You’ve obviously given us some ideas of things people should do there. Are there any other experiences that you recommend people have?
STEVE: I think I’ve mentioned all of them, but it would be Land Rovers and walking. I think time of year for Katavi makes a difference, so go there when it’s dry and hot. Go there when it’s a little bit extreme. It’s beautiful and green in summer. I wouldn’t want to know what the tsetse flies are like in summer, but go when it’s at its “worst”. Bird. Take a great pair of binoculars because you’ll bird until you’re blue in the face. If you do go in the green season, then after November all the migrants arrive. And then, for Mahale, it’s walking. I think they’ve got kayaks. You can take kayaks out. We went snorkelling. There are some beautiful freshwater fish. Again, it was just a bit weird being bitten on my back while I was snorkelling by a tsetse fly. I didn’t really expect that. Oh, and the boat guys were also fishing while we were snorkelling and we had freshwater fish sashimi on the boat. It was amazing. Part of the experience is also that flight in between. So there’s not really an activity that they wouldn’t offer to you that you should go, “We need to do that”. So that covers all the activities.
You’ve also just mentioned binos as something that everyone should take. What else do you recommend that people take with them to make the most of the experience, for the utmost comfort and enjoyment of it?
STEVE: So all the usual safari stuff – a pair of 10x42 binoculars and kit and gear and bags and whatever – but I was thinking about it the other day and I think I would put it down to, because of the tsetse flies, definitely take bug repellent shirts like BUGTech™.
Definitely take the RID™ spray, but also take the roll-on because, in the tests we’ve done – in southern Tanzania funnily enough, in Ruaha, where some camps close because the tsetse flies are so bad and they burn elephant dung in the Land Rover and the guys do everything – we did a test. We got the scientific how-to from RID™ in Australia and the roll-on Rid, Tropical Strength, for the first hour gave just about 100% protection. We’ve heard similar reports from people who have been to the Zambezi. So, to be honest, I haven’t actually tried it out myself for tsetse flies, but I’m sure I can plan a trip.
So BUGTech™ shirt, the RID™ spray and the roll-on, and then, because walking is such a big part of the experience, I would take that new Selous Bag of ours because it’s got belt loops so it can attach to your belt or you can wear it as a backpack or you can wear it as a satchel. I would take it and wear it on my belt. Because Katavi is so hot, you want to be carrying water, so you can put a water bottle in there, your binos, your insect repellent. It’s just a very convenient bag for walking. So, for both Mahale and Katavi, I would take that Selous Bag.
RID is no longer available in the UK and EU, but we do now sell the best selling independent Australian repellent, called Bushman, which is available for our UK and EU clients to use on safari.