Clothing on Safari in Tanzania

Old Sep 8th, 2009, 09:58 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Clothing on Safari in Tanzania

This forum has been of such great help to us - I wonder if you can give us your opinions on clothing? We have read everything from wearing shorts, t-shirts and sandals to long pants, long sleeved shirts and closed shoes. We will be traveling September 15 - 25 - private safari doing the northern circuit. What has your experience been?

[Have also read not to wear red (annoys the animals? - but the Masai seem to favor bright colors), white (gets too dusty), dark blue or black (attracts tse-tse flies).]

Thanks so much.
Leanne is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2009, 11:03 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
i always wore long pants (neutral colors) and long sleeved t-shirts (neutral colors). Think traditional North Face clothes.

I've read blue clearly attracts tse-tse flies, but never heard that black did. As for wearing red, I heard when I was over there that in the old days Masai wore red so lions would notice them and stay away from them, as the Masai would hunt them and train the lions to fear them. Could be a tall tale, but that's what i heard.
saridder is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2009, 11:09 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Leanne!
We have just returned (August) from the Northern Circuit. We spent the days in shorts, T-shirts and sandals and rarely had to add more clothing in the evening. If you will be game driving in an open vehicle, you will need warmer clothing for the morning - we remained in shorts and T-shirts, but would add a fleece vest and a windbreaker (wind-proof jacket) until about noon when they were no longer needed. Blankets were provided in the vehicles which we used to cover our legs. It was too hot in the afternoon for pants. At night, I slept in a light nightgown (the duvets are warm) except on the the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, when I slept in long underwear.

We wore just about every colour, although blue did seem to attract the tsetse flies, which are miserable. They tend to target ankles, so very thick socks (they bit through our sweatshirts!) would be a good idea for tsetse areas.

We sat beside predators in just about every colour, including red, and they still ignored us. My advice would be not to worry too much about what you are wearing - your clothes will be covered in dust in no time anyway, and when you are sitting in a vehicle all day, comfort becomes more important than appearance. Bring a hat and sunscreen if you are going to be in an open vehicle all day - we saw many burnt tourists! Robin

Here is a link to my trip report and photos.

http://bert-and-bin.smugmug.com/Trav...38901400_BHybf

The list of lowlights will give you more tsetse fly info.
Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Old Sep 9th, 2009, 04:30 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would advise you to wear anything from shorts to pants and t-shirt to shirts as long as it is in "bush colours". When you sit in an open vehicle you should mingle with the vehicle and surroundings in order to not attract animal's attention nor chase them off.

As long as you wear beige, khaki, green(ish) - anything will do - it just shouldn't be BRIGHT.

And of course comfortable clothes are come as well in these safari colours ;-)

As Robin says - the TseTse are extremely annoying. You won't hear them; you notice when it's too late and they have already started sucking. I still have my TseTse marks which I got in Zam in Nov 2008 and they don't seem to fade soon.
Thick socks is a brilliant idea and decent t-shirts. I would even bring rubber bands to close the "entrance" to the arms.
We also wore small scarfs to cover our necks.
Despite all precautions I have marks even on the décolleté - the flies also slipped into my bra - via the button facing/shirt. Sounds funny now - but at the time it was anything else but certainly not fun.....

Enjoy your travels!

SV
spassvogel is offline  
Old Sep 9th, 2009, 05:59 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 68
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lions, as most animals, are colorblind. I always wear a shirt which is mostly red on safari. It´s part of my "safari tradition". Maybe other safari goers may not like that, but the animals don´t bother.
Thomas
Tomsfries is offline  
Old Sep 9th, 2009, 06:47 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thomas
It's scientifically prooven that cats - also the big cats - see clearly RED. Any other colour remains grey-ish ;-)

SV
spassvogel is offline  
Old Sep 9th, 2009, 07:09 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Leanne,

Lots of good advice. Layers work well. I don't expose my ankles, not because of modesty, but because some kind of little bugs seems to bite them if I wear sandals.

Zipoffs are ingenious even though I rarely unzip.

If you see a guy in a red shirt, you can wave and say, "Hi Thomas."
atravelynn is offline  
Old Sep 9th, 2009, 10:45 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 68
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And I was wondering why lions either ran away from me or chased me out of the open vehicle. Lucky me I saw a lion and not got killed.
Tomsfries is offline  
Old Sep 10th, 2009, 01:08 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 33
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
SV - can you quote a source about cats seeing red?
i would really appreciate that

generally speaking most Mammals see B&W (because of dinosaurs dominance - mammals occupied the time niche of night. therefore smell and hearing are keen.)
some mammals e.g. primates have developed colour vision later for obvious reasons (fruits - then already established relationship with birds) it is possible that diurnal cats have developed colour vision - i'd really like to see a reference
AfreakA is offline  
Old Sep 10th, 2009, 06:29 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 437
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As others have said:
Avoid white -- it gets visibly dirty. Why bother?
Avoid dark blue -- it attracts Tse Tse flies
I don't know for sure whether red and black are problems.

One advantage of wearing earth-tones (khaki, tan, olive, rust, beige) is that the dirt doesn't show as much. If you haven't travelled in an open vehicle on dirt roads, it is hard to imagine how dusty it gets. Suffice it to say that I was mistaken when I thought I was getting a tan -- it was actually dirt.

I highly recommend a 'buff' kerchief to cover your hair. This is an unfortunately overpriced stretchy tube that can be worn various ways.
ann_nyc is offline  
Old Sep 10th, 2009, 06:51 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 292
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
i second ann on the buff except i used it almost exclusively around my neck. morning and evenings it kept me warm and at all times was fabulous as a face covering from dust. as soon as i'd see an approaching "cloud" i'd pull my buff up over my face - it was really convenient and effective.
aknards is offline  
Old Sep 10th, 2009, 03:17 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 207
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just got back from Tanzania yesterday. I found it to be warmer than I was expecting. There are cool temperatures at night and in the morning, but it warms up during the afternoon. I did not need long underwear, since there are blankets even in the tented camps. My fleece jacket and a light sweater worked fine for me, and I am a cold natured person. Some people were in shorts, but lots of people just stick to pants, partially because of insects. It shouldn't get much more than low 80's in temperature during the afternoon. Be prepared for dust and dirt - a good reason to wear khaki colors. I took a rain jacket, but didn't need it at all.
Martha
mjnbrown is offline  
Old Sep 10th, 2009, 09:25 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 147
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is all great advice for me too..seems I can skip the long underwear. Thanks for asking the questions Leanne...and have a great trip.

My Husband and I go to Tanzania late October, so I suppose it will be hotter than September...right? Will I still be most comfortable in long pants and socks during the day to avoid tse tse flies? I've heard that the bugs are not too bad in Tanzania on the Northern Circuit that time of year....Is this correct?

Also...is a 4X4 pop up considered an open vehicle? We're on private safari with Warrior Trails and I think it's not a totally open vehicle. So, will I need a "buff" for my neck and hair? And, what exactly is a buff?
SandraJoy is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2009, 03:03 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
AfreakA
Sorry for being late in responding to your question regarding "proof" for cats being able to vision the colour RED.
As we have cats and are generally speaking very much interested in ANY documentation not only on domesticated cats but also on big cats/wildlife we watch a lot of documentaries which deal with cats/animals.

Of course I cannot "proof" where and when we watched which docu which dealt with cat's colour vision.

When I stumble into a kind of "proof" I will open e new thread here in the forum for you to see.

SV
spassvogel is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2009, 10:48 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cat colour vision: evidence for more than one cone process
N. W. Daw and A. L. Pearlman

Abstract
1. The ability of cats to distinguish colours was investigated at mesopic and photopic levels to test the hypothesis that cats discriminate wavelength by using rods in conjunction with a single type of cone.

2. Cats were trained to distinguish red from cyan, and orange from cyan at the mesopic level. They retained the ability to make this discrimination when the coloured stimuli were placed against a background bright enough to saturate the rods.

3. One cat was also tested after being exposed to a bright white light of 9000 cd/m2 for a period of 5 min, and found able to distinguish red from cyan.

4. These results suggest that cats have more than one type of cone. Subsequent recordings from single units in the lateral geniculate nucleus showed that there are rare opponent colour units in layer B with input from a green-absorbing cone and a blue-absorbing cone.
Khakif is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2009, 03:20 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks to everyone for your replies re clothing ... and the very interesting information about cats!
Leanne is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2009, 06:21 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 437
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Leanne, a Buff is a sort of kerchief, but it is a stretchy tube rather than a square or triangle, so you can wear it many different ways (neck scarf, headscarf, hat, bandanna, etc). Here is a link to a site with a bunch of pictures of how to wear it.
http://www.billythetree.com/buff-hea...w-to-wear.aspx
As I said, they are really overpriced, but I used mine almost every single day on 3 trips to Africa.
ann_nyc is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2009, 01:51 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 292
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Once again, to second the buff vote, while pricey I think they're worth every penny. They can usually be found at better sporting good stores - I got mine at REI - and I've continued to use mine in the year since returning from safari. They're extremely durable and have held up beautifully to many washings (I just throw mine in the machine.) Besides, they're so much cooler than a bandanna
aknards is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2009, 02:18 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 292
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
SandraJoy,
Just to add my two cents re:clothing, I did the northern circuit of Tanzania last September. The best way I can describe my experience of the weather and temperatures is to compare it to Southern California. If you're at all familiar with L.A. or San Diego, that's what it was like - cool but not cold in the mornings and nights, mid 80's and dry during the days. (By "dry" I mean humidity. We did have rain, one really memorable storm, mostly late afternoon and evenings.) I wore shorts every day with a tshirt or tank top and hoodie, (and took off the hoodie almost as soon as the sun was fully up), showered late afternoons before dinner, then put on long pants with long sleeve cotton shirt. Some evenings I also needed my hoodie. Nights I slept in lighweight knit capris and tshirt - the beds were heavenly with wonderful, warm blankets. I wore earthtones and took very little. Every camp had laundry service. Otherwise, you rinse the undies and shake out the dust...

By late October, I'd assume you'll be looking at even hotter days and warmer nights. Less for you to pack! Hope this helps!

anita
aknards is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2009, 03:19 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 147
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Anita...this helps a lot...one more question, though..

Were bugs a big problem? Will I need a face cover to protect from flying insects during the game drives? A "buff" sounds like a good idea for when it's colder...but I expect 70-90 F during the days.

And since I live in Southern California, I plan to just shop in the closet...(no humidity here, but I just returned from Kauai so I have practiced what to wear)
SandraJoy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -