first east africa safari

Sep 30th, 2010, 07:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9
first east africa safari

wife and i, in our 70s , will be on a safari starting oct. 27, 2010 with born free safaris. pretty much all set with shots, booking, flights, etc. however, we need some help with clothes to bring, bug spray to bring, and will we need flashlights while in camp. we are staying mbalageti chalets 3 nights, ngorongoro serena 2 nights, kirurumu tented lodge, amboseli serena 2 nights, governor's main camp 2 nights. last thing is will all the guides, drivers, etc accept us currency while in the bush or plains as it may be. any suggestions to make our trip more enjoyable would really be helpful.

bob and lynn
4983 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 07:47 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
You go Bob and Lynn -

Nice itinerary. But have to wonder why Born Free didn't provide details to answers to your queries.

That said, there are plenty of threads on here re attire, but to keep it simple, you don't need more changes of clothing than for where you'll be the longest, which from the above appears to be 3/days. Stick with the same colors - tan, beige, khaki - tops and pants that are interchangeable. If you prefer to get out of safari tan for dinner, a pair of dark pants with a sweater/shirt are a good alternative. Have at least 2/pr of comfy shoes what should be closed and slippers/flip-flops for when in room/tent and shower. Mornings and nights are chilly, so have layered thermal or sweater or fleece to coverup. It can be even colder on the rim at Ngorongoro as it's at 7,000'

You can bring your own repellent, but if containing Deet shouldn't be more than 30%, which apply on exposed skin during mossie biting time between dusk-to-dawn. At this time you should be wearing long pants, long sleeve shirts, socks. Do not apply repellent to face or back of neck and do wash off before retiring to bed. The camps/lodges usually provide Doom (spray) that you can use before heading to dinner, but don't spray over your bed linens.

Being on the Equator you should also have SPF to protect from the sun during daytime hours.

Laundry can be done at all of the places you're staying and if not already included in the price, it's inexpensive. They will not, however, launder ladies "wears" (called smalls), which either bring enough for the trip or rinse out at night.

For tipping you can use USD, that should be relatively new with the larger faces, no older than dated 2005. These shouldn't be torn, folded, taped, etc. as they may not be accepted. GBP can also be used... whether USD or GBP can be used to tip guide/driver and lodge/camp staff. If you wish you can from an ATM get small amount local currency, KSH (Shillings in Kenya; currently about USD$1=75KSH) or TSH (Shillings in Tanzania; currently about USD$1=1300TSH) for small purchases. If any left over, can be used towards tips as it can be difficult to re-exchange back to your home currency on departure.

Safari njema!
sandi is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 50
Hi Bob and Lynn -

I know you've read my report and that should have answered a lot of your questions. While we only saw mossies at Lake Nukuru, we were advised by our travel doctor to use Off Deep Woods. We had used the REI Jungle Juice in Cambodia and that stuff eats your skin it's got so much deet!

We used head lamps / flashlights for walking and reading in the rooms at night - a must have. The bedside lights have very low watt bulbs.

We didn't exchange any money at all and didn't have any problems. Just make sure you have a lot of small bills as Sandi described above and a variety of denominations so you don't get caught paying more than you intend.

I noticed in your other post you're from Martinez. You will feel right at home at the crater, foggy in the morning then clearing. So dress just like you would at home, in layers.

Have a great trip!
renoduck is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 12:48 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9
feeling better already, just from two replies. when i traveled into alaska bush fishing and hunting i always used 100% deet. the only thing it did was melt my plastic glass bows. but now bites at all. i hope 30% deet is enough.
4983 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 346
Hi Bob and Lynn - I stayed at Mbalageti chalets this past June - very nice! There are lamps in the room, although the lights are very dim! But you won't need a flashlight. I did find a camping headlamp to be very useful at many places, including Mbalageti - but just for reading in bed. No way can you read by the dim fluorescent bulbs in the lamp. Hope you enjoy your trip!
Cateyes555 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 02:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Deet is poison. Why anyone would even use 30% is beyond me. High percentage repellents, much as sun protection lotions (SPFs), only means you don't have to apply/re-apply as often.

Doesn't mean mossies aren't out there, but East Africa isn't the Amazon or a distant swampy area, besides few visitors report these to be a problem needing 100% Deet which is overkill.

Of course, we're all different and some of us do attract flying critters, thankfully I'm not one and won't use a Deet product. I haven't in 16/years and except for two bites (one of which was on the coast and expected), mossies are rarely a problem. Avon's Skin-so-Soft w/#### chem is more than sufficient for me and probably for many others.

Re: Jungle Juice mentioned above, the one we bought years ago (I never applied) had absolutely no chemicals in it, rather spices of all kinds which sure smelled good!

I guess we all pick our own poison
sandi is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 12:03 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 10
One point not mentioned is why worry about a mosquito or two? They are uncommon execpt in the rainy season. If you are above, 3,500 feet (maybe 4,000 these days) there are NO malaria carrying mosquitos. But one can be transported - I have heard of a case of cerebrial malaria caught in England. The mosquito came in in somone's luggage. I was in East Africa for years and only used repelants for Tsetse & ocassionally at the coast.
Bwana_Masharubu is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
While Nairobi is reportedly a non-malaria area at 5,000' it's not at all unusual for people to be bitten here. So those critters can be anywhere, but more often are not.

There is no repellent to ward off tse-tse flies, unfortunately.
sandi is offline  

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