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First time safari..... help!!!!!

Turin, Italy
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First time safari..... help!!!!!

Dear TA friends,

We are planning our first safari ever in Namibia. We will drive from Cape Town up to Esotha National Park in June / July.

I have to specify that I have NEVER been on a safari before, and I have no clue what kind of clothes to take with me. It might seem a stupid question..... but I will only be able to bring a suitcase of approx 20 kgs and I will have to have something for Cape Town (where, I believe, it will be rather cool in June, being winter), something for the safari itself (we will be camping most of the times and I believe in south Namibia it will be cold at night) and for the couple of days we will spend in Windhoek at the end of our trip.

Any recommendations?

And what kind of shoes are most suitable for the safari?

Apart for the usual things (binoculus, etc.) is there anything that you recommend I should take with me?

And one more question: I am a vegetarian (I eat no meat and no fish) - will it be difficult to find something to eat in Namibia (at the camping sites and so on - as I assume that in Windhoek it will be no problem at all)? Should I stock up on food in Cape Town?

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!

Isle of Man, United...
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1. Re: First time safari..... help!!!!!

Well I will just say that a Safari in Namibia is poles apart from the 'glossy brochure' pictures of the maagazines. Simple casual wear will suffice even in the Restaurants. Take 'layers' so that as it heats up and cools down you can adjust accordingly. A wide brimmed hat for the sun.

Footwear? some folks slouch around in Flip flops but beware, there are enormous thorns that will penetrate most soles.

Binoculars, Camera , Batteries and charger and you are well equipped.

Namibia is a meat eaters paradise but they are hospitable enough to recognse other preferences. You won't have any problems.

Manchester, United...
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2. Re: First time safari..... help!!!!!

First and most importantly you will love it, maybe become an addict like some of the inhabitants of these forums. Mrs J and I manage on around 10 kg each. We use Rohan stuff which is easily washable and does for all purposes. Just for decorums sake I would try to wear natural colours, I remember JJ our guide in S Luangwa muttering 'not proper' when a dutch couple turned up for a game drive in tracksuits. Day and night attire is completely informal, many just staying in the same year. A fairly tough pair of comfy shoes (as per Mfuwe) will do all day.

If you haven't got binoculars I would go for modern roof prism small ones 10 x 30. You will use them more than the larger ones you see guides with on TV.

Camera to capture the magic moments, get a bridge camera with the biggest zoom you can afford 30 x if poss. Set it on auto so you can take pics and then enjoy the animals.

Get out of the gate into Etosha As The Gate opens. This is the best chance for the sight of a lifetime. Be the first and enjoy the brief moment of being on your own in a great place.

Christchurch, New...
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3. Re: First time safari..... help!!!!!

Casual clothing. We went to Etosha in late June and during the day in the car it was hot sometimes (if there is the option of having a fridge in your vehicle I would take it. Sometimes our camera stopped working as it overheated. Although that may have related more to the thousands of photos we took!) However the evenings were cool. I would also take a warm pair of trousers (I had a pair of polypro to wear under my cotton trousers which was OK, but fleece trousers would have been nicer to have) and two or three layers of tops.

If you are camping you won't have any trouble buying your own vegetarian meals at supermarkets. I can't recall but I'm sure the restaurants at Etosha had vegetarian options too.

We had boots with us but that was for another part of our trip; running shoes or comfortable walking shoes would be fine for Etosha. Again, it gets cool at night so I wouldn't rely just on sandals.

Christchurch, New...
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4. Re: First time safari..... help!!!!!

I was thinking of asking the same sort of question as we are off in less than 2 weeks (finally!), wondering what to pack, and we are vegetarian too. I can understand it getting pretty chilly at night when the sun goes down, but when I look at the climate graphs for Namibia and Botswana for April and May I struggle with the concept of zero rainfall. I'm not used to going on holiday without packing a good raincoat. We are camping for 6 weeks, are we really wasting valuable luggage space if we bring raincoats?

Isle of Man, United...
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5. Re: First time safari..... help!!!!!

Raincoats? Well you certainly won't need those Deep Sea Fishermans type. If it rains at all most folks will rush out and stand in it (and not just to save on bath water)

Coming from a more temperate climate I pack a small Waterproof "anorak" that folds up tight. I think our American "friends" call them skins or something like that.

Mainly for protection at the airport at home and it stays firmly in the case.

As for zero rainfall. I have toured Namibia four times, for weeks at a time, and recall three rainstorms. None lasted more than an hour.

Christchurch, New...
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6. Re: First time safari..... help!!!!!

Six weeks in Namibia in June-July 2011 - we didn't see a single cloud until the last week. No rain. (yes I had a small light rain jacket with me)

7. Re: First time safari..... help!!!!!

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