Stanley Wing- Girly Questions

Old May 11th, 2008, 12:03 AM
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Stanley Wing- Girly Questions

My boyfriend and I are going on Micato's Stanley Wing safari next month. I am so excited for this trip... I can't even put it into words.

This fodors blog has been so helpful to my planning. Thank you especially to Lynda S. for all the great tips- I cannot thank you enough. I have a couple questions that I can't seem to find the answers to. Please don't give me grief about these honest questions....

A. Bee's. Although I am not allergic, I have a strange fear of them. I'm not worried about bugs or mosquito's, but I've had some painful reactions to bee stings. I was wondering how many/how often am I going to run into them. Are they everywhere?

B. Hair. I have very long hair. I am planning to wear it up most of the time, but my hair can be "wispy" and I don't want to have it fly in my face the whole time? Anyone have advice? I'm thinking a lot of bobby pins will do. Also, do people use the special sunscreen shampoo, or are hats worn for the majority of the time?

C. Face Products/Shampoo. I don't wear too much make-up (maybe a bit of powder after the shower & some lip gloss), however, I really like using my facial cleaners daily. Supposedly I can only bring stuff with no scent... is this true? I would like to bring some of the shampoo/facial products I use.

D. Deet/Sunscreen. Which do I put on first? I am very fair skinned and wear sunscreen every day as is. I will be taking Maladrone daily, so I'm not sure if this plays a part. (I also do not take any other medications)

E. Clothing. I am going to wear mostly "safari" colors, but does it matter if I wear white? Micato suggests wearing the olive, khaki, etc... this has been answered in other messages- but does anyone get mad/annoyed if you are wearing white? just wondering...

Obviously, I can get over any of these problems- as I will be fulfilling my life dream of going to Africa, I just thought I would check with the pro's and see if they had any tips.

I'm sorry if this sounds a little girly-girl...I guess I am one.

Thanks in advance. Lauren
mlsafari is offline  
Old May 11th, 2008, 01:35 AM
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Hey Lauren - know you'll have a great time!!!!
But since I'm not a girly-girl, nor a girly-man, but a manly-man, I can only answer "A". Of the around 60 days I've been on safaris I've really not noticed bees. Sure they are everywhere like they are all around the world. But I've never noticed them in Africa more so than in the USA. Also, you're going in June so with that cooler type of weather they may not be as active.

regards - tom
ps - forgot about those African Killer Bees - oops- maybe I shouldn't mention those
cary999 is offline  
Old May 11th, 2008, 05:23 AM
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Let's see if I can help.

A - Bees, as cary, can't remember seeing, nor have personally be bitten; neither friends. Rarely see mossies, but often there are Tse-tse flies. The latter do have a nasty bite, but don't cause sleeping sickness.
... If really concerned about possible bee stings, have an Epi-pen available.

B - Hair, if long have headbands, barrettes, scrunchies, etc. (most everyone is in the same situation - hair, hair, and more hair) to keep it in place or look right. You can place under a cap. I use my regular shampoo and conditioner both of which are scented
... A cap also serves to protect from the sun on face and back of neck.

C - Face Products/Shampoo, as above, I use what I do at home, so these are scented.
... I do prefer to use unscented body lotion and deodorant.

D - Deet/Sunscreen - Don't use sunscreen, so can't comment. Deet is what it is, and use during dusk/dawn only, regardless the awful smell which though manufacturers try to cover... I smell them all.
... Someone else can probably answer the specifics of which goes on first/secnd.

E - Reason tan and khaki are suggested besides blending with the environment is they show least dirt/dust.
White is only going to get dirty and if doing walking safaris, this color is a "no-no" most guides won't take guest even with white t-shirt. If you wish to wear white, then do so at night, though I prefer black or brown for nighttime. Of course, you can have the white laundered.

Any other questions, you have a month to ask. So ask away.

sandi is offline  
Old May 11th, 2008, 05:42 AM
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I can only comment on bees. Not very common, but we did have one interesting incident with them. Sorry I can't remember the camp, think it was one of the CCA Botswana properties. We were walking to the lodge early in the morning and heard a loud hum that we though was a generator running. However as we got closer to the lodge the sound faded. We walked back and realized the sound was coming from over our heads. One large tree was filled with thousands of bees. Didn't bother them and they didn't bother us.
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Old May 11th, 2008, 06:16 AM
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Re: DEET and sunscreen. There are two schools of thought on this one; (as a travel nurse) I favor the one that says you put the DEET on first. Think of it as a base coat; if you are using a controlled release formula of repellent, this will last for 12 hrs (unless you get really hot and sweaty). Then add sunscreen as needed -- your sunscreen will work better if it's on top. (The other school of thought worries about DEET toxicity if you put it on first, but it shouldn't be an issue if you use 20-35% DEET formulas.) BTW, I ususally figure a 4 oz. bottle will last one person about 3 weeks of regular use.
skibumette is offline  
Old May 11th, 2008, 06:22 AM
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Hello Lauren:
Iím more topi-like than girlie, but would like to share my experience.

A Thereís a lot of honey in Kenya, both wild and tame, so there must be many bees, but I donít see them that much and theyíve never caused me a problem anywhere in the world. The insects that are called wasps but really are hornets even though they donít look like European hornets at all are worse and have stung me twice Ė once completely unprovoked. The sting is very painful, but the pain lasts only for a minute or so. Itís not really a problem and I seem to be the only tourist who ever gets stung.

B I have long hair that I almost always wear up, but on safari you get up early in the morning when itís completely dark and my hair is still wet as I wash it at night, so I usually collect the upper hair in a barrette so that it stays in place and then I do a braid. Iím not satisfied with this style, but donít have any better ideas. Thereíre some shorter hair flying around my face that could be held in place with sunglasses, but my eyes are very sun sensitive and I have to put the sunglasses in front of them. If you have very long hair and put it up, you canít wear a hat. I donít use sunscreen shampoo and I think my hair looked better when I used to live in a sunnier place. I use this shampoo:

C I always use the regular scented products that I use at home. The only difference is that I donít put on perfume, and thatís mainly not to disturb other people.

D I donít use a poison like DEET. I prefer citriodiol thatís probably a poison as well, but more natural. Anyway, I put on sunscreen first and citriodiol on my feet and ankles against sand flies. In the evening I put mosquito repellent on other parts of the body as well.

E White gets dirty. I avoid it at home as well.

BTW, Iíve seen questions that are a lot worse than yours.
Safari njema!
Nyamera is offline  
Old May 11th, 2008, 06:40 AM
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Nyamera's post reminded me that I have been stung a couple of times (in more than a year in the field, so not very common). I had forgotten because, while initially quite painful, the pain lasts less than a minute and there are no after effects.
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Old May 11th, 2008, 09:31 AM
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Hi Lauren-

You are going to LOVE that trip and I can imagine how excited you are!

You have already received excellent advice on the hair fron Sandi & Nyamera, as mine is short - wash & go style, I couldn't have helped you very much on that one.

Except to say that when you are driving from the crater to the Serengeti, do make sure it is pinned up, or back in a ponytail, as it was pretty windy as we were driving. As it was hot, we had the most of the windows open, and beleive me, I washed tons of road dust out of my hair that night. A few people on this forum have suggested bandanas as an all purpose 'driving' accessory on that road.

And I learned something about sunscreen and deet from skibumette on this post, I have always wondered that myself and now I know. But don't forget the sunscreen for sure, and if you are sensitive at all to burning, don't use the little bottles you will find in some of the lodges, I really think they use sunscreen #0. I used it on my arms (my facial moisturizer has a strong sunscreen in it, so thankfully I didn't use it on my face), and I ended up with a rash the first year that I couldn't figure out why I had. Well, I found out the second year when I got 2nd degree burns on my arm - you know the one that hangs out the window while on game runs, driving, etc....

The packages of insect repellent though that some of the lodges had seemed to work well. On the Stanley Wing, the first year, the main mossies were at Amboseli. We went at the end of May, beginning of June, so probably around same time as you are. I didn't notice any during the day, but at night, I got eaten alive when I stepped out without repellent on. You can bet I went back in and got repellent on very quickly!

I do have something on bees though to add to the others comments. When you are in Nairobi wou will be going to a wonderful tea farm for lunch - Kaimbethu Tea Farm. She has a wild African honey bee colony there, but not that you would notice unless you were looking for them - so I can let you know where to stay away from. They do not just hang around the farmhouse though, so please don't let that stop you from getting out of the van - I never even saw them at all until my husband showed me his pictures later on. They are located behind the farmhouse, on the other side of the 'mens' room. (The ladies use the indoor bathrooms, the men have their own bathroom behind the farmhouse that is in a separate building). So, good thing you are a gily-girl!! I never went back there, so I didn't see them, but Jim (hubby) said they were very interesting to look at. If in doubt at all, talk to Fiona (the lady that lives there), maybe they are not even there still.

Other than that, I did not come across any bees at all, although as others say, I will bet they are on the safari circuit somewhere.

I agree with the others on the colours, I took olives/khakis and browns as they don't show the dirt as much. When one is only taking 4 t-shirts and a couple of shirt sleeve shirts, and one is as much as a slop as I am, those colours and a Tide-to-go pen really work on safari!

As mentioned, you are going to have the time of your life, we really enjoyed our trips with Micato and am looking forward to more!
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Old May 11th, 2008, 10:18 AM
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As a guy, I'm not sure I should wade into this thread. Nonetheless, the two ladies (wife and a friend) on our trip to Tanzania liked an item called a "buff," which is a versatile headband/scarf/etc. type of thing. They even make UV protective ones, since that appears to be a concern for you. They can be worn in a variety of ways, and are very practical, but sometimes can even look pretty cute, which may be a factor for a girly-girl wanting to look good for her boyfriend. Try to link below if you are interested.
hguy47 is offline  
Old May 11th, 2008, 02:37 PM
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Congratulations, youíre down to the nitty gritty questions. It will be time to leave before you know it.

Bees - Like others, I donít recall ever seeing a bee on safari. However, Nyamera is right. The honey has to come from somewhere! You might want to take along some After Bite.

Long Hair - I love the buff that hguy47 mentions. It really is multipurpose, as advertised. It can be worn as a bandana, a scrunchy, a headband, etc. I have them in several colors and wear them all the time, even when not on vacation. I think I bought them at REI, but maybe Sierra Trading Post.

Face Products/Shampoo Ė I use my regular products, most of which are unscented. However, the leave-in conditioner I use does have a slight scent and Iíve never had a problem.

Deet/Sunscreen Ė I put sunscreen on in the morning, and let it dry before getting dressed. I spray all of my clothes with permethrin before leaving home for my trip, and therefore donít use a lot of inspect repellant. I do carry a small spray bottle of Deet based insect repellant, though, and because I only spray it on exposed areas after Iím dressed, it comes after the sunscreen. Make sure you take a lip balm with a high SPF also.

However, I think skibummete has a good point about sunscreen being more effective if going on after the Deet. I donít burn easily and am usually pretty covered up. The only place I reapply sunscreen is to my face, and I donít use Deet on my face.

Colors Ė I never take white, solely because it shows so much dirt. I donít know if anyone would get annoyed, but it seems very impractical.

Have a great trip.
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Old May 11th, 2008, 02:52 PM
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Hi mlsafari!

First off, CONGRATULATIONS on going on your fantastic dream trip! Everyone on this board will support you to the limit

A. Bees
Like you, I'm not allergic and I'd never been stung by a bee before until this last March in Tanzania. I was on the road from Tarangire NP and was just approaching Lake Manyara NP when I suddenly heard a buzz and 1/2 second later got stung on my arm. Very luckily I had a stick of Afterbite readily at hand and immediately applied it. It stung like fire for about 45 seconds until I could get the Afterbite on then it was fine. Not even a bump. That was the only bee we saw/heard/encountered during our 9 night safari (Tarangire, Ng. Crater and Serengeti.)

B. Hair
Banadanas, barettes, hairbands, hats...whatever it takes to keep it outta yer face and in control

C. Scents
Like Sandi I, too, never worried about scented creams - just brought what I normally use from home. My soap/bodywash and deoderant are unscented but my sunscreen and citronella bug stuff had a scent as did my shampoo and conditioner.

E. Clothing
Girlfriend - Keep Away From the Whites! They are going to show the everpresent dirt faster than you can say, "Lickety-split". Taking whites will be a waste of space and weight in your luggage if you would seriously mind having to launder a white after each and every wearing.

Just know that you will have a fabulous trip despite any little packing mistakes and unforseen "bumps." I got that bee sting and was troubled for 3 days with TD and the next 3 days with constipation (hopefully not TMI for you!) but it NEVER ruined my safari.


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Old May 12th, 2008, 06:45 AM
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Don't feel bad about asking your questions -- before my safari I regaled the message board with my questions about what to sleep in, and got lots of entertaining answers.

A. Bee's. Some of the camps had bees, but none of them seemed to be bothering anyone--they stayed on the flowery bushes and let us walk by in peace.
B. Hair. I second the idea of the Buff kerchief. My hair is only medium length, but I totally hate those whisps that escape when I put it back in a clip. The other advantage of the buff is that it keeps that dust out of your hair. If you are in a vehicle with a top, you don't get that much direct sun. If your vehicle doesn't have a top, I would definitely wear a hat.
C. Face Products/Shampoo. I wouldn't worry about the scent of your facial products - I can't imagine they are so pronounced. There is a difference of opinion about shampoo, however. Why not bring one tiny travel size of your favorite, and at least you can have a 'treat' a couple of times.

D. Deet/Sunscreen. I've heard vehement answers that contradict each other, so I'm not sure of the 'right' answer, however remember that sunscreen must be applied in advance in order to be effective.

E. Clothing. White can get really really dirty, so I'd probably avoid it simply for that reason. I scrupulously brought earth-tones, only to find myself sitting in a vehicle with other people wearing every color under the rainbow. In retrospect, I didn't need to be so worried about it. If you have a favorite garment or two you want to bring, go ahead.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 03:49 PM
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You've been given lots of good advice.

I don't think you'll need much DEET. Maybe a little in the evening and then you won't be applying sunscreen.

You might want to mention to your guide your dislike for bees. The guide may know where there is a hive and can avoid it. As the others have mentioned, bees are not a problem. When I've seen them in numbers, they were flying high in the air.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 04:13 PM
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Tom - a manly - man! Hee, hee

I wouldn't worry about whether your products are scented or not, and I would certainly bring my usual products along, keeping in mind all the ridiculous 3 oz etc packing regulations.
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Old Jun 7th, 2008, 01:27 AM
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Thank you all so much! I really appreciate everyone giving their input. I never expected to receive such great information, this was so helpful. I'm especially happy to hear from all of you that I have been following for so many months on this forum!

I actually started writing this when I first posted, but never got the chance to post back (I work very long hours these days). I am now finished packing- at 35 pounds right now! We are leaving tomorrow from San Francisco, CA for our trip and I can't believe it! It's not "real" yet.

To all the responders:

Thank you, Tom, Mr. Girly Man. I'll pretend I forgot about where all those killer bee's come from! J

Thank you, Sandi. It turns out I don't need an epi-pen. The tips on the hair stuff is great! I always forget sunscreen for the back of my neck!

Tuckeg: Good to know. I'm sure I will keep my eyes and ears open the entire time.

Skibumette: Thank you for the info on the Deet.

Nyamera: Although I live in CA, I grew up on a farm on the east coast with tons of wasps- I think it's just the initial scare of seeing them. Your advice re: hair is awesome- I have been searching high & low for some answers to my hair issue. Thanks!

Lynda S. : As expected, great advice on all. We will be in Amboseli towards the beginning of the trip- so I will be careful with the mossies. I will make sure to stay away from the men's room at the tea farm! Oh- and the tide stick is the best- I keep one in my purse at all times!

hguy47: the buff is great, i have already ordered one to check them out!

Dana_M: great suggestions- and again, i ordered a buff. i will definitely check out the afterbite. we just bought premetherin to wash our clothes in before we go. great idea for some lip balm with sunscreen... it's the little things I always seem to forget.

doohickey: another legend! i will be bringing afterbite-anything to keep my hair out of the way-and no white!

ann_nyc: good idea to bring a little of my favorite & the rest for general.

atravelynn: i've been reading a lot from your stories as well- thanks! i will mention my bee fear to the guide & see what happens...

Finally, to everyone,

I printed all of this out a few weeks ago. I I really appreciated hearing everyone's stories about the bee's, it doesn't seem like I need to worry too much. I've had great responses re: hair and will take a lot of advice from above. I'm bringing my normal face wash & unscented shampoo/conditioner. I will not be using use deet on my face. I'm not bringing any white clothing... hey, we should all be going "green" these days anyway!

I will definitely post something when we return at the end of June. Our plane departs in11 hours!

Thanks again!
mlsafari is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2008, 11:29 AM
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Have a great trip mlsafari, and if you get Daniel in Kenya, or Reny in TZ for a safari director, please give them a BIG hug for me! Also, Steven as a driver in TZ, a big hug for him too!

Can't wait to hear how you enjoyed it, please post when you are back!

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