What to wear on safari

Old Jun 20th, 2014, 05:00 PM
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What to wear on safari

While searching this topic on the internet, I came across this info from Fodors-

I am quite sure I cannot afford the wool jacket for $2800 - what would you substitute?

http://www.fodors.com/news/what-to-w...fari-6000.html

But seriously, what did you bring that you found useful and what did you bring that you wish you had left at home? I will be there in Oct and have been advised to bring some lightweight wool, hats, gloves- and of course layer

Also, did you bring inexpensive gifts from home- one friend suggested soccer balls - I have read pens, pencils- I have no clue
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Old Jun 20th, 2014, 07:29 PM
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That story is a scream! Even if you substitute a Zara jacket for the Ferragamo, I would NOT leave home without that Givenchy silk scarf. Heavens, no!!

Where are you headed?
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Old Jun 21st, 2014, 09:15 AM
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Based on your other thread, you're going to Kenya/Tanzania, right? Mt Kenya, Aberdares, Ngorongoro will be the highest elevations and coldest places if any of those are on your itinerary. You would also want to dress warmly if doing a hot air balloon. Other than that, it doesn't get terribly cold and I find a light fleece is fine and gloves unnecessary but everyone has a different temperature tolerance. I like sandals for day time and am a big coffee drinker so bring a thermal mug to fill for the morning game drive and a wide brim hat. Heck, my last safari I barely got out of my pajamas. Just ask Leely

Are you going some place like a orphanage where you could give out gifts? My guide discouraged randomly giving things away.
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Old Jun 21st, 2014, 09:23 AM
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Oh and of course, those leopard print wedges are de rigueur!

That article reminds me when we did our horseback safari, we were advised not to bring our newest jodphurs due to the acacia thorns. I had to break the news to the operator that we owned no jodphurs!

$95 binos and a $2600 jacket are some reversed priorities!
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Old Jun 21st, 2014, 10:14 AM
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Just returned last night from a 12 night safari in Tanzania. I totally obsessed over this question myself and have to say after much research mostly got it right. My favorite thing I brought was my fleece!! Definitely came in handy on early morning game rides and cooler evenings. Brought a pair of gloves - used them twice on early morning game rides in Serengeti - worth bringing. Loved having flip flops to wear around the camp. Best thing is to layer. I brought 3 pairs of lightweight hiking type pants (Prana/REI/Eddie Bauer), 3 tanks, 3 long sleeve button up shirts, the fleece and a medium weight jacket. Didn't have to wear the jacket too much but still very happy I brought it. You don't really need heavy duty hiking shoes - I had read that most people just bring tennis shoes, but mine are all bright colors so I opted to buy a lightweight Merrell light trail shoe and they were perfect!

I also brought a pair of skinny jeans, Toms and 3 other tops to change into for dinner. Nothing needs to be dressy, but sometimes just nice to get out of trail shoes/clothes for dinner. I also brought a lightweight scarf which came in handy in cooler evenings for dinner -
my daughter didn't bring one and wished she had.

Definitely bring binoculars and we wished we had brought some canker sore medicine as my son and daughter both got canker sores from the malarone we were taking.

We went and visited an orphanage in Arusha but did not bring them anything as we had read that some don't like the kids expecting handouts. The kids did not miss it at all - they absolutely just loved playing with us - their favorite thing was having us take pictures of them with our phones and then showing them the pics. We did run to a store while visiting to buy a soccer ball and they took us to a field to play but we did not bring a bunch of small gifts. We will be making a monetary donation to them now that we are home.
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Old Jun 21st, 2014, 05:48 PM
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Depends on when and where you go, I think. I was in Tanzania in Feb of last year and would have died of heat stroke in fleece, gloves, jeans, long pants. I was in shorts and t-shirts the entire time, even early mornings. (Granted I was coming from sub-zero Boston).

This year I was in Kenya in Feb. Needed a fleece early mornings in Ol Pejeta near Mt. Kenya but always shed it by mid-morning. Once in the Mara was wearing the same clothes as in TZ last year. Your mileage may vary, but the thought of jeans on safari is about as unbelievable to me as wearing them here in muggy mid-August.
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Old Jun 21st, 2014, 08:29 PM
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I will be in Kenya and Tanzania in early Oct.

Thanks for all the reasonable tips as I know I cannot afford the list Fodors suggested.

I think I have a lot of what I need but no long hiking pants yet. Did women wear capri style for game rides?

One suggestion was a smart wool shirt but am sure light fleece would work as well.

Pajamas on safari? Well I do have a really cute animal print pajamas. Maybe I will bring them.

I don't think we are going to an orphanage - but going to a Masai village

Jeans take up a lot of room and if washed by staff would likely not dry overnight so quess I will stay with quick dry items

Thanks have awhile to get it all together but do appreciate all the info
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 05:31 AM
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You will need to wear something practical, something that breath like cotton in the summer and for winter you will need to wear layers which you can off during the heat of the day and have it on again in the evening. Loose and flowing cloth is practical in this hot climate, this type of garments allows wind to enter and circulate which creates a system of natural ventilation preventing from heat stroke. And of course you will need comfortable shoes and hat in the summer.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 11:44 AM
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That list by Fodor's almost made me pee my pants. It was nothing but an advertisement! In fact I found it surprising Fodor's would print such but for the income... ugh.

If anyone shows up with such costly items, or unneeded pieces of clothing/accessories, is just plain foolish. It's as if some guy appeared wearing a pithe helmet that would bring howls of laughter.

As I often say 'shop your closet.' Unless you don't own any khaki or tan, which can be found year-round at The Gap (or similar) no need for anything special. And the reason for these colors is that they don't show dust/dirt as would be pieces in color. For evening, of course, if you'd prefer to be out of daytime safari attire, pack a pair of black/brown slacks or a skirt to wear with a great t-shirt/lt-weight sweater a piece of chunky faux jewelry and a shawl/pashmina, sweater or even a jeans jacket. And who in their right mind would want to lose expensive shades? Not me, why I always bring a few pair of cheap reading and sun.

Admittedly I do bring one or two jeans (black skinny work in place of regular pants), but as the latest craze - from CEO of Levi's) these aren't supposed to EVER be laundered which is something I don't adhere to, thus they don't have to be during your brief safari holiday, unless you were playing in mud puddles... Duh!

Flip flops are for indoors, where if outdoors around lodge/camp I wear moccasins and also during game drives.

Have stayed at too many luxe camps to count and not at one have I seen anyone 'overdressed - a la that Fodor's list' - rather in the same simple cloths items as the rest of us.

I follow the KISS - keep it simple stupid - premise for safari packing as I do for IT issues, why when getting ready for my next safari I'm practically packed from the minute I pull the bag out of the closet. Just have to refill my pill box, 1/ml shampoo, conditioner and lotion bottles... and away I go.

Remember also, even when out in the bush... if you absolutely require something special for one reason or another, the lodge/camp gift shop often has what is needed.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2014, 05:35 AM
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^^ Just a caution, I've only been on safari twice but have stayed in 9 lodges/camps. Only 1, the Ngorongoro Farmhouse, had anything close to resembling a shop and even that was sketchy in terms of offerings. I wouldn't count on being able to pick up anything you forgot especially once you get out into the bush.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2014, 08:22 AM
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This is my packing list from our last two trips. Each trip was 22 days on safari in pretty upscale camps. Hope this helps.

We packed in the large size LL Bean duffel bags. They are cheap, well made, can be monogrammed with your name for ID and weigh practically nothing. Laundry was done for free in every camp. I packed enough clothes for four+ days and had laundry done along the way. Here’s what I took (ladies).
· 2 linen long sleeve safari/camp style shirts (great for sun protection and wind in the open vehicles)
· 2 pair of the zip leg safari style pants. (They wash and dry like a dream – mine came from Lands End)
· 2 pair of very lightweight linen long pants for dinners
· 2 pair of cotton Capri length pants
· 2 skorts from Lands End in the same material as the zip leg pants. (I don’t do shorts)
· 4 very loose sleeveless tops
· 4 camis
· 2 long sleeve very lightweight tee shirts –for mosi protection.
· 1 lightweight fleece (Lands End)
· A lightweight rain parka
· 1 pair of pajamas
· My Chacos-Zongs and my Keen-Newport H2 shoes + one pair of cheap “blingy” flip flops for dressing up.
· A big, wide brimmed hat
· A swimsuit
· 3 bras
· 4 undies
· 2 pair of socks
· A couple of bandanas or scarf to wrap
· You will want some really, really good binoculars – one set for each traveler.
· 30 to 60 SPF sunscreen – one big bottle.
· A very good mosi guard. Lots of discussion on this board about which is best.
· Some really good wind protection for your face. The air from driving in open vehicles can do more damage than the sun. I used a 45-sunscreen stick that felt like Vaseline on my face, but did the trick. At times I tied the bandana around my face.
· Very good lip protection.
· Afternoon diversions – like a good book. There are no game drives from 1-4 during the heat of the day.
· I took 3 each of the hotel sized shampoo and conditioners and tossed them along the way. The camps do provide shampoo, soaps, and detergent for washing delicates.
· You cannot use hair appliances at any if these camps. Get a haircut that requires no maintenance.
· You don’t need much make-up. It’s either too hot or too dark (dinners by candles) for anyone to care.
· There are no wash cloths in any of the baths.
· All the paths are sand or rocks – take appropriate shoes. Some times there is ellie poo on the path at night. Watch your step.
· All the showers had those big horizontal rainheads. Its impossible to avoid, so take a shower cap if your hairstyle can’t take the water.
· Azithromiacin is a miracle cure for traveler’s revenge – which most everyone will get a mild case of about 10 days into the trip. Ask your doctor for some to take along. One pill was all it took to save a day.
· You must have a journal. There are just too many wonderful moments to remember.
· Drink, drink, drink.....water is your friend.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2014, 11:45 AM
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Pick a color scheme. I hate beige, so I go with greys and greens. I just got back and loved having something to hang out in (sweats or comfy shorts) between drives. Didn't swim but loved having shorts and sandals for hanging by the pool. Needed gloves and ear muffs twice. Always bring a fleece - I prefer the 200 weight. It blocks the wind better than 100 and 300 is too heavy. Open game vehicles have blankets on them if it's really cold.

I wear a t shirt for pj's, but always bring clog type slippers. I only wore the trail runners, not the other shoes I brought. Sleep socks are helpful if it's cold and no hot water bottle (I don't leave home without one and a kettle!!)

I do laundry every three days so I don't have to take so much. Didn't use all that I brought, but I give most of my clothes to the staff at our last camp anyway, so having extra is good. Made friends with one woman who I gave my cashmere sweater.

This time around we had four free checked bags, so I took advantage of it. I contacted one of the camps and asked if the children learn in English (they do). So I asked people in my community to donate children's books and we packed up two boxes, about 40 lbs each, and took them along. The camp arranged for them to be donated to the community. The community leaders were thrilled and it was nice to include my own community. A couple of kids wrote notes that I left in the boxes. I will do it again.

I bought myself new binos and they were really good. Nikon Prostaff 8x42. Perfect, and I paid less than $150 from B&H. Loved them.

Just take less. I took enough of everything for five days. 5 tees, 2 long sleeved tees, 2 sweaters, 2 pants, 5 undies, 5 socks. It worked out very well. We checked bags this time, but we usually just do carry on. I was very uncomfortable on the plane - think about that long flight and how to survive it. My bum hurts.

Have fun!!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2014, 04:17 PM
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... when it comes to women's undies that are usually not laundered many of the safari countries, and since I do NOT do laundry, I've been using paper ones (these are not Depends) that are available online. These come in brief and/or bikini style, 5/pack, in all white, blue, pink, black or combos; cost about $3.50-5/pack. Wear and toss. These are also available for men 'tidy whities.'

A google search will bring up a few sources, and last time I saw that Amazon had them available.
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 05:57 AM
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>>Very good lip protection.>Afternoon diversions – like a good book. There are no game drives from 1-4 during the heat of the day.> You cannot use hair appliances at any if these camps. Get a haircut that requires no maintenance.
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 07:08 AM
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Oh, TC--your list has made me nervous again, just when I thought I had it figured out.

We're going in July/August, and I hadn't planned to bring capris, shorts, skorts, sleeveless tops, camis. Uh-oh.

Out TO has advised us that the first camp that has laundry facilities is a week in (Sopa Ngorongoro), so I figured we'd need to bring enough clothes to get us though that week. Maybe our lodging (Planet Lodge, Tarangire Safari Lodge, Kirurumu Manyara) isn't as upscale as yours.
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 07:24 AM
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Abram...no worries. This is MY list and just suggestions. In Tanzania, people cleaned up and changed before dinner. In Botswana, we were rarely back to camp before 8pm. Starving and tired, no one changed for dinner. There is a lot that depends on the location.

BTW: regarding "delicates" -- in Botswana the camps had zip mesh bags for the delicates to go through the laundry. That way no one had to touch them, but they could still be laundered with your daily items.

What I can tell you is NO ONE CARES. If you wear the same thing days in a row, if it has a few spots of dirt or grime, if its wrinkled beyond belief, if you wear a hat every minute cause your hair looks like #%£¥, if you never put on a whip of make-up or a speck of jewelry....NO ONE CARES! That is not what most safaris are about. I'm sorry to say that the young woman who wrote that blog on safari clothes, has obviously never been on safari.

Go...have fun.....don't worry.
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 03:38 PM
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I don't worry about what other people think, but I do worry about being hot or cold or dirty or uncomfortable in some other way.

Having someone else do my laundry concerns me, too. I'm going on the assumption that fabric softener (to which I am allergic) won't be used, but I worry that something will happen to my clothes when I'm travelling with a limited amount and won't be able to shop for replacements.

I hadn't really thought about bringing nicer clothes for dinner--something else for this anxious packer to fret about. Sigh.
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 03:54 PM
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Tarangire Safari Lodge and Kirurumu Manyara will both do laundry. Price for this unlikely to be included in your costs, but the prices are very low compared to what you'd pay at home or a regular hotel in Europe, the States, Asia.

It's best to arrange to have laundry done where you will be staying minimum 2/nts... hand it in on arrival, and it'll be ready later that day or definitely the next, neatly folded and often with a lovely bow.

Safari certainly is NOT a fashion show, so no one need look as if off the pages of Vogue... simple and comfortable. And just because some properties don't advertise it, many do have a hair dryer available from Reception if you must wash your hair and air dry doesn't work for you. Even with short hair, I go nuts if mine is not washed every few days (I do stretch the time between when on safari as for some strange reason it stays cleaner then when at home), but am fortunate to select properties where I know a hair dryer will be available (or mine will connect), so manage to get it done. Most women have a 'thing' about their hair, but can assure you no one will notice.

And it's also unlikely you'll be meeting up with the same people from stop-to-stop, so wearing same cloths 2/days in a row, won't even be noticed and if it is... so what?
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 08:39 PM
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Thanks for your comments, Sandi. What you say about TSL & Kirurumu is interesting, as it is different than what the TO told us. Maybe I'll email the properties about laundry. We'll be at each of those places for 2 nights.

Fortunately, the hair dryer isn't an issue for me. I have a wonderful hairdresser who cuts my wavy hair in such a way that it air dries nicely. In warm weather at home, I don't blow dry it.

As I said, my issue isn't with what other people think; it's about having enough/the right clothes to be comfortable myself.
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Old Jun 25th, 2014, 06:17 AM
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Abram, I have never once lost a single item through the laundry services. They do an absolutely sterling job. As Sandi says, it is usually returned wrapped like a gift. The only time we had a minor issue, was during a rainy stretch in Tanzania. Because the clothes were air dried there, it took two days to get our things back instead of the usual one.

As far as being warm or cold....it's all about light weight layers. I have traveled the world and have never been cold with these items: a silk tee shirt, a lightweight fleece jacket, and a waterproof rain jacket. Add a linen or silk scarf to wrap around your neck (but a bandanna will do nicely) a pair of gloves, and something to cover your ears if its really cold (I toss in one of those knitted headbands, but I've used my bandanna on safari). All can be pealed off when the sun comes out.

I'm not sure what about my list made you anxious. There is no NEED to dress for dinner. As I said, in Botswana no one did. If there is time, I like to shower at the end of the day and change for dinner. My clothes aren't fancy. Most came from Kohls, Lands End, or Target. The linen, draw string, pull-on long pants were great. Almost like pajamas, but with a cami under a shirt, they were comfortable for dinner. The best part...they take up no space or weight in your bags. I never, ever travel with jeans. The capris that I take are yoga pants from Lands End. Very, very comfortable on the plane and laying about during hot afternoons. I take things in multiples of twos, so one can be in the laundry and one out to wear. Also alleviates the fear of losing one.

Chill.....enjoy.....no worries. You will have so much fun, you won't think about clothing again.
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