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  Glossary
Safari glossary
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Planning your safari:
Luggage
You don't need much special luggage or equipment for a safari tour in Kenya or Tanzania. You may pack mainly what you would bring for a beach holiday, and add a warm sweater or jacket. We suggest that you also bring a pair of binoculars and a camera.

A normal safari luggage, including clothes and spare shoes, toilet kit, medical kit, some reading etc, may range between 10 kg/22 lb and 20 kg/44 lb in weight. Expensive and fragile belongings, such as binoculars and cameras, should be carried in your hand luggage, both on flights and during the safari.

For a list of suggested safari luggage, see Luggage list for safaris.

Hand luggage
Bring a small bag or rucksack for hand luggage on flights and daypacks during the safari. It should have room enough for one or two bottles of water, sun block, binoculars, camera etc.

Hand luggage on flights
Bring all indispensable belongings in your hand luggage on flights; checked-in luggage may go missing, especially if you are changing planes at Heathrow in London (LHR/EGLL) or Jomo Kenyatta in Nairobi (NBO/HKJK).

Delayed luggage usually catches up with you in a day or two, but to keep going until then, you may want the following in your hand luggage:

· Passport, travel documents and money
· Medicine, sun block and mosquito repellent
· Basic toiletries
· Camera and binoculars
· A change of clothes (underwear and a t-shirt/top may be enough)

Don't forget that knives, scissors and other sharp objects are not allowed in hand luggage.

Liquids on flights
New restrictions on how much liquids you may carry as hand luggage on flights have been implemented during the last years. Check with your airline or travel agent which rules apply to your flights. On international flights, the new restrictions may also include tax-free liquids bought at airports.

For relevant links on this matter, see More web sites in the left column.

Hand luggage on safaris
A basic hand luggage during game drives or when travelling in safari vehicles is bottled water, sun block, hat, wet wipes, camera and binoculars. If you're prone to travel sickness, bring anti-sickness medicine.

Dusty roads
You may travel on very dusty roads, especially in Tanzania. Keep binoculars and cameras in a dustproof bag when travelling these roads. A scarf may protect long hair from dust.

Main luggage
Bags
Soft bags are easier to stow in safari vehicles than suitcases. If all group members bring large suitcases, all may not fit in the luggage compartment, and some may have to go inside the vehicle. As a result, there will be less space for you and the other safari-goers.

Suitcases are safer from thefts, for example when checked-in for flights. Soft bags are lighter and don't add as much to your luggage weight.

Carrying luggage
There are porters to carry your luggage at airports and all hotels, lodges and tented camps; you don't have to carry your luggage at all, if you prefer not to. A suitable tip is USD 1 (or equivalent in local currency) per bag.

Luggage weights on safari flights
On smaller airplanes used for flying to and between parks, you are usually allowed only 15 kg/33 lb luggage per person.

What to wear on safaris
Most safari-goers dress casually. Thanks to the tropic climate, you mainly need to bring light clothes. Very few lodges and hotels expect formal dressing for dinners, so you don't need to bring dressier clothes than a pair of trousers and a shirt or a light dress. Bring your normal clothes; you don't need special safari clothes such as safari suits.

Colours
As to colours, khaki has two pros: dirt and dust doesn't show much, and tsetse flies are said not to be attracted (while blues and black do attract them). White is unpractical because of dirt and dust.

Avoid colours and items that have a military or colonial touch, such as camouflage patterns and tropic helmets. They may cause offence or problems.

Daywear
Typical safari daywear is shorts/skirt, t-shirt/shirt/tank top, sandals/light shoes and hat. A light dress is fine.

Bring a warm sweater or windproof jacket for early morning game drives. Long trousers and sleeves are fine when weather is cool or when travelling in areas known for tsetse flies, where you may want to cover your skin to prevent bites.

Eveningwear
Most hotels, lodges and tented camps have no dress code for dinners, but appreciate if you're clean. Some restaurants expect men to wear long trousers, and some expect proper shoes, not sandals. Jackets are seen mainly in luxury hotels or on businessmen. Covering your skin during dusk, dawn and night protects you from mosquito bites, i.e. from malaria.

Laundry
Laundry services are offered by most hotels, lodges and tented camps. Laundry picked up in the morning is usually returned to you the same day.

When travelling ourselves, leading tours, we can't bring clothes for a month, but depend on laundry services. It works fine. The weekly laundry bill is approximately USD 25.

Luggage for beach holidays
Light clothes and swimsuits are fine for daywear in beach resorts. For evenings, wear long trousers or equivalents.

The coastal population in Kenya and Tanzania is mainly Muslim. To avoid causing offence, cover legs and shoulders when outside of the beach resorts.

Many safari hotels and tour operators can store luggage for you during your safari. That means, you don't have to bring luggage specifically meant for a following beach holiday (snorkels, clothes etc) during the safari, but can pick it up after the safari.

Luggage for mountain climbing
Climbing Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya or other high mountains requires special luggage and equipment. Your travel companies or tour operator should provide you with a relevant luggage list in good time before going. (Your health on the mountain depends on what you bring. If you don't get such a list, you may want to consider booking with another company or operator.)

For a list of suggested climbing luggage, see Luggage list for climbing.

 
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Page updated 18 February 2009