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).
- 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).