Game Warden

First time Safari advice.

93 posts in this topic

What is the best way to deal with mosquitos, tsetse flies etc? What do you use to prevent bites and or treat them?

 

Mozzies: Generally not an issue in the dry season, but trousers and long sleeves at night with a bit of repellent on the ankles, wrists and neck should get you through the evening... oh and keep the mozzie net secure over your bed.

 

Tsetses: my advice; "Harden up princess, they do more good than the little harm you may occasionally suffer on a game drive." - but, use some repellent like RID or Bushman, and some liberal swatting with a hat - its all part of the adventure - If you can't take occasionally being bitten by nature; stay home and watch it on TV.

B)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually I feel the same as ZaminOz - especially since I have 10x the density of mosquitos on my verandah at home, but there are a few places and times when they can be an issue in Africa. This is what I tell my Mum, and it seemed to work in Botswana to a good extent....

 

Apart from the obvious answer of :"insect repellants"......

 

No perfumes- especially in hair products - tsetses seem to like them. And try Vitamin B for mosquitos as it really does work for some people (Marmite is a good way to take it). Both tsetses and mosquitos like to feed in the dark, so (if I was concerned) I'd try to avoid all dark clothes and to avoid any bare skin in the evening. Thin shirts (especially if figure hugging) can be bitten through easily and you should always wear (light-couloured) socks.

 

Tsetses are relatively rare and can be avoided as they only hang in particular places. I might put on some lemongrass spray, as my wife swears it works, but I cover up as best I can and expect to get bitten a few times.

 

This is like going back to school.... I find myself having to retype every line to remove comments like "For sissies..." :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tsetses like dark clothing, particuilarly dark blue, grey and black... as do bees, so avoid being attacked by a swarm of bees while wearing dark blue, grey or black...

 

... actually, just avoid being attacked by a swarm of bees. That would be better.

Edited by ZaminOz
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IF there is a camp fire in the evening after dark, head to it - mossies will not attack you there.

 

Not sure if they still have it at Duba Plains (It was there many years ago when I visited - some sort of a anti-mosquito machine that attracts mosquitoes and kills them.)

 

Didn't know about the vitamin B trick - I guess they are in your multi-vitamins anyways ...........

Edited by madaboutcheetah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First timer (from a Commonwealth country) with question(s) regarding passport stamps: although we don't require visas in advance for Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe or South Africa I am wondering if:

South Africa used to say that they required blank pages "back-to-back" for entry/exit. Is this back-to-back still a requirement?

Do any of those countries still use large stamps that occupy an entire page?

Do any of the aforementioned countries insist on having "their own page" or are they willing to apply their stamp wherever it can be fitted?

I ask because we'll be "in and out" of South Africa 3 times, Botswana twice, Zambia once and Zimbabwe twice (plus a routing through the USA)...that could end up to be a lot of pages if everyone wants their own page!

 

"Thanks in advance" :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe SA are still strict on requiring 2 blank facing pages. However, the first entry gives you 90 days. If you exit and re-enter during that 90 days, you don't get a whole new sticker- just an entry and exit stamp.

 

Botswana is a relatively small stamp, Zambia slightly larger. Zim give you a whole page sticker, but if you get a double entry (which I personally haven't done) I'm guessing it's just the one sticker.

 

I would say you'd need at the very least 4 blank pages, with 2 facing. Then be prepared to smile and ask nicely for them to squeeze them in. I'd probably rather have 5 or 6 pages to be safe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were told to have six empty pages. Next...take your showers mid day during the down time not at night. Lastly, two years ago Duba did not have any mosquito machines(?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what else can we add to this which can be edited up into a sticky article for Safari newbies?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kenya Visa still occupies a full page of your passport.

 

Take a diary, record experiences of the day, photos of the day, funny moments, sightings that day, people you've met. Take spare batteries, memory cards for your camera. Remember your chargers.

 

Don't forget your sunglasses, I've lost count of the pairs I've bought at the airport on route! Last pair bought at Easter...doh! I have quite a collection.

 

GPS is a good backup if you are self driving, but local maps are essential... and driving license! Possibly buy a local sim card for calls in country and a list of emergency numbers.

 

Travel insurance.

 

For East Africa, maybe a list of swahili animal names, here's a few of the main ones:

 

Twiga Giraffe

Ndovu/Tembo Elephant

Swara Antelope

Kiboko Hippo

SImba Lion

Chui Leopard

Duma Cheetah

Fisi Hyena

Mbweha Jackal

Punda Milia Zebra

Ngiri Warthog

Nyati Buffalo

Ndege Bird

Kwazi Fish Eagle

 

That's all I can think of for now :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

best way to deal with teste flies ? I had a guide in the Mara who squashed them by had on the dashboard when they were moving slowly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a first timer going in May 2014, can I ask your advice on currencies? Particularly for Botswana and South Africa (selfish of me, I know). Obviously, lodging and such is already paid for. But how do you handle currency for tips and misc. stuff? Dollars or in-country currency? New bills? Bring it with me or pray that the airport ATM works? I've read a lot of conflicting reports, so can anyone help with first hand experience and advice? Thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

best way to deal with teste flies ? I had a guide in the Mara who squashed them by had on the dashboard when they were moving slowly.

Easier said than done, they are tough little beasts to kill.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a first timer going in May 2014, can I ask your advice on currencies? Particularly for Botswana and South Africa (selfish of me, I know). Obviously, lodging and such is already paid for. But how do you handle currency for tips and misc. stuff? Dollars or in-country currency? New bills? Bring it with me or pray that the airport ATM works? I've read a lot of conflicting reports, so can anyone help with first hand experience and advice? Thanks!!

Assuming that your first port of call is Johannesburg airport, you should have no trouble converting US$ to Rand and bots currency at the airport.

Edited by ZaminOz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a first timer going in May 2014, can I ask your advice on currencies? Particularly for Botswana and South Africa (selfish of me, I know). Obviously, lodging and such is already paid for. But how do you handle currency for tips and misc. stuff? Dollars or in-country currency? New bills? Bring it with me or pray that the airport ATM works? I've read a lot of conflicting reports, so can anyone help with first hand experience and advice? Thanks!!

 

On all inclusive type trips I have always just done tips and extras in US$, unless there's some other reason for having local currency like spending a night in a town where I might need to eat out at a restaurant.

 

Using local currency is obviously OK too but it's probably less convenient for you as you need to figure out how much you need for the whole trip at the beginning, then there's the risk of having some left over at the end which you then need to change back, which is a pain.

 

I wouldn't convert anything to Pula at Johannesburg airport. I'd question whether you'd get a decent rate outside Botswana. If you really want Pula, there's an ATM across the road from Maun airport. But I probably wouldn't bother. Even some of the gift shops in safari camps have prices in $, their in room information usually gives suggested tipping rates in $.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From experience:

 

1.) Dont take 2 months to muster courage to create an account in Safaritalk and another 2 months to post. Specifically get advice before you book your 1st trip.

 

 

~ @@Anita

 

Unfortunately that's what I did, which I regret.

Tomorrow will be my 2-month anniversary on Safaritalk.

Yet I started casually reading it at least one and a half months before.

If I had any sense, I would have joined then.

Very sound advice — thank you!

Tom K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My intial thoughts for first timers

 

8. You will probably want to see lions - most of us do- but lions need other less iconic species to survive, so everything you see will have direct or indirect value as it is all interlinked

 

~ @@wilddog

 

Thank you for writing that.

The centrality of ecological interlinkages between species is one of the most profound realities observable on safaris.

What you've expressed is precisely why I enjoy safaris so much.

It's not any disdain for the keystone predators, but rather appreciation for the supporting players whose lives are fascinating to observe firsthand.

Tom K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the best way to deal with mosquitos, tsetse flies etc? What do you use to prevent bites and or treat them?

 

~ @@Game Warden

 

To date I've never yet seen tsetse flies in Kenya.

During the most recent safari I asked Anthony about them.

He replied that where we visit they don't tend to be much of an issue.

As to mosquitos, aside from minuscule ankle-biters, they've never been much of an issue.

Here and there a bit of buzzing at night, but nothing of genuine concern.

Tom K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For self driving campers interested in planning tips on why it's important not camp under a flowering tree or what to do when your jack collapses or why you need to know your torch works before you leave and where it's stored, and how to fit a mozzy net to your roof tent with it sagging all over, you check out this blog http://anthilltiger.blogspot.com/p/logistics.html

 

Note the other pages on the blog for viewing wildlife (which includes catching migrations) and photography. Unless your with a guide, don't expect to rock up at a park and see lions stnading around!

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it is best to be cautious all year , however insects are most active when it is warmer

 

I always fully cover with clothing long trousers, long sleaved shirt. this also provides protection against thorn scratches.

 

I use a herbal repellant ,as I don't like the possible side effects of strong chemical products like Rid. I used it once and almost immediately broke out in hives . The label is marked my damage synthetic fabrics and plastic glasses frames, which makes me wonder what could it do to me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband to be and I are planning our honeymoon in November. This will be our first safari and my second time in Africa. We were quite certain of Tanzania (Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro) but one travel is trying to convince us that Kenya is much better. We are looking for a really close nature experience with incredible landscapes and the privilege of seeing elephants, giraffs, cheetahs, lions... Could you experienced safari travelers give us some advice.

Thanks in advance!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

~ @@LinnVictoria

 

Welcome to Safaritalk!

It's very nice of you to join us.

Your avatar image immediately seized my attention!

If it's ever comfortable and convenient we'd enjoy reading a self-introduction in the Introductions section.

Tanzania is so well described by trip reports in the Tanzania section that it requires no further fanfare.

Top quality sightings, excellent biodiversity, and well-run lodges and camps. Your future husband and you are sure to have a lovely honeymoon in Tanzania.

I've visited Kenya for ten safaris, including one earlier this month.

It may be different than Tanzania, but it's unclear how any one location might objectively be better than another.

What stood out to me in your nice post was your interest in seeing “incredible landscapes”.

Might I please mention the names of both Meru National Park and Samburu National Reserve?

At present, respected Safaritalk members @@TonyQ and @@offshorebirder have posted trip reports showing their recent first-rate safari experiences in those locations.

Both Meru and Samburu feature the wildlife species you've mentioned, plus their settings are spectacular, especially in afternoon light.

I hope that you and your fiancé will have a wonderful honeymoon in East Africa!

With Best Wishes,

Tom K.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some of my tips. I have been a safari guide and PH since 1996 in Africa (Tanzania Tunisia) and Scandinavia. This tips is for Tanzania but I am sure they apply for other safari destinations.

1. It is in the mornings and evenings you see the most, especially the most interesting animal behaviors like hunting and socializing. Always make sure that you start your safari early and end late. Demand this from your guide and read the regulation for the park make sure you start as early as you are allowed and end as late as possible.

 

2. Don’t rush if you want to see as many animals in a short time as possible go to a zoo!

 

3. Do not stress the animals.

 

4. Bring a good binocular then you don’t need to be 5 meters from the animals to see them properly.

 

5. Spend time with the animals, if you find a nice pride of lions find a good spot, settle down take a soda and watch them for a while, the chance is that you will see some action. If it is in the middle of the day take a drive and come back to watch the lions in the afternoon.

 

6. Spend some time studying about you destination and the wildlife, it will give you a nicer and more interesting experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

~ @LinnVictoria

Hi here are some more tips for Tanzania.

Arusha national park is not bad at all and has some really nice views, I like personally like to stay at Hatari Lodge. Not the best park for a lot of wildlife but giraffe and buffalo you will see and a lot of primates and it is close to go to the big plains and parks like Serengeti and Ngorongoro where the best chance is to see cheetah and rhino. Arusha nat park is a romantic park and Hatari really nice for a honeymoon I even think I will spend mine there (o; when the time comes and my wife and I have time to finally take the honeymoon we deserve (o:

Kitulo is a very nice park for an incredible experience it is best during the wet season but November if the small rain has started is really nice with a lot of flowers and colors Here is a link
http://www.tanzaniaparks.com/kitulo.html
No real nice lodges that I know of and a little bit adventurous but a really nice and different park.

I imagen you want really nice accommodation and then maybe some of the more remote parks is out of the question where it can be hard to find good lodges.

My favorite parks is Ruaha and Katavi not only because I guide in this parks they have less tourists and more game than other parks. Ruaha is the lion park number one and has cheetahs to but they can be hard to see. They both have really excellent lodges for honeymooners

Serengeti is hard to beat when the migration is in the park but I think there is too many cars there for my taste.

Good luck and have a really nice safari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • if booking on your honeymoon ,it would be a good idea to mention it to your agent, they operators might offer a complementary bonus

some areas of Kenya and Tanzania are similar to some extent

the northern area od Kenya in Samburu and Meru has stunning scenery

how far have you planned your trip ? how many days do you have available, has an itinerary been suggested to you ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just read through this for some tips for our upcoming trip. I know this is an older thread, but it certainly has some good info. One question though: I see someone said we need 6 blank pages in our passport. I was told 4. We are arriving in Johannesburg and transferring to Victoria Falls. From there we are staying a couple of nights, then getting going on the Princess houseboat for a few nights, and finally we go to Botswana for the remainder of our trip. Thanks very much for your help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


© 2006 - 2017 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.