First safari- what to wear? Gifts for locals?

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Apr 25th, 2013, 09:06 AM
  #1
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First safari- what to wear? Gifts for locals?

Hi everyone- I am going on my 1st safari the last wk of May-1st wk of June. I know to have long sleeves and mosquito protection but I was more concerned about what to pack color-wise. Odd question I know but have heard NO white, red or yellow. Something about white mimicking a warning sign from an antelope ; red I suppose stands out.

Also my group will be touring a Masai village one afternoon. is it customary to bring a little thank-you gift? I dont want to be rude. I know neither of these are earth-shattering questions but I like to be prepared. i have checked Fodors and other travel sites but cant find these answers. Thank you for your help.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 11:35 AM
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The reason for no white especially if doing a bush walk - it'll never be white again. Red is questionnable inasmuch as this is the color the Masai wear, and apparently has no effect as regards the animals.

However, generally even if most of the time you're inside a vehicle that color shouldn't be an issue, still it's suggested to keep to the 'tan family' as it doesn't show the dirt and dust which is inevitable when on safari. So tan, beige, khaki, brown, with items that are interchangeable - tops/bottoms. I go shopping in my closet for my safari attire, but if this isn't a color found in your wardrobe... The Gap, Old Navy, etc. always do and alway seem to have sales. And, no reason to spend lots of money on anything you're unlikely to wear again.

At Masai Villages, I've never brought a gift as they are more than willing to sell you something they've made... rather be prepared to bargain.

Enjoy your safari.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 12:29 PM
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TC
 
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Agree completely with Sandi. I shopped for my entire safari wardrobe at Lands End and Kohls. I did take some white tops...cotton sleeveless tees. Just make sure you have a good, wide brim hat. The gift advice is spot on. Take money and prepared to purchase. That is what they want.

Have fun.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 04:56 PM
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I too wish you an enjoyable trip. I did however take balloons for the kids to play with and took school supplies and donated to a local school.

Oh I sooooo need to go back!!!
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Apr 25th, 2013, 06:18 PM
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I am going on safari in Aug and had to buy everything I am bringing. Black and white dominate my closet. Now I have 3 tan/khaki outfits, jackets, etc. Check on the website for the lodges/camps you are staying in. Sometimes they have a relationship with a nearby school and provide a list of things they need online. At least 3 of the camps I will be staying in had suggested lists. http://www.packforapurpose.org/docs/countries/africa/ has links to some of the lodges.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 07:57 PM
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The antelope warning sign is interesting. Haven't heard that before. Short sleeves can be nice when it is real hot. Mosquitoes are rarely a problem.

Don't overlook 2nd hand stores for clothing items you might not wear much at home. You can leave that clothing behind if you want.

The Pack for a Purpose program is very good.

For the Maasai village visit, you could bring pencils for the school or make a cash donation to the school. Giving a gift at the village can be awkward because there are many people and it is unlikely you have that many gift items.

A gift for your guide is a nice gesture to accompany the tip--T-shirt, baseball hat, keychain with a local logo.

Have a fantastic time.
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Apr 26th, 2013, 02:46 AM
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Hi travelnutva

I would be wearing what is most comfortable and what is in your wardrobe, and not buying anything unless you really have nothing suitable to wear.

Can't help with the gift idea.

Lynn

Have you been away or sick. Hope all is well. Have a few gorilla questions that I am interested in your experienced response if you have a moment or two! Many thanks.

Kind regards

Kaye
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Apr 26th, 2013, 06:50 AM
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I'm also at hotmail, same name as here. Or start a new gorilla question thread, KayeN

All is fine with me. I've been 'atravelynn and 'aworkin and 'apracticin the piano, a 2013 NY resolution.
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Apr 26th, 2013, 09:00 AM
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I am going on a safari in July and what I ended up getting was 3 pairs of Columbia pants that zip to shorts during the day as the weather gets warmer.
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Apr 26th, 2013, 09:12 AM
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As it's not recommended to bring sweets, the comment above about 'balloons' is likewise not a good idea. Granted the kids love these, but once they burst, little pieces of rubber remain on the ground wherever they land... not good. Animals are known to eat these, that get stuck in their throats and soon can't breathe or eat.

Just as we've been told, before placing in the trash or recycling those plastic rings that hold a 6/pack of soda (or other beverage) cans... to cut the rings, so various species of birds or small animals, don't get their heads stuck in them... same goes with balloons.

Or that over the years, rice is no longer thrown at weddings, rather bird seed... same reason. With rice, birds eat, drink water and blow up. Not a pretty picture.

There are many ways to protect the environment and the critters that live in it.
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Apr 26th, 2013, 12:53 PM
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If I have access to stores I try to buy school supplies, clothes, etc in the country as it helps their economy as well.
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Apr 27th, 2013, 06:20 AM
  #12
 
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Old Navy has good, inexpensive clothes that can be donated to goodwill, etc. when you return (or even given to the staff at the last camp you visit to use or sell/trade).

If visiting a school, bringing pens, pencils, etc. for the teacher to distribute seems to be appreciated. As Sandi stated, buying something from the village will be a possibility and you do have to negotiate.
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Apr 27th, 2013, 10:42 AM
  #13
 
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If you do intend to give some/all of your safari clothes as you'll have no further need, remember to leave a note with the recipient or lodge/camp management. This to avoid someone thinking items were stolen.
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Apr 28th, 2013, 08:34 AM
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Hi Travelnutva,
Your wish to give present is probably comming out of generosity...
Nevertheless it is much better to by something from the village you are visiting versus giving any kind of "present"
What the Masai need from us is to be treated with respect, not sweets, baloons or pencils...
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Apr 28th, 2013, 12:25 PM
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Please peoples stop dropping all these things from ours world into Africa.
You call it a gift...let s look at it, it is generaly not worth a sh... where you buy it, it s create often rapidly waste and can have a strong effect on local people behaviour, healt and custom...
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Apr 30th, 2013, 09:33 AM
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I would not bring gifts. You give a pencil to one child and within a minute you will be surrounded by 20 others! And you probably have never enough to supply the whole village...

Better buy some souvenirs from them - they have beautiful things - little figurines, bows and arrows, masks, cloths. Buy your souvenirs directly at the village and not in the hotel or in a gift shop.

BTW, doing business with the natives is a much better way to help them socially and economically than giving presents.
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May 1st, 2013, 08:43 AM
  #17
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I am set clothes-wise.

I do intend to purchase all sorts of things on my trip from the locals. Don't like to bargain but I will try! And yes I wont add any unneccesary things to their trash/environment. Thanks Phili for the reminder to all of us.

Safe travels!
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May 1st, 2013, 08:10 PM
  #18
 
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Have a wonderful time and don't forget to come back & tell us all about it!
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May 3rd, 2013, 05:58 PM
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I agree with Sandi, Elizabeth, Phili and traveler1959 about gifts, balloons, etc. Buy local! Help the local economy!

Have a marvelous time. Kenya is breathtaking.
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May 4th, 2013, 01:58 PM
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I wouldn't worry too much about the color of your clothes regarding the animals, but as the others have said, think temperature regulation and dirt. The African safari I took 30 years ago still ranks as one of my top trips ever. You'll love it.
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