How to pack for safari and urban holiday

Jul 18th, 2019, 09:35 PM
  #1  
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How to pack for safari and urban holiday

Two days in Vic Falls and two separate safari lodges followed by time in Cape Town and Stellenbosch: how to pack for both with extreme weight restrictions? I have minimized makeup and toiletries but will still need something decent for the urban part of our trip. I was thinking 3 safari outfits (pants, T-shirt and jacket) with three light weight dresses for city wear. Shoes to be limited to one pair of trail shoes, dressier Geox gold trainers for on the plane, one pair of wedge sandals for nicer dinners and flip flops for the pool. Thoughts?
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Jul 19th, 2019, 02:35 AM
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I think you've got a good list there. You will also find, depending on the properties that you're staying at, they offer complimentary laundry. If that's the case you will be absolutely fine with this list. Layers are the best for safari as depending on when you travel, it can be very cold in the mornings and evenings but hot during the day.

Sounds like an amazing trip
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Jul 19th, 2019, 11:09 AM
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What time of year is this? I no longer pack differently for safari and Capetown. I wear dark jeans for upscale restaurants in CapeTown. Ditto J'burg or any other city. Pack a pair of black jeans or grey jeans and you are done. I will be there in September again and each time my bag gets lighter. Camps do the laundry so for camps you need 2 pair pants and two t-shirts plus cold weather stuff and do not overdue the khaki "safari" gear or risk looking a little over the top. Then bring one of two long sleeve blouses for cities. End of story. At least that was the case in my camps and I was in pretty upscale venues in Botswana and SA and now, to come, Zimbabwe.

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Jul 19th, 2019 at 11:15 AM.
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Jul 19th, 2019, 12:07 PM
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It will be this September. I never travel with jeans: too heavy and take too long to dry. I plan on leggings (cute leopard print), dark olive and gray lightweight pants. I have a long sleeve shirt treated with anti-mosquito finish which will likely be useful. It is all in the layering,

I prefer dresses for sightseeing in cities and they are easier for bathroom stops. Thanks for confirming that Cape Town and J’burg are informal.
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Jul 20th, 2019, 03:19 AM
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Where are there mosquitos in September?
Do your lodges not do laundry for you?
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Jul 20th, 2019, 06:59 AM
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You don't want jeans on safari if you're planning to take advantage of camp's laundry. If you're in tented camps or places without a hard electric connection and a dryer, those will never dry. Plus, I'd never survive in jeans once the temperature got over 75F!
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Jul 20th, 2019, 12:40 PM
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Not to dispute you but I wear jeans often on safari. Chilly in the mornings and late afternoons and they are washed and dried by the next day. Must depend n the camp9s) being visited.
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Jul 20th, 2019, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ekscrunchy View Post
Not to dispute you but I wear jeans often on safari. Chilly in the mornings and late afternoons and they are washed and dried by the next day. Must depend n the camp9s) being visited.
I prefer not to stay in camps that have electricity and washing machines/dryers, it seems counterintuitive to being out in the savannah. In those places you’ll likely get your clothes back quickly, but where I stay the staff hand wash and line dry laundry and jeans don’t dry that fast. I’ve also never been so cold early or late to need jeans, nor would I want to sit for 6+ hours straight in a vehicle in the sun sweating in jeans. Your mileage may vary.
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Jul 21st, 2019, 02:54 AM
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Capetonians are very casual, and wear pretty much what you would expect to see in any large city. In summer many wear shorts and sandals, but weather on the Cape can change quickly, and sometimes it gets cold in winter. I’m not sure what you mean by “safari outfits” but don’t try for the “Out of Africa” look.
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Jul 22nd, 2019, 09:22 AM
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That is what I meant by "safari outfits." From a trip report a few years back:



<Apart from all that, aimed for first-time safari-goers, I will also offer this thought: Most of the other guests at our two lodges were veterans, and many had been to a dozen or more camps in various regions of Africa. Almost NONE of these lovely people were kitted out in ensembles of khaki safari gear--zip-off pants, Buzz-Off insect proof shirts, etc etc. (I did see a few cameras whose long lenses were shrouded in camoflauge, though)

What did they wear? Most of them (almost all Europeans apart from a couple from Johannesburg who were at Londolozi for the wedding of one of the Varty daughters, and one couple--he originally from Zimbabwe; she of French/Phillipine heritage, both now living in Singapore--who shared our vehicle for two days of drives, also at Londolozi) sported jeans, t-shirts in sober colors, regular sneakers/trainers with socks, and headgear that included quite a few baseball-type brimmed caps.

There was one khaki-encased older woman, a travel agent from Florida, and one of the few Americans we encountered, who had obviously done a lot of hunting of Africana souvenirs--her sneakers dangled furry animals from the laces and her tote bag sported other furry mammals, porcupine quill earrings festooned her ears and beaded Masai and faux elephant hair bracelets her wrists. Her logo-stamped clothing attested to the other camps she had visited. She looked faintly ridiculous. To me.

Apart from observing my fellow, more experienced, guests, I asked rangers, camp staff, and assorted South Africans and the consensus was: “When we go on safari ourselves, we wear jeans, comfortable tops and, often, baseball caps.”
I will remember this for next time! Just make sure to leave the bright reds and chartreuses behind.

This is only a comment from one traveler after only about 5 safari trips; it's my style; it may not be yours. I will be back in two months and imagine I will take the same sort of items, but hopefully far less!


Glorious Return to South Africa--Two Weeks in October
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Jul 22nd, 2019, 09:34 AM
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Clothing – General Notes

- It’s good to wear neutral color clothing on activities (especially walks), tan, brown, khaki, and greens are all very good. Avoid dark blue and black as they may attract biting insects. Other colors are fine in camp. It is not an absolute must to wear neutral colors on game drives, though we think it nice to blend into the environment.


Above are suggestions from Wild Source, our TA. I’ll be taking the tans, browns etc I bought for our first Safari and will hope not to appear a “khaki encased older woman”. My pants are rip-stop nylon with cargo pockets and very comfy.
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Jul 22nd, 2019, 03:32 PM
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My zip off pants came in very handy in Tanzania. When it got hot during the day, I was able to zip off the legs and voila, I was wearing shorts, and no need to bring shorts and pants with me so it cut down on luggage weight and I had more space for other things. I wore light short sleeved tops with them. I brought one pair of jeans but they were very uncomfortable while riding in the vehicle, but were good for the cities and Zanzibar at night. If I looked "ridiculous" so be it. At least I was comfortable and that is more important than what other "seasoned" safari goers think. I couldn't care less what they think quite honestly. Dress how YOU will be comfortable, not what others tell you to wear or not to wear.
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Jul 22nd, 2019, 04:10 PM
  #13  
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I spoke to my SIL last night who is a bit of a fashionista and who enjoyed a Botswana safari last year. She offered me all her dark olive colored shirts and pants, which are nice but not to my taste. She remarked that even though experienced safari travelers (including our planner) brag about being able to travel with the bare minimum, that there were a number of well-healed European women who made great effort to look nice at dinner. This is not easy within luggage constraints.

For my part, I will not be wearing jeans for the reasons I mentioned a few posts ago. I have 3 pairs of technical pants, NOT zip off and a funky pair of leopard print leggings. Red is my favorite color to wear but I will be leaving it at home. My pants are olive, tan and lighter gray. SIL thought lighter gray may not blend in well. I disagree-there are gray animals and for the most part we will be inside a Jeep. I do not ever wear baseball caps. I have purchased a wider brimmed hat with a chin strap for daytime. It has been treated with anti mosquito finish and offers more protection from the sun than a cap. I also think it looks nice!

My Geoxx gold trainers will be my “dinner” shoes, gray Columbia trail shoes for the day. I don’t wear shorts, especially where insects are a concern. Frankly, other than my funky leggings, none of the clothes are what I would wear in my day to day life. Dressing in my comfort zone would mean pumps and a business suit, not at all suitable on safari.

Did I mention that I wear makeup-every day....I will not be going bare-faced but likely limiting myself to a high SPF BB cream during the day and mini eye and lip essentials for the rest of the trip. I have curly hair that dries naturally so no dryer required. Hair products are another issue that I have yet to resolve!
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Jul 23rd, 2019, 03:43 AM
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Most of the time we had about 5 minutes between returning from the game drives until dinner. Never time to shower, as I recall. I am sure this depends on the camp. The ones I've visited in southern Africa all did laundry but hung the clothing out to dry. And many camps will have a night or two where you drive directly to dinner without a stop in your room. That dinner might be set up at a waterhole or somewhere far away from the dining tent and far from the actual camp.. I would ask about this is you are concerned so you can bring a shawl or jacket in the vehicle that afternoon.

I think Wilderness camps have outdoor boma dinners on Mondays but not sure about the day.
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Jul 23rd, 2019, 05:33 AM
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The "dressing for dinner" thought has always baffled me. To be honest, I'm usually sweaty, dusty, covered in insect repellent and sunblock when I get back for dinner (I shower before bedtime) so to go and put "nice" clothes on over all that muck would be a waste of clean clothes. Likewise with makeup...I can't imagine putting on a full face of makeup only to cover it with sunblock and then sweat through it and get dusty during the day. It's one of the liberating parts of safari, waking up and just putting on a cap and sunblock and off I go. If only work-days were as easy!
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Jul 23rd, 2019, 06:27 AM
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Agree! Most fellow guests I encountered just washed up if there was time, or just ate in their clothes that they wore during afternoon drives.

BTW: My comments about the "khaki-encased woman with the furry animals dangling from her shoes" was kind of a joke, although she was as I depicted. She just stood out as a newcomer; I doubt if I would have won any fashion contests but who cares......just be comfy. In SA, blue seems to be ok.

Lots of people just wore flip flops, baseball caps and shorts but those seemed to be the people who had been many times, many who lived in Africa. .I was never in a place that offered walks that I recall so all time was spent in the vehicle save bathroom and drink breaks. Again, this is SA (Sabi Sands and Tswalu) and Bots and the camps were quite upscale so maybe it is different at other places/countries.

Anyone here done a sleep-out and if so, any advice for me because I hope to be able to do one this trip.

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Jul 23rd, 2019 at 06:29 AM.
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Jul 23rd, 2019, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ekscrunchy View Post
Anyone here done a sleep-out and if so, any advice for me because I hope to be able to do one this trip.
I'm doing one in Zambia, but not until next year. Not sure I can help from experience but I was given a decent description on how they'd work if that helps...
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Jul 23rd, 2019, 01:18 PM
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Yes, I am really pumped for a sleepout although will likely have to do it alone. At Lion Sands they offered it to me but I was too fraidy; I think the ranger would give me a rifle..not sure. This time I am doing my best. The only scary part is to have to descend to the latrine during the night in the dark but I can manage.....but that was only the setup I recall at Lion Sands in Sabi Sands. I guess you have to tote the gun...all an adventure, eh? This time all our camps are in Zimbabwe so shall see...
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Jul 24th, 2019, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ekscrunchy View Post
Yes, I am really pumped for a sleepout although will likely have to do it alone. At Lion Sands they offered it to me but I was too fraidy; I think the ranger would give me a rifle..not sure. This time I am doing my best. The only scary part is to have to descend to the latrine during the night in the dark but I can manage.....but that was only the setup I recall at Lion Sands in Sabi Sands. I guess you have to tote the gun...all an adventure, eh? This time all our camps are in Zimbabwe so shall see...
Would you be out by yourself? I was told that two camp staff would be on lookout for me nearby overnight. One if I needed something (like the loo) and another for safety from animals purposes. I supposed each camp has different practices! One thing to consider if you haven't booked already: take a look at the phases of the moon when you're planning to be there. I booked my entire safari around the full moon sleepout, because I can't imagine anything cooler than being able to see what's going on at the elephant hide I'm sleeping at! Yes, it's can be unsettling doing it solo, but I've done safari alone enough and love to lie awake at night just listening. YOLO, right? (And, as I tell my mother, I'd rather die on safari than sitting at my desk in a 35 floor office building...!)
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Jul 25th, 2019, 03:13 AM
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Amy you are so smart! I never thought of the moon.

The one sleep out I was offered was one where there was a radio or air horn, I forget, where you could call in case of trouble. But no mention of ranger nearby. In any case, I now see that there will be close to a new moon during my dates in late September.
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