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First time Safari advice.


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#21 pault

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:55 PM

Or an Indiana Jones type whip...


That works too, but you'd probably take the guide's ear off by mistake.
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Waiting again... for the next time again


#22 Anita

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:56 PM

you are too much! Whoever called you the in-house comedian, thats a serious understatement!

This must be the most original 'packing list' for first timer advice thread.....

Edited by Anita, 18 September 2012 - 01:58 PM.


#23 wilddog

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:10 PM

The list might need a bit of editing by GW before it is really user freindly for first timers. We cannot be seen to encourge bad habits, whips, zappers and my own thought - after the first loan of the bins they can pay rental for the privilege - up front. then hopefilly they will not be whipped out of your hand as Ovenbird experienced.

Perhaps this is further advice - be tolerant of other passengers even if you really feel like murdering them. :D
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#24 Game Warden

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:33 PM

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

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#25 Atravelynn

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 01:05 AM

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

Speaking from dry season travel experience in a variety of countries, the mosquitos are fortunately scarce. Especially in the evening I use bug spray, just Deep Woods Off, but there are many kinds. Not much you can do about tse tses, besides not wearing dark blue clothing. If traveling in the dry season to typical safari destinations, it is likely you will have more mosquitos at home than on safari in Africa.
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#26 ZaminOz

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:07 AM

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.
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#27 pault

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:30 AM

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

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#28 ZaminOz

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:53 AM

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, 19 September 2012 - 05:38 AM.

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#29 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 05:11 AM

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, 19 September 2012 - 05:12 AM.

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#30 Ed Grant

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 04:26 PM

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"  :)



#31 stokeygirl

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:42 PM

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.



#32 marg

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:36 AM

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(?).

#33 Game Warden

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 10:39 PM

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


"Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you." - African proverb.

 

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#34 Safari Cal

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 12:27 AM

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:


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#35 COSMIC RHINO

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 08:48 AM

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.

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#36 BJlock

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 05:53 PM

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!!



#37 ZaminOz

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 03:34 AM

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.
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#38 ZaminOz

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 03:36 AM

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, 21 September 2013 - 03:36 AM.

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#39 stokeygirl

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 10:38 AM

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 $. 



#40 Tom Kellie

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Posted 15 May 2015 - 07:15 PM

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.







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