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Old 11.02.2013, 14:05
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Tips to buy clothing/gear for African safari

Hello All,
We're planning a trip to Tazania and Zanzibar (our first trip to Africa! Very excited) and we need to get some gear for the trip - specially for the safari.

I'd love some suggestions on where we can buy things like cargo pants, safari jackets, etc. that are not exorbitant (!) in Geneva, Lausanne or near about.

Stores, online shops....resale. All suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Enjoy the snowy weather!
Rajix
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Old 11.02.2013, 14:08
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Re: Tips to buy clothing/gear for African safari

When my wife and I took off for our safari in Namibia, we decided to buy the safari clothing in Windhoek instead of here. First off, the stuff is generally much cheaper there, plus you'll have a much larger selection. I assume you'll be landing in a big city, so just plan some time for shopping on your first day there...
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Old 11.02.2013, 15:12
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Re: Tips to buy clothing/gear for African safari

Just wear what you normally would outdoors, only tone bright colours down. Nothing worse than rocking up looking like some wanna-be great white hunter, very naff. In particular, never travel through airports or on planes in 'safari gear'.
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Old 11.02.2013, 15:22
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Re: Tips to buy clothing/gear for African safari

do you know exactly the programme and way the "safari" is organised?

most i have seen involved 20-30 mini buses (4x4 is not need as the roads are well travelled) the surrounding 1 animal and when news of a lion, elephant comes across the radio its like a drive in rush hour traffic to the spot.

if you have ideas of driving in a van/car alone in the grass land you may be in for a surprise.
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Old 11.02.2013, 15:55
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Re: Tips to buy clothing/gear for African safari

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do you know exactly the programme and way the "safari" is organised?

most i have seen involved 20-30 mini buses (4x4 is not need as the roads are well travelled) the surrounding 1 animal and when news of a lion, elephant comes across the radio its like a drive in rush hour traffic to the spot.

if you have ideas of driving in a van/car alone in the grass land you may be in for a surprise.
Our safari experience was not like this. It was in 4X4, there were 6 guests per car. It was South Africa for what that`s worth.

We saw loads of animals on our own but did get calls for lions, leopards, etc. No one needed to call anyone to find an elephant! Our first drive was a complete disaster, we saw nothing but impala and our guide admitted it was his career worst drive for animal sightings. The older French lady who had a lot of safari experience was off her face complaining about how bad it was. The next morning was brilliant. So you may have better drives and worse drives.

There was a 2 car max around any animal at any time. Anyone else had to wait.

We did go off track and the 4wd was necessary.

For clothing I agree you don`t need specific safari clothes, something practical and in normal non neon colours , comfortable, be prepared for hot and cold as you can be up early before the sun and then it can get hot. Or in the night time vice versa can start hot and turn cold.
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Old 11.02.2013, 17:05
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Re: Tips to buy clothing/gear for African safari

hi all,
thanks so far for the responses.

we're doing a private/customised safari, so in a 4 x 4 with driver and guide. We are going off the beaten path, so staying in some mobile tented camps as well.

i agree that some of it can be 'normal' clothing though given my propensity towards color, i think i have stock up on some 'neutrals'

however, what we don't have and would like to purchase are things like quick drying, durable, multi-purpose gear - like a safari jacket and cargos built for these kinds of trips. sure, we have hiking gear and stuff, but if anyone knows of stores like REI (US) here in Switzerland (between Geneva, Lausanne) or even online - that would be a great help.

again, thanks for the responses so far.
cheers!
rajix
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Old 11.02.2013, 19:14
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Re: Tips to buy clothing/gear for African safari

I buy all my quick-drying/wicking travel clothes from Sport XXX (Migros) or Athleticum. Both shops can be found at Crissier.

You are right to stock up on these kinds of clothes, as they are light in a suitcase and normally come in neutral colours good for safaris. Talking of neutrals is always interesting when you are approaching an animal in a noisy 4x4 though! Its more important if doing a walking safari. I find shirts that have sleeves that can be worn long or short useful, as you will need the long sleeves for sun and mozzies.

I was brought up Africa, in Maun, one of the centres of the safari industry, and have safaried in many African countries. I would agree with Rob1 about the "minibus possť" following one poor lion down the road, but this is worse in Kenya than in Tanzo. I am proud to say that I did NOT see the wildebeest migration crossing the Mara. One look at the 200 or so vehicles tearing around at speed whilst waiting for the herd to cross made us tell our driver to leave the area at once. Thanks, but no thanks.

Dont forget a good sunhat, binos, and a zoom lens! Zanzibar is amazing. Enjoy it.
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Old 11.02.2013, 19:18
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Re: Tips to buy clothing/gear for African safari

ok its good u know the format of the "safari" as i often saw many annoyed and complaining passengers in the crater staring at a single lion or croc
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Old 11.02.2013, 19:25
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Re: Tips to buy clothing/gear for African safari

You don't need anything flashy or bling bling. Something like this will be required: http://www.outdoorwarehouse.co.za/




On a serious note though, wear a pair of jeans, shirt and boots. Make sure you apply three layers of vervet monkey repellant and carry crocodile zapper
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Old 11.02.2013, 19:31
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Re: Tips to buy clothing/gear for African safari

Have a wonderful time, we did the Tanzania/Zanzibar trip for my OH's 60th birthday some years back - after I got a tax rebate! Fabulous.

It is tempting to want to wear short/no sleeves, and shorts all the time, but not a good idea due to mosquitoes and other bugs. Much better to have long but very light trousers and shirts. Enjoy.
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Old 11.02.2013, 20:45
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Re: Tips to buy clothing/gear for African safari

Ah, and make sure you have a hat. I was in the Kalahari in Botswana a few weeks ago and brought a good hat with me, for the sun, you know... well, despite of being in the desert, it was lots of rain, so the hat at least helped me to keep my head dry!
Get one sweater as nights can get cold. If you manage to arrange safari walks, then have good trekking shoes. And don't forget the mosquito repelent, it can be very handy at night :-)

If you are in Lausanne, maybe is worthwile a trip to Decathlon in Pontarlier. They have good "safari" clothes and prices are very reasonable. Don't expect fancy brands there though.

Enjoy the trip!!!
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Old 11.02.2013, 21:48
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Re: Tips to buy clothing/gear for African safari

pith helmet is obligatory.
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Old 11.02.2013, 22:16
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Re: Tips to buy clothing/gear for African safari

Going to Tanzania (safari zanzibar) in march 2013, very excited as well. Good luck
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