Wearing the right clothes and having the right toiletries to hand on safari is absolutely imperative. After all there probably isn’t a clothes store or pharmacy for miles! It’s become a delicate balancing act of packing enough relevant safari paraphernalia versus avoiding the excess baggage charges. Follow this useful packing list to what you really need on a safari trip;
Things to Pack for Safari:
- A well-stocked first aid kit is highly recommended, containing items such as painkillers, anti-allergy tablets, plasters, bandages, anti-mosquito lotions, insect repellents and anti-itch lotions.
- Camera, mobile phone, additional memory cards along with charger and extra batteries.
- Comfortable shoes suitable for walking, trekking and even hiking, preferably waterproof.
- Suitable clothing in neutral colours such as olive, beige, muted brown, khaki, off-white and grey.
- Opt for light cotton clothes to cope best with the hot and humid conditions. Also pack a windproof jacket, rain coat, umbrella and a fleece to cope with all weathers, come rain or shine. And bear in mind that it can get cold at night on safari.
- Extra pair of shoes and several pairs of socks, with reinforced toe and heel, to cushion your feet during treks.
- An absolute must on the open plains and sparse deserts is a high-SPF sun block. In fact total block is recommended as the sun is fierce, especially at the equator. Also pack quality sunglasses (look for the sun block rating) and a wide-brimmed sun hat (the traditional safari headgear is called a pith helmet) with net sides to protect your head, neck and ears.
- Take your favourite book, magazine or loaded e-reader to while away long journeys and to read before bed.
- Opt for full sleeved clothing at all times to protect from both sun and insects.
- Make sure you take your camera, zoom lens and camcorder to catch plenty of wildlife snaps. Don’t forget spare memory cards, batteries and chargers too.
Things NOT to Pack for Safari:
- Ditch the bright colour clothing especially black, white and blue, especially as blue is the favourite colour of the Tsetse flies; little critters you don’t want to meet!
- Avoid a hard shell type suitcase in favour of a leather or canvas holdall or bag. Your luggage will be moved around multiple times and rucksacks are easier to transport. And you’ll avoid the excess baggage charges too!
- Do not take expensive items like laptops, mobile phones and other electrical gadgets on safari.
- Same goes for flashy jewellery too; leave the diamond rings and gold bracelets at home. Think minimal!
Last Minute Things to Pack and Check:
- Always carry plenty of water at all times, as hot humid weather coupled with plenty of exertion will result in dehydration with suitable hydration.
- Pack some empty plastic bags to stores items separately and for your dirty washing!
- Make sure your passport, visa (if needed) and money are all up to date and in place.
- Don’t scrimp on the travel insurance too, especially if you’re planning an exotic adventure such as ostrich riding!
By Julie Bowman