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My first trip to Tanzania Part 2 (post itinerary)

Madison, Wisconsin
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My first trip to Tanzania Part 2 (post itinerary)

Hi everyone,

With help from so many, our September trip is planned--at least the core itinerary and accomodations. 11 days, starting in Arusha and ending in Northern Serengeti.

The original forum--My first and likely only trip to Africa/Tanzania focused on the itinerary; Part 2 focuses on all the myriad of things that pop up in our head, small and minor to essential, perhaps critical things to know.

So here goes.

The rest of the story (so far) includes topics such as:

Clothing--his/hers (11 days) Assume limited laundry facilities

What might we bring on a trip that we should just leave behind this time?

Charging electronics considerations

Pack ONLY 33 pounds pp?? Paper clothing? How about a carry on besides the one, measley bag? :)

Favorite sites for buying clothes/hats and such? Shoes---what kind?

Jewelry--leave at home? Safety of belongings while out on drive?

Is there typically a check out time at camps/check in time?

Oh I have more questions, different side topics. But will save for now.

I know, I know....start with reading everything on the right hand side. Will do!

Minneapolis...
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1. Re: My first trip to Tanzania Part 2 (post itinerary)

A lot of folks will recommend natural fiber clothing... cotton in particular. I'm old-fashioned in a lot of things, but I love the newer miracle fabrics that are designed for camping and usually nylon-based.

The clothing I use for all travel is perfect for safari. They have a high spf factor for protection from the sun without slathering on sunscreen. They can be rinsed out in a sink and dry by morning... and if it is damp and they aren't quite dry, they will dry quickly while wearing. They wick moisture. They have lots of pockets.

I get great deals on clothing from Sierra Trading Post online - if you aren't familiar with them, you should be. I suspect a lot of people from Madison are very familiar with STP. I frequently get clothing and other stuff at 30-50% of what the same items cost at REI or other major sporting goods stores.

What shoes? Comfortable and easy is the order of the day. You'll be sitting - a lot. I used slip-on shoes because I was in stocking feet in the vehicle much of the day.

Pack light - you don't need many clothes... just rinse them out every now and then. We travel for month out of a carry-on. Go for simple light colored clothes that can mix and match and, being a woman - throw in a couple of scarves to accessorize. For clothing ideas, check out Travelsmith. Idiot She actually buys some stuff from them - generally too spendy for me, but you can get great ideas from their catalog.

Leave good jewelry at home - there's some very nice looking cheap jewelry that is perfect for travel. Idiot She consistenly gets asked about her expensive looking bracelet watch - under $15 from Target.

Recharging... some camps you have to leave your stuff charging in a central location as there is no power to the tents during the night. We got around that because our vehicle had an inverter so we could charge everything during the drives each day. Ask your outfitter if the vehicle will have an inverter.

Know your electricity. Many things, like camera battery rechargers, are designed to work on multiple voltages and all you need to do is have the right adapter plug. Other items, like hair dryers, need a step down transformer... if you run a 110 volt-only device on 220 volts, it burns up quite quickly.

Check out check in times? Don't even think about it. You still haven't quite accepted the way this is going to work. You'll pick a TO and make your plans - and then the guide is going to take excellent care of you every step of the way. You will rarely need to make a choice, except which beer to order... and when in doubt, defer to the judgement of your guide who knows a lot more than you do!

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: My first trip to Tanzania Part 2 (post itinerary)

Luisa. Glad to here you are started on your itinerary. Is it booked? if not, I am sure you will be back with more pertinent questions to get that finalized.

Dada, (sister in Swahili) These kinds of questions above may get you answers, and good ones, but these really have been answered very frequently on this forum. May I suggest that you use the search box above and spend some time reading the vast storage of answers to these? You will appreciate and retain things better if you have searched and researched yourself. Many of these questions can be answered from reading a guidebook, but I will admit I find the TA versions often much more entertaining.

Isle of Man, United...
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3. Re: My first trip to Tanzania Part 2 (post itinerary)

Nothing to add, Jewellry is so not me, other than to caution the use of hairdryers in Camps and Lodges. Many places have signs up not to use them as the supply cannot cope and will fuse/trip the system.

In my limited expereince the African sun and wind makes a perfect dryer and is so Eco friendly.

When did you last see a Lion blow drying his mane?

Chicago
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4. Re: My first trip to Tanzania Part 2 (post itinerary)

Another great option for clothing and supplies is Cabela. They are online, and also have huge fascinating stores. They often have great sales or clearance items. Another interesting option (but not cheap), is Scott-E-Vest. They make clothing with many hidden pockets for equipment which would be good both for security, and for carrying all of your 'pack' on the trip.

Minneapolis...
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5. Re: My first trip to Tanzania Part 2 (post itinerary)

Heck - you can save the price of your safari by going to Cabela's. The big stores have what we call "The Giant Mountain of Death" - immense displays of taxidermied animals from around the world. It is repellant to me to see so many animals killed for mounting a display - but I'll admit, they do it right!

Good prices on firearms and ammo. Membership can get you a bargain on your first purchase as well.

Madison, Wisconsin
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6. Re: My first trip to Tanzania Part 2 (post itinerary)

All great suggestions. I am assuming lightweight is the way to go. Now here is a silly question: hats---have one? scrunchable no big deal kind of hat? Some other kind?

Shorts? long pants?

Isle of Man, United...
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7. Re: My first trip to Tanzania Part 2 (post itinerary)

Wide brim preferably with retaining strap. Safari is not a Fashion House.

ld
Manchester, United...
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8. Re: My first trip to Tanzania Part 2 (post itinerary)

A Tilley hat and ExOfficio underwear. I could travel the world with those items and just the clothes I stand in - for Africa I add a small torch with a wrist strap.

Arusha, Tanzania
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9. Re: My first trip to Tanzania Part 2 (post itinerary)

I bought all my "safari" clothes at JCPenneys....cotton khaki pants and capris and cotton t-shirts. the cheapest things I could find, since I was volunteering for a month before safari and knew that the hand washing and line drying was going to kill the fabrics, which it did.

Earth-toned clothes to hide the dust/dirt, which you will be wearing.

I used a scarf and headbands for my hair to keep it back, since I am not much of a fan of hats.

forget the hairdryer and makeup....this is safari after all, and at 6 AM who wants to be applying makeup and drying hair? Not me, and I just gave up on looking "nice" and loved the freedom.

Foot wear...I bought a pair of Teva sandals, easy to kick off while in the jeep, I was always barefoot in the jeep so I could hop around from seat to seat to get the best view, with my head stuck out the pop-up roof. Also carried a pair of good sneakers, which I wore around camp and on walks, for protection.

I had NO special "safari gear" and did just fine on 2 safaris since June.

Jewelry - leave it at home; chances are you will want to purchase some local jewelry along the way.

other ideas - a small, LED flashlight and a headlamp came in useful for night trips to the toilet and walking to and from the dining area. Also some tents don't have the most powerful lights in them and the lighting can be dark, so the flashlights came in handy.

nyc
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10. Re: My first trip to Tanzania Part 2 (post itinerary)

As QM suggests, do a search on this forum for answers to just about everything on your list. Then if something unusual or not found crops up... we're here.

Personally, I shop in my closet. Rare, regardless where I travel do I have to buy new/different than what's already there... have never needed anything special when it comes to attire for safari.

Paper clothing? No, but paper panties are good, available for gals/guys - wear and toss! Do a google search for these that are very reasonably priced.

Edited: 6:39 pm, January 29, 2013