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Would you take an extra day at Mombo or more time at Victoria Falls area?

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May 8th, 2003, 10:07 AM
  #41
 
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Itleyen
Would be interested to know, if you know, what they changed in the refurb. Was it just a case of replacing furniture etc or was there any substantial work?
Just curious!
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May 8th, 2003, 10:17 AM
  #42
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Thanks Kav and It, you guys are right as usual. There are no dryers in Mombo. Kav, see my email - thank you for the packing info! Singita tends to dress a little for dinner so I'll bring a change there.

It - good tip. My big concern is how crowded the SAA filght will be. It will be a Sunday non-stop JFK-JNB and I've been told by SAA that it will not be full so we can probably stretch out in the economy seats. However recent flyers said due to the cancellations (SAA has cancelled about 5 flights a week on this route for April and May due to low demand), their flight was packed. This really becomes a health issue for us as it's hard to spend the whole 14 hour night getting up and walking around when you really need sleep before a big trip.
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May 8th, 2003, 11:10 AM
  #43
itleyen
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Clematis - if your SAA has space to spread out in, fabulous! By all means, grab it ASAP. It is a long one! We've always taken #210 via Atlanta-CT-JNB, and it is 100% full - cheek to jowl, butt to butt. SAA changed our seats constantly, on all our trips. So, do confirm a lot the final week.

If you've some blinders to wear, tote them along - SAA has this lovely practice of running movies all night long - just no break whatsoever.

At Mombo, some dressed a bit - even a skirt or two - and something colorful, as a change. Since you're limited to 12.2 kg pp, you'll have to be selective. But they wash and return clothes every day. But I know you know some people will not wash your underwear.

Kav - I know Mombo was relocated, but as you say, the tents look identical to the WS material.

Clematis - you will have a great time. The free house wines at Mombo were very nice - SA reds - so it was unnecessary to order off their special list. Pre and post-dinner drinks are free, so order up! And at lunch too.

Have a great time, and do post for those of us going in the future - and alas, I've a time to wait but the time will come.









 
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May 8th, 2003, 02:12 PM
  #44
 
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Mombo was relocated back in 1999 - they moved the site only about half a mile or so to it's present location. The complex as appears in the photos is the same one as was built then and that we experienced in June 2001.
I am wondering what they changed or did in the renovation you mention in 2002. I can't wait to see.

Clematis - had a thought re the dressing up - don't know if you wear such but take along a couple of elegant scarves. They take so little space and with them you can dress up clothes that can also double as regular day wear.

People didn't dress up when we were at Mombo but that was just one small group and anyway, Singita probably will be more dressy, as you say.

The accessorizing route might mean smaller luggage than packing separate evening wear.

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May 8th, 2003, 09:02 PM
  #45
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It -

>But I know you know some people will not wash your underwear.

*My* underwear? Who won't wash *my* underwear?! <G> I am trying out some of that disposable travel underwear. Will report. Or not.

They run movies on a screen all night? I was thinking that SAA would have those little screens on the seats. Will bring blinders. I am afraid you will be right, that it will be totally booked.

Kavey - scarves!! Very smart - I do love them and will pack some to dress up things. Now "It" - if women wore skirts at night at Mombo, didn't their legs get cold or bitten by bugs? Black attracts bugs in the daytime, but I gather those are not the same at night because my agent suggested black pants for dinner. Oh, someone could write a whole book on dressing in Africa...

Do pre and post dinner drinks include martinis and brandy?
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May 9th, 2003, 01:48 AM
  #46
 
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Bug bites were my main reason not to take skirts - that and cold legs at night. It can be quite chilly and the central bar and dining area is open. At Mombo anyway. I don't know Singita at all.

The reason that Wilderness Safaris warns that underwear may not be washed is that most camp staff are men and washing womens' underwear is considered inappropriate.

We did find at one or two camps that the manager would inform us that actually the staff there _would_ wash underwear but I was happier to do this myself in the room anyway.

Clematis, this trip should be a truly wonderful experience - I can't wait to hear about it when you get back.

If it's not too expensive, so consider getting your photos scanned and copied onto a CD for you at the same time as prints are done - I can talk you through putting them onto a free website to share - no problem!

Kavey
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May 9th, 2003, 01:49 AM
  #47
 
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so = do
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May 9th, 2003, 06:09 AM
  #48
itleyen
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Tribal customs of some of the people who work in the camps do not permit them to wash underwear. They will wash shorts, tees, etc. This is for real.

Pre-dinner drinks are mixed by lodge staff - what you get will depend on what they have in stock and what they know how to mix. The post-dinner drinks might include cognac, but don't expect anything too grand.

Our SAA plane had both up front large screens and back of the seat screens. The constant glare and movement was irritating - afterall, you're looking at 14 plus hours in the air.

Last year, SAA and Atlanta staff fueled the plane incorrectly, so we had to sit on the ground on board 4 plus hours while they did it all over again - and then had over 14 hours looking at us, then two more to J'Burg. Part of the excitement, I suppose.

Do reconfirm seat assignments before the day of departure. And your return to NY may include a stop for refueling - this isn't the case for trips to SA. Ask SAA the exact travel route, so you'll know ahead of time. It would add an hour or two.
 
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May 9th, 2003, 03:11 PM
  #49
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I was kidding about the underwear. I do know this about the custom there.

Kavey, for Mombo I'm beginning to think bringing a turtleneck cashmere sweater for night underneath a jacket or fleece may not be a dumb idea.

It - that must have been hard when they refueled incorrectly (I can't even imagine how you can do that wrong) and added hours to an already long flight. I do think we have that normal fueling stopover on the way back.

I will def. reconfirm our seat assignments as it gets closer as per your rec. Right now I'm a little concerned about United - hoping they will be flying through Summer as we have a non-refundable ticket. Whatever happened to the days when you could just book a flight and not lose $800 if you had to cancel? A change will cost us $200 ($100 each) and there is no hard copy ticket for them to bother with....
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May 9th, 2003, 08:38 PM
  #50
 
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Hi Itleyen,

When do you think you'll be going back? Where exactly have you been(was not paying attention) Thanks in advance
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May 9th, 2003, 10:02 PM
  #51
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Kavey, It, are you likely to be bitten or less likely? I'm definitely more likely. I'm just somehow a target for pesky varmints.
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May 10th, 2003, 01:33 AM
  #52
 
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I'm a target too. Pete calls me his own brand of insect repellent - when I'm near him he doesn't get bitten!

I took some high concentration DEET repellent and rubbed this on exposed areas - ankles, wrists, neck etc.

There were hardly ANY mosquitos around at the time of year we went (same time as you) but there were other biting insects.

In the day I got bitten a few times by tsetse flies - they no longer carry sleeping sickness, so don't panic about that - you can feel the little buggers bite though. Don't wear pale blue or grey which attracts them - as you're driving about you may notice what look like flags staked into the ground - in these two colours - I think these are coated in something that kills tsetse flies.

I don't recall finding it very cold at night - I usually wore a long sleeved cotton shirt over trousers and wore my (light weight) fleece - which sometimes came off anyway.

Again, if you can get a black silk underwear turtleneck - that would take next to no space in the luggage and you could wear it under a shirt, thin jumper or fleece.

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May 10th, 2003, 01:34 AM
  #53
 
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PS that bit above when talking about "cold at night" - I mean in evenings when we went for dinner.

Cool but not cold - I'd say.
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May 12th, 2003, 05:55 AM
  #54
itleyen
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Hi, Clematis - yep, they put the fuel in in a way that created a vapor lock for one of the fuel tanks - and it refused to be filled. They had to drain the plane's tanks - a 747 has a lot of very big tanks! We were forced to stay on the plane while they did this - and then we finally left Atlanta. It wasn't too bad, but I'd prefer not to go through it again. Have a great trip.
 
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