Are taking too much?

Aug 3rd, 2004, 06:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 18
Are taking too much?

We're leaving in 8 days and trying to finalize our clothing.

Also, do you have any recommendations on clothing to purchase while there? Recommended curios/souveneirs?

Any recommended changes to our thinking on what clothes we plan to bring?

Our itinerary is as follows:
3 nights Capetown
1 night Vic Falls
3 nights Canoeing Mana Pools
2 nights Selinda
3 nights Chitabe Trails
2 nights Vumbura

We're planning on bringing the following clothing:

Wear on Plane:
1 fleece
1 pair cotton khaki pants
1 casual dress shirt
1 pair light dayhiking shoes

Pack in bag:
2 pairs of convertible pants
1 pair of shorts
2 longsleeve rollup fishing/safari shirts
2 t-shirts
1 swimsuit
5 pair underwear
5 pairs of socks
1 pair sandals
1 hat

Should we pack gloves and a rain jacket? Anything else?

Thanks in advance
Roger_Miller is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2004, 07:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 814
You are going during the cold season, and it does get cold at night (tents have no heat, and dinner, eaten after dark is in open air pavilions). I would add a windbreaker/rain jacket (more for windbreaking ability than rain, though you might need it for the spray at Vic Falls too), and probably a longsleeve polypro top or two. I found that I used these alot, even when I was wearing my fleece. I didn't take gloves, but could have. I'd recommend old knit ones, so you can slit the fingertips for use with cameras and binoculars. I also really liked a couple pair of polypro wicking bike shorts-- they add warmth when needed, but more important, when it gets hot during the day (and it might) you're nylon pants won't stick to your skin and be all clammy, so you're cooler. (There are times when you don't want to remove the legs, because of bugs and insects.) I found that with the zip-off pants, I didn't use regular shorts. Other small things that add to comfort-- a pair of flip-flop sandals to wear in shower, by pool and in tent (if your reg. sandals get wet, they'll be covered in mud from walking in the dirt, and you'll track this all over your tent) and maybe a small scarf (silk is light and thin but warm, and dresses up things for dinner...for a man could be thin wool or fleece). And my "everybody needs one" recommendation-- a neutral color (NOT RED OR BLUE) bandanna-- keeps dust out, sun off, hair back, etc.

For purchases there, I'd recommend Cape Union Mart (all over SA, but one is conveniently located in the Joburg airport!) for anything you've forgotten-- it's like REI or EMS, and has GREAT stuff at excellent prices. The camp shops may have a few souvenir-type thing, and if you see something you really like, buy it, because you may not see it again anywhere. But most good souvenir shopping will be in either Vic Falls (market behind the post office) or in Capetown (GreenMarket Square or the Sunday-only Greenpoint Market...I've don't the former, and its great. Haven't done the latter, but other posters here have...check their reaction. ) There is one shop in Vic Falls that I thought was superb-- it was in the shopping complex (real store) behind the post office, and had excellent fabrics (modern, African themed home dec stuff) and especially pottery and ceramics. Lots of different artists, with a range from typical-good to superb. Worth a look in case you can find a truly superb piece...if you do, you won't find this quality in Capetown. Most people in Vic Falls go for the carved sculptures, which again range from cheap carvings you bargain for on the street, to really beautiful works of art in the shops. Your choice...but you can and should bargain with both.

Your itinerary looks alot like my first trip (didn't do Selinda or Mana Pools however). But I had absolutely SUPERB experiences and guides at Chitabe Trails and Vumbura. If I were going back to Botswana, these two would be definitely on my itinerary. (Say hi to Relax at CT-- he was a super guide when I was there.) So be prepared to have a great time. I LOVE the way you are ending at Vum...hope that it was as good as my visit, because if so, it is the PERFECT way to end a trip to Southern Africa!!!
tashak is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2004, 12:31 PM
Posts: n/a
It's cold driving around in those open vehicles regardless the season - so especially so in their winter. When the vehicle is moving and the wind picks up, you need warm clothing. Pack a thermal-t, gloves, scarf. And you'll probably need more than a fleece; pack a sweater (crewnecks work) and the windbreaker as mentioned by tashak above.

Wear in layers whatever doesn't fit into your duffle for your international flight - so what if you look like a little kid getting ready to go out into the snow and can't move 'cause mother layered up! LOL!

We traveled in their summer and it was cold. Take my word, you'll thank me.
Aug 4th, 2004, 09:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 18
Tashak & Sandi,

Thanks for the feedback. We're going to make a few changes to our packing list.

We've been excited about the trip since we started planning a few months ago. Last night I started thinking of my tript to Kenya back in 1990 and my anticipation level rose a few notches.

Thanks again,
Roger_Miller is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
Normally we don't shop much on vacations, but this wasn't our normal vacation I brought back some nice woven scarves (mohair and silk) a couple of ostrich feather-dusters trimmed in mulicolored beads, a couple of gorgeous patterned woven jug/baskets, and some beaded stuff for girl-friends, kids, etc. My husband bought a baseball cap at one of the safari lodge shops, and loves to wear it all over town now that we're back. Makes him feel good. For our 23-year old son we got a springbok skin (they come with paperwork, etc so you aren't breaking any laws in purchasing or taking them home).
uhoh_busted is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 06:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 814
Oh yeah...and an extra duffle bag to fill with any purchases...
tashak is offline  
Aug 6th, 2004, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 120
I tried to find your travel agency in Florida on google with no they have a site? Who are you going with on your canoe safari, River Horse?
Your trip looks Great, I can't wait to read your report.
This is a fab thread.
mzcuriouz is offline  
Aug 7th, 2004, 07:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 18
Here's the web site

I also spoke with Fish Eagle in Texas-

They both primarily use Wilderness Safaris which does transact directly with end-consumers.

Roger_Miller is offline  
Aug 7th, 2004, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 814
Forgot one thing, but you'll only need it if you plan on doing mekoro at Vumbura: an insect proof headnet! This is not for mosquitos (which are not out during the day) but for the tiny gnat-like flying insects that fly in your eyes/nose/mouth when you are fight over the water. They don't bite, but a headnet makes the mekoro much more comfortable and you can enjoy everything about the experience. (As opposed to saying "it was fantastic except for the gnats in my eyes...") When I was on the Zambezi, it was not an issue, but might be good to have for "insurance" there too. Headnets are available at camping or fishing supply stores, and weigh about 1 oz!

Have a super time!!
tashak is offline  
Aug 7th, 2004, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 814
I forgot to mention a mosquito headnet, useful to keep small gnatlike insects out of eyes/nose/mouth when you are on the water, especially (mostly) in mekoro at Vumbura. Only weighs about a 1/2 oz, and well worth carrying for the extra comfort and enjoyment of the mekoro experience.
tashak is offline  
Aug 8th, 2004, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 207
We were there in late May. It was already cold at night. We uses silk underware on the morning drives. Also used a scarf each morning. We did not need "regular" shorts (zipper pants were enough). Gloves are a must! No one was swimming when we were there - your call.

You may want to take more undies - so you are not washing so much, it doesn't take up much space and it is nice to not have to do laundry.

It is quite normal to wear an outfit twice before washing. That helps reduce the clothes required.
Have a great time!
JackieSun is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 108
I love to shop and I had high hopes of bringing home goodies for my family, friends and myself. Then I learned about the weight restriction on the charter flights. If I buy large items, they will need to be shipped home, but what does one do about the little trinkets that it really doesn't pay to ship? ( I can't wear all my clothing and I really need some makeup. I am going to Capetown before I go to the camps in Botswana.
mollybee is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 814
If you are flying through Maun, you can typically store a bag (or whatever) with stuff you don't need with your tour operator (eg, Wilderness Safaris if you are at their camps...etc.) Then you can pick it up on the way back.

Also, I was told by a camp manager that they only weigh you flying IN and not OUT!! I'm not sure if she was serious, because I had this discussion in the context of "I shouldn't by this carved animal because it will put me over the weight limit". But I did buy it, and they did not question the extra weight. Perhaps they set the limit low so it allows for a bit of shopping while you are at the camps!

The other option: if you are flying out of Johannesburg, there are plenty of good shops for gifts and souvenirs there. Yes, more expensive than other places, but still reasonable and convenient.
tashak is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 11:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
Yup, loved my mosquito headnet!

Basically, after the first trip (2001) I decided to make a head "bag" of mosquito netting precisely to stop myself inhaling so many darn gnats/ midges/ mossies/ whatever the heck they are that I wouldn't be hungry for the next meal.

I went into an outdoor clothes and equipment place and asked if they sold mosquito netting material by the meter.

"Why, madame?"

"I want to buy a meter or so and make two head bags to stop the insects when we go on a mokoro boat ride in Botswana"

"Erm... wouldn't it be easier to just by some of these?" he said, pointing at the little mosquito head nets just behind us which were only £4.99 each and sewn with a little drawstring fastener and sold inside their own little waterproof bag.

Kavey is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 05:27 AM
Posts: n/a
If you're in the US, the headnets are available thru R.E.I. (though some other outfitters might carry these). The actually netting is called "no-see-um" and besides headnets, they have pants and shirts, which I doubt you'll need.

When I purchased ours, the cost was either $8 or $10 each - which is kept permanently in the pocket of my photo vest. Check the R.E.I. website for prices.

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