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Clothes for holiday in Kenya- no black or blue (tsetse fly)?

(11 Posts)
LadyWithLapdog Mon 01-Jul-19 22:02:43

I’ve received some really good advice on here a few months ago.

As the time is getting closer I just wanted to double check: no blue or black? No denims? I’ve read extensively about the tsetse fly and scared myself shitless in the process. Thank you. And please don’t laugh 😂

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BubblesBuddy Mon 01-Jul-19 23:09:27

The “official” advice is: neutral or khaki coloured medium weight clothing with long sleeves and trousers. Jeans would be a bit too heavy to be comfortable. Cotton chinos and shirts are better. Or linen jeans and tops work well.

However I’ve never given tsetse flies a second thought. There are less than 3000 cases of sleeping sickness in sub Saharan Africa. It’s not common and cases have fallen dramatically.

Use anything suitable to stop getting bitten. If you are going into an area with a known tsetse fly problem (mostly farming areas) then take precautions. However many people wear shorts and short sleeved shirts all the time on safari with no issues. Bright colours attract any flies apparently so just blend in! You’ll be absolutely fine.

Where are you going exactly?

lljkk Mon 01-Jul-19 23:10:12

long sleeves & bug spray.

LadyWithLapdog Tue 02-Jul-19 00:08:45

Thank you. We’ve got the sandy, pale rose, olive, browny colours, long sleeves, sprays and wipes.

Just working out whether to avoid black and blue altogether, as in no stripes, dots, patterns and so on. Or no black shorts or denim shorts? No blue towels? We’re going to the Masai Mara and the beach.

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Akanishta Tue 02-Jul-19 00:48:09

I read replies about the blue/black clothing question on TripAdvisor and Fodor's, as I'm planning a safari trip (have not done it before).

Essentially it's not an absolute no-no; you may or may not be in a tsetse fly area, and if the flies are going to bite you they're going to bite you whatever colour you're wearing (thick socks were advised). Being bitten by flies is more of a consideration on walking safaris, as opposed to driving.

However black and dark colours will be hot under the sun and will show up dust quicker. Seems you can wear black, blue and denim for dinner time. The main con for denim is that it takes forever to dry; seems people do their laundry during the trip so they can take fewer clothes.


Not sure about patterns though.

SJane48S Tue 02-Jul-19 15:43:55

Patterns seem to work for the Masai!

Having grown up as a kid in Kenya where basically we wore anything we wanted I've found the odd Kenya post 're clothing very bizarre! But tsetse weren't something we were aware of an issue during the 70's and 80's - having just done a quick Google research suggests there has been no incidence of Sleeping Sickness in a decade in Kenya. That's just one report though & precautions are sensible so I'd take the advice above. And don't wear sandals because of jiggers or go for a swim outside of swimming pools and the sea because of bilharzia (appreciate you probably wouldn't be anyway!!). There are stone fish in the sea on the coast so wear water shoes.
Kenya is a wonderful country as I'm sure all of the above agree & you will have a wonderful time.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 02-Jul-19 15:50:38

I wore black the entire time and was fine. Black linen/cotton trousers soaked in DEET.

I'd be more concerned about malaria which does actually affect a lot of people. Mosquitoes have killed more people than every other animal combined (barring other humans!). They also spread dengue and other diseases. Nasty little bastards.

SJane48S Tue 02-Jul-19 15:57:59

Yep! My Dad had Malaria when we lived in Nairobi & was very very ill. Not nice! There are nasties out there in East Africa, as long as you know about them and take precautions, they're not really huge likely threats and shouldn't stop anyone visiting such a beautiful part of the world!

LadyWithLapdog Tue 02-Jul-19 23:28:57

Thank you all for the replies. I’ll stick to the more beigy colours but won’t worry if the odd blue or black flower or stripe crops in. We’re sorted for malaria and yellow fever etc. Thank you again for the reassurance.

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BubblesBuddy Wed 03-Jul-19 11:21:01

Have a great time. Many lodges will do laundry. This is useful if you get dusty. Darker tighter fitting clothes just make you hot and no safari guide would wear them. Lighter to mid weight clothes and trainers. Perfect. Same for evening when mossies most likely to be around.

The Mara is a great place for a first safari and you should see the migration if you are taken to the Mara River crossing points or the less visited Talek River.

LadyWithLapdog Wed 03-Jul-19 16:28:51

@BubblesBuddy thank you. And good tip about the laundry if we need it for the second half at the beach.

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