Soniya's Safari Packing list

May 16th, 2003, 05:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 612
Soniya's Safari Packing list

Hi Soniya,

For some unknown reason,I couldn't seem to post on the thread . I must commend you on that fabulous list. I hope everyone sees it.
pattysuericia is offline  
May 16th, 2003, 09:56 PM
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Please let us know where Soniya's packing list is so others can find it!
OffToAfrica is offline  
May 17th, 2003, 04:16 AM
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Hi OffToAfrica

Go look at Rocccos great thread "now comes the fun part"

Soniyas list is a fabulous compilation.

Selwyn Davidowitz
[email protected]
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
May 19th, 2003, 07:43 AM
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Sorry, i was at Universal Studios for the weekend and just got back! Here's the Packing list:

Safari Packing List:
Medium-sized soft duffel bags for luggage
A durable dust & waterproof handbag for all your camera equipment
A small bag for carrying mineral water and other necessities is recommended on safari walks
Money belts for keeping your documents, cash etc.
Neutral colored clothing
Warm sweaters or jackets (despite the season Kenya can often be cold in the early morning and late evenings especially around the Highlands & Rift Valley region). Raincoats are also advisable.
Comfortable walking shoes are a must while on safari; Flip-flops are convenient while at the lodge or on the beach.
Swimsuit, most of the safari lodges feature swimming pools and especially on hot days a swim is essential.
Warm sleeping clothes
A cap or a wide-brimmed hat
Insect-repellent spray [though most hotels already have these in rooms]
Sunscreen [20 factor plus]
Lip screen
Moist towels
Gatorade powder
Anti-diarrhea pills
If you are under medication it would be advisable to carry enough supplies of your prescribed medicine.
Small torch (flashlight)
Camera, lenses, extra batteries, cleaning fluid, beanbag tripod & dustcover
2 rolls of film per day 100-400 ASA film or
For digital cameras Floppy disks are widely available within Nairobi & Mombasa but it would be difficult to get them elsewhere, so please ensure you have a good supply of these or extra memory cards or sticks.
Carry the necessary adapters for your electric equipment such as chargers.
Spectacles and sunglasses
Contact lens solution is available at all chemists within major cities however it is almost impossible to get it in smaller cities. It would be a good idea to carry a pair of prescription glasses [if you have any] incase of a problem with your lens (such as dust)
Passport - Valid for at least six months (keep a photocopy of the passport separately from your documents)
2 passport size photos
Vaccination card
Any Visas required
Credit Card (American Express is not so common, most widely accepted is VISA)
Travelers Cheques
Small notebook and pen

Also, make sure that you have travel insurance, this is strongly recommended. Most tour operators and Southern African lodges also offer emergency evacuation services inclusive of their packages so check with yours [hopefully you will not need it but it is very assuring to have it considering the costs of Flying Doctors!]

Hope this helps!
soniya is offline  
May 19th, 2003, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Soniya, you listed extra passport photos in the event one losses their passport. I'm wondering how often has this happened to your clients? If this happens in the bush, how does one get another passport?
Clematis is offline  
May 19th, 2003, 01:31 PM
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Hi Clemantis:

Actually, the extra passport photos are also incase you need to submit them when you fill out some sort of application during your trip [this is normally for longer stay travelers but it doesnt hurt to carry them even if you're not..]

Unfortunately, when you stay in city center hotels which are smack in the middle of town [such as the Hilton in Nairobi] you are at high risk of getting robbed if you go for a walk on the streets carrying your valuables in an exposed handbag or simply even wearing a watch. I have never had a case where someone lost their passport [or it got stolen] during their stay at a game reserve. Usually, this type of thing happens in the Cities where travelers habitually carry their social security cards, passports, a dozen credit cards .etc around with them while sightseeing instead of keeping them in a locker at their hotel.

The only case i have had of a client losing something in a game reserve is a story i usually reserve for campfires. It involves a guy who went to the Ark lodge [Kenya] and forgot his expensive tuxedo behind...i'll save for it another day!

Either way if your passport is lost or stolen, you have to immediately report it to the nearest police station and consult your local embassy or consulate for advice on the next step [usually temporary travel documents are issued]. In the event that it happened at a game reserve, report it to the Manager at your lodge and upon arriving in the next major city, get in touch with your embassy and ensure that you get a police abstract. This is the time when the extra photos, and passport photocopies you stored separately come in great use.

**PS: Please don't carry your social security card or any other valuable items which you wouldn't need [such as extra credit cards] along with you on holiday outside of the US, you will never really need them and they'll just add to your stress if ever stolen in a foreign country. Usually, if you need to show any kind of identification to an authority while you're abroad, a passport is the most acceptable form of Photo ID.
soniya is offline  
May 19th, 2003, 08:07 PM
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Soniya, you have given us all some more valuable information here. 1) xerox your passport! (if you said it before it didn't stick) and 2) no other ID that you could lose. So I take it you're saying do not bring your driver's lic. with you, since we are not driving. We won't need it for anything? What about using our charge cards - in the states they often ask to see the driv. lic - but in Africa they will just ask to see our passport?

We will be in Cape Town for 4 nights at the Cape Grace. J'burg is only a stopover for us. Is what you said about Nairobi also true for Cape Town or is it *generally* safer (that is my perception). Cape Town is often referred to as Africa's San Francisco but perhaps we are not seeing the whole picture?
Clematis is offline  
May 19th, 2003, 10:09 PM
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If you are staying at the Cape Grace in Cape Town the difference between what Soniya describes in Nairobi hotels etc and what you will find in Cape Town is so far apart in terms of security that it isn?t even worth talking about. I would actually go as far as saying that as per the way you have described it Cape Town IS Africa?s SF however I hasten to add that you would be safer in Cape Town while staying at the Cape Grace than most places in SF. What I have said applies to the Cape Grace and the Cape Town Waterfront area however it does not necessarily apply to other parts of the city and you would be foolish not to take precautions of all sorts when travelling not only in Cape Town but also other parts of SA or for that matter anywhere in the world that you travel.

It is for this reason that I really laugh from within when I hear visitors always remark to me when it comes to passports and ID in SA saying that they have been taught that when it comes to these functions it becomes a case of ?don?t leave home without it ?. In SA the EXACT OPPOSITE rules. The only time you will need ID on you is when you go to a bank to cash travellers cheques and when you are driving as you might have to show your drivers license. As far as the latter is concerned a local AA international drivers license valid for 6 months would be an acceptable form of ID while driving so you wont need your country of origin drivers license in the car with you. I always advise those who travel with me that if they feel more comfortable having ID on them to then COLOUR Xerox and laminate their passports and licenses so as to keep these copied documents on their person. This system has never failed my visitors in all my years of travelling with them. I hate to say this but in some cases I have even seen some SA banks cashing travellers cheques using these laminated copies of passports as ID.

In conclusion in Cape Town as well as other parts of SA leave your originals in safekeeping at your place of stay and only carry laminated COLOUR copies wherever you travel. Btw don?t forget to make copies of your travel documents such as plane tickets too and whatever you do don?t keep your originals and ID?s together in the same suitcase etc.

Another important tip no matter where you travel is to ALWAYS carry a $100 bill hidden somewhere on your person such as in your shoe etc so as to have emergency monies on you in case anything unforeseen occurs

Enjoy Cape Town and especially your stay at the Cape Grace. Do not miss breakfast at the Grace as its content and structure of service has changed recently and it has now been rated by so many that I have been in contact with as being one of the best, if not THE best, breakfasts in the world. Wonderful selection, awesome quality and fantastic service for $14.

Enjoy Cape Town when you visit us.

Selwyn Davidowitz
[email protected]

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
May 20th, 2003, 03:27 AM
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As another well travelled Brit (lived in 15 countries in last 12 years)and now resident in this beautiful city of Cape Town, I have this suggestion to offer you.When you go out, leave your wallet and personals back in the safe and take only some cash, ONE credit card only and your passport, all tightly folded close to your skin somewhere. This is as true as in New York as it is in Cape Town as in Moscow etc etc. Otherwise, enjoy Cape Town. After many years travelling it doesn't get much better than living in South Africa.
May 20th, 2003, 12:34 PM
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where did the smiley faces come from? I like them!!
barcadi is offline  
May 22nd, 2003, 02:23 PM
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Clematis: Sorry for not writing earlier, i overlooked your last post! To answer your question, unless you're driving most African authorities don't care for your driver's licence, they just want to see a valid passport. A driver's license could probably only come in use as a second ID [although i can't remember a situation where someone actually asked me for two ID's in Africa..]

Also, i totally agree with Selwyn on the safety differences between Nairobi and Cape Town. I think a better comparison in similarities would be Jo'burg and Nairobi. Follow basic 'big-city' security practices and you'll be good.

have fun!
soniya is offline  
May 22nd, 2003, 06:55 PM
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For the women travelers out there, I would suggest a small, plastic bag of laundry powder. Many of the camps do not wash womens underwear or "smalls" as they call them. FYI.
SusanLynne is offline  
May 28th, 2003, 07:48 AM
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If you're renting a car, you'll need to show your driver's license. Maybe the rental company will take an International License, but it's a slight hassle to get one, and you already have your regular one, so why not use it?

My husband and I have traveled in South Africa many times over the last 20 or so years, and have never been crime victims. We don't do anything fancy about hiding our valuables, we just watch our pockets.

Once when we were working in Pretoria, we were taken to lunch by someone from the US Embassy (apparently they do this for anyone working on a USIA gig), and heard a great story about Whoopi Goldberg losing her passport while in SA. The guy at the embassy got to know her real name because of it, and it's something very ordinary, like Karen Smith or something.
Celia is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 02:44 PM
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Celia - It's "Karen Johnson"
Jun 21st, 2003, 09:36 AM
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See below for Soniya's safari packing list. This needs to get bumped back to the top!
OffToAfrica is offline  
Jun 24th, 2003, 06:12 PM
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Bump! Also check out "Kenya Tanzania June 15 what to wear" post for more helpful advice on packing.
OffToAfrica is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 10:07 PM
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OffToAfrica is offline  

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