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CarrieT Feb 3rd, 2008 08:41 AM

Laundry Question - for the girls
I'm going to Tanzania in October and I plan on only taking a carry-on and having laundry done at the lodges. I'm staying mostly at the Wildlife lodges with the exception of Ndtu and Swala.

I've heard that they don't wash underwear. Do any of you ladies know if they will wash a tank top that has a bra built in? The answer to this question will greatly influence what I buy for the trip.

If any of you who have been there have any experience with this, I would love to hear from you.

Thank you.


atravelynn Feb 3rd, 2008 09:00 AM

Is this some kind of philosophical riddle? Is it a bra? Is it a tank top?

I don't know if this will influence your decision, but in October it should be pretty hot and dry (unless the rains come early) and it is easy to wash a few things by hand and hang them up to dry. The dry hot air dries out clothes quickly. So in a worst case scenario, you could do the tank with embedded bra by hand and it would be ready for you to wear in a short time. Even if it were slightly damp you could put it on for the afternoon drive becuase midday will be hot and it would dry in the wind that is generated as you drove around.

I'll add another couple of comments. I prefer only tops that cover my shoulders, upper arm, and neck for sun protection. Despite high temps, I've never taken a tank top to Africa.

I don't know what kind of bra the tank top has built in, but you may prefer a sports bra on the bumpy roads. The bouncing day after day can take its toll even on A-cups.

Leely Feb 3rd, 2008 09:14 AM

I accidentally gave them "smalls" at the Seronera Wildlife several years agao, and they washed them. I was mortified when they came back because sending them to the laundry was truly a function of exhaustion, not sneakiness!

I wouldn't worry about a tank top.

CarrieT Feb 3rd, 2008 09:38 AM

Thank you for the speedy responses. Sorry, I should have mentioned that I was planning to layer and wear them with a long sleeve shirt.

The problem for me with washing underwear is that I'm traveling with someone I don't know and I don't really want to be hanging underwear around the room (at least until we get to know each other ;-)

Thanks again!


atravelynn Feb 8th, 2008 05:47 AM

I am going to use that "function of exhaustion not sneakiness" excuse for all sorts of things now. I love the ring of it.

With a long sleeved shirt over a tank, that can get hot. It might be a good idea for warmth during night drives.

For hot sun, the goal seems to be coverage for sun protection while minimizing the retention of body heat. I'd still prefer a sports bra underneath a light material long sleeved or even elbow length sleeved shirt.

Bill_H Feb 8th, 2008 05:58 AM

For sure they will wash ladies undies at Ndutu and Wildlife Lodges. Or at least that's what my wife tells me ...

One thing to mention, at Ndutu the wash water has a very high soda content so the socks and undies (mens) :) I had washed there came back feeling 'rough' (clean but crinkly), so maybe try to get it done at Wildlife lodges if possible.


kiananui Feb 8th, 2008 06:10 AM

Ditto on travelynn's comments about the sport bra...those bumpy roads take their toll on the ladies.

Lynneb Feb 8th, 2008 11:01 AM

Carrie T
I've had those type of tops laundered in Africa without a problem.

CarrieT Feb 10th, 2008 08:14 PM

Thank you all very much for your responses. Yes, I might need to re-think the tank under the shirt thing...although I did this in Egypt with success, but I wasn't on bumpy rides all day long.

dssxxxx Feb 11th, 2008 04:36 AM

I have posted this previously.

My wife and I take "vacation" underwear, socks and t-shirts.

We will safe our "old" underwear, socks and t-shirts that would normally be thrown out and bring them along with us on vacation. After we wear them for the day, we throw them out.

It make the trip home a little lighter.

If we don't have enough socks, you can buy a dozen white crew socks from Costco, Bj's, etc. for about $12 per dozen and toss them after each day.

We have been doing this for years and it's worked perfectly every vacation.

jayne_wagner Feb 11th, 2008 10:24 AM


Just returned last night from safari in Tanzania and I wish I had asked this question before our trip! Actually, at our camp, our camp crew would not wash ladies' undergarments, but did my husband's. Also, I ran into problems at a few lodges because we would stay only 1 or 2 nights -- and laundry had to be turned in by 8 am -- with return 24 hrs. later.

Also, strongly recommend sports bra. Tanks came in handy for pj's and also to keep warm on some of the cool days in the serengeti. I agree with the previous poster that it is best to bring lots of underwear and dispose as you go. If you don't care to do that, bring at least 5-6 days worth.

sandi Feb 11th, 2008 11:19 AM

You have to go on the supposition that ladies wears will NOT be laundered. If they are, it's a bonus and pleasant surprise.

While I always bring sufficient quantity for my entire stay and do not do hand wash, they don't take up much room, so it's never an issue for me.

Nowadays, however, there are some pretty good quality paper underwear, that fit well and a decent enough price; something to consider for travel here or elsewhere.

Though I don't own and the one time actually tried on a sports bra, I don't like... most uncomfortable, I can say from those who do wear these, sports bras are a plus, regardless your size.

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