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Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

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Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  littlewid on Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:46 pm

Some members on here have been lucky enough to go on Safari, others dream about it and I know some are planning to go on one, for some this will be their first time. If it was me, I would be thinking about all the stuff I need and i'm sure there would be things I wouldn't think about, so the Admin Team thought it would be nice to start a thread where members who have been on safari could post their check lists and helpful hints, this would be very useful for members who are planning to go for the very first time, they can get a good idea of what they will need.
If you would also like to chat about your experiences on Safari, all stories are welcome as it gives a flavour of what going on a Safari is really like.
So have fun, share experiences and tips and enjoy.

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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Laikipia on Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:53 pm

Good idea Littlewid - i am more than happy to share any helpful tips and advice and stories - may have to do this one evening this week though !

Lai cheers
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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  whitestarling on Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:39 pm

There you go
First a Swahili/English Dictionary
http://africanlanguages.com/swahili/
Then a list of Swahili Lesson sites


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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  littlewid on Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:32 pm

Nice one WS, that will be really helpful.
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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Doogs on Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:37 am

Will get my thinking cap on and get a list together to post in due course :)

lol! I love that Jambo Bwana song WS
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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  littlewid on Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:28 pm

Nice one Doogs, it will be really good to get this thread built up for members thinking about or going on Safari.

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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  littlewid on Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:32 am

Just thought I would bring this one up again to see how anyone is getting on with their info for other members.

One question I would be asking if I was going would be, if you got sick out there, upset tummy and all that or you got bitten by something, do the Lodges, Parks etc have a medical person or room for either a quick fix on tummy probs or emergencys for bites etc, or is it a long trip to a hospital that is required.

it's just a thought as they are often a long way from anywhere and I would be wondering what medicines to be packing etc.

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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Laikipia on Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:22 am

In Kenya The Flying Doctors are available as part of your insurance (or have been for me when booked through an agent). As by vehicle to get to the nearest hospital in Nairobi would be a long drive.

I have only stayed at Rekero or been with friends on riding safaris. For this you need everything as you are constantly on the move but all medicines etc are also needed for the horses. I would imagine all camps have anything and everything.

Obvious things to take are imodium and something to rehydrate you - i will do a proper list soon.

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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  littlewid on Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:14 am

Thats interesting Lai, I thought about Travel Insurance covering hospital stays etc but didn't give a thought to the Flying Doctor or that insurance would cover that as well, thats worth people checking out when they go to see if their insurance does infact cover the FD.

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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Doogs on Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:21 pm

Honestly LW I'm not forgetting about this - will get something posted this week :)
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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  littlewid on Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:27 pm

No worries Doogs, was genuinely wondering how everyone was getting on and had, had that little question in my head for a while so thought I would ask and also post the question. So no problem, you post when your ready.

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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Laikipia on Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:36 pm

Doogs between us we can come up with a HUGE list i am sure! Although i am very minimal with what i take ............ lol!

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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Safari Maiden on Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:03 am

1. Natural coloured clothing - tan, khaki etc.
2. If you take any prescription tablets ask your doctor for a double batch, put one in your case and the other in your handbag. If you lose one you always have the other.
3. Wet wipes for quick refeshers on your Safari Drives
4. Spare camera batteries - though our guide amazingly sourced one in the middle of the Serengeti.
5. Spare digital memory cards or
6. A photo memory recorder - a piece of equipment that will take your memory card and upload the pictures into its memory freeing up your memory cards for those days on game drives etc.
7. I brought also hand antibacterial gel.
8. If you are arriving at night, you dont need to wear your safari gear. Whatever you are comfortable flying in. We just wore jeans and t-shirt and our guide at the airport said they get a laugh at all those so keen to go on safari arrive in the middle of the night in safari clothes.
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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Doogs on Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:58 pm

Right, thought it was about time that I got my finger out and posted something on this thread.

I am fortunate that I have been on Safari 3 times and hope to go to many more in the future. I’ve only been to Kenya (well we did do the Ngorongoro Crater but I won’t go into that !!) so will only be able to speak for there – I would imagine that generally all safaris are the same but it may vary slightly from country to country.

Ok, here goes and in no particular order (although I’ll try and do it logically !)

Vaccinations – Check with your doctor a good 3/4 months before you travel as to what injections you will need, they will advise you accordingly. We've had Yellow Fever (although some people say you don't need it but better safe than sorry), Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Tetanus and Polio (all have various lengths of time they are valid for). YF is the dearest, £60-£70 if I remember rightly but it lasts for 10 years. All the others are available at your doctors for the price of a prescription. You will also need Malaria Tablets for 2 days before you go, the duration of your trip and a week after you come back. We use Malarone which you get as Private Prescription from the Doctor and you'd expect to pay just over £2 per tablet - they are not cheap but they seem to have the least side effects, we've lucky and not had any.

Camera – As good as you can afford. You’ll find that in Kenya you get pretty close to the animals and are able to get some great photos but the better the zoom/lens the better the photos you’ll get. I’ve only got a 12 x Zoom Panasonic Lumix and have managed to get some great photos with it.

It can be quite dusty when you’re out in the jeep so something to cover your lens (sock, or a dust proof bag) can be useful while you’re driving along. Also a beanbag or like can be used to place on your jeep to balance your camera and get some steadier shots. If there’s a few of you in a jeep it just takes one person to more and your photo turns out differently ! A tri or monopod is also useful, my hubbie likes his mono !

Memory Cards – Never think you can take too many on Safari !! You can always delete what you don’t like and wait until you get home before doing this.

Portable Photo Storage Device – If you can afford one to download your photos. Great as back up just incase something goes wrong with any of your memory cards.

Binocluars – Again, as good as you can afford.

Clothes – Now this may vary depending on what time of the year it is but I can only speak for August / Sept time in the Mara. It is surprisingly cold first thing in the morning and even colder once that jeep gets going out on the plains ! The secret is layers so they can be peeled off and discarded in the jeep when you want. Last year when I went out I would have a t-shirt, jumper or polo neck, fleece and a wind cheater on and then gradully get rid of layers as and when I needed to – better too much than too little ! You will need them back in the jeep with you in the afternoon ‘cause it gets cold again late afternoon when the sun is setting so you need to do a role reversal from the morning and put stuff back on ! Combat trousers or likewise with shorts on underneath are great or even better those trousers that zip off and become shorts, perfect. Don’t laugh but you wouldn’t be out of place with whoolly gloves and a hat in the morning and at night and I do take them !!!

At night when your safari is over everyone is very casually dressed with jeans / cargo trousers etc and a sweatshirt / fleece / jumper. Depending how much of a ‘cold fish’ you are, you may be happy enough just to wear a long sleeved shirt at night. You are limited to 15kgs when travelling on a light aircraft and that’s not a lot if you’re away for a number of days. Most if not all lodges / camps would have laundry facilities which are useful.

When the Sun Does Come Out – Suntan lotion, sunhat (personal preference) and sunglasses.

Toiletries
– Toilet Roll (for obvious reasons ! which you can ‘borrow’ from you lodge / camp) ; wet ones and antibacterial hand gel – all handy for different reasons when out !!

Food / Drink – Depending on who you are travelling with bottled water may be available in your jeep when you are out. If it is not supplied remember to take some with you. Also hard sweets or chewing gum are good to keep your mouth refreshed and moist during the hot day.

Medical Supplies – Basic First Aid stuff, Mosquito repellent and Immodium !!!!

Personal Tips – I have been fortunate and never been bothered by the Mosquito’s, only a couple of bites in the 3 times I’ve been. I wash and use citrus flavoured soap, shampoo, body lotion as apparently the Mozzies don’t like it (myth or not ???). I also wear long socks when going down for dinner (up to my knees) as further protection from them and so far so good.

I hope this helps a bit. Maybe Lai or anyone else who has been can update with things I’ve missed or stuff they think is useful / essential. There is so much you can go into but wanted to try and keep it as basic and to the point as possible.

If anyone has any questions / queries please do not hesitate to ask.

Doogs xx Razz
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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Laikipia on Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:37 pm

Doogs that's a very good comprehensive list, and i think you've covered everything.

Most camps provide a torch but i always take one for early mornings and late nights - we walked from our tent to the vehicle accompanied by our lovely Maasai askari (guard) and it's dark. Last thing at night ditto walking back from dinner.

We found that the spotter/driver always had binos and was willing to share for those that didn't have them. I believe you can hire them, and can research that one if anyone wants. If i could only take 2 things with me that would be one of them, second would be my camera Very Happy

We also found they had bean bags in the vehicle and they are incredibly useful - nothing worse than a blurry shot!

We've always been lucky with laundry so haven't had to worry about taking lots of clothes - muted colours not bright red (although i do own a Shuka like the Maasai and use that first thing in the morning when it's cold).

Drink plenty of water - it's hot and sitting watching the wildlife you can overheat and de-hydrate. The drivers are used to stopping and the back of the vehicle is fine for an essential p.. stop. Bushes/trees also available but need checking out first, you never know who is lurking What a Face

Malaria tablets - depends on where you are going. I've never taken them for Kenya, but that's a personal choice.

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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Doogs on Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:46 pm

Good lists SM and Lai cheers Forgot about a torch, good one Razz

You've never taken Malaria Tablets Lai affraid !!!! lol!

Think between us we've got it covered Wink
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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Anne-Marie1981 on Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:02 pm

The way I get bitten by mozzies I think I should take a double dose!! affraid I think we are going to start arranging our honeymoon at the end of the month!! Very Happy

Your lists are fantastic so thank you!!!
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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Laikipia on Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:26 pm

Sorry that was bad advice especially as it's very topical at the moment with Cheryl Cole/Tweedy getting it whilst in Tz. Having said that mozzies/tsetse is far worse there!

I also thought for those :study: geek like me - i have a book of birds and a book of animals. The camps have them and the drivers/spotters will probably have them in the vehicles. But i love to know what i've seen and ..........oh i've just thought

a note book + pencils/pens - in case you want to makes notes of what/who you've seen (useful when going through 1000 photos when you get home).

I'm so looking forward to hearing where you're going Anne-Marie. cheers

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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  littlewid on Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:26 pm

Brilliant lists guy's, thats going to be really helpful for Anne-Marie and Sahara and anyone else thinking or planning on going on a safari.

I know they have different names for animals so maybe if anyone knows the swahili names for the animals they could post those here as well, every little helps.

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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Guest on Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:28 am

All of these posts are really interesting and helpful. I am off to Kenya a week tomorrow (is it really so soon?) and am not really sure what to expect. Hopefully I have all of the clothing, medical things and photo/bino equipment sussed...am stil not sure about the money.......we are on a safari that includes three meals a day, what sort of other expenses does anyone think we should be allowing for? I have heard that tips could get expensive. Also, is it best to take USD or sterling etc. Any advice, much appreciated

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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Laikipia on Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:03 am

I would advise US$ Sahara for tips not sterling and some Kenyan Shillings are useful. Not sure where you are staying but most camps have a guide line for tipping drivers/guides say $10 per day + camp staff.

Also does it include drinks with meals? If not, do they accept credit cards. Some camps have a shop, you can probably add that to your bill, if not US$ or KS are preferred to sterling. Always nice to get a few souvenirs!

Some useful words
Jambo - hello
Asante sana - thank you
Tafadhali - please
Polepole - slowly
Moja - one
Mbili - two
Tatu - three

A few animals
Simba - lion
Chui - leopard
Duma - cheetah
Tembo - elephany
Twiga - giraffe
Punda - zebra

Anything else i can help with please ask. You will just have the most fantastic time, i am alien with envy, you lucky thing. Can't wait to see you photos cheers

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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Anne-Marie1981 on Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:56 pm

I just need to let out a huge scream!! I've just booked the honeymoon!! Kenya here we come!! Only doing a 3 night safari but staying at Governors camp!! Got a full day in Nairobi to visit the DSWT and then got 8 nights in Mombasa and going to try to arrange a trip to Voi from there to visit Shimba and Dida!! I am a teensy weensy bit excited!!! cheers cheers cheers
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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Laikipia on Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:41 pm



What brilliants news Anne-Marie. How exciting for you both (especially you, going to see all your little eles)

Governors is in a wonderful location. Right there where it all happens. You will love the location and just so many eles around. I've not stayed there, but have visited their shop and loo! Stunning views and an abundance of wildlife. The Marsh Pride hang out there as well. I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited for you already. When are you going?


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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Anne-Marie1981 on Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:43 pm

We fly out 2nd September 2011!! We've requested to stay in Ngong house in Nairobi which Kuoni told me was very close to DSWT. At this stage its only a request as they aren't taking bookings yet!

I've been reading reviews on Governors camp and it sounds so marvellous!! I actually cried when I booked it!! Oh dear!! Embarassed Embarassed
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Re: Helpful Hints & Preparations for going on a Safari

Post  Laikipia on Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:57 pm

Aaaaaaaaaaaah that's so lovely. I dont know Ngong House, but it looks fantastic with it's tree houses! A perfect place if its near DSWT as you want to spend as much time there as you can elephant elephant

Glad you mentioned it as i am looking for somewhere for us to spend a night when we go back - not sure when that's going to be though What a Face I am thinking sometime in 2011

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