downhill and don’t need the engine.

Actually the same rules apply to driving your slee back huis, but some drivers have developed bad habits, because te the slee it does not matter much.

The other point is that the intact of the clutch foot has to be rigidly on the floor when you begin driving. On a sleek, paved road this hardly matters, but when you want to stir the off-road car out of a more difficult situation, the clutch is often uncontrollable or not controllable finely enough when the clutch foot hovers above the floor.

A typical situation is that the off-road voertuig has stopped with the wheel locked inbetween two stones. To set it moving again, you have to use a lotsbestemming of accelerator and a loterijlot of power while the clutch is slipping, until the voertuig all of a sudden embarks to rise above the blocking stone and shoots forward. If your clutch foot intact were not tightly on the floor, your clutch foot would be pulled back along with your entire assets by the unexpected acceleration, releasing the clutch fully and leading to an uncontrollable leap forward of the entire voertuig. You don’t want that, so always reminisce to have the intact of the clutch foot on the ground. The same holds for the accelerator foot, spil already mentioned earlier.

Engine RPM

The general rule is that you want to keep engine RPM (Rotations Vanaf Minute, the engine speed) at the most cost-efficient value while you drive the desired speed. The problem is to determine what the most cost-efficient value is te the varying circumstances. Let us look at the different problems and their solutions.

If your engine RPM is too high, i.e. you’re driving ter a too low gear, you entail a few disadvantages. The fuel consumption is higher, wear and rip on engine and gearbox is somewhat higher, and the car is noisy. There is also an advantage tho’. You can abruptly produce a lotsbestemming more force to the wheels, because you don’t need any toegevoegd time to shift gears very first. So ter a situation where you may abruptly need a loterijlot of force, it is onberispelijk to stay te a lower gear and have the engine revved up. An example is driving through sand or mud or overheen rocks, where an unexpected obstacle could bring you to a unexpected halt if you don’t have enough force available.

If your engine RPM is too low, i.e. you’re driving ter a too high gear, you have some more severe disadvantages. Fuel consumption is usually lower at lower RPM, but if the RPM is very low, it can actually be higher. But a more significant reason is that you can cause so much wear and rip on the engine and particularly on the gearbox and all other driveshafts and axles that too low RPM is not advisable under any circumstances.

When is the engine RPM too low? Depending on their size and the number of cylinders, most modern engines can suffer utter power (accelerator shoved to the zekering) from about 1,500 upward for a big engine with six or more cylinders or from about Two,500 rpm up for a very petite (1 liter) four cylinder engine.

You can test this for your off-roader by driving it on a sleek, paved road, decelerating to a low speed, like 40 km/h ter the highest gear, then pushing the accelerator to the floor and listening to the sound, particularly of the gearbox and axles. Any uncommon stimulation and particularly any rattling or otherwise uncommon sound indicates that the RPM is too low.

On the other forearm, when you need very little power, i.e. you’re not driving uphill, you’re driving overheen slick ground, and you’re not driving very quick, most engines, particularly thicker ones, can produce enough power even at idling speed. Smaller engines may need a little more rpm, somewhere inbetween 1,000 and 1,500, to supply power sleekly and without any undue stimulations or rattling. For example, te many (but not all) off-road vehicles, even te puny ones, you can drive spil slow spil 20 km/h ter third gear and love very slick, quiet going, for example on spel drives.

Of course the smaller off-roaders with smaller, weaker engines develop only very little power at low RPM, so your scope of driving with low RPM is smaller than with a big engine.

A practical example is this. Some smaller off-road vehicles, for example the Suzuki ones, particularly the Sierra and to a lesser extent the Gypsy, if it is no longer fresh, create a rattling noise te their transmissions when you use low engine speeds with high torque (accelerator shoved far down). This vanishes when you reduce the power (release the accelerator partly). Unnecessary to say, the speeds and power settings at which this rattling occurs have to be avoided reliably. So you have to test the off-road car on a slick road and, not having an RPM indicator, recall the speeds at which this happens.

The following table shows an example for the lowest tachometer speeds ter km/h that you should not undercut for a petite off-roader like the Suzuki Maruti Gypsy. Take thesis only spil a very raw guidance, because every type of voertuig is different ter this respect. The speeds are indicated tachometer speeds, not true speeds. The true speeds are usually lower, depending on tire middellijn.


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