African Safari is an increasingly popular activity for adventurous travelers and casual holiday-goers alike.
Ever since David Livingstone discovered the African heartland in the mid-1800s, travelers have been captivated by the romance of exploring nature’s wilderness, which is no longer the realm of only the rich and the brave. With several choices now available, there are many things to take into consideration when planning a safari.
Generally, travelers bring extraneous items of clothing & accessories whenever they travel. The Pareto law dictates that 20% of our clothing will get 80% of the use, and this applies on holidays. You have booked your safari, now you need to be sure you don’t get charged by airlines for extra luggage, or miss that charter flight between safari lodges because your luggage went over the allowed maximum weight limit.
Below are the top 10 recommendations on packing the necessities for a safari:
There are many things which you still may need to sort out to enable you will have a good and comfortable holiday.
Many people get stressed out as well as excited on the build-up to their safari holiday due to the amount of effort which goes into preparation. To ensure that you only get the excitement minus the stress of the build-up to an African safari vacation, here is a quick checklist that should put your pre-safari arrangements on the right track.
Before visiting African countries, it is important to get vaccinations against some diseases which may be present in some of the areas you may visit. Your doctor is probably the best person to advise you on which vaccinations to get. It is necessary to note that some country’s border patrols will require that you have had a Yellow Fever vaccination, and you must have a certificate on arrival to prove this.
It is important to pack the correct objects for your safari and this for many reasons, here is a quick list of items you shouldn’t forget to add to your suitcase:
There are several different things that you need to research before committing yourself to your African safari holiday, such as:
Most safari travel specialists will tell you never to leave behind any essential item as they may be difficult to get once you are in the wilderness. It is therefore essential to do a proper inventory of what to carry for your African Wildlife Safari.
It is important to take note of the clothes you carry on safari as they shouldn’t only be for protection but also comfortability. Long sleeve shirts and long pants are essential to protect you from annoying mosquito bites and to keep your skin covered from the hot sun.
Most safari guides will tell you to avoid brightly colored clothing because it can attract animals the reason why most safari clothing comes in khaki, tan, and light brown. Neutral colors are effective in making you cooler during warm days. They are mainly cotton. Don’t forget to carry something for warmth as the nights might be a little bit chilly.
For many people on an African Safari a sturdy, waterproof backpack is an efficient way to bring your essential items. As a rule, when packing, try not to have your pack weigh more than 50 kg since you will be lugging it around from one safari lodge to the other. Make sure the straps on your pack fit you comfortably.
Talk to your travel specialist because you may only need a few days of clothing supply because many of the camps and lodges do have laundry facilities. It is also important to ask your tour operator what to carry when on specialized outdoor activities that include mountain climbing, bungee jumping, gorilla trekking, or water rafting.
In the wild, you will encounter mosquitoes so it is important to have a strong mosquito repellent. Be sure to spray your clothing and any exposed skin. Avoid the use of perfume, hairspray, and other scented products because they may attract mosquitoes.
Around the equator and especially Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania have located the Equator the temperatures are high. It is, therefore, essential to have good sunscreen to protect you from the sun rays.
Another item not to be left out is a pair of quality, polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses are best for the strong, bright sun.
Remember to have a good and comfy pair of walking/running shoes that fit you well. Don’t forget to pack quality socks too. You’ll probably need to also bring a pair of comfortable walking sandals.
Depending on the timing of your African Safari, there is a need to bring light rain gear for short rains (October – Early December) and long rains (March – April) and a warm jacket for the cold season (May – June).
Many lodges in the national parks and game reserves have swimming pools. Many safari experiences include the opportunity to swim in these pristine pools. Be sure to bring a good quality swimming suit so you can enjoy the water!
Other items you may want to bring such as:
a) Personal care products.
b) Camera equipment & accessories- always ensure that the equipment plug and electric cables conform with that of the country you are visiting.
c) Extra contact lenses or glasses.
e) Basic medical supplies.
f) Waterproof bags – for your camera and other electronic devices.
Safari clothing is essential when you are visiting a desert climate, especially if you are not accustomed to the rapid temperature changes and intense heat of the day. With the proper clothing, you can avoid sunburn and stay comfortable throughout your journey.
Lightweight cotton and linen are great choices for desert safari clothing. When shopping for your desert wardrobe, think about choosing items that are neutral in color, such as white or tan, to avoid soaking up the heat of the sun. In most cases, you will find that safari wear is already very lightly colored, so focus on choosing those items that will be comfortable even in temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
You will also want to choose safari clothing that is easily layered, especially if you are going to be staying overnight in the desert. Temperatures in the most extreme deserts can change quickly, and range from an intense 120 degrees Fahrenheit to a chilling 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the night. Bring along a warm jacket in addition to long-sleeved, lightweight shirts that can be worn together during the evening and night hours.
Depending on the location you are visiting, you will also want to think about protection from the wind and sand. Sandstorms are common in many desserts, such as the Sahara, so bring along sunglasses and protection for your face and mouth in case you encounter one of these natural occurrences.
It is typically going to be very warm in the desert, making the sand in the region warmer than what you might find on your average beach. Depending on your personal comfort level, you will want to consider either sneakers or sandals as a part of the safari clothing you take along. Sandals are best if you don’t mind the warm sand, while sneakers are more protective. Keep in mind that sand tends to get into sneakers as you walk through the desert.
If this is your first desert safari, you may want to consider taking a pair of each type of shoe to experiment with.
You don’t want to bring along two whole weeks’ worth of safari clothing if you plan on carrying all of your things with you as you travel, so make sure that you check the agenda to see when you will be stopping at a lodge or motel with laundry facilities.
Most tours include at least one stopover, allowing you to reduce the amount of clothing and supplies you need to take along. Not only will you feel less burdened by your gear, but you will also save a little on your travel budget by planning.
Some safari clothing, including your jacket/vest, can be worn daily without needing to be replaced. Make sure you have plenty of handy pockets in these items for frequently used items and choose a color that is neutral to avoid showing dirt or absorbing heat. Khaki, olive, and other neutral colors work best.
A safari has plenty of adventure and more, especially, the wildlife. Its distributed in all countries of Africa and at each destination, you decide to visit, you will get the best of Africa’s beauty.
The rules are quite simple and must be considered. You are always advised to travel light; this is because you will not be disturbed on your flight with check-in and out. Light luggage will make you enjoy your safari.
Outerwear must consist of 1 sweatshirt or fleece jacket for morning and evening wear, sunglasses, a safari hat with a chin belt that withstands winds, a swimsuit if your lodge has a pool, and a thin waterproof raincoat, especially if you are traveling during the winter.
Stay away from black and dark blue clothing, and leave bright-white objects at home; safari parks are often dusty, and white clothes may get dingy.
We find that light trail shoes and hybrid shoe/sandals (Keen, Teva, Merrel, North Face, HiTec, Garmont, Salomon, etc) are adequate for regular travel and normal safari conditions. Even fly-camping trips and walking trails on fairly rough terrain don’t warrant hiking boots when conditions are dry.