Are you about to head on out to a safari but aren’t quite sure what to pack?
Don’t worry we’ve got you covered.
We’ve put together an essential packing list to help guide you on what to pack and what not to pack.
Whether you’re flying out to Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda or South Africa for your exclusive African safari, armed with this slacker’s guide, you’ll be more than prepared even for last minute packing.
We’ve divided the list into the following categories: clothing, accessories, gadgets, emergency supplies, and miscellaneous.
The African sun can be scotching. While we all love tans, too much sun is not good for you. If you’re not used to the extreme heat, you might find yourself burning. Therefore, you need to make sure that you’ve packed appropriate clothing that caters to your different activities.
A waterproof jacket
A lightweight rain jacket is a perfect requirement for unpredictable rainfall. The safari vehicle can keep you dry but a rain jacket is useful for wearing around camp.
Comfortable walking shoes
Even though you don’t intend to get out of your safari vehicle, you still need comfortable footwear or hiking boots for the trip to your lodges. Sitting in the car wearing comfortable shoes will also help protect you from insect bites and sunburn.
Full sleeve shirts and trousers
This is important as the mornings and evenings may turn out to be cold. They’re also good for protecting you from the sun and from bothersome mosquitos. You might even feel like dressing up for dinner in an elegant lodge.
As mentioned above, the African sun can be quite hot if you’re coming from a cool climate. The following are essentials you shouldn’t forget.
The sun is rather hot in East Africa making wearing sunglasses necessary. Sunglasses will also provide comfort when game viewing by reducing the sun’s glare.
Sunscreen and lip balm
The harsh equatorial sun can be relentless, so sunscreens and lip balms are crucial protective measures. Nobody likes chapped, dry lips.
You need to seek refuge from the sun as much as possible. The safari vehicle does facilitate shade, but you’ll probably want the top folded back in order to get a better view of the game. Wear a suitable hat to protect you from the elements and limit chances of heatstroke and nasty burns.
There will be opportunities for swimming in the safari camps and hotel swimming pools, so taking your swimsuit is a good idea. Sandals or flip-flops may be worn in camp or when using communal showers.
Most safari camps are eco-friendly and derive their source of energy from solar options, so you’ll most likely have access to power whenever you need it.
One thing worth pointing out is that you should carry an international adapter. If you are used to a continental plugging system you might be surprised to find that most power supplies are three pin instead of the traditional two pin.
Gadgets to pack include:
Phone and charger
For most people, their smartphone is a given. Don’t forget to carry an extra charger and battery if you intend to stay a little longer than a month.
While smartphones are equipped with great camera functionality, nothing beats having a good quality camera on hand. Make sure you pack camera batteries and a camera charger to avoid any inconvenience.
4. Emergency Supplies
If you can, it’s worth enrolling yourself in a first aid fast track course before you head out to a safari. Medical emergencies can happen in the middle of nowhere. Snake bites, while not common, are a real danger.
If you suffer from a particular illness, make sure you carry a lot of spare medication, and get doctor’s letters to confirm your need for the medication.
Here are emergency supplies to pack:
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Antihistamines for insect bites and allergies
- Re-hydration medicines
- Anti-malaria medicine
- Antiseptic lotion
- Bandages and plasters
Having somewhere to conveniently place things when you walk will be helpful.
Here are three things many people don’t always remember to bring along:
A soft-sided bag
Even though safari vehicles do have the potential to hold your big suitcase, it’s still sensible to opt for a more manageable bag to carry around with you. Carry a small duffel bag as well.
Stay safe from mosquitoes and tse tse flies. Both can cause dangerous diseases so bringing a good insect repellent would be highly advisable.
Water purification tablets
Most safari camps provide clean and safe drinking water. However, there’s no harm in carrying your own set of water purification tablets.
Lastly, malaria is a very real illness in southern Africa. Make sure you’ve taken anti-malaria tablets ahead of time. The same is true for your Yellow Fever vaccine and any other vaccines you need to get before you go over to Africa.