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Gilgamesh

Silly questions...can there be snakes/critters in the room and tent

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I am not fond of snakes. Is it possible to find snakes inside lodge rooms or in tents? If yes, is it rare?

 

Is it a routine part of safaris to check the bed sheets etc to make sure there aren't any critters....it sounds like a very silly question, but just want to be sure.

 

I only hate snakes, but my wife however is not a fan of any critters...should I do a sweep of bathrooms etc prior to her going there every morning? She is not petrified of them or anything like that, it's just that she will rather not share the shower with a tarantula.

 

We are mostly staying in lodges, except the last two nights at Porini Lion camp...lodges are Serena properties in Amboseli, Mara and Ol Pejeta sweet water tented camp. One night in Enashipai lodge, Naivasha to break journey.

 

I am embarrassed to ask this question, but I feel like I want to know this...

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It´s not an embarrassing question at all but a very sensible one. But I do think you need not worry. While there can be no guarantee of snakes not getting inside it´s a very, very rare thing to happen. In general it´s pretty unlikely you will see any snakes on your safari at all.

 

Critters ... might happen, although I never had spiders or such in my room/tent, and never check for them. Although it´s never a bad idea to check your shoes before putting them on.

 

Preprare for stuff like Skinks or Geckos, though - they are often inside (but totally harmless).

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1 hour ago, michael-ibk said:

Preprare for stuff like Skinks or Geckos, though - they are often inside (but totally harmless).

 

I always regard geckos as my 'in tent' pest control :) 

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I'm with you on snakes, believe me.  I've never seen one on safari at all (knock wood) but know they're out there.  I've never had anything of concern in a tent.  I did have a gecko in my banda in Amboseli (banda is like a thatched roof cottage) but we respected each other's space and coexisted nicely.

 

I'll be honest, I think the reason I've avoided Serian camps so far in the Mara was @graceland's trip report (I think it was her or one of the ladies she traveled with @Kitsafari? @SafariChick?) where she said the bathroom was outside the tent and there was a snake on the way to it one night.  NOOOOOO thank you!  (Although I read somewhere that they were taking steps to remedy that, anyone know?)

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Yes, I did encounter a snake near the bathroom on that trip @amybatt and @Gilgamesh - see post 132 in our joint report here: 

However, it was not IN my tent or in the bathroom and the whole thing was an exciting but not really scary experience for me. I remember I was nervous about staying there before we did due to the outdoor bathroom situation but I don't think it was snakes I was worried about! However, it was perfectly fine and if you just shine a flashlight around before you walk out, you should be ok. In terms of things getting in your tent, I've had bugs in the tent - one time at Musekese there were a ton of them on my bed after dinner - it was the one night that something had hatched and there were a lot of them in camp - but I just called the guides and they got rid of them for me. I have heard you should check your shoes before putting them on in case a critter is in them but I always forget! 

 

I've always been a big scaredy cat but over the years I've grown to love Africa so much that the minor things like this have become no big deal at all and the great stuff of being on safari to me far, far outweighs any concerns like this.

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I have had a large rain spider in my tent in South Africa  one time, a mouse in my tent in Mana Pools, a mouse in our toilet in Zavora (Mozambique ),  a small yellow frog in my tent in Brazil and had a few rats in various places in India, including one that jumped on my head. :) 

 

When it rains be prepared for the possible emergence of winged termites in droves -had a few such incidents in botswana and south Africa.  Not sure about Kenya. 

 

Avoid leaving any door or window open at night with the lights on. That is a sure way to attract bugs! 

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I could not even go to my room at Mara Plains as a Lioness had given birth under my deck and the mangers deemed it unsafe for human movement and I stayed at Mara Toto next door in 2014.

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interesting topic and @Gilgamesh it's an issue that a  lot of us face. I've had : a large centipede in our tent in Mwamba, a medium sized spider in Londolozi, a rat in Tswalu, and flying insects inside the tent when I forget to turn the light off for the evening. when I remember, i would shake my shoes out before I wear them and check for snakes or critters behind toilet bowls or tree trunks if it's an open bathroom, and so far they've been clear. But oftentimes, the creatures would move off when they hear movements. I did have a bushbaby trying to unzip my tent at serian which was both surreal and funny!

I'm terrified of snakes and 've seen boomslang, python and cobra and black mamba during my safaris, and thank goodness the sightings happened when I was on the vehicle and they were on the ground.   

 

I expect all these and more since we are in the bush and these critters will be there. they are part of the bush and wildlife we go to see. doesn't mean that I'm not scared of them, but it's their world I'm going into - they are probably more terrified of us. 

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you  might get visitors 

 

don't get drastic  , I have been told about someone who felt  something in the bed ,bashed it and ended up with a wet bed

 

they had attacked the hot water bottle

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Thank you all for the replies, it has been very helpful and entertaining at times as well...I didn't expect all of these wonderful stories to appear on this thread - pleasant surprise.

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 @Gilgamesh A foot note. ;) re checking shoes in the morning .

 

I knew the rules, just forgot one morning, shoved my foot in my boot and something moved at me toes.

 

I screamed my head off, with drew my foot immediately, waited for the inevitable agony of a scorpion bite to hit, and my impending death, only to find a large semi crushed MOTH trying to crawl out of my boot.

 

I will not forget again

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Some small critters may come in for a visit.  We've had spiders, mice, frogs, etc. (but nothing harmful) that I've had to gently relocate outside.  Just remember to share out your shoes/boots before putting them on in the morning.

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What a splendid thread  @Gilgamesh.  i have to escort spiders from the tent as Jane is very scared of them-the largest so far needed by hat-but that was very rustic.in the same place-Sindabezi Island, they had a hippo that  slept  near the staff quarters. At  the sadly defunct  Rod Tether camp in north Luanqwa Jane saw a snake slither away when she was in the outdoor shower and at dinner once a Zambian tree from chose the moment another guest was saying he had not seen any in his room to land on his head. at one of the fly camps in Selinda, many years ago the outdoor toilet was covered in wild bees which made going to the loo entertaining, but the incident that has left mental scars for me was the very first time I used an outdoor shower-in the tree above Arrow marked babblers started a cacophony of babbling laughter-its bad enough when Jane does it!

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@Gilgamesh just remember that these incidents sited above cover a lot of Africa travels, from pretty seasoned safari travelers, so they are comparatively rare, but always memorable. You will be fine... and will love it.

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2 hours ago, Towlersonsafari said:

What a splendid thread  @Gilgamesh.  i have to escort spiders from the tent as Jane is very scared of them-the largest so far needed by hat-but that was very rustic.in the same place-Sindabezi Island, they had a hippo that  slept  near the staff quarters. At  the sadly defunct  Rod Tether camp in north Luanqwa Jane saw a snake slither away when she was in the outdoor shower and at dinner once a Zambian tree from chose the moment another guest was saying he had not seen any in his room to land on his head. at one of the fly camps in Selinda, many years ago the outdoor toilet was covered in wild bees which made going to the loo entertaining, but the incident that has left mental scars for me was the very first time I used an outdoor shower-in the tree above Arrow marked babblers started a cacophony of babbling laughter-its bad enough when Jane does it!

Oh! man! the laughing Arrow marked babbler story is absolutely hilarious...I wish it happens to me...that's a story to tell,life long.

 

slithering snakes in the shower is what nightmares are made of...

 

A snake dropping on the head wouldn't matter, 'cause I'm sure I will die instantly to know about it, lol!

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30 minutes ago, wilddog said:

@Gilgamesh just remember that these incidents sited above cover a lot of Africa travels, from pretty seasoned safari travelers, so they are comparatively rare, but always memorable. You will be fine... and will love it.

True! they don't worry me much at all....one time when we were about to start a trail in Sedona, Arizona, hikers returning from the hike warned of a couple of rattle snakes on the trail...I was ready to proceed, however my wife didn't want to...I have to say, I am glad she said it and not me, lol!

 

But, we both love animals so much, none of this will ruin it for us...but, snakes in the shower or falling on me will make me more aware/mild apprehensive of each shower from there on etc.

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whistles, air horns and two way radios are placed in the room so staff can be contacted if someone has a serious  medical event or an wild  visitor .

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Posted (edited)

44 minutes ago, COSMIC RHINO said:

whistles, air horns and two way radios are placed in the room so staff can be contacted if someone has a serious  medical event or an wild  visitor .

Wow! Good info...thank you so much.

Edited by Gilgamesh

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@Gilgamesh  Yep, snakes & other critters can and do get into your accommodation. I've a had bush snake in my tent (harmless) but I do know of occurences when spitting cobras & puff adders have been removed from tents/chalets. 

 

On my last trip... In the evening I'd returned from a shower to find my friend standing with a can of insect spray in his hands. I asked what he was doing and he said he had seen a scorpion. As I was standing in bare feet I immediately jumped onto my bed and then scanned the floor with a torch. Finally i shook the mosquito net near his bed and the scorpion ran out from the bottom of it. The scorpion was tiny. Even so I had been told many years ago ~ small pinchers, big stinger = nasty. This one fitted the bill so I despatched it with the bottom of my boot.

 

Just be wary of such things, I often stuff plastic bags into my shoes and never leave your clothes on the floor.

 

You really have more chance of being injured in the drive to the airport.

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Occasionally this can happen, but I wouldn't worry about it. We had a scorpion in our room in madikwe (not a tent, a solid room) and a kalahari striped mouse in Kgalagadi transfrontier park. Otherwise it is just flies, mozzis and house geckos.

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I always remember to put my shoes on if I venture into the bathroom in the middle of the night (scorpions). And I usually do a bed check to make sure nothing snuck into the covers.

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