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Clothing foa a safari in Tanzania.

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Clothing foa a safari in Tanzania.

Off with my wife and 12 year old twin girls to Tanzania inc a walk around the base of Mount K and the usual wildlife safaris. We will be there in mid August.

My girls are running scared thinking that I will be dressed like Indiana Jones for the visit. Behind their concerns though is a serious question. What clothing should we take to ensure that we have as comforable time as possible? I have had conflicting advice both from friends who have made similar journies and also from websites.



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1. Re: Clothing foa a safari in Tanzania.

There is a search button just above your message. I knew this has been discussed at length several times since I started reading the Tanzania forum, so I tried "safari clothing" and found lots of discussions.

Don't expect to be less confused after reading. You will find there is no concensus.

If you can pull off Indianna Jones, more power to you. Apparently your kids don't think you can. I believe that one of life's little joys is being an embarassment to my daughters... As an aside - it is another great joy that the oddities that have so embarassed my daughters are the very things that make all their friends think I'm "the cool dad..."

Most of the old hands favor "earth tones" rather than bright colors. Blue is said to attract tsetse flies and bright colors have various negatives. Others say this is irrelevant and just wear what you like.

The majority of old hands favor cotton. A few of us, myself included, disagree, favoring the highly breathable, rinse-and-quick-dry synthetics, preferably with sun protection and perhaps even with the insect repellant impregnation. I can pack lighter if I know I can rinse out my clothing and have it dry the next morning. I don't like to rely on laundry services when I travel, but it sounds like most lodgings can take care of this for you if needed.

Cultural sensitivity is often discussed. Tanzania is a religiously-conservative country. Muslims and other conservative communities prefer that women always have their shoulders and legs covered. Men, too, typically wear long pants. Some maintain that when an area gets their income from tourists, the tourists should set the standards and dress any way they like. I fall in the "I'm a guest in their home" camp and try to dress and act with awareness of their sensitivities even though I do not share them.

The concensus seems to be that folks will wear shorts on safari, and women will or won't wear tank tops depending... but most folks seem to agree that when making a visit to a village it is best to dress more conservatively. On Zanzibar, most say you can wear anything you like on the beach but women should use discretion in dress when going into villages and towns.

I'm struck by how many parents write about their teenage daughters who are apparently very concerned that they will not be able to wear all of their favorite clothes all of the time. Unbelievable to me - but then, I've always had to work for a living. The idea that I was going to spend $10,000 a kid to take them to Africa on safari and then have to deal with - forgive me if I call it whining about "do I have to wear THAT..." well... hard for me to grasp.

Long sleeves and pants seem to be preferred by most old hands in early morning and the evening as they help with the insects that often feed in the dawn/dusk pattern. Some folks seem to favor the convertible pants which have legs that zip off...

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2. Re: Clothing foa a safari in Tanzania.

Idiots, you're so spot on.

There are many threads on this subject, and you've hit the most important which OP should search for.

As to looking like Indiana Jones... yeh, I can see the kids howling, but so too would I. No need to look as if you stepped off the pages of the latest men's or ladies fasion mag.

Just keep it basic, easy to wear, stick with one or two colors (tan, khaki, brown) that do not show dirt/dust and interchangeable. Laundry can be done at most lodges/camps for small fee or included (depending on where staying)... all but women's undies, which either bring sufficient for the duration or rinse out at night and hang indoors to dry, otherwise you'll find the vervet monkeys running around with them on their heads :) :)

Guess the only thing then is the hat, which everyone should consider due to being on the Equator and it's brutal sun. You'll all need SPF for the sun and repellent to ward off mossies and other flying things, except tse-tses for which there is nothing, but to simply avoid.

Read the various threads on this subject and go from there.

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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3. Re: Clothing foa a safari in Tanzania.

I take about the same things whenever I go. 3 sets of clothing in the luggage and wear one, that's plenty. I take golf or tee shirts and docker trousers, sandals for foot ware, and a broad brimmed hat/cap. I also have a vest that I travel with, it's made to conceal money that I carry so that is always worn. That along with small toiletries and I'm finished. I throw it in a carryon and I'm off. You will be well advised if you don't try to cover all possibilities (if you find that you really need something after getting there you can buy it there).

Doing this I find that I can do my packing in the last hour before leaving for the airport, and yes I have forgot things from time to time; but I survived without it.

Keep it simple.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Clothing foa a safari in Tanzania.

Don't be scared of wearing jeans either! We weren't really sure if we should take jeans or not, but even our driver wore jeans on one of the days. Seems like the tsetse flies will eat any colour when they're hungry :-)

We were warned to expect our clothes to get really really dirty from all the dust, but actually it wasn't that bad (we went in feb/march).

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5. Re: Clothing foa a safari in Tanzania.

Tell your girls that we could start a 'People on Safari' website modelled after the 'People of Walmart' site. It seems anything goes. I really dont think any combination of clothing articles would surprise anyone after a 1st visit to a picnic site, camp, or entry gate.

Hat, bandana, vest, light shirts, one pr of shorts 2 extra pants, ex officio undergarments and a light coat worked for me(and left enough room in my bag for my girls to load up on souveniers)

6. Re: Clothing foa a safari in Tanzania.

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