Tanzania, Kenya = Aug 10th - Clothing

We have bought a bunch of beige, khaki, brown, olive clothing to wear. Most of our reg clothing is brightly colored and we were told it is not a good idea to wear bright colors, or very dark colors. Yet I see other travelers wearing bright colors, the Masi people wear bright colors, so I am a bit confused. Any comments or thoughts? Most of our pants are navy or black so thinking of saving those for changing into in the evenings. Even bought beige or light colored socks to use with my capris.


  • edited July 2019

    Frankly the bit about colors, especially red which the Masaai wear, scaring the animals is overblown. That being said, it is very dusty there so beige goes a long way in allowing you two wear clothes more than once. One real issue is that Tsetse flies are attracted by bright colors, especially blue, and those suckers can bite you though socks, pants, and shirt! The bite hurts, similar to a horsefly bite. Mr. Google says, "The tsetse fly is attracted to bright colors, very dark colors, metallic fabric, and the color blue."

  • I was told light colors were okay even if they are blue. Also, if it is all dark colors what about olive green?

  • I sure hope olive green, grey, light browns, light blue are okay. I am bringing knee socks so I can tuck my pants legs into the tops of them if necessary, plus if I wear capris (men don't) the socks will protect my legs a bit from bites.

    also bringing a bunch of bug repellent wipes with deet and some bug sprays with deet. Everyone else will be safe from bugs because they will come to me... I get bitten even out walking my dogs some days.

  • Fortunately, the mosquitoes were not bad for us at that time of year, as I am a mosquito magnet. Be careful to use your repellant in the evening - especially at the outdoor activities. When on game drives near the Four Seasons property, stick to your tan and other neutral clothes, although on one drive the flies were swarming around us - we were all waving our arms around like crazy people. It was, however, for a very limited period of time - maybe ten minutes - and we did not get bitten. Mosquito repellant does not repel the flies.

  • You do see people in colors other than the beige, khaki, olive green colors , but not many. The bright colors do kinda look out of place. Some of the animals are color blind anyway. The Maasi wear red so they can easily see each other and it really works, you can see a loan Masai a long way in the distance.
    Black and dark blue definitely attract tsetse flies, I once wore a sock with a narrow black band and a tsetse bit me and it really did hurt as Alan said.
    Whilst I have a few pieces of Safari clothes in my wardrobe, I have other regular clothes of the Safari range of colors I take. These are useful for the Galapagos trip too. Costco has sold some excellent travel pants for about $15
    . Deet doesn’t work on tsetse flies

  • British...I have a couple of the olive green pants from Costco...and navy and black...those will either stay home or be used at hotels.

  • Olive green is fine- just look at the photos on the web- Kenya and Tazania are biege, brown, and many shades of green- I think I have 3 or 4 sets of safari clothes- one in each color. You can use them again for the other Africa tours, Galapagos, Jordan & Egypt, Costa Rica & Panama, etc., basically anywhere it is desert, savana, jungle, etc. and hot and humid.

  • I was just on the Kenya and Tanzania safari. Don't worry too much about the clothing at this time of year. I needed only a light polar fleece for the early morning drives or evenings at higher altitudes. Short sleeves, casual pants and one long sleeve shirt is enough. There is little time for changing clothes...we were dirty and dusty most of the trip and wore the same few things every day.. All the hotels had great same day laundry service. Bring old clothing you can leave behind. The guides will find wonderful needy people for them. I used a pair of shorts on several days as the afternoons are warm in some places. there is only 3 days you should not wear blue or black outside of the hotel in the Serengheti. It is very dusty so forget about changing lenses in the bush. we never saw rain so no need for raincoats etc. people on the trip who took malaria pills stopped halfway through because it gave them upset stomachs...be prepared for the trip of a lifetime !!!

  • Thank You Margaret_Grotle 1 for your comment. My husband and I are leaving next week Wednesday, 7/31 for our K&T Safari starting on August 3rd. Why I waited til the last minute to read these travel forums is mind boggling?! I will need to get a "safari color" windbreaker (since I have only a red and black jacket) :( Don't we have to dress for dinner? or can we go to dinner in our dusty clothes?
    Just wasn't sure how much "nicer" clothes I need to pack.

  • Just came back from that tour! You can wear any color you want! There are only two days that you should avoid blue and black (in the Serengeti). Our tour director told us color really isn’t an issue otherwise and he was completely right. Although, it was dusty throughout the tour, you really couldn’t tell by my clothing. So, I usually wore my pants again and switched out my shirt for dinner. Have fun!

  • I changed into a clean safari outfit for dinner and then wore that clean outfit on safari the next day. You don't need "nice" clothes. We made great use of the laundry services!

  • Same for us, usually a clean shirt for dinner, but not always clean pants. It often depended on how much time we had, but sometimes we would go straight from a game drive to a meal with just a quick stop to wash face and hands.

  • Well, I tried and tried to used just one Med suitcase to be checked for both of us and one carry one each but it just didn’t work. Between the Tauck duffel, Mens’ shoes, Binoculars, First Aid, Medications, TP, I just couldn’t make it work. So now we are bringing 2 Checked bags (24 inch Spinners) and 2 Carry Ons plus our back packs as our personal items. Mens Clothing is just so much bigger than womens and heavier! Oh, I did call Tauck to confirm this was “permitted”.

  • Nedda, what on earth are you taking on this trip? If you mean two suitcases each. You must be overpacking. I took one of my Africa tours with just a duffel. We have been on around thirty tours with Tauck and never taken more than one suitcase. I just got back from a Tauck tour of 16 days with a medium suitcase and small backpack and didn’t wear about one third of the clothes I took. I only washed about three pairs of underwear on that trip and one top. The Tauck Africa tours are actually the only places we will send laundry out because it is so cheap too.
    Would you be willing to share what clothing you are taking, I just don’t understand how you can fill two suitcases. Mr B takes the medicine cabinet with him and I’m the nurse! Yet that takes up little room, he gets the medicine cabinet gene from his mother, a constant source of amusement in our family. Shoes, wear one pair suitable for the safari on the plane, one spare pair and just one pair for anything else.
    Tauck are so gracious, they probably would say it is Ok to bring two suitcases. Yet yesterday when we were trudging thru an airport with our bags I was wishing I could pare things down even more because it is so liberating.
    I was talking to a lovely lady on our river cruise we just took, she always looked lovely and put together and yet she said ‘ We always travel differently to anyone else, we always just travel with carry on!’ Experienced travelers can do it, and it’s such a relief to know your bag won’t go missing or be delayed or be destroyed from handlers, all of which have happened to us in the past. We did have a couple of years where we packed just carry on, but it was easier to do before 9/1. Sealord will tell you they managed with just carry on when their suitcases got lost on an Africa trip. Our bags were delayed 24 hours on one tour, that KLM flight is notorious for delayed bags. I still find the Safari tours the absolute easiest tour to pack for, it doesn’t matter really hat you look like, it’s the experiences that are king and will be removed forever.

  • edited July 2019

    Nedda, do you mean you are taking two suitcases each? I just don’t understand what you are taking that requires that much. Shoes, wear one safari pair on the plane, take one spare pair and one for everything else. The duffel is best left as it comes from Tauck in it’s pack and put in the suitcase that way. Roll all clothing, using packing cubes helps keep them organized, we use those all the time now. Mr B takes the medicine cabinet with him, a gene he got from his Mom and a constant source of family amusement, and yet I’m the nurse 😀 yet even that takes little room. Don’t forget the Africa safari tours have very cheap laundry services, in fact, the only time we get laundry done on tours.
    Most nights, you may find you have no time to change for dinner after an evening safari and any way at most places you have to be escorted to and from your room once it is dark so it becomes a pain waiting for the escort. It’s great to do this tour, no makeup no jewelry, no caring about your hair! So liberating and fun. So nice to take a shower and really appreciate it.
    Tauck would say it is Ok to take two suitcases, they are so gracious.
    Please enjoy your tour, pay it forward and please post your tips and experiences here when you get back. I can’t wait to go back. I think Africa will be a very different experience than perhaps you are imagining.

  • British, I love your comments! Too much info forthcoming..... Yes, 2 suitcases, yes, packing cubes, Yes, very little jewelry, not even wearing my gold necklace I wear every single day and am known for wearing! Taking “good” jewelry off and leaving home. His hat folds up, mine doesn’t quite so much but will pack it accordingly. Pony Tail and a couple of barrettes! LOL Yes, wearing Keens on plane, old pair of sandals for pool and as slippers, and one pr of sandals for everything else. He is taking two pairs of snickers - Size 11.5’s, they take up a lot of room. I found the Tauck bags in the packing tube to take up more room than laying them flat. I do a combination of rolling and folding but use the cubes... I find men’s clothing takes up more room rolled than folded even the lightweight Columbia type of shirts, and men’s pants? Forget rolling them!!! We just figured we don’t want to be dependent on laundry services. Just the way we are! One of the things we have to take are packages of lozenges... I need them constantly for my throat and don’t want to run out. And nasal spray...too much info I know but we both need that...we each have a pair of binoculars... we were going to share but his are heavier and my new ones he can’t seem to focus and since we see “differently” we need a pair for each of us. Decided on the bigger camera but that will be in the backpack I suspect along with the noise cancelling headphones which we use on the plane, airports, even in room to watch things on the iPads when no tv available. Plus this way we will have room to bring things back. I was thinking earlier that I could check the carry on and use our Tauck duffel as our carry on on the way home to accommodate anything we might have purchased. I have some things in mind...Tanzanite, Masks, Sculptures.
    Looking forward to it even with the extra luggage to be concerned about. Will be happy to post after we get back. I have three friends that are going to Africa this coming year. One in late Sept, one early October, one in 2020. They are interested in my assessment of what is needed, what was used, what to take, what to leave home. One friend is doing a “bespoke” trip, one doing this one we are doing, and one is doing another tour company to 4 countries.

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