AFRICA TIPS FOR TRIPS
South Africa 2010 trip (continued)
Particularly on safaris, wear neutral colors that allow you to blend in with the landscape and make you less visible to the wildlife. It is always a good idea to bring lightweight jacket and/or sweater for unexpected temperature changes. A lightweight packable rain poncho or umbrella is handy in the summer/rainy season.
FOOTWEAR Comfortable walking shoes are a must; supplement with sandals or flip-flops.
SUN PROTECTION Special attention should be given to protecting yourself from the sun, particularly in the summer when the sun can be scorching. Bring sunhat, sunscreen, lotion and sunglasses.
MISCELLANEOUS Binoculars, camera, flashlight (with plenty of spare batteries and bulbs), water bottle, insect repellent, lip salve, sewing kit, safety-pins, and tweezers are all very useful. A basic first-aid kit is a must, as in many instances you will be traveling to areas far from health facilities. Camera equipment/accessories are not readily available in the bush. Cosmetics, medications, cigarettes and imported liquors are generally available in the major towns.
OUT IN THE BUSH:
What is the Bush? The Bush is where you are when you’re out on safari. You may also hear Plains or Savannah, all of these terms are considered ‘out in the bush’. Quite simply, it is where animals reside. There are no bathrooms, except at Visitor Centers or designated lodge stops. These may or may not be available. Even if they are, they may not be close. Therefore, your ‘restroom’ is the bush. Please let your driver know and he will find a convenient place to stop, please consider that it could take a few minutes to find the appropriate spot to stop. Your driver will usually get out and inspect the area and then allow you to get off the vehicle. Always carry Kleenex or wet wipes with you. Do not litter, it is advisable to carry a small bag to place your soiled tissue.
ACCOMMODATIONS and SAFARI ETIQUETTE:
Your accommodations may be positioned directly within the bush. What this means is that you and the animals live in the same area. You will be inside a tent, they will be outside your tent. Please follow the guidelines set forth by the camp director and staff. Be cautious! After dark, and before sunrise, you will NOT be able to leave your tent area without an escort leading the way.
Accommodations located in the bush, are tented camps with en-suite facilities. Some may have ‘safari’ showers, with buckets of water, or outdoor, but enclosed showers. Others may have indoor showers as part of the space. Whatever the accommodations, whether ‘rugged’ or ‘luxurious’, don’t forget that you are in the bush. Everything you need is contained within that tent. Be adventurous, and know that TIA. (This is Africa!)