Packing Tips for your Safari

Jun 3, 2010

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While you may have the urge to pack everything you think you could ever need on a trip to Africa, one of the most important tips that we can give you is to pack light.  It is a hassle to haul those heavy bags around and most charter planes only allow you to bring one soft sided bag that weighs 25 pounds or less (with all of your belongings in them), in addition to a backpack-style bag that weighs 15 pounds or less (which typically sits on your lap during the charter flight).  Most of the camps you visit offer laundry service so you don’t need to pack a new outfit for each day. Even though the leopards and zebra know how to show off trendy patterns, the animals could care less about your fashion sense!


Leave the jeans at home! Not only are they hot and bulky, but their blue color tends to attract those pesky tsetse flies.  Select versatile clothing, such as lightweight nylon pants, that will keep bugs away and dry quickly. Consider long pants that you can convert to shorts by zipping off the legs, or long-sleeve shirts that can be rolled up to create short sleeves.  Dress for outdoor comfort, but remember it’s not always hot in Africa, especially during their winter months.  It can be chilly at night and in the mornings so we suggest bringing a down sweater jacket (such as the one made by Patagonia) that is light and packs small.

While game viewing, tan, khaki, drab, olive green or other neutral colors are most appropriate and less conspicuous to the animals, but you don’t have to look like you just walked off the set of Out of Africa. Pith helmets are definitely optional!

Get a good pair of binoculars and a good camera and/or video equipment which you have tested beforehand and are comfortable using. The African bush is no place to learn what all those buttons really mean.  Make sure you have plenty of pre-charged batteries and an adapter for recharging from safari vehicles.

The sun in Africa can be fierce, so sun protection is incredibly important.  A good pair of sunglasses, a hat and lots of sunscreen will be invaluable.  Bug spray, with as much deet as you can stand, will also become your best friend.

Although EXPLORE will send you a detailed packing list and travel guide before your trip, we understand that packing can be overwhelming at times.  If you just can’t handle it, call us up and for the price of air fare, room and board any of our employees will be glad to fly out and serve as your personal shopper!

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