What To Pack On A Safari To Africa
When making any trip you will always want to travel as light as you possibly can. An Africa safari trip is one where you do not have any choice but to only pack what you need and travel light. So when the safari is booked and the shopping is done, the next fun and challenging thing to do is pack.
We have put together a few tips to make packing for your safari less challenging and more fun. The goal is to travel light because you do not want luggage weighing you down during the trip. You will also want to blend in with the communities or at least try not to stand out, so casual clothes are the thing to pack. If you find yourself totally undecided and confused, you can always give your tour operator a call and ask for a bit of guidance on what to pack or not to pack. Here are a few things to consider when packing for your safari to Uganda, Tanzania or whichever African country you have chosen to visit.
A safari in Africa is a very specific kind of trip, you cannot wear just anything. It is very easy to look out of place and feel uncomfortable with the wrong clothing, wrong material and wrong colour. So it is important to make sure you pack the right wardrobe for your trip depending on your destination. Keep the colours simple and neutral, bright colours will not only make you stand out in an otherwise subtle and neutral environment, but may draw attention to you and scare the animals. Khakis, browns and tans should work just fine. Scared animals are usually dangerous animals. Stay away from camouflage clothing though, those could get you arrested.
There are some items that should have a place in your suitcase; hats, khaki pants and shorts, safari jackets, short and long sleeved shirts, all in good material such as cotton which absorbs heat. Africa can get very hot, so you will want to be prepared to stand the heat. A few warm clothes are also necessary especially for the early morning game drives and the chilly evenings.
Weather and Footwear
Weather in Africa is very unpredictable so whether you’re travelling in the rainy season or dry season, we recommend that you carry a few warm clothes and some rain gear so you will not be caught unaware by the rain. A waterproof rain jacket is a must-have during the rainy season.
The right footwear is equally important. Footwear could make or break your safari adventure. To safely and comfortably explore the wilderness of Africa, you will need proper footwear, preferably hiking boots or shoes that give ankle support. These will make it easy for you to traverse the rugged African terrain. Light walking shoes can only be worn around the vicinity of the lodge.
Rain gear and the perfect footwear might be just what you need to enjoy a gorilla trekking expedition or a hike up Mount Kilimanjaro.
First Aid Kit and Toiletries
One very important thing that people on safari often forget to pack is a first aid kit. One of the most exciting and equally scary things about safaris in Africa is that you do not know what to expect. Anything could happen and it would be best if you were well equipped to deal with emergency situations. Accidents can happen, skin irritations could break out, or you could get a migraine or react to the food. In such cases it would be nice to have a first aid kit and your own medicine and antibiotic drugs.
The same applies to toiletries, carry your toiletries such as towels, wet wipes, skin creams etc. you might find yourself in a very remote area with no supermarket or clinic to get these supplies.
What Luggage to Carry?
We again emphasize that you need to keep your luggage light. This is because chances are that you will be shifting from lodge to lodge as you progress with your safari. If you pay attention to the information provided on what to wear and what accessories to carry, travelling light will be quite easy because you will pack only what you need. You will also be more comfortable if you do not have so much to carry with you everywhere you go. One other important reason to keep your luggage light is that you do not want it to exceed the required weight otherwise you will be forced to leave some of your luggage at the airport
Safari Accessories and Information
A good pair of binoculars, a camera and enough camera batteries, a travel pillow, sleeping bag and safari jacket are some of the travel accessories you cannot afford to travel without. You will need the good views provided by the binoculars, the memories captured by the camera the warmth from the jacket and the sleeping bag and the comfort offered by the travel pillow. All these accessories are necessary.
A small bag in which to carry your documents and keep them close is also important. Travel documents such as visas, passports, and vaccination certificates should be kept close to your person so that they are easily accessible and safe. Try to get information from your tour operator on how to acquire a visa, other travel requirements that you might need to enter your chosen Africa safari destination. Make sure you do not forget your travel documents; otherwise your trip might not even begin.
Bon Voyage and enjoy you Africa safari experience!
The safari suitcase
For every trip you need a suitcase. The safari suitcase doesn’t merely refer to the item that is the suitcase but what should be included in that suitcase.
One thing to note is that in most light weight aircrafts, luggage is restricted to 20kgs per person, and chances you will be on one of those, so keep that in mind as you pack for your safari.
Which items should you pay attention to as you pack your safari suitcase?
There are several things you need to be sure get a slot in the safari suit case regardless of which of time of the year you are making your trip. These include but are not limited to:
Safari clothing: Safari clothing includes trousers, shorts, shirts, night wear, underwear and anything else that qualifies as clothing. Pack these in neutral colors such as beige, browns, khaki and greens. Leave the whites and bright colors at home, they are not quite practical on a safari in the African wilderness.
Sweaters and Jackets: The nights and early mornings can be sometimes be really cold. You need something to keep you warm. A warm heavy sweater, fleece or jacket is necessary. So be sure to pack one. Keep yourself warm on the cold evenings.
Raincoat or water proof jacket: the thing about Africa is no matter the season, there is possibility of rainfall. So a water proof jacket is a good and safe addition to your suitcase. That way if you are hiking or gorilla trekking and get surprise showers of blessing you will be prepared and will not get soaking wet.
Shoes: You can’t go on safari without footwear. So pack a pair of safari boots, and casual walking shoes and sandals or flip flops. With all the numerous exciting activities you will want and need comfortable footwear.
Socks and gloves: you will need warm comfortable socks and a pair or two of wram hand gloves especially if you are visiting very cold areas like the Kilimanjaro or the Rwenzori mountain ranges.
Hat & Scarf: Pack a wide brim hat for protection from the heat of the sun. and a scarf to be used as protection from dust. The scarf can also be used to hold down your hat in case there is a strong wind threatening to blow it off.
Sun block: in addition to the hat pack some sun block to protect your skin from sunburn. The African sun can be very hot and bright. You will need lip balm as well. Chapped lips are not only a sore sight, they are uncomfortable to have.
Sunglasses too should make it to your suitcase. Your eyes will need to be shielded from the bright sun.
Mosquito and Insect repellant: in the wilderness there are insects such as tsetse-flies, and mosquitoes. You will need repellant to protect yourself from insect bites. So get some and be sure to include it in your luggage.
Binoculars: Don’t forget to carry a pair of binoculars. One of the main reasons for going on a safari in Africa is to see amazing and breathtaking sights. You need a pair of binoculars to fully enjoy the sights. Whether you are on a game drive, a mountain hiking adventure, or a gorilla trekking safari, you will enjoy it much better if you can get closer look at the amazing wild animals, and other features you might see.
Camera and batteries: What’s a holiday without memories captured on film?! You can’t afford to forget your camera. Be sure to pack it, and several pairs of batteries. If you use rechargeable batteries, then do not forget to pack charging cables for the camera. Nothing captures amazing moments in life like pictures do, and a safari in Africa is one holiday you will want to remember.
Swim wear: Pack your swimsuit. You won’t spend all your time viewing wildlife on game drives, or taking nature walks or exploring historical sites. You will have some time to relax and wind down. What better way to do that than a swim in the pool at your hotel or lodge.
A good novel and a guide book: A good book is a good companion on the road, and in the solitary moments around the lodge or hotel. You will enjoy relaxing with a good book in Africa. Carry a guide book too; after all knowledge is power. You will be thankful to have some information about the places you are visiting.
Which bag should you carry?
Because you are aiming for light luggage, use a light weight bag or suitcase to carry your luggage. Heavy suitcases will limit the amount of gear you can carry considering the luggage weight restrictions.