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A quesion please for all the DE's.( just returned from S.A.)

Vancouver, Canada
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A quesion please for all the DE's.( just returned from S.A.)

Hi all D.E.'s! My husband and I recently returned from 6 days at Arathusa game reserve and were shocked at the apparel people were wearing on the daily game drives. Bright red and purple shirts, long halter-type multi-coloured and flowered dresses with big designs, etc. I realize you don't need to go out and buy a new wardrobe because you're going on safari, but we thought for the animal's sake you should be wearing khaki or neutral colours. Most people have something beige or whatever in their wardrobe. Do these people not research and have no sense of what is proper to wear when on safari ?? (i.e. ignorant), or does it now really not bother the animals and make any difference? Many thanks!!!

Cape Town
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1. Re: A quesion please for all the DE's.( just returned from S.A.)

Hi Kathron

Hope you enjoyed your 5-week vacation in South Africa and you weren't put off too much by "ignorant" fellow tourists!

However on a driven safari, whether in a game vehicle or your own vehicle - in a higher price private reserve or within Kruger itself - the “proper” apparel is what you are comfortable in. The animals are habituated to vehicles and see them as a single entity. They see all sorts of colours every day. So I don’t think you need to worry for their sake! I have driven in Kruger in white, red, purple and blue vehicles and it makes not an iota of difference when you are parked three metres from a Lion Pride - they don't care. So I don’t think that a purple t-shirt on one of the people in the vehicle affects any animal!

On game drives in private reserves I think it is probably the people who have some preconceived idea of what is “proper to wear on safari” who are the offended ones – even “shocked”!

If you go on bush walks or other activities out in the bush, where you are a seen as an individual entity, then wearing “neutral” colours is a good idea to blend into the environment. Just as much so that bright colours don't jar the overall view and photo opportunities for the other participants. But be absolutely sure, whatever colour you wear, that leopard has seen you long, long before you see him! Neutral colours also have the advantage of not showing the dirt and don’t have to be changed every day if you are on a Kruger 4 day hiking trail.

Now we could get on to the parallel subject of people who insist on wearing their expensive safari wardrobe even in up-market Cape Town restaurants. Now that really does offend the local “animals” – LOL!

Edited: 16 April 2011, 10:15
Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: A quesion please for all the DE's.( just returned from S.A.)

A non D/E writes:-

<<Lion Pride - they don't care.>>

Oh but they do! They are just too well mannered to comment. I overheard two Lionesses discussing some tourists in a car only this week. They were so offended that their scruffy guests were not in the latest Gucci fashion that they boycotted the car and hid in the grass.

They gave up caring when the first idiots painted their safari cars with black and white stripes which caused them severe dental problems.

Hermanus, South...
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3. Re: A quesion please for all the DE's.( just returned from S.A.)

You don't need to worry too much about bright colours disturbing the animals, they see things very differently to us. Not wanting to get overly technical it is to do with the receptor cells in the eyes (rods and cones)

Humans have predominantly more cones which allows us to see an array of colours. Animals like lions for instance have a predominance of rods, which allows them to have excellent nocturnal vision but the trade off is that their colour vision is poor, and as Van de Caab already mentioned they view the vehicle and it's inhabitants as one item. It is only when you get idiots hanging out of their windows and sitting out the window of their cars as I have seen in Kruger often, that they notice that actually it is not one thing, but a thing containing other things. That is much more disturbing for them than the fact they are are wearing a tasteless shirt.

Edited: 16 April 2011, 12:24
Cape Town
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4. Re: A quesion please for all the DE's.( just returned from S.A.)

Although when you are alone, faced by a Lion in the open, the fact that you have a "tasteless" shirt might be useful - hiding the fact that there is something tasty underneath!

Expensive safari gear probably indicates a nice, well-fed tourist inside!

Cape Town
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5. Re: A quesion please for all the DE's.( just returned from S.A.)

BTW - I just thought if you want to see bright colours in Kruger, go to one of the picnic sites in the middle of the park – particularly at a weekend or public holiday. You will see busloads of people from the nearby villages dressed in every bright colour possible for their day out with the animals – shiny reds, oranges, purples, spots, stripes, flowers, brilliant Ndebele geometic patterns, silver disco wear and loads of bright yellow and green South African soccer team shirts! Should I tell these people to find something beige!

Edited: 16 April 2011, 12:59
Isle of Man, United...
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6. Re: A quesion please for all the DE's.( just returned from S.A.)

Getting a tad off topic but Lions do know you are in that shapeless car. They can see and smell you. It is just that they do not recognise you as prey.As an extreme example..if you had an Impala on your lap they would come in, push you to one side, and take the Impala.

On foot they see you and recognise you as a threat not food! So they will usually run away if you are inside the "flight" radius but outside the "fight" circle. 9 times out of 10. So on the tenth occasion it may be a comfort to you to know that it was not your lack of fashion sense or that you are going to be eaten. It was just that she really did not like you!

Edited: 16 April 2011, 14:03
Johannesburg, South...
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7. Re: A quesion please for all the DE's.( just returned from S.A.)

Is the point though that there is an expectation of what a "safari experience" involves - and this is something different from visiting a wildlife theme park or an urban zoo.

To my mind if you are travelling half way across the world to an exclusive lodge with great service which is all rustic luxury, then dressing the part is a good idea. Like dressing for dinner on the Blue Train or dining with the Captain on a cruise ship. Sort of dressing for a special occasion I suppose. It is then only polite for the local guest not to ruin the ambiance.

Is it necessary - not at all. Does it affect the animals - not at all. Should you do it - yes, if you ask me. Obviously lose the safari kit at the beach or in the city.

Edited: 16 April 2011, 15:29
Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: A quesion please for all the DE's.( just returned from S.A.)

Hi to all and thank you for all your wonderful, and some whacky comments. How true - someone dressed in full safari gear in an upscale city eatery is indeed funny and ?????? To each his or her own of course, but I do disagree with the getting dressed up part at the game reserve. If you wanted to for dinner, go for it; that's your choice. But you're out in the wild on a safari and I think to wear dressy attire is absolutely ridiculous on a game drive (not to mention wearing perfume). If wearing bright colours on game drives is fine, then that's great. I was just very curious about that as on a "what you should do on safari" website I read beforehand, it said that you should wear neutral colours. That is indeed good that you can wear whatever. Thanks for replying; especially the D.E.'s!! It is very much appreciated, and our whole trip to South Africa was indeed the trip of a lifetime!!!!!!

Johannesburg, South...
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9. Re: A quesion please for all the DE's.( just returned from S.A.)

I think I may have not been clear - by dressing the part for a safari experience I meant dressing in neutral "safari" type clothing - not dressing "up". So I agree with you - people should dress for the occasion. Sorry if my examples were poor.

Sheffield, United...
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10. Re: A quesion please for all the DE's.( just returned from S.A.)

Bright colours may not faze the animals, but they may well make you highly attractive to all sorts of insects!

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