Packing help/suggestions.

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Jan 22nd, 2014, 07:56 AM
  #1
JEF
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Packing help/suggestions.

Going to the Serengeti end of feb. to beginning of march (13nights). I know I need to pack light, would a pair of hiking boots, sneakers and sandals be over kill? how much cash do you think is necessary? should I exchange any or just keep in dollars? I know I need newer bills(after 2006?). any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated! thanks in advance.
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Jan 22nd, 2014, 04:06 PM
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I don't think you'll need the hiking boots. Stick with the sneakers and sandals. It will be summer there and most likely raining, so bring along a poncho or some sort of rain gear. If you have a camera bag, a rain cover for that can be helpful.

Your safari planner should give you some idea of suggested tip amounts, whether or not laundry and drinks are included, etc. I'd suggest $10/day for your guide and perhaps the same amount for a shared camp staff tip. You don't need to exchange any money; most places actually prefer US dollars to Tanzanian shillings. Yes, make sure the bills are newer and not marked, torn or worn.
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Jan 23rd, 2014, 08:04 AM
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Further to what Shay said, I'd not bring sneakers that are new or that you really want to wear again. That's why I'm sticking with my hiking boots. Also the same with socks (especially if you take shoes off to stand on the seats in the vehicle to take photos through the roof). Socks will get filthy dirty fast (and if you've been out walking at all, it will be more than just dirt you're walking in) and won't come clean, at least that's my experience. For my next safari, it's my oldest socks for sure.

I was in the Serengeti about the same time last year and every day there was rain around 3 pm that never lasted more than 1/2 hour or so. I didn't have a raincoat and never wished I had it. We were either in the vehicle and pulled the open top closed or just enjoyed the summer rain (coming from 20 degree Boston, it sure as hell beat snow!) I only brought a light fleece and wore it I think once the entire time before our hot air balloon ride.
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Jan 23rd, 2014, 08:59 PM
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Does your itinerary have walks in it? If so, then take your boots. Otherwise, they are not needed. I like to keep my toes covered but something like flip flops are nice around the tent/room.

How much cash? For tips and purchases, bring about $25-$30/day and then add another couple hundred just in case. Bring cash for the visa if buying upon arrival.

My footwear experience differs from Amyb. My tennis shoes have always returned home in decent condition. My socks always washed up just fine.

Last year about the time you are going, I wore layers in the early hours. In addition, it can be windy that time of year and the wind can have a chilly bite. A fleece pullover and a rain jacket will provide enough warmth. I like a headband to keep my ears warm when standing up in the moving vehicle in early morning.

Have a fabulous time!
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Jan 24th, 2014, 08:02 PM
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Here's an odd but useful tip that you can incorporate into your "great preparation."

Wrap about 18 inches of duct tape around a pencil. It comes off easily and can be very handy. I used some of the duct tape on my last two trips for very different reasons.

Also:
A folded, easily stored garbage bag can save the day sometimes.

Check your buttons before packing to be sure none are loose. Reinforce any questionables.

In addition to extra camera batteries, I take an extra charger and adapter. If something happens to an only adapter or charger, all the expense put into the camera, lenses, etc. can be for naught. Sometimes camps/lodges will have an adapter but you can't be sure.

Take some of those packaged wipes to wipe down the tray table and arm rest on the plane to reduce your chances of picking up something that might make you sick. The tray table is one of the germiest surfaces. I'm not a germ freak but on the way over especially, a wipe down is worth it.
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Jan 27th, 2014, 05:39 AM
  #6
JEF
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wow your all are great! thank you so much for all your help!
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Jan 27th, 2014, 05:42 PM
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The lighter you pack the better you will be. We had one pair of shoes and 3 pairs of socks each for our entire 6 weeks trip. No issues.
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Jan 27th, 2014, 06:57 PM
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Always carry toilet paper in your bag.

Make your own travel toilet roll. When your toilet roll gets to 1/3 or a 1/4 left remove the cardboard centre, flatten the roll & store in a zip lock sandwich bag.
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Jan 28th, 2014, 05:17 AM
  #9
JEF
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thank you all again!!!
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Jan 28th, 2014, 05:56 AM
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Women might want to take a "Go Girl" with them. I had one and I ran into another woman with one. Very helpful once you get the hang of it.
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Jan 30th, 2014, 06:21 AM
  #11
TC
 
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The toilet paper suggestion is up for discussion. I've heard it many times, but in practicality, its a bit iffy.

What do you do with your used TP in the bush? Do you just toss it on the ground? Do you put it in your pocket? Do you need to carry a little sanitary bag along for the TP?

On our recent trip to Botswana, our guide actually backtracked a fare way one day because he had noticed tissue left by someone along the trail. He wanted to make sure it was retrieved and disposed of properly. So litering the landscape with used toilet paper is frowned upon in Africa.

I use very thin disposable panty liners. They will absorb any drips and can be disposed of properly when you return to camp.
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Jan 30th, 2014, 07:31 AM
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What do you do with your used TP in the bush?

Do you just toss it on the ground? I hope not or the tosser should be sent home immediately at their expense. Cheers to the guide who removed the unsightly tp.

Do you put it in your pocket? Not the most sanitary of options, but better than tossing.

Do you need to carry a little sanitary bag along for the TP?
I carry some small ziplocks in case the TP is needed for a more substantial task than what a moment of airing in the breeze can take care of. Ziplock within ziplock in that case. Carrying a few different sized ziplocks for whatever situation arises from deluge to duty calls, along with a garbage bag, is a good idea.

Since this indelicate subject has been broached, I cannot imagine carting along apparatus for bush stops, especially when trying to fit all of one's belongings in a carryon.

Requests for pit stops are easily accommodated. For mere watering, grabbing onto the back of the vehicle for leverage works well for ladies and is safer then venturing into the bush to find a bush for privacy. Nobody peeks.
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Jan 30th, 2014, 09:44 AM
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Apparatus is small enough and folds up. No need to practically disrobe. I keep it in a baggie with my toilet paper. Whatever one is comfortable with....
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Jan 30th, 2014, 11:58 AM
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Here's a link to the handy little device being discussed. It does indeed appear to take up minimal space.
http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mc...EVICE+PICUTURE

Go Girl Slogan: Don't take life sitting down.
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Jan 30th, 2014, 02:48 PM
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TC no one is even remotely suggesting littering Africa with TP!!

A ziploc inside the ziploc holding the TP works perfectly. Simply discard it back at camp.

Grabbing the back of the vehicle works very well.
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Feb 3rd, 2014, 02:24 PM
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Just a suggestion re the Go Girls, practice ahead of time (over tile)!! If you don't get it lined up properly, you can, pardon the details, pee all over yourself. I found the Urinelle's to be easier to use. They are not made of plastic but paper and are 100% biodegrable. Of course on safari, you would want to put it in a baggie until you get back to camp to dispose but nicer and easier than cleaning a multi-hour old plastic cup. Glad I read this because we are going on safari next week and seeing this reminded me to bring some.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 07:29 AM
  #17
TC
 
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Just learn to squat. Its not that hard, ladies. Much easier than juggling all this paraphenalia with the prospect of dumping it all over your clothing. All you have to do is make sure you have (1) your feet spread apart and (2) your clothing bunched up and out of the way as you squat. Doing this will allow you to have one hand free to hang on to something for balance - even if that's just putting your hand out to the side on the ground. If on uneven ground, aim downhill.

Its not a big deal.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 11:42 AM
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Ah but you see TC, once you get the hang of the go girl or similar all you have to do is unzip, place and go standing up. You would never know you were doing anything from behind. Also with all the vehicles roaming around and passing, you are only assured that the people in your own vehicle are not watching as you lean on the bumper. Do avoid splashing by aiming at some sticks or leaves or something rather than into a puddle.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 02:14 PM
  #19
TC
 
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Sdt, Have you actually used a Go Girl? It doesn't look like "all you do is unzip and go standing up". No way. Just think about it. I don't want to get graphic, but I don't think the angle is correct to accomplish the task.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 02:38 PM
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Yes I have. Took a while to get the hang of it. My husband thought he was being funny in taking a photo of me using it (from behind) and it really looked like I was just standing there.
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