How to Stay Clean on an African Safari

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If you’re thinking about going on an African safari, it’s likely that you have a few questions about what to expect on your trip, including how you can stay clean. After a long day of trekking through nature, you’re going to want to clean up so that you can feel fresh. As you might expect, however, staying clean on a safari is much different than with typical vacations, making it a good idea to examine this issue with a little closer detail.

Here are a few simple and effective tips for African safari hygiene that will help you to stay fresh and clean on your next holiday.

Dealing with Bucket Showers

While most safaris include modern amenities, some travelers prefer a more rustic vacation that includes camping in the bush. If you’re going to do a little camping on your next safari, then you should expect to take at least one bucket shower.

A bucket shower, as you might expect, involves heating water in a bucket and then hanging the bucket so that you can bathe. While it’s certainly different than a typical shower, you can easily get clean with a bucket shower by following a few tips. Basically, you need to make sure your bathing as quickly as possible. Your water will be limited, so you need to scrub yourself quickly. In particular, if you’re going to wash your hair, put in your shampoo on right away. If you wait to shampoo your hair, you may run out of water before you can rinse out the suds.

Packing Your Clothes

When it comes to African safari hygiene, one of the most important things to consider is your clothing. Although you will likely get the opportunity to bathe, you may not be able to wash your clothes until you return home. This means you need to be careful about what clothes you are packing and in what amount.

The best idea is to pack light, breathable clothing. Not only will this help you stay cool, it will allow you to pack more clothes so that you’ll always have a clean outfit at the ready. Packing multiple pairs of socks is also a good idea. You’re going to be doing a lot of walking on safari, and it’s likely that your socks will get wet and dirty. Having a few fresh pairs on hand will help you stay comfortable.

Other Items to Bring

If you want to stay clean on your safari, there are a few items you can bring on your trip that will help with this goal. First, make sure you have a travel toothbrush and some toothpaste. Simply being able to brush your teeth in the morning can help you feel much cleaner throughout the day. Second, if you want to be able to freshen up without going through the hassle of a bucket shower, you should consider investing in some wet wipes and dry shampoo. These items can help you quickly clean up in the morning so that you’re ready for a day of adventuring.

As long as you follow these easy tips for African safari hygiene, you should be able to stay clean and fully enjoy your dream vacation.

Essential Items You Need on Your Next Safari

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There is no vacation quite like an African safari. On your trip, you’ll see sights of which you’ve only dreamed, and will be able to experience activities that will be hard to forget. However, like any trip, the key to making sure you have the best time possible is being certain you have the right equipment.

Traveling in Africa requires much different equipment than your typical holiday, and learning about a few of the items you need to pack will guarantee a fantastic trip. Here are some essential safari items that you need to make sure you have on hand so that your next vacation is easy and rewarding.

Clothes You Don’t Mind Losing

An African safari can be very hard on your clothing, so when your purchasing attire for your trip, you want to be sure you’re investing in clothes that you wouldn’t mind leaving behind. If you’re not worried about protecting your clothes, it will be much easier for you to enjoy your trip. When your clothes tear or stain, you can leave them behind without worry.

Extras of Your Most Important Items

On your list of essential safari items, there will be some things that you will need to function on a daily basis. For example, you may need to bring along contact lenses or have a medication that you require regularly. If you use any of these types of items, you should be sure that you’re bringing along extra on your trip.

There’s nothing quite as frustrating on a vacation to use your last pair of contacts or to realize you’ve run out of a necessary medication. Packing extras of these items will make for a worry-free vacation where you’re easily able to enjoy your scheduled activities.

Lightweight Cold Weather Wear

If you know anything about Africa, then you know that temperatures can become very cool once the sun has dipped below the horizon. It is for this reason that one of the most important items to bring with you on your safari is lightweight jacket or sweater that will keep you comfortable when it gets colder outside.

With a lightweight jacket, you’ll be able to keep yourself more comfortable without taking up too much of your valuable storage space.

A Crushable Hat

You’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors on your African safari, which means you run the risk of experiencing a sunburn. Obviously, since a sunburn can greatly lessen your enjoyment of your trip, you need to protect yourself from the harsh sunlight, which is why it’s a good idea to pack a crushable hat with a wide brim.

For starters, crushable hats are very easy to pack, and can often be stored in your pocket when not in use. Second, the wide brim of these hats are perfect for a safari and will give you the protection you need so that your face doesn’t get burned from your hours in the sun.

Invest in these essential safari items, and you’ll be able to enjoy a top-notch trip that you’ll be raving about to your friends and family back home.

Tips for Feeling Safe on Your African Safari

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If you’re looking for an exciting vacation that you’ll always remember, look no further than an African safari. When you go on safari, you’ll experience some of the most interesting sights and sounds of your life while also be able to enjoy activities that you won’t be able to find in any other vacation destination.

However, if you want to enjoy your safari as fully as possible, you need to feel safe throughout your entire trip. Fortunately, feeling safe on safari is easy when you follow a few simple tips. Here is some advice for feeling safe on an African safari that will allow you to enjoy this one of a kind vacation without fear or worry.

Keep Your Distance

When going on an African safari for the first time in your life, it’s likely that your most anticipated activity is seeing exotic animals in their natural habitat. While seeing a lion or an elephant in the wild can certainly be thrilling, you also want to be sure that you’ll feel safe, which is why it’s crucial to maintain the proper distance from these creatures.

Viewing safari animals is perfectly safe as long as you’re certain to not get too close. With lions, for instance, you can get fairly close as long as you stay inside of your safari vehicle. When you’re viewing elephants, you may want to stay further away, as they travel in herds and may get spooked if you get too close or approach to rapidly. Being careful about how close you’re getting to the animals is an easy solution for feeling safe on safari.

Be Aware at All Times

Although there are several ways you can stay and feel safe while on safari, the most effective is staying aware of your surroundings. Too many people going on safari assume that they can rely wholly on their guide to keep them safe. While your guide will do everything they can to keep you from harm, you must also take some responsibility for your own security.

While you’re walking around, keep your eyes open and listen for any unusual sounds. This should help you detect potential threats so that your safari will be safe and fun.

Listen to Your Guide

Maybe the most important thing you can do to feel safe on safari is to trust your guide and to listen to their instructions as carefully as possible. Your safari guide has been trained to give you a fantastic vacation experience while keeping you safe, and if you fail to listen to their instructions you may be putting yourself and your fellow safari-goers at risk.

If you put your trust in your guide, you’re guaranteed to have a safe safari that you’ll remember for the rest of your days.

Going on a safari is the best choice for your next vacation, and as you can say, feeling safe on an African safari is easy when you follow these easy and effective tips. Start booking your safari today and keep this advice in mind so that you can have an exhilarating vacation of which you’ve only dreamed.

Human History at Oldupai Gorge

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Around 30,000 years ago, intense geological activity combined with millennia of erosion exposed the area now known as Oldupai Gorge (once erroneously called “Olduvai Gorge”). Fast forward to July 1959, and paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey finally grasped the significance of what was exposed there when she stumbled upon an odd-looking skull lying in the dirt.

Fossils dating back to the dawn of mankind trace our history to Oldupai Gorge in the heart of Africa. The findings of Mary Leakey and her husband Louis show some of mankind’s earliest documented ancestors, who existed over a million years before the discovery of stone tools. This discovery has led to decades of intense study, which has helped shed light on the development of humans as we evolved over millions of years.

Many anthropologists and archaeologists theorize that all of Homo sapiens originated from Africa, the Mother Continent, some millions of years ago thanks to the findings at sites like Oldupai.

Oldupai Gorge and Ngorongoro Crater as the “Cradle of Mankind”

Oldupai Gorge is found in Ngorongoro Crater, a caldera that formed when a massive volcano collapsed upon itself.

To the southwest, about halfway to Lake Eyasi, lies Laetoli. Here, Mary Leakey discovered and excavated some of the earliest evidence of upright-walking hominids found on the planet. 3.7 million years ago, early Australopithecus afarensis hominids, of a similar species to “Lucy,” stepped in a mixture of volcanic ash and mud. This mixture hardened, preserving footprints later buried under millions of years of sediment and then uncovered.

From this evidence, the Leakeys and others were able to essentially reconstruct the development of mankind in the area over millions of years. Australopithecus remains lead to Zinjanthropus, the type of proto-human that Mary Leaker first discovered in Oldupai. There is also evidence of Homo habilis, who made some of the earliest stone tools found in Oldupai’s 1.8 million to 1.6 million year old deposits. From there, our brain sizes increased as we evolved into the more adept Homo sapiens, spreading knowledge of stone tools and early farming techniques as we became increasingly nomadic.

See Some of the Earliest Signs of Humanity at the Oldupai Museum

At the Oldupai Museum in the Ngorongoro Crater, you can find many fascinating exhibits documenting historic archeological finds. A set of the Laetoli footprints can be found based on an imprint mold taken just a few miles south. Evidence of animal remains, the early ones gnawed upon and the later ones bearing clear stone tool cut marks, can also be found.

The museum also documents Information on early human civilization as well as the later colonization of the Crater by the Masai people. Nearby, you can find a cultural Boma that can immerse you in the life of the Masai people. Handmade souvenirs bearing traditional art and patterns are available. There is also a lecture space, public toilets and refreshments. Guided tours are available into the crater or into the Oldupai Gorge itself.

You can see all of these sights on a trip to the Ngorongoro Crater — and discover the beginnings of humankind as we know it — when you book a Tanzania safari tour package today.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

Serengeti’s Endless Plains

If you are coming the first time to Serengeti, this is like one of the biggest adventures of your life. The Serengeti National Park is located northwest of the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation area and is one of Tanzania’s most well known parks in the Mara and Simiyu regions. It was an Austrian, Oscar Baumann, who visited the area in 1892 as one of the first Europeans and you can find his recordings in his personal scrapbook about northern Tanzania. One of his major impressions was that this is an endless land that is reflected in the name Serengeti that is derived from the Maasai word “siringet” meaning “the place where the land runs on forever”.

We were heading into the Serengeti with our proven Toyota Landcruiser based safari vehicle and it felt great to be riding such a massive and robust truck while being out in these endless plains.

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This park covers more than fourteen thousand square kilometres of mainly grassed plains, savannah, riverine forest as well as woodlands. The park continues in Kenya where it is called the Maasai Mara National Reserve, which we will describe in another post.

In the south of the park you find almost treeless grassland and this is the wildebeest breeding area during the wet months from December till May. They are sharing this area with zebra, gazelle, waterbuck, buffalo, impala, elephant and hyena and of course you can find also the usual predators. The Serengeti is very well known for the great migration that starts after the breeding season having animals move to the north where the herds arrive in Kenya in late July and August. In November with the start of the short rains the whole migration starts moving south again.

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The northern part of the park starts changing from pure grassland into open woodlands and hills that span from Serona in the south to the Mara River at the Kenyan border in the north. For humans it is forbidden to live in the park, only the Tanzanian National Parks Authority and some researchers of the Frankfurt Zoological Society (obviously this is a leftover of the famous Grzimek conservation work) and staff of the lodges and hotels in that area have exceptional allowance.

Some of the great camps to visit in the middle of this gorgeous wilderness are the Serengeti Pioneer camp and the Serengeti Migration camp, where you can enjoy delicious meals and drinks while resting from the daily efforts of safari.

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I am always surprised of how great the meals are cooked, look like, and taste in these remote parts of Africa and it stays a secret to me how these can be prepared so perfectly.

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On top of that there is always a pretty decent selection of wines available that are carefully served if you desire.

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During November it is already pretty likely that it can start heavily raining and this happens more or less within minutes and changes the landscape completely.

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This is of course always a welcome alternation for all the animals, buffalos or zebras.

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And for some zebras that enjoy it a bit too much and are less careful this can be a deadly and last experience, as there are always hungry groups of lions around who only wait for the chance for a great meal.

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While death is like always something serious it is a necessary part of the whole lifecycle and something completely natural as you can see when watching the lion cubs happily playing during and besides their meal in the wet and muddy grass of the savannah.

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The whole Serengeti offers a really unique and exciting adventure and the time you are able to spend here before moving on becomes always too short.

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Learn more about safari tours including Serengeti National Park on our African Safari Tours page with a variety of sample tours.

Peter Tomsu for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

What to know about Ngorongoro Crater area

The Ngorongoro Crater is actually the world’s largest volcanic, intact, inactive and unfilled caldera and was formed approximately three million years ago when a large volcano exploded and collapsed. The crater is 610 meters deep, the diameter is around 30 miles and overall the floor covers 100 square miles, so this was definitely a huge volcano by its time of activity!

This volcano was around 5800 meters high before it exploded and you can still feel this when you are at the crater floor today as it is at 1800 meters elevation. Overall an impressive witness of the evolution of our earth and especially the African continent that is also one of the main reasons this crater was voted as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa in Arusha in February 2013.

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The crater is only part of the greater Ngorongoro Conservation Area and this is a protected area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 – so lot of history! Wildlife in the crater is covering black rhino, buffalo, hippo, wildebeest, zebra, eland, Thompson gazelle, waterbuck and some cheetah, wild dog and leopard and of course lion. Lake Magadi, you can see a part of it in the picture above, is a large lake in the southwest of the crater, where  you can find thousands of flamingos.

But wait, there is more history. Michael Grzimek, the second son of Bernhard Grzimek who was driving conservation work also in this part of Africa, was killed in 1959 when the plane he piloted collided with a vulture and crashed. He was buried the same day at the top of the Ngorongoro Crater where later the government of Tanzania built the stone pyramid for his grave and also Berhard Grzimek was buried there after he died in 1987.

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Definitely the most beautiful place to stay in this area is the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge that is designed in the Masai mud-and-stick manyatta style and is one of the most spectacular lodges I have ever seen. It was an out of this world experience to visit this lodge!

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Needless to say also the rooms are luxurious and make the stay a real dream!

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The nice and friendly personal of the lodge contributes to feeling great when resting from the efforts of game drives or any other activities.

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The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to Masai where you can still find them living in their original villages. The Masai are cattle herders and need to keep moving as the grass needs to be able to regrow.

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Sure enough their nomadic lifestyle is starting to change as many wildlife preserves were opened in Tanzania and Kenya recently, not longer allowing the Masai to graze their cattle on these preserves.

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We were lucky to visit one of their original villages. One can watch here traditional dances of men and women.

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They even allow you to enter their cabins that are really small and mainly built around an open fireplace where they cook and also can warm up during the cold nights.

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They offer quite impressive collections of handmade decoration and jewellery for sale, hard to resist not to buy some nice presents.

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Finally we were only visitors in this slowly disappearing world of traditional Masai life and needed to leave these friendly people after countless stunning impressions.

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Learn more about safari tours including Ngorongoro Crater on our African Safari Tours page with a variety of sample tours.

Peter Tomsu for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

Must See Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara is located in the Manyara region of Tanzania in the middle of Lake Manyara National Park that covers roughly 330 square kilometres. This park is a lovely scenic park on the road from Arusha to the Ngorongoro Crater, with the lake taking a big part of the park. Lake Manyara is a pretty shallow lake and became prominent since Ernest Hemingway called it the loveliest lake in Afrika.

The park is famous for being the home to impalas, zebras, wildebeest, buffalos, giraffes, hippos and warthogs but also for the tree-climbing lions that can be found here. Why these lions climb trees is yet unknown.

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The groundwater forests are populated by mahogany and fig trees that get their nourishment from underground springs filled from the nearby crater highlands above the lake.

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The planes around the lake are wide and juicy green at least towards the crater and this view down from the road up to the Ngorongoro Crater shows the vast amount of all different kind of animals living around the lake.

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Lake Manyara Nationalpark covers over 300 migration bird species from flamingos to grey-headed kingfisher as well as long-crested eagles that all sums up to be a perfect paradise for birders.

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One of the nicest camps in that area is the Maramboi Tented Camp that offers permanent camp facilities. There are a total of 32 standard tents, 8 suites and even 2 units with interconnected rooms available – and you find all of that in a tented camp! The tents are spacious and luxurious and are built on wooden decks offering 24 hours 220V electric lightning that is very important for photographers and videographers in order to charge their camera and computer batteries.

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At the centre of the camp are a restaurant, a bar and a swimming pool and you can even find a library and lounge. From the restaurant you can enjoy an almost crazy view towards the lake with the pool in the foreground and all kind of animals between the pool, some watering places and the lake in the background. Can you imagine what great experience sundowners or pre-dinner nibbles can be sitting around the fireplace in the middle of all this paradise.

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Sitting at the bar or the restaurant and enjoying this peaceful view is really some of the coolest experiences I had in my life.

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The outstanding location of this camp is a guarantee to see plenty of wildlife and even migrating herds of wildebeest followed by predators. Zebras were as close as a few meters away and absolutely not shy.

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We took the chance for a nature walk from the camp towards the lake. This was a breath taking adventure as the zebras, wildebeest or antelopes that were around were only a few meters away. The animals were very calm and they actually opened up room for us as we walked by slowly, they were by no means shy. There are endless stunning photography and videography opportunities.

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Lake Manyara as well as the Maramboi Tented Camp are definitely worth a visit, especially if you prefer to stay in a camp as close to nature as you can in such a beatiful place.

Learn more about safari tours including Lake Manyara on our African Safari Tours page with a variety of sample tours.

Peter Tomsu for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa