Laundry Service at Safari Camps

Aug 6th, 2004, 05:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 80
Laundry Service at Safari Camps

While the various safari camps have laundry service, I understand that underwear is generally excluded from this service. How about socks? Any other wrinkles to this issue?
jrruff is offline  
Aug 6th, 2004, 06:10 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Underwear is excluded? How odd!! What if you promise to be good boys and girls and safety-pin them all together? ;-)
We never had any issue at Singita or Ngala - and I sent my undies through. Perhaps if you brought a lingerie laundry bag that could be thrown in as one piece it wouldn't be such an issue?
Buffyp73 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2004, 09:36 PM
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The issue about laundering "smalls" (underwear in the U.S.) is one that varies by region/ tribal customs and indeed camp. In Botswana & Zambia, the reason given is that clothing is washed by hand, and there are prohibitions against handling underwear. (Sometimes they say that men do laundry, and they won't handle womens smalls...but in some camps laundry is done by women, and they don't do either mens or womens...

In some exceptions (eg Mombo) they do smalls. So either Mombo has a washing machine, or they have somehow gotten over their customary prohibitions for the luxury camps!

In any case, the reason has to do with handling underwear, so I doubt a laundry/ lingerie bag would help-- they would still have to touch it through the holes!

I've always imagined that this is not an issue in SA camps, where they have electricity, and, I presume, washing machines.
tashak is offline  
Aug 7th, 2004, 01:30 PM
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Thank you for your various responses. I was just trying to figure what to pack for my 24 lb. limit for our Botswana safari (Moremi Game Reserve and Savuti Elephant Camp). Based upon Tashak's explanation for the underwear exclusion, I assume that socks are O.K. for the laundry service.

Are there other helpful laundry hints? For instance, I recall reading someone's advice to notify the camp laundry staff not to iron certain "no iron' or "permanent press" clothes. Anything else?
jrruff is offline  
Aug 7th, 2004, 04:23 PM
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Yes, socks are fine in the camp laundry. Keep in mind that thick socks (athletic socks) dry slowly, and typically they will still not be completely dry when your laundry is returned. You'll need to hand them somewhere in your room/tent until the following day before they are dry. Because of this, and because socks can get very dirty --dust, dirt, sand--and smelly (from boots) I always pack a couple more pairs of socks than underwear.

These camps also use irons heated with hot coals, so the temperature control is not very good. So when people take nylon "Ex Officio" quick dry clothing, they specify "no ironing" so the laundry doesn't melt the nylon with an iron that is too hot. We didn't think of this, so we never specified "no ironing" and everything camp back fine. But you might want to follow this advice to avoid any problems.

Only other potential problem: once I got someone else's shirt back...I guess our stuff all looks so similar. A permanent laundry marking pen could put your name on an inner tag...perhaps this could help keep things straight. (I'm lazy...didn't do this either, but if you are risk-averse...)
tashak is offline  
Aug 7th, 2004, 11:03 PM
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every lodge we went to wash and ironed our clothes, even my husband boxers! Ok, so now he is spoiled. We sent socks through and never had a mismatched pair. As far as "My" underwear, I washed it myself. Next time I will buy cheap stuff and leave it behind.
katj232 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2004, 11:46 PM
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Does anyone know if they'll wash long-underwear?
Roger_Miller is offline  
Aug 8th, 2004, 03:14 PM
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There were no statements about underwear at any of the three Botswana camps we visited -- they all did everything, including my underwear. Our "butler" at the first camp (Sandibe)(female) said problem.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 07:42 AM
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Mombo now has little bags into which you place underwear and it then goes through the wash in the bag. I think this eliminates problems of it being handled by individuals so it's fine.

Although the laundry staff are sometime women I'm sure the rule is put into place i order to be able to safely recruit both men and women without having to change the rules each time the gender of staff changes.

I do wonder whether underwear would be accepted if in a small items bag though and it might be worth asking an agent to clarify this with Wilderness Safaris. Would their camps accept underwear in the laundry IF it were enclosed in zipped underwear bags?

I'd also make a point of noting down on the laundry slip NO IRONING as some camps use old fashioned irons that don't have thermostats and may be too hot to handle more delicate fabrics. I put NO IRONING for all my items and they were never too creased as far as I am concerned.

Kavey is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Hi Roger,
Long underwear seems to be fine in the laundry at all camps. We had both long underwear and polypro bikeshorts/underwear laundered at all camps with no problems.
(I suspect because they are only concerned about "smalls" worn next to the skin, and they assume that "long" underwear is worn over the smalls!
tashak is offline  

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