Safari- what do I take?

Jun 8th, 2000, 02:30 AM
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Safari- what do I take?

Can anyone give me some advice about what to take on safari to Kenya, in terms of clothes, useful items etc etc ?

I've never been on safari before and I feel unprepared!


Jun 8th, 2000, 07:17 AM
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sam...clothes---cotton or cotton're going to get dusty and plan accordingly...definitely a hat...sunscreen, insect repellent, a first aid kit with pepto bismol and excellent pair of binoculars and a good camera.
Jun 8th, 2000, 07:24 AM
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I went on safari in 1996 and I remember that I brought too much of everything I didn't need. I am not sure when you are going but I went in July. It was very dusty so bandanas are a must to wear around your nose and mouth. The nights were cool so a light jacket or sweater will do. Jeans are too hot, kaki type pants or nylon hiking pants are best. I wore shorts every day. As for shoes, unless you are taking a walking safari, tennis shoes will work. Otherwise, light weight kiking boots. You really don't need to bring much. Laundry service is available and it's not like you are getting a lot of strenuous exercise.

I am going to Kenya and Tanzania this August and I plan to bring very little in the way of clothes. You just don't need more than a couple of pairs of shorts, bathing suit, socks, one or two long sleved shirts, two or three t-shirts, the bandanas, good sunglasses, loads of film, good camera with at least 200 mm lens, hat is a must.

I also remember that I brought peanut butter crackers. Snaks are great to take on the long day rides (they provide water). If I think of anything else, I will write again. Have a great trip.
Jun 9th, 2000, 01:01 AM
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If you're going to be walking in water anywhere, such as the beach or at a waterfall, it would be a good idea to have some sort of footwear for that and a towel. The best thing I did was to put my clothes in zip-lock bags which kept them clean at least until I put them on. A Gortex jacket is good. Don't forget toilet paper.
Jun 29th, 2000, 03:52 PM
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I just got back from kenya and it was
totally amazing. wish i were still there.
you will lvoe it. I felt like i brought
way too much. It really wasnt very dusty
and it wasnt that hot. mostly in the 70s during the day and cooler at night depending on where you were. You can get
laundry done at most places. A few people on our trip got gastro illnesses but most of us stayed healthy. i was advised to take pepto bismol every day and i did. I also drank
only bottled water altho i forgot often
in the mornings brushing my teeth. I
ate prety much everything, salads and
fruits which were fantastic. any
questions, email me directly. enjoy
Jun 30th, 2000, 07:50 PM
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I would avoid jeans -- they are thick, heavy, and hot. If you are on a tour and staying at any safari-type lodge for more than 1 night, most will offer laundry service. I took undies and socks with high percentage of cotton. Take medium colored clothes that don't show the dirt and dust as much. Khaki is a good medium color; that's why you see so much of it in the movies that are set in Africa. Take blouses that have patterns, not solid colors. Look for medium weight fabrics that are 50&50 - mix of cotton and polyester. I took only 1 nightgown; 100% very lightweight cotton and would wash it in the sink. Take good shoes and make sure they are not brand new -- break them in first. Take a good crushable hat -- the sun is intense. Take sun block - highest number you can buy; use it on your wrist and ankles as well as your face and neck; including the BACK of your neck. Take all the film you expect to use; yes, you can buy it there but it is very inexpensive. Take at least 2 extra lens caps for your camera. My friend lost hers in Kenya, had to buy one there and paid $16 for a $5 lens cap. I found the best credit card to be my VISA; my friend's American Express was refused a few times. Take some ear plugs, especially if you are staying in big cities in budget lodgings in city centers. Take antiseptic disposable wipes and/or those new bottles of liquid antiseptic cleaner. When using the bathroom, wash your hands with soap BEFORE and AFTER. Never pass up the opportunity to use a clean bathroom. Avoid drinking too much alcoholic beverage; they just dehydrate you. In Kenya, Tuskers beer is excellent. If you have a chance to taste passion fruit juice in the morning, do so -- it's delicious. Take some Immodium with you, when you need it, you need it NOW. Take your own medical kit: pain relievers, bandaids, vitamins, small scissors, etc. Take a travel size sewing kit. If you wear glasses, take one of those very small glass repair kits. If you have black luggage like 98% of the world, buy some bright colored ID tags and add a different bright colored ribbon around each handle. Makes it very easy to identify your luggage from everyone elses. Take a journal with you and write in it EVERY day. Take a small voice activated tape recorder and use it to describe what you are seeing and feeling as time permits.
Do NOT take pictures of the locals without asking permission. Some will allow you to do so but will ask you to pay them first. Women selling tourist trinkets there BEGGED us for our lipsticks and tried to barter for ours. A man we travelled with was always taking notes and wore a ballpoint pen attached to a colorful braided string; both men and women selling souvenirs at several tourist stops tried to barter for it. Kids and teens loved American t-shirts with logos on them.
Take 1 long print skirt (say, in rayon) along with 1 semi-dressy top that goes with it, for dress up. Take a scarf or two. Leave ALL, and I mean ALL, good jewelry at home. Leave your diamond rings at home; wear a simple wedding band. Be on the alert for pickpockets, especially in larger towns. Wear a money belt around your waist underneath your pants. Put only what money you expect to spend in a day and can afford to lose in your front pocket or purse. Wear your long-strapped purse slant-wise across your body; not just from one shoulder. Keep your passport, credit card, airline tickets, etc. in a money belt worn under your pants. Don't wear a 'fanny' belt type purse; a quick slit with a knife and it's gone. Make copies of your passport, credit card, plane tickets and hide them in your suitcase in case of loss. Make a copy of your itinerary if you have one and keep it in your luggage. At the least, learn how to say Please, Thank You, Hello and Goodbye in the local language and say it with a smile. Always leave a tip in your lodging room for the person who cleans it.
Jul 1st, 2000, 11:12 AM
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BJ, what is your correct e-mail address, attempted to send you a letter, and it was returned.

Jul 4th, 2000, 04:11 PM
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Sam: We just returned from our first safari to Kenya. What time of the year you are planning on being there? I had one sweat shirt with me and I wished I took two so I could wash one and wear another one. We did a lots of night drives and walks and our Gortex jackets were very useful. Pack light!!! Laundry is very affordable and in some camps is free of charge. We washed our underwear and socks every night. Write your journal every night. Bring your own shampoo. Every camp supplied a wash cloth and a flashlight. Bring extra battieries for your camera, sunscreen, and bug spray. Although during our two weeks safari we saw only one mosquito! We did not need any fancy shoes or clothes. One pair of good sneakers and one pair of sandals. The company we arranged our safari with sent us a suggested packing list. Ask your company for a recommended list.
Jul 31st, 2000, 11:51 AM
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Hello everyone here: Terrific information. I too am researching safaris in Kenya/Tanzania for a trip in the coming year I hope, and would love to know which safari companies you have or will be using.

I found the new "quickdry" travel clothes (mine by Grameci, but there are many) especially nylon pants, quick dry underwear, socks, etc. to be excellent in Costa Rica so would assume they will be similarly useful. My husband perfers the pants that convert to shorts. I prefer the long pants, they are very light.
Also I have some blow-up travel hangers that were wonderful for hanging things I washed by hand. They take up virtually no space and could hang anywhere. A good travel or outdoor store or catelogue should have things like this.

Hope to check in again soon and learn more safari planning tips.

Aug 5th, 2000, 08:24 PM
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Posted earlier as BJ/hotmail. Sorry folks, I've absolutely traced this site as being responsible for receiving lots of spam e-mail so won't use my real name/e-mail again. Also, I did respond back to "Susan" back in early July.
If you don't have or don't want to take inflatable hangers, take a package of balloons. Blow them up and insert them between the front and back of your garments thus separating the cloth which allows for quicker drying.
Fels Naptha is an excellent laundry bar soap, found in many grocery stores for max of $1.50; no worries about liquid or powdered detergents making a mess. Carry it in a plastic soap bar container purchased at any drugstores -- Longs, Walgreens, Rite-Aid.
Aug 23rd, 2000, 03:23 PM
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hello everyone,
I'm, like Maddy, researching safaris in Kenya/Tanzania for a trip in comming September, 2001.
I'm looking for affordable advanture,not a splurge, whith reputable company for 16 - 17 days. Which company can you recomend and how much, approximately,will it run per person.
Thanks for your infomation
Aug 23rd, 2000, 11:52 PM
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Anna, if you want the more roughing-it type of adventure check out Guerba and Dragoman. Cheaper isn't always better. I heard complaints about food with another outfit. I don't know current prices but you should be able to find brochures or websites.
Aug 30th, 2000, 11:27 AM
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I went on safari in Tanzania last fall and highly recommend Roy Safari -- they were GREAT and less expensive than most. One thing I would like to add to all the good packing advice is individually packaged wet wipes and small packed tissue. They might sound silly, but they came in very handy.
Aug 31st, 2000, 04:49 AM
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Anna & Maddy,
I went to Tanzania last year and used two local outfits. I used Bobby Tours for the northern area and Coastal for the south. Bobby Tours has a web page ( I don't have Coastal right now but you could try searching for Coastal Tour or Coastal Travel. They were both very good and the managers even met with us to go over the itineraries and then again after to see if we had any problems. Coastal took credit cards as payment without additional transaction fees. My husband and I spent around US$10,000 in total. The airline tickets were the biggest expense (about $3,00 each). You can easily spend more using the better known tour operators like Abercrombie. But in our experience, we also saw the same animals and stayed at the same hotels and ate the same food that they did but for less money. In our case we went late May into early June so we were ahead of the hordes of people who go there during the summer. We had the jeep to ourselves. Hope this helps.
Sep 7th, 2000, 10:48 AM
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When are you going? What month?
Sep 7th, 2000, 11:02 PM
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Attention: Maddy and Anna

Suggest you get brochures and price from Park East Tours, home office in New York City.
Am sure they have a website as well -- just use any search engine to fine it. My favorite search engine is "google."

It seems to 'grab' more sites that others.


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