Please translate this for me...

May 27th, 2003, 04:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Please translate this for me...

I am being advised to bring a "Torch" for my stay at Kafunta's Island Bush Camp (see below recommended list).

So, is a torch nothing more than a flashlight or is it an actual lantern or torch???


What to bring...

Casual, comfortable, lightweight clothing in neutral colors
Warm clothing for cool winter evenings (June/July).
Comfortable walking shoes.
Comfortable shoes to relax around the lodge.
Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellent.
Compact raincoat during the rainy months (the Lodge provides ponchos for the game drives)
Warm jacket for game drives (for the winter months)
Binoculars and camera (film available at lodge)
Anti-malarial tablets are essential all year round (consult your doctor).
Swimsuit - as Kafunta has a swimming pool and natural hot spring pool.
Torch for your stay at the bush camps

Roccco is offline  
May 27th, 2003, 04:58 PM
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Torch is a flashlight. Camps usually provide them for guests returning to rooms at night, but they still advise you to carry one with you. Liz
May 27th, 2003, 05:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097

You are correct a torch is what you would call a flashlight.

Hope this helps you see the light

Selwyn Davidowitz
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Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
May 27th, 2003, 06:55 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 328
Hi Rocco:

Yes, its a flashlight, I brought one to Kenya (small but sufficient to find my way back to my hut) and being from Canada the first time someone asked about a torch I assumed it would be a club with a flame but soon realized what it was ...

The first night we were at a lodge we quickly realized how dark it was & how quickly it got dark ...

This past weekend I'd read that the research telescopes from the London/UK area have been largely shutdown because of 'light polution', before going to Africa I would have had a hard time comprehending what that meant ...


TravelMaster is offline  
May 27th, 2003, 08:35 PM
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Hi Rocco,

We just purchased two of the small flashlights from MAGLITE. It's on of their mini versions ( they have 2 sizes ), about 5 inches long and should be just fine to use at night going to and from your room. It's what we will be taking along on our upcoming trip as they are so compact.
May 28th, 2003, 04:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Thanks, that's what I figured about the torch being a flashlight.

I guess I'll choose the $1,400 USD per night savings and take responsibility for having my own torch instead of being handed a bell like at Singita where I ring for a guard to come escort me around.

DE, Thanks for the recommendation on the "torches." I guess I need to make a stop by The Home Depot in the next week and pick up a pair of torches.
Roccco is offline  
May 28th, 2003, 05:01 AM
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Roccco - Having a few English friends I had heard the word "torch" for as long as I could remember, so it wasn't strange when receiving the recommended packing info for first safari eight years ago.

But your comment re the "bells" at Singita - hey, we were never given one. Because there are no protective fences here, electrified or other they require once it gets dark that a guide escort you from your "house" to the dining area. In our instance the guide just told everyone when he'd be there to pick us up and we were ready. Having about 6 to 8 people in tow we were kind of noisy and if any animals were around, they didn't want to come in contact with us.

What was really strange though, was that everyone returned to their house at different times and when we were returned separately from others I noticed that the guide had neither Torch, nor Rifle or Club. Some protection!!!

Of course, during daylight there is so much activity with cook staff, maid staff and guests busying themselves about, the only thing one might find are snakes or monkeys, and occasionally a small antelope.

At least at Honeyguide Camp the guides always walked with rifles and though during daytime we walked alone we often came face to face with critters of one sort of another - land snails, dung beetles, antelope, monkeys and even a baby giraffe - we gave them their right-of-way.

But we never had bells!
May 31st, 2003, 01:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

Perhaps you can write and request a complimentary night on your next visit to Singita! Unless I have developed Alzheimers at 32 years old, I do remember we had little bells at both Singita and later at Matetsi Water Lodge in Zimbabwe.

I was at Singita in March, 2002.

Regarding the safety issues at Singita, I must say that I did feel threatened a couple times by my rangers cavalier type driving that often had us blocking the road and a mother leopard that was out looking for her cub. On at least one occasion, the rangers positioning of the Land Rover placed me directly in the path of the leopard and at one point all that separated the leopard and I was the one meter distance between the elevated seat and the leopard who had gotten close enough to sniff the tire of the vehicle before going around the vehicle and moving onward. While it was a tremendous thrill, there was not a thing that the ranger could have done to protect me and the others had the leopard decided to join us in the vehicle.

Anyway, I loved Singita and I just think it is a shame that they have priced themselves so highly. As I mentioned on another thread, in low season a person can stay at The Royal Malewane for nearly half the price of Singita, and the Royal Malewane, by some reports, is every bit the equal to Singita.

This year I will try my luck with Djuma Vuyatela just a few miles away from Singita, and I will enjoy a very nice looking room with my own private plunge pool, similar to Singita, for about 30% of the price of Singita. Basically I am staying at Djuma Vuyatela for three nights for less than one night at Singita would have cost.

Four days and counting.
Roccco is offline  
May 31st, 2003, 02:03 PM
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Roccco - you're absolutely right about Singita having priced themselves so high, but the other top resorts are only about $75 less per nt/person. Alot has to do with the weak USD. When we were there it was 10+ZAR/USD and now it's in the 8ZAR/USD, so that's 20% more. We're glad to have gotten there when we did.

Now about those Bells! No Bells! Asked my "sweetie" and he said No Bells! Whether they forgot to give us our Bells or not, we never even heard any Bells. Maybe it's something new since Dec.'01. And I asked my friend who lived there then, who went to Singita to celebrate their anniversary (July '01) and she doesn't remember "them Bells".

Sorry to hear that you felt your Ranger appeared to have put you in a "dangerous" situation with the leopards, but we were often "up-close-and-very-personal" with some animals - even "my leopard" - right on top of her as we tracked her all morning.

On our last late afternoon/night drive, came across a very big bull elephant on a fast trot down the road we were coming up - quick left into the bush to let him pass. He was in "must" and there must have been a "hotty" nearby that he was after, we didn't matter a bit.

Later watching a pride of lions at a waterhole, barely 5-ft. from us, they came and rested right on the side of our vehicle. Bear in mind, I wasn't sitting in the back, but right next to the Ranger and they were right there below my door, leaning against it, the male spraying the wheels - great photos.

But the best was as we were heading back to camp for dinner, another vehicle in front of us - when that vehicle veers off the road - we follow off the road, and there with spots lighting the road - in a fast trot that same bull elephant, urinating and taking a dump, as he went searching for some female, any female. It was, unfortunately, too dark to even attempt a photo - but did we all get a good laugh. We sure all hoped he "got lucky" that night.

I truly believe the Rangers and Trackers know what they are doing and have an excellent sense of danger, but most of these animals are well acclimated to vehicles and people and if anything the animals are "testing" us - we are treading on their land.

Have a great trip, I'm jealous.
May 31st, 2003, 03:06 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553, great stories from Singita. Seems like you almost needed a raincoat for that Lion!

On the one hand I am complaining about being put right in front of a leopard but on the other hand it was one of the most intense experiences I ever had and one that I will never forget!

We did get very close to a pride of lions. There were about five of them and they were devouring a kill, a Kudu. We were within about 10-15 feet away from them and you could hear every bone crunching bite that they took! Also, their faces, naturally, were just covered in blood. If nothing else, that made me very thankful to be a human instead of a Kudu!!!

When I was there the Rand had gone all the way to 11.5 Rand to 1 USD and I think it cost me less than $1,200 USD per night.

I do still believe that the other top lodges may be had for a lot less than Singita. As I stated, Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge and Royal Malewane can each be had for 3,750 ZAR per person per night sharing, which is about $462.50 per person per night sharing right now in low season. Singita has no low season specials, whatsoever.

I concur that the Rangers and Trackers know what they are doing but we are still talking about wild animals where anything can happen, but that is all part of the thrill of going on safari!

One thing I loved at Singita was how the hosts run out to greet you with an ice cold cocktail in one hand and in the other hand a waiver to sign in the other hand. I probably didn't have my third sip of that drink before they made sure the waiver was signed! For that $1,800 USD per night you would think they would at least provide me with a year or two of life insurance!
Roccco is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 08:35 AM
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Roccco - Thanks for reminding me about that "waiver" - gave me tears of laughter - it's the only place where I've ever signed my life away. When my "sweetie" asked what I was signing, I simply told him that "if he was mauled by a lion or any other animal, my Type-O blood would do his Type-B no good and we'd just leave him there" to which he responded, "oh, and I always throught you'd just leave me on a park bench"

You've got to have a sense of humor in these situations!

While I don't recall "them Bells" I do recall the finely printed large signs around the property telling one that we are in a wild area with no protective barriers and one takes there own life in their hands by being there.

As columnist Cindy Adams would say "only in Singita kiddies, only in Singita!

That was a good chuckle to start off the day!

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