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botswana and safari - need info on questions you cant find online

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Apr 8th, 2006, 12:26 PM
  #1
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botswana and safari - need info on questions you cant find online

these questions may seem ignorant, but I am sure other folks may also want to know the finer details of safari life. Let me say that I have "roughed it" in many 3rd world countries, but I have not been on safari and these questions are to also help me prepare our friends who are going.

> Since you are on safari for hours at a time - what happens when "nature calls" in the personal sense while on safari?
> I have swatted flies off my food in many countries, how prevalant are the bugs during dinner? Does it vary by season?
> Are the mosquitoes really bad at night in April? Does it primarily vary by location?
> How do you get any exercise while on safari considering you are in the jeep while on safari and then eating and drinking in between sleeping and safari? (not that I am an exercise fanatic, just trying to make sure my pants will fit at the end)

Any other tips or information along these lines are appreciated.

Thanks in advance, feel free to post a link if these type of questions have been answered elsewhere.
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Apr 8th, 2006, 02:00 PM
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> you will have rest stops on the game drives. stretch your legs, have a drink and pee. if nature calls, the guide will find a safe spot and let you out to pee.
>yes it varies by location. March is supposed to be mossie season but we had no problem in South Luangwa
>not much chance of exercise unless you do calisthenics in your room/tent, swimming in the pool or walking safaris. not a good idea to go jogging in the bush! my pants didn't fit by the 5th day, but so what?!
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Apr 8th, 2006, 02:15 PM
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I can answer a few of your questions based on my recent experiences in Tanzania.

The call of nature: It depends on where you are, but generally there are picnic sites with bathrooms (either western style or African style) in the parks and your guide will arrange to stop either for breakfast (for early morning safaris) or for lunch. In certain parts of the Serengeti or other large parks these facilities may not be easily accessible. In the southern Serengeti, for example, our guide would often stop in an open area so that whomever needed to "check the tire pressure," as he called it, could squat behind the truck.

Mosquitoes: Not sure about April, but we didn't have much trouble with mosquitoes in February anywhere in Tanzania. The beds are all equipped with netting and as long as you apply mosquitoe repellent, dining on the beach or sitting around the campfire is not a problem. But, remember, I'm from Canada.

Exercise: In some places, we arranged to go on walks (an hour or so) and some places also had pools. They were small so "doing laps" required a lot of turns, but we got a bit of exercise. Also, you could always bring some rubber tubing to do resistance training while you sit on your deck and watch the sun go down.

One tip I think might help - don't bring too much clothing. Virtually all the better camps do laundry so use your spare kilos for books, writing materials, mosquitoe spray, small packages of antibacterial hand wipes, and two pairs of runners/soft hiking shoes. What clothing you do bring should be quick dry and don't forget a fleece or light jacket.
Enjoy!
Karen


Flies: We were there in Feb/March and there were a few flies but not so many as to make dining difficult. In fact, in some places there were fewer flies than we here in Canada would expect when we dine outside in our backyards.

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Apr 8th, 2006, 02:29 PM
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Hello,

The majority of the camps in Botswana are in truly remote locations, so there are no picnic sites or national park 'rest stops' as there are in East Africa.

There is usually one tea break during each game drive, about 1/2 way through depending on sightings. It's a nice chance to stretch your legs, have a drink, and of course find a convenient 'lava-tree.' Your guide will do a survey of the area to make sure it is safe.

If you need to 'go' during a night drive, the guide will stop in an open area and you can 'go' behind the vehicle.

I prefer to travel in the cooler months of the year (June and July) for a number of reasons, one being that there are very few insects about then. Insects are much more prominent during the wet season.

Exercise can be an issue -- after three weeks on safari last year, I did find that certain pairs of trousers no longe fit comfortably. The situation wasn't helped by the fact that I stayed in several CC Africa camps, which are known for the quality of their food!

Once I was back in England eating English food, the weight quickly melted away.

Cheers,
Julian
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Apr 8th, 2006, 03:49 PM
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thank you all for the feedback.
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Apr 8th, 2006, 07:10 PM
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santharamhari
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Hi! Most of your questions hv been answered.........if u really think you must stick to your workout regimen....consider Zambia as one of your destinations where you can go for a long walk every morning. I doubt if they are really high intensity walks, but, atleast you would be doing something.

I run marathons and train round the year, i just use my safari time as a time to rest and recoup and get back to full strength intensity when i get back home. My pants hv always fit me......but yes, the only problem i hv regarding safaris is eating a lot and drinking lots of good wine.....(But that's part of ur holiday, right?) I think safaris tend to relax you completely and get rid of your inhibitions etc etc.,

Hari
 
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Apr 9th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Hello,

I did try to get in a bit of exercise on my trip, by asking if I could punt myself (or my guide) around in a mokoro at Little Vumbura. I've done quite a bit of punting at Oxford and Cambridge in England, and figured that it couldn't be that different. For awhile it looked as if I would be providing the afternoon entertainment (the staff in particular were rather looking forward to it) but in the end it was scuppered by concerns about liability.

If you really want to make sure you get your exercise, you can switch your trip to SA -- Singita has a gym. By the point I get to Singita on my trip, I'm going to need it.

Cheers,
Julian
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Apr 9th, 2006, 05:04 PM
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Jjw_uf, if you happen to be a woman or are going with a woman, you may wish to purchase a "freshette" (google it). It makes it easier to "powder your nose" while in the bush.
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Apr 10th, 2006, 09:21 AM
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Julian and Hari, thanks for the feedback, the lack of exercise won't be a significant issue. Now, not having a good game experience would be!

Ericka, thanks for the tip. I will pass this along to my wife.
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Apr 10th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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I do laps in the private plunge pool
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Apr 10th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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I am hoping that my walking safaris in Zambia will at least help stem the weight gain. If my clothes don't fit, well, that would be a problem. Dennis, pray tell, what did you do once your pants didn't fit? ;-)

Has anyone ever used one of those Freshette things?
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Apr 10th, 2006, 11:57 AM
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I just kept the top button/snap open and wore a big t-shirt. On the plane I used my camera/fanny bag as a kind of belt to keep the pants from falling off.
Dennis
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Apr 10th, 2006, 02:24 PM
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Dennis you never fail to put a big on my face!
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