Attire for Africa ?

Oct 14th, 2006, 11:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 35
Attire for Africa ?

Hi everybody !

I am leaving for Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) in two weeks and am getting conflicting reports of "lots of mosquitos" and "never seen a mosquito in Africa in 20 years" and am left not knowing quite what to expect and plan for from an attire standpoint.

What temperatures can I expect during the day ? And night ?
Should I always wear long sleeves/pants to prevent mosquito bites or is that only necessary at night ?

And shoes - I've been told that one should always wear closed shoes and socks (day or night) to fend off insect bites of all kinds - any ideas for lightweight closed shoes for the daytime ?

I would certainly appreciate yor thoughts !

Thanks ever so,

adoreroma is offline  
Oct 14th, 2006, 12:59 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
the malaria carrying mosquitos come out at dusk and go away at dawn, so they say to cover up then. both times i was in Zambia, it was too hot to wear long pants, so shorts and t's was what i wore. put on plenty of mosquito repellant and take your meds. i only saw 1 mosquito both times and that was in my mosquito net covering the bed, not to say the skeeters weren't there, i just never saw another one. tse-tses are another story and their bite hurts, but again, too hot to wear pants and there is no repellant for them except to swat them. as far as shoes- closed shoes are essential for walking safaris and i think even on game drives/canoeing as you never know what will happen and you may have to walk somewhere. flip-flops are fine in camp. watch out for the creepy-crawly ground insects-scorpions, centepedes especially when putting on your shoes in the morning. keep them upside down and shake them out before inserting foot.
matnikstym is offline  
Oct 14th, 2006, 01:09 PM
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Guess you have to be prepared for anything. Late October the daytime temps should be warming, though still cool nights and mornings.

The long pants/shirts and socks are appropriate for malaria carrying mossie biting time which is from dusk to dawn; repellent on exposed skin (except face and ack of neck... do wash off before retiring). When it comes to daylight hours, you're going to have to go with the flow. Many choose to wear shorts during this time, others stay with long all the time.

Since the rains may be on their way, you're likely to have mossies, but even that isn't certain. If prone to attracting flying things, then coverup all the time and use repellent even during the daytime.

If you're not walking, teva-type sandals are fine, otherwise, stick with closed shoes. There are no set rules just know what you may come upon in the environment you'll be.

I'm one who hasn't come upon mossies in 12/years, but others have on only one trip. And don't forget the tse-tses for which there really isn't much you can do but try to avoid... their sting is brutal.

Use your good judgement and don't fret about it.
Oct 14th, 2006, 03:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,969
Other than at Lake Baringo, I've seldomly encountered biting insects in Kenya. Nor have I in Tanzania but my time in Tanzania was very limited and I understand that parts of the Serengeti have lots of tsetse flies. I wear sandals during the day. Only wear closed toed shoes on walking safaris.
Patty is offline  
Oct 14th, 2006, 05:19 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 592

Like Patty, I too wear sandals in Kenya but I don't go walking in the bush either. Wore my Birki's the whole time. I never wear socks.

Like Sandi, I have only seen mosquitoss once in ten trips and that was in August. However, Mombasa has already been getting heavy rain and experiencing flooding as have some other areas in the country so I would be sure to take your antimalarials with you. I've never been bitten but I always go during the dry season.

You may need long sleeves or a fleece jacket early morning, but usually by 9:30 or 10 a.m. it has warmed up beautifully. Then for the rest of the day shorts and a sleeveless blouse are fine. I would wear long pants for dinner and later evening.

I don't know specifically where you are going, but keep in mind please that if they have had recent rain the animal sightings may not be as good. They tend to disperse from the parks/
reserves after the rains.

I hope you have a marvelous trip. Please post a trip report on your return so we can all enjoy what you saw.
JanGoss is offline  
Oct 16th, 2006, 05:54 AM
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In most camps/lodges they have a mosquito repellent spray called "peaceful sleep"....they may have some in the game drive vehicle also. Keep it in handy for the evenings and spray it on the clothes only. I dont know if it's safe on exposed skin, but, i dont use it that way......

Oct 16th, 2006, 05:55 AM
Posts: n/a
If you are near swampy/marshy areas around the time of will definitely encounter may be around these areas, if you have some good sightings thereabouts....

Oct 16th, 2006, 02:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 35
Thanks so much for all your good advice !

I am inexplicably irresistable to "mossies" (at least my hometown Hawaiian mossies think I am) so, I guess I will probably try to stay covered and sprayed as much of the time as possible ...

Our tour company told us that many bags are stolen en route so try not to check any baggage - and the airlines allow only 25lbs for carryons - so, I found myself worrying that taking two pairs of shoes for daytime would be wasteful of the limited space/weight I had available ...

I will take all your great advice and thank you again for helping me out !!!

Oh, I just thought of one more question - is buying a $350 pair of binoculars worthwhile ? Or, do the hotels rent them ?

Mahalo !

adoreroma is offline  
Oct 16th, 2006, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,969
I haven't found that lodges and camps rent binoculars but have heard of some tour operators providing them in their vehicle. You should check with your operator.

I'm normally irresistable to biting insects too, but it hasn't been much of a problem for me in Kenya.
Patty is offline  
Oct 16th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
adoreoma, where in Hawaii are you? Also if you are flying coach check with the airline to see the weight restriction for carry on, Virgin is 13# or something like that, first class is more generous. If transiting through London, your bag can not be bigger than 22x14x9 and if flying from the u.s. no liquids more than 3 oz. you may have to check your bags afer all.
matnikstym is offline  
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