Clothing for Safari

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Apr 17th, 2006, 12:53 PM
  #1
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Clothing for Safari

I've learned quite a bit reading postings by other Fodorites (thank you!) but one question remains.

We will be doing a two-week safari in Botswana in mid-July. I planned to take my old purple and black gortex jacket to keep me warm and ward off the wind. I've used it skiing and it's brilliant in the cold but lightweight and easy to pack. Is bringing gortex a mistake? Will my fellow travelers scorn me for wearing purple on safari? It also makes a bit of noise when I move. I hate to buy a new coat for this trip, especially given that it will likely become quickly warm and grungy.

Any suggestions? Can I get away with my old tried and try jacket? Must I invest in a "safari jacket"?

Many thanks for your input!

Best regards,
Lisa
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Apr 17th, 2006, 01:45 PM
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One problem you might encounter with this jacket is that Tsetse flies are attracted to dark colors. The fly traps use flags that are black and dark blue.
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Apr 17th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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I have seen very littleproblems with Tsetse flies in Botswana in July so you could risk it no problem. A friend always a blue jacket on safari in Bots with no problems.
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Apr 17th, 2006, 05:10 PM
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I was in Botswana in September and was attacked by a tetse fly because the woman in front of me wore a bright blue and black jacket.

I recommend getting a very inexpensive jacket in neutral colors. Maybe even a used one on eBay.
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Apr 18th, 2006, 04:59 AM
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Scorn is probably too harsh.

I've been to Botswana in July and August and have had no insect problems. I've worn a dark brown jacket and black fleece with no problem at that time of year.

I would not wear these colors to parts of Zambia where I've encountered more flies.

The noise issue can be a problem for people videotaping with sound.

If you are gameviewing from a vehicle the colors really are not that important. But you are never wrong with neutral beige or khaki.

Ericka's comment of going used is a good one. Even used at a local thrift store might work. Then you could leave behind the clothing when you leave.

The clothing I wear to Africa does not suffer excessive damage and returns to Africa and other destinations again and again. So your concern about a new article getting grungy may be unfounded.

So where in Botswana are you going?
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Apr 18th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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I'm going in May - 3 weeks from Friday!!! I got a canvas barn coat with cotton flannel lining in forest green from LLBean for $49 and it's perfect. Warm enough but not too warm and it's washable and lightweight. They have heavier ones for $149, with removable linings but I think the lighter weight will be fine with one or two layers underneath.
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Apr 18th, 2006, 07:28 AM
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I'm assuming it's not a particularly vivid purple in which case colour combination wouldn't be a problem in terms of potential to alarm wildlife.

Tsetse numbers have been reduced a lot in the Delta but dark blue/ purple colours are probably not best if you want to avoid any bites from the remaining population.

But what worries me most is sound - I must admit I'd probably find it quite annoying sitting in a vehicle with the engine switched off, trying to enjoy the moment and having the sounds of the bush interrupted by the constant rustling of a fellow guest's clothing. Especially if you're a fidgeter or need to move around a lot to take photos... uugh!



I picked up a pair of lightweight water resistant windbreakers for £10 each at an outdoor activities clothing and equipment store before our trip - both fit into small bags they came with and have since been used on a number of trips.

Unfortunately, husband and I looked like twins when wearing them as the only colour left in our sizes was a dark khaki green but hey ho!
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Apr 18th, 2006, 08:47 AM
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Never thought about the sound issue.
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Apr 18th, 2006, 09:06 AM
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Also, don't forget a hat!

Here are some more tips on safari clothing in case you need:

http://www.african-safari-journals.c...-clothing.html
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Apr 18th, 2006, 09:53 AM
  #10
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Thank you for the suggestions. I will comb my area's thift stores and the web for a neutral, soundless alternative. Aren't the Lands End variety (barn jackets) cumbersome for a safari?

Atravelynn, we are going to on our first safari starting with a stop in Victoria Falls before going on to Chobe, Savute and Camp Moremi. We will end the trip with five days in the Cape Town/Winelands area of South Africa. (That crinkly, bright gortex jacket will come in handy there!) I can hardly wait to go as you may have noticed. Who starts packing for a holiday four months in advance?!
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Apr 18th, 2006, 03:56 PM
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I think barn jackets would be cumbersome. As far as people wearing an actual beige safari jacket, I saw fewer of those than just regular clothes. My recollections are clearest of my last trip which was Botswana in August.

One more comment on staying warm. Wilderness camps have ponchos on board for warmth. They are easily accessible and the guides often ask if guests would like one. So you have that layer too.

Looks like a nice trip!
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Apr 18th, 2006, 05:09 PM
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At Mombo they also put hot water bottles on the seats in the morning in water. Very decadent!
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Apr 19th, 2006, 08:09 AM
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I found tha layers worked best in Botswana in late June. I was surprised at how warm it got in the middle of the day. One day I was down to shorts and a sleeveless top. I used chamois shirts with fleece jackets over them I had one jacket that was water repellent that I found at Burlington Coat Factory for a reasonable price and have worn it again and again, so it was a good purchase. I did end up buying a fair amount of clothing for our safari, but someone had posted here that with what I was spending on the trip, spending a little bit more for appropriate clothing and being comfortable was a small price to pay. How right they were. And the clothes I bought for Africa have become my travel clothes for all over the world because they are so versatile and pack so well. In fact, I need to find a new pair of zip-off pants because mine are wearing out from use !
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Apr 19th, 2006, 08:54 AM
  #14
 
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Ex Officio quit making my favorite safari jacket. However, TravelSmith is now carrying a similar item. The pockets
are handy for us photographers and also while flying.
http://www.travelsmith.com/ts/cookie...ubcategory.jsp
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Apr 19th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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It looks like the link won't work, due to its length. You can either cut and paste it, or just go to www.travelsmith.com and search for "poplin safari jacket".
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