African Safari & what to pack?
Remember the lions don't care what you are wearing, nor does the elephants. What's important is your keeping packing simple & compact. This is a completely different type of vacation that most are used to taking. Leave the fancy clothes at home & take-in the adventure you are about to take. Embrace your safari!
Best safari luggage - Duffel bags & backpacks. Hard side luggage is NOT ideal to pack into the backside of the land cruiser. You aren't riding in a luxury bus through the savannas. You are riding in Land Cruisers & bouncing around with dusty roads, savannas & space is important. Quality luggage is important not designer or expensive. Your bag is moved around, bouncing in the back of a land cruiser, so go with a middle of the road bag that is inexpensive. This could make or break your trip.
If you are going to be traveling via air strip flights, they have weight requirements & that's where packing lighter will be on your side. Many light aircrafts have a strict 15kg baggage weight limits.
Many of the lodges and camps have laundry facilities anyways.
When do you typically do the game drives? Early AM times as the animals are now looking for breakfast. Once the sun is up, they are looking for shade to cool down. The evening drive times are also popular as the sun sets, the temps cool down a bit. What you would normally think that after the evening game drive, you would typically go back to your room, shower & put on clean clothes for dinner. Dinner is usually served about 7:30pm - 9:30pm. Therefore, you don't have much time & it's best to wash up and go to dinner in the safari clothes you have on. It's an early to bed because of your early to rise drive times. Again, it's not a fashion show, it's a safari where you and everyone there is doing the same. Embracing the African safari trip.
Temps - Mornings are cool & afternoons are hot. So layers are the key here.
Avoid these items for your African safari trip.
Black and dark blue colors as they attract the tsetse flies.
Blue Jean pants (too heavy)
Shorts (leg exposed to bug bites)
Baseball caps - they don't protect your neck or ears from the UV sun rays.
NO hard side luggage
Leave the jewelry at home.
Clothes - You need light colored khaki safari clothes. They will match the dust & blend into the landscaping. Best Colors: Khaki, Beige, White & Brown (different variations)
Be sure to pack long pants & long sleeve shirts. You want the material to be something that you can wash & it's dry by morning. I suggest 3 pair of pants, 4-5 tank tops & 3 long sleeve shirts, 4 pair of socks, undergarments & pajamas.
Ladies - pack a sports bra or two. You will be glad you did from all the bouncing around.
Raincoat - This is necessary to bring. If you don't own a raincoat, pack a poncho.
Footwear - Hiking boots or walking boots for nature walk or mountain hiking. Sneakers are fine otherwise. If you pack sandals, the mosquitoes & other bugs will find your gaps & you don't want that. Always be sure to break-in your footwear if you are buying new. You don't want blisters!
Swimwear - you will most likely be using the pool during the afternoon after lunch. Keep in mind, pools are in the open area & not fenced in. Therefore, they are very specific on when the pool hours are open. Animals often are wandering throughout the grounds after dark & into the early mornings of daylight. I didn't find time to use the pool as there were other activities to do once back at the lodge.
Must have with you: (Pack smaller bottles)
Mosquito repellent (wipes are great on the game drives)
Recommend you spray your clothes with proper repellent prior to packing. I sprayed my pants & footwear prior to the trip. I never had any issues or bug bites.
High SPF sunscreen 50 is recommended due to the African sun.
Sun glasses (quality to protect your eyes)
Camera Gear (Chargers)
Binoculars w/ strap 10x42 lens are best.
Small flashlight or torch is useful
Wet bags are important for keeping elements dry & clean from the dust.
Safari hat with wide-brim.
Head scarf, kikoy or sarong is a great to keep sun off your neck, keep you warm during the early AM drives.
Blister proof socks
Flip flops for the pool area
Remember that on some African safari locations, driving off-road means you will most likely see mud, drive through some deep muddy low roads & not so much dust. You need to be prepared for it all.
Just a few companies that offer great safari clothes. Plus if you plan far enough out, I suggest local thrift shops to keep the price point down. If you are buying from a thrift store, you may also find that you want to leave those clothes behind in the destination vs bringing them home.
We are hear to help you better understand the importance of traveling. Making sure that you have the things that are required, highly recommended & what not to bring with you on an African safari. Let's set up a time to talk about your African safari. Set up your free consultation here. Remember I am on central time zone but do offer a flexible schedule.
Escape by Travel ~ Penny Gellatly