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Do you really need these things while on safari?...& other misc packing questions...

Do you really need these things while on safari?...& other misc packing questions...

Aug 6th, 2007, 03:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 429
Do you really need these things while on safari?...& other misc packing questions...

Hi Everyone - I leave for safari in 3 weeks!!

Trying to narrow down the items I need to pack...Along those lines, many packing lists recommend:

- A wide brim hat
- a pocket knife??
- duct or masking tape??

Do you really need these things? Is the hat to keep the sun out of your eyes? Why would you use a pocket knife? How about duct or masking tape?

Finally, do the camps usually provide shampoo and conditioner or should I bring that too? I am going for 3 1/2 weeks, so not sure the travel sized bottles will work for 2 people for that long...

Also, I doubt many camps will support a hairdryer - is it worth bringing one?

Thanks so much!!
lmavolio is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 03:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 183
I can only answer for myself. We didn't take and would probably never use the knife and tape. You don't say where you are staying, but if needed, the camp or guide would probably have it. We were only on Safari for 9 days, but on vacation for 24.

As for the hat, I chose not to take one but wish I had. I have a pretty good tan but got sunburned the first 2 days on my face. All I took was a baseball cap. I didn't buy much for the Safari (took what I had) but wish I would have bought the hat.

As for the hair dryer, we took one and didn't use it until when we were in Germany. The camps where we could use it at provided hair dryers and in the places that didn't have them they asked you not to use them because of the lack of power. Even the hotels in Nairobi and Arusha had hair dryers.

Hope this helps,
Duane is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 04:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 60
Definitely no on the knife, the tape, & the hairdryer. I think you'll be fine with a baseball hat and sunscreen. All of the camps where I've stayed supplied shampoo but not conditioner. Travel size bottles will be fine, especially if you supplement with whatever's available at the camps. Or bring 2 travel sizes of each. HTH!
Lily622 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 11
Bring the hat -

Tape - may be good for tears, rips, repairs, keep bugs out of pants (tape around ankles) but I didn't need tape in the winter months June/July in S.Africa or Madagascar.

Swiss Knife -Pocket knife, I took for safety and just because.......medical, other, wine opener.......

Bring hat but the other two items aren't necessary.

Envchick is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 04:55 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 448
I see you are going to Kenya Tanzania with Roy's via Sandi. She can tell you exactly what you'll need. I agree with the others that you will not need the pocket knife or the tape. I do recommend the wide brim hat as Duane also said, because the back of your neck can get very burnt. But others make do with a cap and a scarf.

Depending on your camps, some will not have conditioner, but some will. You don't always get shampoo so next time I'd have one little travel bottle doubled bagged. I regretted not bringing my own hairdryer because we spent a night at Kia Lodge. They lent me one, but it did not work. So I had wet hair at 6:30 AM and was getting on a plane. Also, one camp lent me a dryer when I asked but other guests did not have one - so not sure if they didn't ask or there was only one. It might help if you put your list of camps here for specific answers.
Clematis1 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 05:04 PM
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Thank you!! I am going to Kenya & Tanzania (including 5 days in Zanzibar)...

I am staying at:

Serena in Nairobi
Larsen's in Samburu
Serian in Masai Mara
Ngurduto Lodge in Arusha
Swala in Tarangire
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Kisima Ngeda at Lake Eyasi
Serena in Lake Manyara
Serena in Serengeti - 1 night
Sayari in Serengeti - 2 nts
Matemwe Bungalows in Zanzibar
Tembo House in Stone Town

I can't wait!!
lmavolio is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 07:59 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 448
It looks like a fabulous trip. I only can speak of Crater Lodge, which is just wonderful. They have everything there for you and more in the beautiful, unique cottages. Don't be surprised that your personal butler is not your exclusive butler (he has other guests too).

Can you email me at [email protected]?
Clematis1 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 10:13 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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I'd say YES to the wide-brimmed hat because that tropical sun can really burn you fast. I always take some duct tape and also mailing tape, each wrapped around the end of an unsharpened pencil and tucked away. I've always needed some of it on each trip I've taken. On my first safari, my roommate's suitcase was ripped open by the airlines and she survived her return flight with it duct-taped together. I also take some bubble wrap, then wrap up any delicate souvenirs in the bubble wrap with the mailing tape. I also take a Micratool, which is like a mini version of a Swiss Army knife. It goes in my checked luggage and I've always found that it comes in handy.
ShayTay is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 10:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 794
I always take duct tape and a knife when I travel, but I was a Boy Scout and old habits die hard. You don't need to take an entire roll of tape. Just wrap a few feet worth around a pencil or a water bottle. Doesn't take up much space or weigh that much.

The knife can be problematic if you're only doing carry on. If that's the case, then I wouldn't worry about it. To tell the truth, the thing I use the most on my swiss army knife is the scissors. They make a very small swiss army knife that has a small blade and some scissors - even somthing this small can be useful.

For the most part, duct tape and a knife are "just in case" items - kind of like a sewing kit or first aid kit. You rather hope to never need to use any of that stuff, but are usually very happy that you have it when you need it.
lifelist is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 03:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 101
I always take a broad brimmed hat, which combined with sunscreen, is a must when out on an open vehicle or walking. I also have with me , hitched to my belt,but packed inmy checked duffel bag, my 'micra' Leatherman. It has so many small tools on it that I have actually used, from scissors to nailfile to tweezers,which I used to remove a thorn from a guide's finger. together with a small sewing kit, made from a piece of card ,notched, and wrapped with short lengths of thread which match shirts and trousers, and 2 needles. My brother-in-law laughed atsuch things---but who ended up needing them?
Have a great holiday,
Botsfan is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 03:53 AM
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Thanks for all of the great feedback! One error on my list of camps - I am staying at the Serena Ngorongoro, not the Crater lodge. Must have been daydreaming of Africa as I typed up my camps!!
lmavolio is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 04:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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My eyes are quite sensitive to bright sun so I always take a brimmed hat.

I sometimes take some tape just incase my glasses break (though I take my spare pare), or my camera equipment or something else.

I never bother with a knife and if you do take one make sure it's in checked luggage or it will be confiscated.
Kavey is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 04:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 661
Maybe you need the duct tape to stick the hat to your head (mine kept blowing off so I ditched it in favour of a scarf). Otherwise I can't think what you would use the knife or tape for.
littlejane is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 05:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 85
I agree with the hat and be sure it has a string or tie to hold it on. I was really bothered by the wind in my face (or was that just the rushing air as we were flying in the land rover!). I kept my hat on the entire time I was out on drives.

Duct tape is a maybe for all the reasons listed below. Just wind a couple of feet around a plastic pen and you will have enough to do any emergency mending you might have.

The other thing I really used was pocket packs of tissue. They seemed to come in handy for many uses. Get a couple of packs, very cheap and very helpful.

betsyatl is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Regarding a hat - a lot of it will depend on the type of safari vehicle you have. If you have a pop-up roof, then you'll be shaded even with it up. If you have a pop-off or flip-off type of roof, then you'll be exposed to the sun when the roof panels are removed.

One strategy would be to take a baseball cap or bucket hat of perhaps a local sports team or something, and if you find you don't need/want the hat, you can always just give it away.
It makes a nice present for your guide or whoever.

Of course, if you were going with A&K, they'd give you one of their snazzy safari hats (which I would promptly feed to an elephant).
lifelist is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 102
Baseball hats won't cover your ears or the back of your neck. You could take a bandana and tuck it under the hat, if you need more shade. goofy looking? Maybe but light weight and easy to pack
julienk is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 06:17 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,147
I would never go anywhere, including Africa, without my Swiss Army Knife, which has scissors, couple of knives, screw driver, toothpick, file, something for any emergencies. The thing I use most? The corkscrew!
LAleslie is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 07:08 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 53
Great itinerary! My husband and I stayed at Serian and Matemwe Bungalows last summer on our honeymoon and had the most incredible time. I'd say yes on the hat (plus a great pair of polarized sunglasses and a high quality sunscreen like Anthelios since you're at high, dry altitude on the equator). Re shampoo, your hair will get really dirty just driving around, so bring one you know will work well (I tossed the Kiehl's and ended up using baby shampoo the whole time because it was better with the dirt). Ditto conditioner, it's so dry there you need to have the good stuff. One more thing they may not have on your list is a pair of flipflops (or better yet crocs) to wander around your tent/room in - I encountered scorpions at Matemwe and another camp and was glad to have my crocs on. Did they tell you to pick up TSL locks for your bags? Also a must, when your bags are en route and also when you're out of your room.
katesy is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 08:54 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 203
Well, I have never been on a safari...but I always take some duct tape on trips. I don't always use it, but it was priceless for the situations when I did use it. I've done a lot of traveling in third world and developing countries, and duct tape can be a life saver...or at least a suitcase saver, or a clothing saver, or a bus saver (seriously, we used it to temporarily repair an exaust pipe on a bus once!) I'll never go anywhere without duct tape.
KatieL is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 111
Bring a bandana for keeping the sun off your neck. I had a wide brim hat but still needed the bandana for keeping the sun off my neck (and the side of my face for that matter) at different times of the day. They are always useful and take up no room at all. They also serve to keep the wind off your face/neck on the early morning/early evenings drives! Enjoy!
adventuredays is offline  

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