What to Bring

If this is your first safari experience, packing can be an arduous process. Keep in mind there are weight restrictions to luggage, especially if you book a trip that includes bush flight transfers. 15kg (33lbs) to 20kg (44 lbs) is the typical weight allowed. For two week safari trips, I have been successful packing everything into a carry-on (soft duffle) and a camera bag.

Here is a list of recommended items:

  • Passport, color photocopies of passport, travel itinerary, travel insurance policy, vaccination card (where required), medical insurance card, credit cards, cash for tips, etc.
  • Small travel med kit; I recommend meeting with a public health nurse for required vaccinations, recommended prescriptions for travel, malaria preventatives, and other suggestions to build your own med kit.
  • Basic toiletries; many camps supply shampoo and body wash.
  • Prescription eyewear, extra pair of glasses or contacts (daily wear disposables are best).
  • Sunglasses.
  • Wide brim hat.
  • Sunscreen with high SPF.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Clothing – neutral bush colors; light brown, tan, khaki, olive drab, etc.
  • NO whites or bright colors. These can scare wildlife on walks.
  • Blacks, dark blues, and dark browns are notorious for attracting tsetse flies.
  • Daily laundry services are offered at most camps.
  • 2 pair light weight hiking pants.
  • 2 pair hiking shorts.
  • 2 light weight L/S hiking shirt.
  • 2 light weight S/S hiking shirt.
  • Lightweight hiking shoes.
  • Flip flops or light pair of sandals.
  • A pullover fleece, light windbreaker, gloves, and winter cap (night drives and early mornings can be quite cool during certain times of year).
  • 1 light rain jacket (if traveling during the green season).
  • 3-4 pairs of hiking socks and undergarments.
  • If you are an avid birder, there are great birding apps which include calls and songs. Any reputable guide, camp, or lodge should have a library of field guides available.
  • Camera equipment, spare rechargeable batteries, rechargeable attachments, SD cards, lens cleaning cloth.
  • A good pair of 8×42 binoculars (I sacrifice a bit more weight for a pair with enhanced field of vision).
  • Small, powerful flashlight and/or headlamp (great for reading) plus extra batteries.
  • Journal and pens.
  • Cell phone.
  • Tablet (if you must); Download birding app, safari guides, and reading material.
  • Basic watch.

Outlet conversion kit (these come with adapters for use in different countries).