What to pack for your safari

Date 2024/06/26 08:11:01 by Janet Kleyn

Are you gearing up for an unforgettable safari experience? Whether you are a first-time explorer or a seasoned safari aficionado, preparation is key to ensuring a seamless and magical safari amidst the untamed beauty of the wilderness. 

To help you avoid those dreaded 'oh no, I forgot!' moments, we have compiled a comprehensive list of essentials to pack for your safari.


  • Hand sanitizer for hygiene on the go.
  • Sunscreen with a high SPF to shield yourself from the African sun.
  • A wide-brimmed hat that you can tie down so as not to fly off when driving in an open vehicle.
  • Polarized sunglasses to combat the harsh sunlight.
  • A high-quality pair of binoculars is invaluable and will greatly enhance your wildlife viewing experience.
  • Adapters to ensure your electronic devices stay charged and functional.


  • Don't forget to pack your essential medications, ensuring you have an ample supply for the duration of your trip. Travel with them in hand luggage on your international flights
  • Carry a prescription from your doctor, and for certain medications, a note explaining their purpose.
  • Insect repellent – many lodges will have but it’s always good to have one on you.
  • Antiseptic cream and antihistamine tablets can be lifesavers against minor mishaps and allergies.
  • If you're headed to a malaria-prone area or prefer to stay cautious, be sure to consult your doctor or travel clinic about malaria.
  • Tweezers for handling unexpected splinters or minor first-aid situations.

What to Wear:

Layering is best on safari as temperatures fluctuate throughout the day considerably. Early mornings on drive in an open vehicle is cold and by the time you get back to camp for breakfast the sun will be out and you’ll be ready to remove some layers.

  • Opt for light earth-tone clothing like khakis, browns, and greens for blending in with the natural surroundings.
  • Long trousers for drive time and activities and a pair of shorts or a light cotton dress for around the camp.
  • Long-sleeve shirts provide protection from the sun and insects. Bring at least 2 lightweight shirts and a t-shirt for around camp.
  • Comfortable shoes for both leisurely walks around the lodge and rugged terrain exploration. We suggest one pair of closed shoes and one open “slip-on” for around camp.
  • A windbreaker is essential for chilly morning game drives and a thin warm jacket for under the windbreaker and for cozy campfire evenings.
  • Scarf, warm hat and gloves for those early mornings – remember it’s hard to enjoy yourself if you are cold! It’s the small things that make a big difference. Africa can be cold at times, and these come in very handy.
  • A lightweight raincoat for unexpected showers.

Nice to have:

  • A lightweight day backpack for carrying essentials during outings.
  • Lip balm to keep your lips moisturized in the dry safari climate.
  • Wet wipes for freshening up on-the-go.
  • A decent camera to capture your memories. If you have an SLR you will want a Zoom lens such as a 70-200mm and 100-500mm.  If you just starting out with photography, we suggest bringing a bridge camera with a good zoom. Please refer to our blog on a Photographic packing list for a photo safari. 
  • A torch - Most camps supply torches but it's handy to have your own in your bag.

Tech stuff:

  • Battery charger for your phone/tablet
  • Be sure you have enough space on your phone for photos. We recommend bringing a portable flash drive for your phone or tablet to save your valuable memories on and as a back-up since wifi connections at camps are not always strong enough to sync to the cloud.
  • Travel adapter - please confirm the required adaptor for the countries you are travelling to.
  • Spare battery for your camera and camera charges.
  • Spare memory cards for your camera.
  • Laptop and an external hard drive to back-up your images if you will be downloading from your camera while on safari.

With the above packed, you can rest assured that you will be well-prepared for an incredible safari. Remember many small airplane charter companies in Africa have a limited weight restriction of around 15kg per person, including hand luggage. Travel with lightweight layers that are easy to wash and dry and you will be perfectly prepared for your safari. 

Blog by: Janet Kleyn