Packing Help

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Sep 3rd, 2003, 11:14 AM
  #1
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Packing Help

We will be staying at Singita the first week of October. Due to luggage weight limits on our flight there, I am wondering if hiking boots are a neccessity, or would tennis shoes be sufficient? Also, is it cold enough at that time of year to need jackets and warm clothing? Any other helpful hints would be very much appreciated. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Sep 3rd, 2003, 01:23 PM
  #2
sandi
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If you're concerned with weight, I gather you'll be transfered to Singita on one of their small planes - if you're flying into Nelspruit with a road transfer, then there shouldn't be a weight limit.

October is like May in the northern hemisphere - Springtime. The days will be mild, but since you'll be going out on safari drives in open vehicles, the wind will pick-up.

We always went out on morning drives with a thermal t-shirt under another t-shirt or sweater/shirt and a lt.weight anorak. For afternoon/eve drives - it was warm when we left and passed on the thermal but had an extra sweater or jean jacket.

While there are blankets in the vehicles, I would suggest you have socks, a scarf, gloves and maybe a knit hat - whatever will keep you warm when the winds pick-up. We saw lots of people shivering on some of those morning drives.

There's also the possibility of a shower while out on a drive, and even if the Singita vehicles have slickers for you, I would suggest you bring your own - who knows when or if they were cleaned/washed after last used. The best bet might be a mid-weight anorak with a hood, which works all around.

We did go out on a walk, and it was fine with just "tennis" shoes, though would suggest dark colored ones and also leather in case you step into mud or other whatever - easier to wash. I would not bother with hiking boots.

The atmosphere is casual even at dinner and most were in "nice casual" clothing - for men: slacks, shirt, sweater, though a few guys did put on a sports jacket - for women: slacks/skirt, shirt/sweater, shawl, and some women wore a blazer. You might want to have dinner one night privately on your own deck which you can ask Singita manager to arrange for you - if you choose to dress for this, it's your option.

Your rooms have air conditioning if you need it; also a fireplace if you need. Or you can just leave the windows open (there are screens) to listen to the night sounds. There are down duvets on the beds if it gets chilly.

I don't believe the plunge pools are heated, so test the water if you plan on a swim/dunk. As well, there are both indoor and outdoor showers, but check the air before using the outdoor.

There is never any guarantee what the weather will really be like.

You'll have a great time - wish I were going with you.
 
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Sep 3rd, 2003, 05:27 PM
  #3
 
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Leave the hiking boots at home...the only hiking that you will be doing is into and out of the Land Rover.

If you are flying on a private charter, such as Fed Air, as I did during my stay at Singita last year, I must warn you that it could be a bit of an adventure. Cessnas and other very small planes just don't seem to like to have to climb over the Drakensberg Mountains. However, it does serve the purpose of making you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere by flying directly into the lodge, rather than going to Hoedspruit or Nelspruit (assuming you are staying at Ebony or Boulders) and seeing all that surrounds the Sabi Sand Reserve.

I do suggest that you buy yourself a great camera, if you do not already own one. You should have some amazing close encounters with elephants, lions, leopards and more.

Also, don't bother buying any wine from Singita's wine cellar. The two occasions that I bought a bottle, I actually liked the complimentary house wine that was provided on the dinner table to that of the wine that I had purchased!

To be safe, I would bring a light jacket. I was just at Djuma Vuyatela in the Sabi Sand last June (three months ago) and it was VERY cold. I would imagine that by October that the weather would be very nice, but possibly a little cool in the early mornings and nighttime.

You will love Singita. Have fun!
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Sep 3rd, 2003, 11:06 PM
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Rocco, what do you mean "buying" wine from their cellar? We were allowed to choose whatever we wanted.

In our case, Balitrav, we had no problems flying into Singita. Flying in South Africa we were allowed 2 bags and twice the weight allowance. But no hiking boots, that's overkill. Agree with Sandi, brown athletic shoes will serve you well.
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Sep 4th, 2003, 02:57 AM
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Clematis,

I, too, was allowed to "choose" whatever wine I wanted, but it was definitely added to my bill. Perhaps I chose some premium bottles or Singita has changed their policy since last year, but I am positive that I paid for the bottles that I selected from the wine cellar.

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Sep 4th, 2003, 07:07 AM
  #6
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Suggest you include your light weight hiking boots, in case your ranger offers walks - which can be very refreshing after hours in a Rover. You should request one each day. If you have a weight concern, merely wear the boots on your plane (won't count agains the usual 12.2 kg limit) and pack your casual shoes. A light weight sweater and a shirt to wear out will come in handy, along with one pair of long paints. Make it all cotton - and plan to have a washing every other day. Keep it all green, tan, grey. Perhaps something more colorful for the evenings. Have fun.
 
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Sep 4th, 2003, 12:25 PM
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Skip the hiking boots for they merely use space. I've been on walking safaris and sneakers were more than adequate -- you will not be doing any serious hiking but rather slow walks through the brush. Also, you can get laundry done while there so you can bring less than you think.

Hint -- make sure all in your party have binoculars since its impossible to adequately share.

Bring some warm clothing so you can dress in layers -- it can be chilly in the morning and night, but hot during the day.
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Sep 4th, 2003, 12:29 PM
  #8
LstFltOut
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On several safaris, we've found that good footwear is necessary. You can make it a light weight walking boot (Polo) or sturdy walking shoe. This is what the rangers and trackers use during the walks, so why not follow the experts' example. It's weight but for a good reason.
 
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Sep 4th, 2003, 04:01 PM
  #9
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Thanks to everyone for the helpful information. Sandi - I appreciate you defining "nice casual" - it can mean sooo many things to different people. It sounds a little colder that I thought, so will definately be packing clothes that will layer.I'm very excited to go, and anyone with any other hints, I'd love to hear them. Thanks again everyone.
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Sep 4th, 2003, 08:03 PM
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Rocco, maybe the policy has changed this year. I have it on video tape I shot in the wine cellar -- "Pick anything you want because you paid for it already." (btw, how are you travel plans coming? I found an older LA T article about Ranthambore).

Bali, I was concerned about what the dress would be like there and what I soon discovered was that it really is up to you. The dining room is so beautiful most people just feel like getting out of safari clothes and into something comfortable but nice. A man might wear a merino wool sweater and slacks, for example. One woman in our party would wear a suit one night and her safari clothes another and no one cared. A shawl is handy for women because if they seat you next to the fireplace you can take it off. After wearing tan all day, a lot of people slipped into black casual clothes for dinner.

The point is to feel comfortable and relaxed and Singita does a great job of that. You will have a fantastic time. Best tip -- Bring your own handi-wipes for bush breaks.
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Sep 7th, 2003, 12:01 AM
  #11
 
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Apologies - not sure why the line through some of the text above...
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Sep 7th, 2003, 06:33 AM
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Clematis,

Can you tell me a little more about the article about Ranthambhore. How long did the author stay? What did he/she see? Where did he/she stay? Did he/she like it?

By the way, did you ever post a report on your Africa trip yet?

Thanks.
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Sep 7th, 2003, 11:43 AM
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Rocco, it's one of those long front page Travel cover stories from 1997 by Maria Horback. Sadly, she did not see a tiger but that was a long time ago, before Vanyavilas was built. She quotes the park's statistics - tourists saw them 29 our of the previous 31 days. If you can't access this online and want me to send you a copy, email me.

My trip report grew so I'm putting it up on a website. I only have the first three pages up so far but since you asked I will announce it as long as I can have everyone's patience as I get time to put up the other pages bit by bit. I'll start another thread.
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