What to pack for your safari holiday?
When planning for a safari, packing correctly is important.
You don’t want to be out on safari, lacking something and regretting that you didn’t bring it with you. But on the other hand you certainly don’t want to bring too much. The secret to successful packing is finding a happy middle ground. This means ensuring that you’ve packed everything that you’ll need, without bringing too much. If it’s your first safari this can feel like a bit of a guessing game, but don’t worry. We’ve created this helpful guide that will show you exactly what you should bring with you.
The first thing that usually comes to mind when packing is clothing. When prepping for your journey, you’ll want to take into account the countries that you plan to visit and what season it will be, as day-time and night-time temperatures vary hugely.
You should also prepare for the unexpected. A lightweight, waterproof jacket is a good idea. One that folds into a small bag is an ideal option. You’ll also want a long-sleeved shirt to protect your arms from the sun and potentially mosquitos, ideally with a collar to protect your neck.
You should choose clothes that are made of fast-drying materials. While on safari you won’t want to contend with wet clothes that didn’t have time to dry completely the night before. Light weight cotton and man-made materials such as polyamide are ideal and fast-drying. Wool socks are another good choice.
While many people remember lightweight clothes, keep in mind that nights in Africa can be cold, so be sure to pack a fleece for layering after the sun goes down. It will also prove useful for early-morning game drives.
Make sure you choose clothing that’s neutral in colour. Bright, bold colours can spook game, and you’ll want to blend into your natural environment as much as possible.
Finally, there’s no need to overpack. Many camps provide laundry services with a 24-hour turnaround laundry, so you won’t have to take enough clothes for your entire journey. Three or four outfits are usually adequate. Bring along enough socks and undergarments, but keep in mind that you don’t have to pack everything.
If you have internal light aircraft flights within your itinerary, it is important that you know that many of the flight operators have strict 12-15-kilogram luggage allowance and won't allow you to board with hard luggage, so be sure to pack a soft bag.
Shoes: Shoes are one of the most important items you can pack. Your choice of footwear will depend on the type of activities that you’re planning to do. In most cases a pair of light trail shoes is adequate, even if you’re going to be doing trailwalks and planning to camp. Of course, if you intend to hike the dunes of Namibia, you’ll want to bring along a good pair of hiking boots that have good ankle support, and some comfortable trainers for the rest of your journey. Finally, you’ll want to pack a pair of flip flops or slippers for relaxing at night.
Binoculars: You will want to invest in a decent pair of binoculars. They don’t have to be the heaviest ones available but should be sturdy enough to withstand drops and bumps.
Camera: You’ll need a camera for capturing wildlife and all of the sights. Your phone camera or a compact will take up the least amount of space but if you’re serious about photography, you’ll probably want to bring a DSLR with a zoom lens and a tripod. Just keep weight restrictions in mind and plan accordingly. Remember to take extra memory cards.
First Aid Kit
If you’re planning to do a self-drive safari, know that all of our SafariDrive 4×4 vehicles come equipped with first aid kits, but it’s a good idea to bring along a few basics, like plasters, antiseptic cream, antihistamine tablets, aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen, anti-diarrheal medication, and rehydration sachets. You’ll also want to take along extra prescription medication as well as any additional toiletries that you may need.
Are You Ready?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with packing, don’t be. In most cases less is more. Think practically and sensibly and only bring what you’re likely to use while you’re out there. By following the above tips you’ll be able to easily get everything together that you need for your journey.