K & T Safari Question

Hi Everyone - Hubby and I are preparing for our trip, Kenya and Tanzania: A Classic Safari, in July 2022. I cannot begin to explain how excited, nervous, anxious, and all around bubbly I feel inside. Honestly, I feel like a kid going on their first summer camp trip. First time ever in Africa and first time ever on a Safari so I'm looking to have basic questions answered from those that have been there before.
1. Safari Packing - I've read layering is the key ... How many of each item did you pack? (eg 3-4 pants, 3-4 long sleeve shirts, 3-4 Tshirts, 2 pair slip on shoes, etc.) Please be as specific as possible - I normally overpack and I know that is not possible on this trip.
2. How often did you do laundry or send laundry out? Do all hotels offer laundry service? If you sent out laundry, did you get it back the next day?
3.Is there a need for any dressier dinner clothes/shoes?
4. Extra "might be nice to have items" - I've been told a personal lightweight inflatable cushion to use on the safari vehicles may be a good idea as well as a female urinal device to be used outside or in a dirty restroom? In your opinion, are these items something that should be considered? Are there any other of these types of items that we should consider?
5. Is drinking water available in the safari vehicles or should I plan to carry a water bottle?
6. Is there something I am not asking you feel would be helpful to know in preparation for this trip?
Thanks in advance for your help!

Comments

  • Don't bring white, it attracts flies. Convertible pants that zip to shorts are good. Safari vest was really helpful. Bandanna. Safari Hat of course, preferably one with a tis so it won't blow off your head, sunscreen. The hotels are great and will have all the soaps/ shampoos/ lotions you might want. swimsuit? check your hotels. Definitely at the Four Seasons, for hanging out in the infinity pool. There's nothing really dressy here - you're in the Serengeti! A 'nice' top and pants is good, change it up with a scarf or something. Plenty of water no worries. We wear a lot of Columbia things, so easy to wash out and hang to dry really fast. I recall hotel laundry, give in the morning and have back that evening usually. Female urinal probably unnecessary, unless you have issues. If you have back problems, then you want to be extra careful and have something cushy, (my husband developed a major back issue due to the bouncing on road ruts; they may be using different vehicles now, and I think the longest road day has been eliminated.) Binoculars.Trip of a lifetime! Every day is one Oh WOW after another!

  • Agree with everything Mazalea says, taken this trip twice. Definitely no need for urinals. No dirty restrooms..
    There are no restrooms generally, you just ask to ‘check the tires’ and get out and pee pee in the open, it’s no big deal. But usually, you can manage not going. I once needed to go when we had a refreshments stop. The guide checked around behind some bushes for me…I had just finished when a huge male elephant came crashing by in my very spot. There are some toilet tents when you do the balloon ride.
    Laundry is cheap, apart from the Four Seasons. As I have mentioned about that hotel before, it is not my favorite, when we went the pool was not a heated one, way too cold to swim in….and I try to swim wherever I can. They said they were working on it! The restaurant is very dark. When we last went, December 2019, our small group was told off for making too much noise and yet there was only one other couple in there. Thank goodness they no longer use that hotel going forward for the Bridges tour that we hope to take in 2024.
    I think the cushion would generally be a waste of time. It is Africa, so you have to expect bumpy roads….in fact, there are many more properly paved roads than when we first went in about 2007, especially in Tanzania, thanks to the Chinese building them, even better than our roads at home here in PA. And yes, you fly more these days, eliminating the long roads, which personally I think is a shame because I love the scenery and unexpected animals you see.
    You are going to have a wonderful time. We love Africa and want go back every time we get home.

  • Thelmaw: If you can’t fit it into your Tauck duffels, backpacks, and one rollaboard, you have packed too much. We use the rollaboard as a cart for one of the duffels, and check one duffel with the liquids. You need one set of resort casual for the welcome and farewell dinners … if that. Other than that you need three sets of safari clothes. One to wear, one in the laundry, and one to change into after the safari day ( you will be dusty and dirty)

    for dinner that you will wear tomorrow on safari. We have light weight down jackets that fit into very small bags. Hats (Tilly recommended), cushions I think would get in the way when you want to stand on the vehicle seat. You are not going to walk much, so shoes that are easy to take off in order to stand on the seats are appropriate. I wear safari clothes on the plane to reduce the clothes requirement. With five internal flights now, you are going to be using only the duffel and backpack a lot of the time. I know Eagle Creek is out of business so I’m interested to see what duffels they send us. We are on the June 25th trip … our third. Our last was four years ago. This will be our fourth Africa safari … we love K&T including the Four Seasons, but our favorite is the Mount Kenya Safari Club. We might take a day off there and go horse back riding (it is still a safari) and walk the dogs. We have seen the rhinos, the chimps, and the weavers … all interesting, but to us it is the only ‘repetitive’ part of the trip, if you have done it before.

  • I was on this trip last September: No cushion needed, I took 3 lightweight pants and 4 tops, laundry is very inexpensive and I rarely changed for dinner, you don't get off the trucks so the clothes don't get dirty and most of the time you have 2 safari trips a day so by the time you get back to the hotel is almost time for dinner. I loved this trip, hope you have a great time.

  • I have lower back problems and seriously considered bringing an inflatable seat cushion for the Safari rides. I’m glad I didn’t because I didn’t need it.
    There were stops for a bathroom break and as others have said you can always ask to check the tires. Most of us found the scheduled bathroom stops to be enough. I would bring some toilet paper from the lodge because a few times there wasn’t any

  • Additionally, any kind of camera with a zoom lens would be helpful - it doesn't need to be big and heavy, but you'll get closer pics than just using your phone.

  • Most times, animals are very close to the vehicle so you don’t necessarily need a big camera. We even had an elephant wrap it’s trunk round the top of our jeep,, he was inches in front of me, we looked into each other’s eyes for several minutes.

  • British, that mush have been a religious experience with the elephant being so close. I read a wonderful book a long time ago, The Elephant Whisperer and I recommend it.

  • Thelmaw Hi.

    To start this is an amazing tour-Africa is unbelievable and very addicting, you'll fall in love with the people, the country and the animals.

    Now, 1 advise I can give you, yes! do layer but don't go crazy, do not follow all it's said... you will end up looking like this :))

    We, our group had a WHAT TO WEAR ON A SAFARI PARTY> look at me! and you should see others... Hilarious.

    You will feel chilly at night- take a warmer and wear it under your shirt and a sweater. I took so much stuff and was wearing t-shirt during daytime and a warm shirt with a fleece sweater and a jacket at night no need for fancy clothes, most of the dinners are after a game drive and as you get to the hotel, you are so tired that you just eat and go straight to your room.

    I would take:
    2 long pants- NO JEANS! too heavy -
    check (REI) or Eddie Bauer - pants, Beige and brown- earth colors are better-

    3 shorts, 1 swimsuit, 5 t-shirts ( I took 8 and I used them all) , a couple of warmers, long pants PJ , 1 fleece sweater and a light weight jacket. A scarf is also a good idea and a hat. - 4 pairs of socks

    Forget any Jewlery-

    ![](https://us.v-cdn.net/6030777/uploads/editor/xb/dafdwmav7dkz.png

    - Amazon has great ones

    Yes ,you can do laundry, as often as you think you need .

    3.Is there a need for any dressier dinner clothes/shoes? maybe cocktail attire at the Four seasons and the Masai club surprise dinner and also for farewell dinner, That's it.

    1. Extra "might be nice to have items" - I've been told a personal lightweight inflatable cushion to use on the safari vehicles may be a good idea as well as a female urinal device to be used outside or in a dirty restroom? In your opinion, are these items something that should be considered? Are there any other of these types of items that we should consider? NO, NO, NO, NO....

    2. No DIAPERS EITHER< while o the Jeep during game drives. you will be so into the animals and so excited to be there , that you will not have to go.. and there is always some stop , all bathrooms are clean!

    3. Is there something I am not asking you feel would be helpful to know in preparation for this trip?
      Yes!! we were all as excited as you are for this trip and more to come, you will visit Africa more than once, I guarantee you. :))

    Do take anti mosquitos the Jungle Juice brand from REI is excellent- 100-DEET.

    If you are planning on spraying your clothes, do it outside and be aware that in some cases it spoils the colors.
    I bought this one also in REI- Amazon also has it.

    If you have any other question PM me. :)

    Enjoy!!

  • Our travels, have read Elephant Whisperer and several similar books, love them!
    Mil, that Jungle juice deet should be used with extremely caution, too strong, I believe 60% strength is sufficient.
    There was no dressing up at Four Seasons when we were there, and can’t recall anything like that at MT. Kenya, it’s a safari vacation.

  • Your comments have been VERY helpful. Thank you!!

  • Follow the directions and don't skimp on how much you apply, but take care when you treat your clothes with Permethrin (Sawyers, etc.). It dries fairly quickly and is safe, but when it is still wet it is hazardous to pets and you. (In my workshop I just happened to have a mask with good filters.) Something less will likely protect you just fine. We had no problems with it affecting colors- of course most our safari clothes were earth tones. :)

  • We go when it is their winter season. We brought insect repellant but never used it, and never got bothered.

  • edited April 7

    Tanzania is extremely close to and Kenya straddles the equator and both are at high altitude (mostly ≥ 5000'), so neither have a true winter or summer, just a rainy season and dry season. We went in mid-late June and had no trouble with mosquitos or other bugs, except for a few nasty tsetse flies. We treated our clothes with Sawyers (Permethrin) and applied a DEET product to our exposed skin- better safe than sorry since the malaria prophylaxis did not sit well so we stopped taking it.

  • Yes … the equator goes right through the middle of the Mt. Kenya Safari Club, but the weather in June, July, and August is substantially cooler than other months of the year. So some refer to that as their winter, which is also the dry season. Cold and dry tends to create fewer ‘bugs’ than hot and wet. The early morning game drives can require warm clothing. I found the place where they store the fireplace wood at the Mt. Kenya Safari Club, and brought in a good supply.

  • Hey guys! Will I need some repellant for my clothes and self? I'm going next Sept. to Botswana, Zambia & Cape T.
    Please advise.
    Thanks

  • There were lots of mosquitoes when we were in Zambia at that time

  • I just went to Kenya and Tanzania last September and had no problems with mosquitoes.

  • Mil was asking about Zambia, we had mosquitoes in our room

  • We are scheduled on the August 20 K/T. We will be prepared and use the Sawyer repellent on our clothing as well as taking repellent with us for our exposed skin. We’ve heard from many people that at the time of year we will be there we may not be plagued with a lot of mosquitoes, but it’s good to be prepared just in case. We’ve already got our prescription for Malarone and are up to date on all vaccinations (getting our 2nd Covid booster this weekend).

  • I was there in late July — we never had mosquitoes. We encountered Tse Tse flies on a late afternoon safari from The Four Seasons. We had to roll up the windows until we left the infested area. No flies got into the vehicle. And within 10 minutes we were able to open up the windows! We go ad fantastic weather: cold in the am, warm during the day and cold at night. Layers were the order of the day. My packable fleece was well used!

  • I see references to a Tauck duffel bag. Please clarify…we are planning on packing a small rolling carryon bag and a “personal item” bag that fits under our seat.

  • I see references to a Tauck duffel bag. Please clarify…we are planning on packing a small rolling carryon bag and a “personal item” bag that fits under our seat.

  • Tauck will send you one duffel bag each for use on the small airplane trips. You can carry what fits in the duffel plus a normal size backpack. Larger hard sided luggage goes by land and you will not see it often. We used the two duffels and one rollaboard and we each had a small backpack. We never needed the stuff in the rollaboard but it made a nice ‘cart’.

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