You’ve waited months for your safari to finally come around. And now you have to decide what you must pack for your safari. Tazama Africa Holidays is here to help. Here are a few of our tips for your safari.
Passport, itinerary, travel insurance docs and eTickets
It seems obvious, but this is should be at the top of the list of what you must pack for your safari.
Remember to put your medication prescription in your hand luggage and make sure you have enough of each type to last your entire safari or some extra.
Prescription glasses (sunglasses, hat, sunblock et al)
If you wear prescription glasses, be sure to pack more than one set just in case you lose one or they get broken. You will be outdoors for much of the time, so be prepared. Pack a hat, sunblock, long sleeves, and lip balm.
Camera, video and binoculars
Whilst most people will remember to take their camera and/or video (or will use their mobile phone), not everyone thinks they need to take binoculars!
Binoculars are essential for optimum wildlife viewing on safari and a good pair of binoculars will make a big difference to your safari. We strongly recommend a pair of binoculars on safari. Get the most expensive you can afford at least 8x or better still 10x magnification.
Africa is a photographer’s dream. Not only does the boundless wildlife come in all shapes and sizes, but the continent is also blessed with stunning landscapes, colorful people and fabulous light! Don’t miss out. Buy a camera, if you don’t have one.
Clothes and toiletries
Of course you’re not going to forget clothes! But are you taking the right clothes…and are you within those weight restrictions your travel agent told you about for those light aircraft flights?
Most international airlines will restrict your check-in luggage to around 20 to 30kgs . However, if your safari itinerary includes any light aircraft flights, then this can mean as little as 12 to 15 kgs (sometimes including your hand luggage!).
Don’t panic! Remember, a same-day laundry service is usually available in most safari camps and lodges. This means you do not need a change of clothes for each day you are on safari! The exception will be for mobile tented safaris where it is often difficult, due the mobile nature, to offer a laundry service. It may also be possible to leave a bag with the charter company, or person meeting you, for the duration of the safari portion. When in doubt, ask Tazama Africa Holidays .
Casual but comfortable
Casual, comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year when on safari. Whilst you may elect to start a completely new safari ‘wardrobe’ it is really not necessary to look like an extra on the set of Out of Africa! Apart from selecting reasonably neutral or ‘non-bright’ colored clothing, safari-wear is generally casual and practical. Be sure you take clothes that you feel comfortable in – especially when it comes to your walking/hiking boots. The newer quick-drying fabrics, shirts with ventilation and trousers that convert into shorts are all worth considering.
Layering is key
Wearing clothes in layers is the most practical way to cope with fluctuating day/night temperatures and cool evenings whilst on safari. As the day warms up you can peel off another layer. Then as it begins to cool toward evening, you can put them back on. Here’s the “must-haves” to pack for your safari:
- T-shirt, shirt or blouse – long sleeves and collars help to protect from the sun and mosquitoes
- Fleece or warm jacket
- A pair of safari trousers – those that zip off at the knees are very handy, too
- Comfortable walking shoes (or boots) and socks
- Bandanna or cotton scarf and a sarong (kanga, pareo, kikoi)
- Maybe a pair of open sports sandals for general daytime use in warmer months
- Swimsuit – a number of lodges and camps have swimming pools
- An elegantly casual outfit for dinner at the smarter hotels
- A light, compact raincoat if it is likely you will encounter rain (gorilla and chimp trekking)
- Insect repellants
- A mask because of dust
- And, of course, your undergarments
Dull and/or neutral colors are more suitable for safari, white and/or bright colours are not practical as they tend to stand out – definitely not advisable on a walking safari. Cotton clothing is recommended although the newer synthetic safari clothing lines are quick drying and extremely comfortable.