Clothes for safari

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Jul 31st, 2004, 01:30 PM
  #1
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Clothes for safari

Leaving for Africa and So. Africa in 10 days. Do I really need t-shirts in tan, khaki, olive green? Trying to pack as economicaly as possible. Safari pants? with removable legs? Any thoughts on this would be great - we'll be on 3 sararis, Capetown, Joburg, London. Thanks. Karen
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Aug 1st, 2004, 06:49 AM
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My father owns ranches in both Zim and Tanzania, and his safari guests are always pleased that laundry service is provided each night. This makes it easy to pack very light. I'm not sure if this i9s what you mean or not? If you are concerned about the colors, I would think that the colors you mention are the most appropriate - no cami though- both for weather conditions and to blend with your surroundings for better wildlife viewing - of course I am a Professional Hunter's daughter soooo.

Have fun!
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Aug 1st, 2004, 07:49 AM
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Lilylace,
You hit a raw nerve with me with your last sentence. I know your father's actions do not necessarily reflect those of your own but am curious to know if your father still hunts and am also curious if his game ranches are for hunting safaris?

Hopefully, your father has put his rifles down and hunting days behind him and only supports photographic safaris now!

No disrespect to you and we may agree to disagree but I am totally against hunting for sport and think it's barbaric and inhumane among other things. I only hope you can understand my point of view on the subject.
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Aug 1st, 2004, 08:30 AM
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I'll try to gracefully keep this thread from being highjacked -- it's about safari clothing, not hunting, and it's KARENR's question.

Karen, you probably don't need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe in greens and tans if you don't have it. It is what the staff at the three Botswana camps we visited wore and what we outfitted ourselves with as first-timers. We did find the convertible pants/shorts to be really useful. We had two pair each. I'm also kind of used to looking put together, so I went with the earth-toned stuff for the bush. But I had my fav raspberry, turquoise and coral t-shirts and blouses to wear while in Capetown and the winelands, along with some nicer charcoal grey trousers and a black print silk skirt. You don't need to worry much about hiking boots, good cross-trainers, another pair of sturdy shoes and maybe a pair of sandals or low heeled dressy shoes for in-town will do. Don't forget a good hat! We loved the safari hats that roll up or pack flat.
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Aug 1st, 2004, 08:47 AM
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I wouldn't go out and purchase an entire new wardrobe but would keep the following in mind as you select what to pack:

Bright colours (especially in Tshirt/ trouser size blocks) are not natural in the bush and therefore can spook skittish animals. That includes bright white too. So avoid bright colours when at safari camps. But that doesn't mean you need to opt for all green/ khaki/ brown and beige. Any very muted colours should be OK including greys, blues etc. Avoid pale blue as it seems to attract Tsetse flies and their bites aren't nice!

Most camps do laundry, either included in the price or for a small additional fee. This means you really don't need more than two pairs of trousers and two or three Tshirts plus a few warmer layers. You just shove the day's clothes into the laundry when you change for dinner.

As for dinner, the places we stayed at did not require smart clothes for dinner and everyone simply changed into the clean clothes they were wearing for the next day's safari. If you're going to somewhere like Singita it may be different but you can always smarten up a plain outfit with a few very light chiffon scarves rather than packing separate dressier clothing items.

Since your trip includes time in cities and non-safari locations you'll be fine with your normal wardrobe for these segments.

Pack as LIGHT AS YOU CAN. Shopping in CT (and probably Jo'burg too) is excellent!
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Aug 1st, 2004, 09:28 AM
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pack light and don't forget a warm jacket or fleece. I went in the end of June through July and it was cool. Have a great time.
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Aug 1st, 2004, 11:37 AM
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Thank you Busted. I will gracefully decline a response to an obviously hostile post. You are correct that this is Karen's post and I was only trying to be helpful. I really don't know if Karen's safari is a hunt or not. My remarks were simply to point out that bright colors will scare certain animals, which is common knowledge amongst hunters. I would happily converse in another post concerning the pros & cons of hunting safaris.
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Aug 1st, 2004, 12:54 PM
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LilyLace,
I will gracefully accept a chance to say that my post was not intended to be hostile. As I said in the post, we may agree to disagree and I have no disrespect toward you.

Maybe you should reread my post. If you choose to read more into it, then so be it. Maybe I, in turn, hit a nerve with you.

And maybe I should have overlooked your statement about your father's hobby/career but in my opinion you could have made your point about appropriate clothing w/out the last statement.

I will not back down from my stance or viewpoint on hunting but I also do not like being accused of replying in a hostile manner.

If I wanted to be hostile, I could have and would have worded my post much more differently.

I know I'm not the only one on this forum w/ strong convictions against hunting. Maybe I'm one of the few who will speak up.

I will, however, apologize to Karenr for getting off the subject.

Now both of us have had our say so let's just move on. Agreed?
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Aug 1st, 2004, 01:48 PM
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sandi
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For safari in South Africa, more than the color of your clothing (pants and shirts) is that your game drives are done in open vehicles, so you better be prepared for cold and windy, regardless the season. Do pack a scarf, gloves, socks and at least a heavy fleece, sweatshirt or windbreaker and have a thermal-t.

We've seen few people decked out in "typical safari" clothing - and the few who were, everyone else thought they were staff at Singita. Most other guests wore whatever they wanted - jeans (every color), khakis (every shade), shirts or t-shirts in every color one could imagine, and the same with shoes. So apparently whatever is "recommended" went right out the window at Singita, as well as, at Honeyguide, a very rustic camp at one-third the price, where we spent the earlier two days. Nobody "dressed" for dinner at Singita; women might have added a colorful scarf to nice casual slacks and sweater, some of the younger women wore little "slip dresses," one man had on a sports jacket, most others simply wore slacks and a shirt.

Even when my partner went out with our guide for skeet shooting and a game walk, he was in jeans with a white-t shirt and a lt.blue denim shirt over that. Some others at both camps went out between games drives for walks or wherever and people wore whatever they wanted as long as they were comfortable.

Ideally, you should do your best to stick with neutral colors, so if it's about picking up a few t-shirts, and a pair or two of tan slacks, we're not adding much to a budget - maybe $100.
 
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Aug 2nd, 2004, 12:50 AM
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I avoid jeans not because of the "look" but because they are too heavy and bulky to bother with when I have restricted luggage - someone has suggested wearing them for each flight but I don't want to be restricted about what I have to wear by reasons of luggage weight. Also many of the camps have tumble dryers but many don't and dry the laundry on the line and jeans take a long, long time to dry.

Sandi is spot on with layers - I usually had a Tshirt, full sleeve shirt, fleece and then used the thick and large poncho provided over that.

DO take gloves, scarf and a warm hat. Also take a sun hat for when it's warmer and brighter.
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Aug 2nd, 2004, 08:36 AM
  #11
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As a follow up to Sandi's email, we are staying at Singita in January and I was wondering what would be "appropriate" for dinner there for both women and men. We don't want to be under or overdressed. Thanks!
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Aug 2nd, 2004, 11:06 AM
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We're leaving in 8 days. 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
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Aug 2nd, 2004, 12:39 PM
  #13
sandi
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J9-

As I mentioned nobody "dressed" - at most we saw one guy wearing a sports jacket, a few of the younger gals were wearing slip dresses and pretty sandels or thongs. Mosr of the other guys wore slacks and a sport shirt - some were in while and blue (nautical); others in beige or tan slacks and shirt. Most women were in "nice casual" - slacks and a sweater with colorful large scarl/shawl (self), some others wore long skirts with appropriate top (very casual); some dressed up their safari cloths for dinner.

January would be warm/hot in evenings and maybe humid (we were there begin-Dec and it was warm and humid) so you have to be comfortable. One evening we ate on the outside dining terrace and everyone seemed ro be in comfortable clothing. Likewise, the next evening we ate in the inside dining area, where there is a/c, so a jacket or sweater or shawl over the shoulders might be needed.

In other words "nobody was dressed to the 9s" Nice casual will be fine.
 
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Aug 2nd, 2004, 01:01 PM
  #14
J9
 
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Thanks Sandi. I assume "no shorts" would be the only rule for dinner then?
Just out of curiousity, what was the median age? We are in our thirties and we were wondering whether we would be on the young side for Singita? How much interaction do the guests have at meals, on drives, etc.? We are going on our honeymoon, and want to combine some alone time with some group activities, and we were wondering if this is possible there? Thanks for your prompt replies!
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Aug 2nd, 2004, 01:58 PM
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After reading what people wore to dinner at these expensive lodges, I am so glad I stayed at Honeyguide. Not only were accomdations great, game was great, bush experience great, but I didn't have to dress up. My husband, who spent too much time in the bush in the SA army would probably have died laughing.
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Aug 2nd, 2004, 06:13 PM
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J9, I was at Singita Boulders last year. There are no rules although I don't recall shorts at dinner mostly because it wasn't that hot in their winter (June). Also you're sitting in an intimate dining room with tablecloths and silverware. But they do a good job of making you feel comfortable to do what *you* want. We saw people dress a bit and wear a pants outfit and a shawl, another night that same person might stay in their safari clothes.

The ages varied but there are typically some honeymooners there in their late 20s or early 30s, some in their 40s and some 50 and above. I don't know if the camp organized it this way but we were put together with 2 other American couples in our age group (mid-30s to 40s).

> How much interaction do the guests have at meals, on drives, etc.?

That can vary. You should let your travel agent know that you guys would prefer some alone time so she can tell that to the camps. Otherwise you have to pay to have a car to yourselves. Generally you take your drives with others (never more than 6 to a car) and also have your meals together at the same table. Because people who are attracted to Africa tend to be interesting, adventurous folks, we completely enjoyed spending time with them. But you could probably arrange ahead of time to have you dinners alone. They can serve you dinner in your gorgeous suite (house is more like it) or somewhere else.

But it's important to alert them ahead of time what your wishes are rather than wait until you get there. They have a delicate juggling act keeping everyone happy and the more advance warning they have, the better.

Karenr - btw - you can get t-shirts in tans and greens at Target and other discount stores for under $10.
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Aug 3rd, 2004, 03:38 AM
  #17
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Like Clematis mentioned, there were mixed age guests - we stayed at Ebony. With a mix of Europeans, Americans and some South Africans. Upon arrival we met a honeymoon couple from Atlanta and they had arranged for a private vehicle for their game drives, also a private table for meals. But there were a few other couples who requested or just by the nature of number of people sat at a private table for dinner. We did on our second night. Previously we had been seated with another American couple in our age group. When out on game drives this couple and a European German couple joined us. It was a nice interesting and fun group.

I do know that the honeymoon couple arranged for a trip to the local school after one of the morning drives and breakfast which they enjoyed tremedously. Other times, they seemed to enjoy their "house" and plung pool. We were there in summer with the heat and humidity on, so the pool was most inviting.

There had been a post a few months back as to which Lodges had "heated" their pools - Singita might have been one of them. Suggest you do a search on this board to find the tread. This way you'll know whether the pool will be warm enough for this time of year.

And while arranging a special dinner on your deck can be very romantic, the weather might be a bit chilly at night in August. But it can be done - if not on the deck, maybe in your house.

If staying at Singita for more than 2-days, try to hold the 3rd day for the two of you, where you can just have "private" time to enjoy one another, maybe ask for a spa treatment, or just...... whatever!

There is still time for your tour operator to email the camp any special requests, so have them do so. In this way the staff won't have to scurry around last minute getting things arranged for you.

Enjoy your trip and do report back here on your return.
 
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