What to Pack For an african safari

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African Safari packing List

What to pack for an African Safari?

Packing for an African safari is vastly different than packing for just about any other trip, and it’s often a challenge for first-time safari-goers. Not only do most safari-goers have weight restrictions on bush flights (a typical weight restriction is 15 kilograms or 33 pounds total per person, including camera equipment and carry-ons), but you also have the challenge of knowing which types of clothes to wear on safari are appropriate. We’ve been on safari twice now in Tanzania and Kenya, and have put together our tips for what to pack for an African safari.

Safari Clothing Tips

What clothes to pack for an African Safari?

The safari packing list below is based on our personal experience as well as the advice and recommendations from previous guests along with our partners in-country. Follow the list and you won’t worry about leaving something behind or taking something that you won’t need on your African safari. Our easy guide on what to pack for safari holidays provides an essential safari packing list ideal for planning your first African Safari, and advancing your packing skills, either with family, kids, or friends. 

  • Wear neutral colors: Khaki, light brown, green, and tan. White clothes will show up with dust and dirt. Bright-colored clothing such as red makes you very conspicuous to the wildlife, especially on a walking safari.
  • Dress casually: Safari only requires casual clothing, light and flexible that will make you comfortable during game drives 
  • Cover at night: Long sleeves and pants will help you stay warm and avoid mosquito bites, heavy socks, mavins, scarfs, and warm jackets
  • Be comfortable: Clothing should consist of non-synthetic material. Cotton is ideal.
  • Use the laundry service: Most camps/lodges offer laundry service but will not launder undergarments. Choose clothing that is easily laundered.
  • Dress in layers: Zip-off sleeves and lots of pockets are a plus. Bring a jacket and scarf along on game drives as temperatures drop quickly once the sun goes down in the evening.
  • Check your hat: Hats must do three things well to be effective:
    • Provide complete sun protection – especially for the back of your neck
    • Gas permeable so the heat generated from your head can escape
    • Be water-absorbent on the inside and waterproof on the outside, in order to absorb sweat and cover you if you get caught in the rain
    • Our top picks:
      • Light-neutral, unisex hat
      • Dark-neutral, unisex hat
  • Don’t over-pack: Choose lightweight clothing options whenever possible since packing space is at a premium.

 

Most Essential List

ESSENTIAL SAFARI PACKING LIST 

These are the most important things to take on safari with you. You do NOT want to forget to pack these items. In fact, you won’t be going anywhere without some of them.

  1. Passport with all the required visas for every country your African safari travels to and through.

  2. A bit of cash, bank cards, and/or travelers’ cheques. You can also use e-wallet apps these days to avoid carrying cards and cash.

  3. Airtickets and travel vouchers for any pre-booked safari tours.

  4. Your negative Covid-19 PCR test results as required by the countries you visit and the airlines you use. For details about the latest Covid-19 regulations relevant to your trip, contact us.

  5. Vaccination certificates (yellow fever etc) where required. Some vaccinations need to be taken well in advance (see Vaccinations needed for your African Safari)

  6. Medication: malaria prophylactics if advised (see Malaria Made Simple) and any personal medication (also take your prescription in case of an emergency – your medication gets lost, wet, eaten by a baboon, etc)

  7. Travel insurance policy details. Your policy number and the contact details for claims and emergencies. (Comprehensive travel insurance is a must, especially in the Covid-19 pandemic era).

  8. Cell phone. Most globetrotters travel with a smartphone in order to stay in touch with family and friends, connect to wifi, and for emergencies.

  9. Copies of your important documents: as a precaution take a copy of your air tickets, travel insurance policy, vaccinations, visas, prescriptions, and passport. 

  10. A hard copy of your most important contact numbers in case you lose your phone.

 

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Most Important List

IMPORTANT ITEMS TO PACK FOR AFRICAN SAFARIS

Take the following items from the safari packing list with you for the best African safari experience. These are the things to pack for a happy safari trip.

1. Sun Protection:

  • Sunblock – an eco-friendly 30 SPF (or higher) sunscreen.
  • A sun hat. Avoid the floppy straw hat, as experience has shown that you’ll spend more time clutching onto it than the shade is worth! 
  • Sunglasses are excellent for keeping dust and small flying insects out of your eyes, as well as the blazing African sun.

What to Pack for African Safari Holiday

2. Insect Repellents:

  • ECO-FRIENDLY insect repelling lotion or body spray/mist and ECO-FRIENDLY insect spray or citronella products to deter the critters. Mosquito repellants is important too especially visiting countries prone to malaria.

3. Head Torch:

  • Torch or headtorch. Take a light source for around camp and for getting to/from the safari vehicle on night drives without stepping on any wild animals’ toes. It gets really dark out in the bush at night so you need a light source to navigate your way after dark. The headtorch is best as it leaves your hands free to do stuff.

4. Day backpack: 

  • A bag for day trips and excursions will come in very handy (a real must on the safari packing list).
  • You may want to take a money belt (also known as a moon bag, fanny pack, and bum bag) for travel in cities.

5. Hand sanitizer & a facemask:

  • Hand sanitizer (spray or gel) has become an important item to pack for safaris, as with all travel, due to Covid-19. Most places you go will have hand sanitizer but it is best to carry your own just to be safe.
  • Sanitizer is great for keeping fresh and healthy on the road, especially if access to clean water is limited. Wet wipes are also handy but less eco-friendly so use sparingly.
  • In most African countries it is mandatory to wear a facemask in public, as is the case in airports and most countries in the world at present.

6. Camera, Chargers, Tablets, Phone:

First, you need to keep in mind that your luggage is limited to 15kgs on local flight transfers. 

  • Have a good camera that’s not heavy and easy to use to document your safaris in Africa. Ensure to carry its chargers, adaptors, memory cards, lenses, and cleaners.
  • Your phone and tablets come in handy when you need them to document and take photos of the most memorable events during your safari.
  • while on safari you should keep in mind that documenting your safari is essential, and you need backups and power. Carry a universal charging port, as different countries have different power socket formats. Don’t forget your memory cards, hard disks to store and keep your photos and videos. 

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