Things to Take with you on Safari in Tanzania

Published: 02nd December 2006
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Things To Take with you whilst on safari in Tanzania



There are several types of holiday options in Tanzania, ranging from a week or two relaxing on the idyllic beaches to the adventurous treks up Mt Kilimanjaro. When you go on safari in Tanzania there are several things which will greatly help to ensure your enjoyment of your safari. Before going read as much as you can about Tanzania. Described below is a list of items that you may find useful whilst on safari.



Basic items of clothing (such as t-shirts) can be bought in even the most remote villages, so you can afford to pack light. Below is a brief list of a few essential items:



A Sun hat, ideally wide brimmed if you are going on a game viewing safari or hike.

This serves to protect your head from scrapes as you walk in the bush as well as preventing burning. The brim also helps if you are in the rain! A Tilly hat is best.



Sun screen is essential as are good quality sun glasses for the beach or the mountain where it is very bright. Though be aware that it is best to remove your shades when talking to local people.



Insect repellent or long trousers and sleaved shirts for the evening. Be aware that products containing DEET are the most effective but do have a tendency to melt certain plastics.



A solid pair of walking shoes or boots (even if you are not going hiking).



Sandals or something similar. It is possible to buy flip-flops very cheaply in almost every village.



Binoculars are essential especially if you are heading out game viewing. Get the best ones you can afford it's so worth it!



A week's s supply of underwear. Cotton is best.



A good book or two.



Torch and spare batteries.



You don't need to bring Mosquito nets as they are cheaply available here.



A small towel



The clothes you need depend on what you intend to do. For hiking activities you will need good quality trousers, a shirt or t-shirt and maybe even a jumper or fleece if you are heading up where it may be cold. Shorts are not always practical for hiking as there may be rough grasses which can irritate your skin. You will need specialist gear if you intend to hike up Kilimanjaro, which can be hired for the trip.



On game drives you can wear whatever you feel comfortable in. It is best to stick to subtle lighter colours. If you have fair skin it is a good idea to always have a long sleeved shirt at hand for sun protection. It can be surprisingly cool on the mornings, especially when you are perched on top of your safari vehicle moving through the bush, so a light windbreak jacket or fleece will be useful.



If you are venturing out on an extended camping safari then you will need to bring along several changes of clothes. It will usually be possible to get laundry done along the way, but it helps if your clothes are made from quick drying fabrics, denim should be avoided. Camping shops are now full of hi-spec gear that is designed to keep you cool and dries in minutes. In some locations long sleeves and trousers are recommended for evening wear to avoid insect bites.



Wild Things will supply all camping equipment. You may want to bring your own sleeping bag or sheet.



Be Respectful



Tanzanian' s large Muslim population mainly live around the coastal regions and on the islands. However it is still important to dress decently when in any town or village, even inland. Women should cover their knees and shoulders and avoid low revealing tops. Skirts are considered more conventional than trousers. It is also more respectable for a man to wear trousers rather than shorts, and it is not acceptable to walk around in public without a shirt. When staying in a National Park or Reserve, at a lodge or camp site, it is acceptable to wear shorts and sleeveless tops.



Finally a word about the weather. This can't be predicted so remember that though Tanzania has a pleasant tropical climate. Hotter and humid along the coast (expect daytime temperatures of about 30'c), it becomes more comfortable as you move inland. Some areas lying at altitudes above 1000m are quite cool, and even surprisingly chilly at night, so a warm fleece or jacket may be needed. July, August and September tend to be the cooler months, with February usually being the hottest.



Most of the rainfall occurs between November and May, split into two rainy seasons. The short rains start in November and last 4 to 6 weeks. Long rains usually begin in around March and continue through until the end of May. However the rains have been somewhat erratic in the past couple of years.



If you plan to visit in the 'green' season then be prepared for some heavy (torrential) showers. This does make for good game viewing however with elephants having mud baths etc.



visit Wild Things Tanzania Safaris for more information on visiting the Serengeti..

--

Roy J Hinde is a former biodiversity researcher who now operates http://www.wildthingsafaris.com

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