Unusual Safari Questions

Oct 4th, 2006, 08:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 183
Unusual Safari Questions

Hi All,
From reading these forums, I have pretty much found the answer to most of my questions about what happens, what to take, etc. But, there are a few questions that I have, and I'm sure others have different questions, that are seldom addressed on this forum. Anyway, here goes:

What do you do for exercise? I exercise everyday. I usually run a few miles every other day and on the other days I use my Bowflex. From what I have read my only exercise on a safari is getting in and out of the vehicle. I hear running in the Serengeti is not a good idea. Pretty much true? Now I am by no means an exercise junkie and only do it to keep the weight off. But once you are used to it.... going for a week plus without exercise will make me a sloth .

How do you make it from meal to meal? I pretty much eat something every 2 hours or so . OK, not a lot, but I always have an apple, banana, something. I can't go 6 hours without eating. (I know, if I didn't eat so much then I wouldn't have the issue above). How do you guys make it? Can you take stuff with you on the trail. Take a apple or something from lunch? I read where people leave at 6:30 a.m. then eat lunch at 1:00. No way! I'd be looking for the next lion kill.

We are staying at Kirawira Camp, Migration Camp, Mbuzi Mawe, Ngorongoro Sopa, and Tarangire River Camp. Not sure that makes any difference but I bet they don't have fitness centers.

OK, if anyone else has questions that aren't usually addressed, feel free to post them here.
Duane is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 08:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,134
You're absolutely right about exercise on safari. We got absolutely none. Combined with the great food we did put on some weight. We've been home for a week and quickly resumed our workouts, so we're confident that with our normal eating habits and regular exercise we'll return to pre-safari weight and strength, as we've done before.

As for snacks, there was always plenty of fruit that you could stick in your pocket. However, I never saw anyone munching in the game vehicles. Have a great trip!
Marija is online now  
Oct 4th, 2006, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,087
you might not be in a position to run, but can certainly crunch out a few sit-ups and press ups. Single leg squats are a killer so rckon if you found a door post you do some of those. A low hanging tree bough would serve as a chins bar.

You might be able to arrange a gallop somehwere around camp with a scout/guide, slip him a few $$'s and you'll be fine.

As for snacking between meals, ouch...game lodge food packs your belly for hours, if you need some extra's ask the chef and I'm sure you'll find plenty fruit and snacky things to kleep your tusks busy.
mkhonzo is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 08:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,846
If you leave on a game drive at 6:30am, you're either returning to camp for breakfast or taking a packed breakfast with you (if on an extended game drive until lunch). You won't be going from 6:30am to 1:00pm without anything to eat.
Patty is online now  
Oct 4th, 2006, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20,132
Hi Duane,
If your taking a boxed breakfast or lunch, there's so much food in there that you can eat what you want and store bananas, apples and other treats to snack on later.

Also, we broke our trip up with a few good hikes and hunting with the Hadzabwes which was a good cardio work out - these shoeless guys fly thru the bush. Don't know if you can fit that in though. I did some stretching and small movements in the tent to prevent rust from setting in. My trainer rec. bringing those elastic thingies which of course, I didn't pack.

You could always run with the Buffalos - that would be extreme cardio.
cybor is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 830
some of the more expensive lodges have a "gym in a bag" which is, as it sounds, a bunch of gym equipment to keep you busy for about 45 minutes. if you are really that worried, travel stores usually carry water inflateable dumbbells that look like kids water wings.

you can also bring a jumprope and one of those bands with the handles. when i used to be an exercise nut, i would use wine bottles as dumbbells.

you can do squat thrusts with no equipment.

you can also ask your trainer at the gym to teach you some cardio that you can do in a small space. you could do a whole kickboxing routine in a small hotel room or on your deck: jumping jacks; static kicks. no reason to think you can't.

also as the above said you can slip someone $$ to run with you if the camp is amenable.

kerikeri is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 626

Faced your issue in August in Kenya. Went on game walk. Walked within the camp. Most importantly, did pushups, etc., best of all have recently taken up yoga. Learn how to do sun salutations, really gets your heart rate up.

Good luck,

Kevin Staker
stakerk is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 406
Duane – good questions. Long distance running has been a daily part of my life for 25+ years. I, however, have found that the 1-2 weeks of vacation a year are the times I give my muscles and bones a rest. I believe Hari – another long distance runner here on the board does the same thing. BTW weeks of rest and recovery are built into the training regimens of the Kenyan world-class runners. As far as conditioning goes – you won’t lose much over a week or two but yes you may gain a pound or two – no big deal.

That being said I also get that sluggish feeling after a few days of not being active. That is one reason why I have chosen safaris that incorporate a significant proportion to walks. Now these walks are pretty leisurely and won’t get the heart rate up, but at least you are out of the vehicle stretching your legs and I really enjoy being out in the elements.

As far as snacks I bet you will find after a day or two of no exercise your “need” for more frequent snacks may subside. Plus you never will be going very long without food. In fact I bet you will feel more like a horse with a feeding bag on. I brought some power bars along and I don’t think I ever ate any. If I recall we got up for a morning walk and had coffee and a light snack at about 5-6. Then stopped for tea and a snack on the walk at about 9. Brunch at 11a.m back at camp and then coffee/tea at about 3-4 p.m. before evening walk/game drive. Back at about 8pm for dinner. I think most camps have similar eating schedules.
GreenDrake is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 177

I had a hard time with the no excercise too as I usually do something every day. Next time I will include some more activities instead of just game drives in my itinerary.

I thought there was always plenty of food around, so don't worry about going hungry. I never finished all of my lunch and I had brought some snacks from home as well.

jenn24 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 10:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 183
Thanks for the great ideas!

I have to laugh at the suggestions of paying a guide to run with me. Not that it is a bad idea, but here is a country with world class runners and I come along looking to run 5 miles or so. Here is a chubby American (compared to them) trying to keep up. They probably run faster and farther than I do just to get to work or school I have this terrible mental picture.......

Thanks again though, great ideas. They really help.
Duane is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,274

I've a friend who is a great walker/jogger as well as a very keen safari-goer. He has jogged alongside the safari vehicle at times...on one safari, it was a regular morning event during a three-week stay in one concession. There were very few other clients. On another safari at the same place, he and the camp manager went for a jog during siesta time. I was there at the time but contented myself with a less strenuous hour or two in the camp photographic hide. And this was in v.good predator country, not
a 'soft' location. So it can be arranged, but it would depend on the attitude of both your camp manager and other clients.

afrigalah is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 04:02 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Exercise--It appears you are doing a traditional safari so there won't be much walking. At some camps you can walk from one end to the other on a path. I do some stretching and knee bends in the tent. One guide once told me could could have a vehicle drive next to you as you ran along the airstrip.

Every 2 hours is very close to the frequency of snacks, biscuits, tea, sundowners, appetizers appearing. Some granola bars in your backpack can alleviate any concerns about hunger. Six hours without eating just doesn't happen where you are staying. You could mention your interest in snacks on the road when you arrive in camp to assure there will be ample food.

The problem with the food is exactly the opposite. It pops up everywhere and is quite enticing.

Have a wonderful trip.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 06:50 PM
Posts: n/a
Hi! I run 50plus miles a week thru the year, and use the safari time to rest and recover. Yes, at times i do get edgy during those afternoon siesta times....i stretch and try to find a strong bench where i can do step-ups and strengthen those quads/hamstrings. However, i think a safari is truly for you to unwind and relax and soak in the entire atmosphere. If you are unable to exercise, dont worry....you can always skip the ocassional dessert. The food is always fresh and freshly prepared without preservatives, so i would think it's all mostly healthy stuff....

I'm sure you can organize the odd walking safari with a good ranger.

Oct 4th, 2006, 06:52 PM
Posts: n/a

You got me curious.....i am tempted to ask Spencer next year during my Kwando safari to see if a run is possible. However, i am more worried about elephants than the predators and so, probably will stick to stretching in the tent. But, i am curious though.....

Oct 4th, 2006, 08:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
For my first safari, I ran the L.A. Marathon a couple days before my safari and I had no desire to exercise during my safari!

For every safari since then, I have been a couch potato prior to my safari with the same magical results...no desire to exercise during my safari!

A Zambian safari, in my opinion, is the best option for active travelers. Besides half day walking safaris, you are able to canoe the Zambezi River in Lower Zambezi National Park. I even had Luangwa River Lodge buy me a new bicycle which I rode about 10 miles from the airport through the town of Mfuwe before donating the bike to the South Luangwa Conservation Society. I had wanted to ride it nearly all the way to Luangwa River Lodge but it was about 95 degrees that afternoon and I didn't want to kill myself.
Roccco is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 08:39 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,274

Zib. Not the same manager now, but still good ol' Linyanti Explorations, and I'd be surprised if you couldn't organise something next June. Even if you prefer to take a break from running, it would be a new and very interesting experience while on safari. They keep good tabs on where the main animals are, and there's much open floodplain (great cheetah country!!!!). When we were walking from Tshwene trails camp to Zib on the final day of our walking safari, they sent a vehicle to pick us up at the airstrip because the lions were in our path.

afrigalah is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 09:33 PM
Posts: n/a

Yes, and lions that like big game too.....besides John, you're missing the Leopard In the tent!!!

On my recent safari, i stuck to the variety of fresh salads and feta cheese at lunch at the Kwando camps. I usually rush thru lunch as PM drive is immediately after. Skipped the Malva puddings at night (not every night) and ate egg-whites in different forms for breakfast. Not to forget the variety of fruits and dried fruits that are always available. I must say, i do hv a soft corner for the freshly baked cookies and muffins at morning coffee.....

Oct 4th, 2006, 11:40 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,274

Hmmm, leopard in the tent...you got me there! Or did you?..if you're going to find a leopard on your bed, you may as well go jogging on the open plain

I have to admit, I found Kwando's meals hard to get used to (not complaining, because the food was excellent, though excessive). As you know, the Kwando meal after the morning drive is breakfast, but it's brunch at Selinda, a distinct difference. One is a true hearty breakfast, the other is more like a normal hearty lunch. The Kwando meal before the PM drive, as you say, is lunch...which, at 3 pm-ish, I found strangest...but it's just 'afternoon tea' at Selinda. I prefer the latter...just something very light to tide one over until dinner after the drive. Driving on a full stomach is not for me, and any rare pangs later can be quelled at sundowners when there's finger food available.

afrigalah is offline  
Oct 5th, 2006, 12:30 AM
Posts: n/a
Hi John,

SO at Selinda, it's breakfast before the drive and brunch after you return? If so, then aren't you missing some good light in the morning by eating? The Kwando schedule, easy to adjust to because they have too much food and after the first day, i pick and choose what i eat. I over-eat the first day of the trip....yes, i just eat a light lunch prior to the drive. They hv stuff to eat in the jeep, should the drive be extended due to the sightings.

I think tea at Selinda prior to the PM drive is good. Most ppl are probably full from lunch and so, will perhaps skip the cakes and sandwitches and rush to the jeep? If that's me, then that's what i will be doing.....

Yes, i agree....about the leopard in the tent.....better off on the open plains!!!

Oct 5th, 2006, 12:54 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,274

You don't miss good morning light unless you let slow-coach clients hold everybody else up. Just like Kwando, it's a heart-starter...coffee or similar, cereal or rusks while sitting or standing around the campfire. You can refuel on the morning drive, as the guide brings 'morning tea'.

The bigger the camp, the more likely you'll have the aforementioned 'slow-coaches' in the morning. In a small camp like Zibalianja, cracking the whip is rarely necessary.

afrigalah is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:04 PM.