Bathrooms on Safari

Old Dec 12th, 2006, 10:33 AM
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Bathrooms on Safari

Okay, I've asked the tour operator and on the board and no one seems to answer me. Seriously, with all of these game drives, people have got to go to the bathroom on the road. What do you do? Or do you just never drink fluids for hours at a time? Also, for a seven night safari at 4 star lodges, is $4000 land about right for June in Tanzania? I'm having trouble getting through to Africa Adventure, Africa Serendipity and Eastern and Southern...any suggestions or someone you used who was great? 7 nights Tanzania in June for a flying/drive safari. Help! Thanks!
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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If nature calls, the guide can stop, scan the area and you can go behind the vehicle. during the afternoon drives you can go at the sundowner spot.
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 11:08 AM
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My wife tried drinking little fluids the first day and then got sick. So after that she drank all she wanted.

There are designated rest stop areas with outhouses. Just have your guide look around a bit first.

Your guide can also find spots as you are driving. Have your guide look around A WHOLE LOT before going.

In fact though modesty will make you want to find the nearest bush, the best place to go is right out in the open, on the road.

Just get everyone in your jeep to look the other way
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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The only place I've ever come across designated areas with toilets/ outhouses provided is in camp/hostel sites and rest areas in and even then they are few and far between.

On all the safaris I've been on if you need to go, you let the guide know (long enough in advance that he has time to find the right spot) and he'll find somewhere with some bushes or a large termite mound or the like that you can hide behind and you simply go on the dirt. He'll usually get out and check it out for you first. If there are no such areas available then he'll stop the vehicle and you do your business behind it.
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 11:37 AM
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I use Andre at Africa Adventure, I think he is in Africa right now- but his assistants can help you! Just ask for him, or one of his assistants, and tell them Suzi Carnahan referred you- see if that helps!!
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 11:53 AM
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I don't know about Tanzania, but in South Africa, you use the great outdoors. There are no outhouses.
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 11:58 AM
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Ah, thank goodness you can go on the road! I couldn't imagine that you'd be stuck! Thanks for all the responses. I'll try Africa Adventure again. Also, did anyone get motion sick on the game drives? Another worry of mine...
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 12:14 PM
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I never get motion sickness on the drives but I do quite often find my back is jarred quite strongly and can get quite painful - I have a "bad" back anyway...

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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 12:38 PM
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Sometimes there is a restroom available, but other times, you just "check the tire" and go behind a bush or the vehicle. That's what people mean when they say "on the road"... literally, ON THE ROAD. This would be while on game drives, however, and not on the main highways. Also, your guide will ensure there are no wildlife or other vehicles around.

$4000 seems high for 7 nights. We're doing 11 nights in Tanzania in June for $3695. The difference would probably be the lodging and that we're a group... economies of scale.
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 02:05 PM
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By all means, drink lots of fluids and learn to (assuming you are female) squat behind the vehicle.

Is the $4000 for one person or two?

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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 04:05 PM
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For other agents,

Good Earth
(ATR) Africa Travel Resource
Gamewatchers

You can also try calling rather than just emailing. Af Serendipity and Af Adv are in US, might be harder to call Eastern and Southern.
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Old Dec 13th, 2006, 06:09 AM
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lenlu,

We have had great respone from Africa Serendipity through emails. Very prompt. Great prices.

Africa Adventure was much less reponsive, never returning emails, and although they always picked up the phone, and I would chat with Andre, or Kyle, they kept re-sending me the same "canned" itinerary, never the private safari I had asked for. When I finally got the right itinerary, it was off the scale for cost compared to everyone else.

If $4000 is per person for a private, luxury safari, that is about where we have found the prices to be - standing about $560 to $590 pppn. Africa Adventure, Thomson's, Africa Dream Safari, Journey's by Design, R. Crusoe all were over $650 to $800 pppn.

Hope that helps. You are welcome to email me if you need more details - [email protected]
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Old Dec 13th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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About contacting Eastern and Southern safaris, we went through them for Tanzania and it turned out that they sub-contract the safari to Leopard Tours in Tanzania. Easter and Southern do not do safaris in Tanzania, just Kenya.
So save yourself some middle man money and deal directly with Leopard Tours.
We had a great experience with them, although I guess Eastern and Southern got a cut out of that...
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Old Dec 13th, 2006, 11:41 AM
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HI
I contacted the following agents
and only the last 4 replied perhaps I have the wrong contacts but did get the emails through the various websites am wondering though if some agents only do luxury lodge safaris
Africa Travel Resource
Roy safaris
Africa Serendipity
Dorobo Safaris
Good Earth Tours
East African Safaris
Sunny Safaris
Hoopoe
and only two of the last four seem to willing to tailor make a trip for you
perhaps each company has their speciality and like to keep to that
ie a luxury lodge safari
as opposed to a camping safari
as opposed to an off the beaten track trip
Is this the same impression others get
if so operators should be clearer
David
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 05:01 PM
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A few others on this board recommended the Freshette to me and I used it during our safari. It's a must for women - makes "going" much more predictable and sanitary.
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 05:18 PM
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Well I know I'll end up checking the tire while on the drives, using freshette...I guess you get pretty cozy with the others in the group! Sorry to hear about the the back, I didn't consider it but can understand. The 4000 is per person without air. It does seem a bit steep, but I'm being told I have to pay this for safety, good vehicles, nice accomos, etc. I got info from Micato (higher priced), Safari Adventure, Africa Adventure Company and did get an email through to Eastern and Southern. If communication didn't take so long I'd probably prefer them but part of me thinks it's more convenient to use a US based tour operator. Big Five also gave me info, but again, lots of money for two. I agree about Africa Adventure Co. I had to call them three times. When I called Serendipity, I got this woman's answering machine, it didn't even say the company name, which I found odd. I'll try emailing. Overall, I see most operators stay at the same places Sopa or Serena lodges. If you're not camping, do others find the same thing? Interesting about the subcontract to Leopard Tours. Is it reputable? See, I get worried when it's not controlled here in the USA. Or is ignorance bliss and they all subcontract? We can only do about 9/10 nights plus the international travel. I'd love to tailor my safari according to location, accomos, etc. but who does that affordably? Are safaris with tented camps and lodges always about 4000 per person for 8 nights?
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 05:53 PM
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As someone said, tell them ASAP that you need a stop and how urgently. In some situtations it may take a while to find a safe area.
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 06:29 PM
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lenlu
hi I am having a similair problem with agents and contacting them
I contacted 8 agents (see the list) only 4 replied and of that four only two Tanzanaian based operators
East African Safaris
and Sunny Safaris so far (except for the lodges Sunny haven't quoted me for Boundary Hill Lodge yet)
have quoted me exactly what I wanted most operators seem to have their own trips that they want "you" to use and also use the same or similiar lodges
I want to visit the sites that I have read about and want to design my own trip and want to camp
I think the camping part puts operators off
BUT the above two have given me a quote
around US$10000 for two pax and 1 a 14 year old child
and this is for a 21 day trip not an 8 day one
starting in dar es salaam and driving to the Serengeti
but not in the one day
lenlu why dont you try "Born free" I am not using them but they are American based and could help
let us know how you get on
David
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 07:46 PM
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About bathrooms -- our group used all the techniques mentioned above. We usually stopped at an actual bathroom facility periodically, and never actually went more than 2-1/2 hrs without a stop. Even so, some people chose to try to drink less, and others occasionally needed an unscheduled stop. As our guide said to us in the beginning, try to give him a bit of warning so he can find us a nice safe bush behind the land rover. Hakuna Matata.

Frankly, the bigger problem was for people with weak knees, because one needs to be able to squat.

As far as motion sickness goes, I worried about it since I'm quite prone to problems, but it was never a problem at all -- probably because the bumps were jarring rather than sickening. It was quite hard on the back rather than the stomach!

But basically, everything worked out ok.
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 05:28 AM
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This was an interesting posting - from "needing to go" all the way to Tour Operators. I found it fun and interesting to hear on the other companies. We chose for Jan-Feb 2006 a completely custom and private safari with Good Earth and have had a very positive booking experience. Given we have not left yet, but found much positive feedback thoughout the web on Good Earth.

We are doing 9 full days TZ safari with 3 days in Zanzibar at at 5,000. Keeping in mind this is with many Lux camping nights and nicer lodges (esp in Zanzibar). Also, includes all internal flights, and only $50 extra pp for private! That is more than worth it. Then you pretty much have the guide at your disposal. I think you could definately do it for more like 3,500 on standard lodges with a few reputable operators including the one I've mentioned. Roy's seems to have even more good press and cheaper overall. They didn't have availablity when we booked. All the best to you.
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