How to Pack for an East African Safari

I understand it’s a dream for many of you to go to a safari at least once in a lifetime. Seeing animals in the real world is ten times more interesting than looking at them from your

monitor or TV. It’s also a grand adventure that you are not likely to forget.

Seeing new places always feels good and it’s good to see nature and learn more about your favorite animals. If you want to go to an actual East African Safari there are a couple of things you will need to have with you.

Packing for a safari is not an easy task: you have to take a lot with you but you have limited space in your bags and the airport weight restrictions wouldn’t let you take a lot. I’m not even saying that having a lot with you during a safari might slow you down.

If you muster your courage and are ready to go for an East African safari, I’m here to help you pack for it. There are some essential items, you must have with you if you want to enjoy

the adventure to it’s fullest.

 

Clothing

First and foremost, let’s talk about which clothes you should take with you. Don’t choose bright clothing. And definitely, don’t go for blue as it attracts dangerous insects.

Natural colors are your best bet since they would hide the dust and you would blend with the environment.

Any kind of headgear is essential. Sun in Africa is merciless and if you don’t want to get sun struck you need to protect your head. A cap or a hat would work out perfectly.

Since most of the time you are going to be in a seated position take the clothes you are comfortable with, preferably with a minimum amount of decorative elements (big buttons, etc.),

strings, elastic bands and straps being tightened.

Jeans are not always suitable for safari tours, in most cases, they will not be too comfortable. For hiking safari instead of sneakers, it is better to take hiking boots.

You won’t need expensive attire since even the lodgings and camps alike accept casual clothing. Also, packing way too many clothes is unwise. There are many other things you need

with you and clothes can be cleaned at the lodging’s laundry services.

 

So, here’s the clothing list I made:

  • Headgear (cap, hat, etc.).
  • Several T-shirts.
  • Shirt with long sleeves.
  • Light jacket or sweater (the temperature at night in some places can reach 0 degrees Celsius).
  • Shorts.
  • Lightweight cotton pants.
  • Sneakers.
  • Sandals or slippers.
  • Swimming trunks for swimming, swimsuit (many lodges have swimming pools).

 

Usually, the safari starts early in the morning so that you can see more wild animals. At this time of day some park and reserve areas can be rather cold, so you need to bring warm

clothes.

When planning a safari trip, first familiarize yourself with the weather conditions of the selected area for the current season and make your decisions based on the intel.

Equipment

If you want to enjoy your safari trip to the fullest, you have to bring some extra equipment. Obviously, you are going to need a camera to take pictures. Don’t forget about the spare

batteries and make sure you have enough space for taking many pictures.

Taking compact binoculars with you is an absolute need. They would help you to see the details you would miss with a naked eye. Some animals might be quite far away and binoculars

would save your day. Each safari car has binoculars but if you don’t want to

wait for your turn to use it, take your own.

 

Having a good bag, which is big enough to carry all you need and at the same time compact and easy to access would be great. Make sure it has many pockets and you know what you put

in those pockets. You wouldn’t have a lot of time to get your bag and check the insides for 15 minutes, trying to find what you need at the exact moment. Make sure the bag is comfortable to carry.

 

You would need cash. You need cash on any trip to buy souvenirs and local handcrafted goods. As well as snacks, liquids and other stuff you might want to buy during a safari. It would

be best to get some cash at the airport ATM as there aren’t many of those in most villages and in the wild.

 

Here is some more essential equipment –

  • Outlet adapter.
  • Sunscreen (suitable products with protection from 40 SPF and above).
  • Insect repellents (mosquitoes are most active at sunset and early in the morning, midges – near water bodies, big flies – nearby other animals).
  • Goggles (protect your eyes from dust and small insects while driving).
  • Wipes (wet and dry).
  • Disinfectant hand gel.
  • Hygiene supplies (toothpaste and brush, shower gel, etc.).
  • Face patch (useful for dust protection in some regions of Africa).
  • Notepad and pen.
  • Bag for documents.

Don’t forget to check this amazing article for the best bushcraft knives that you are most likely going to need on your next trip.

Medicine

Having medicine with you is vital. There are many things that could happen to you on a safari and it’s best to be prepared for those things beforehand. I also made a list of useful

medicine so check if you have everything on the list before going on a safari:

 

  • Bandages and bactericidal patches.
  • Preparations against malaria.
  • Antiseptics.
  • Antipyretic and analgesic.
  • Allergy Remedies.
  • Motion sickness curing pills.
  • stomach problems aids (for example activated charcoal)

 

Food

I know better than anyone how much energy safari requires. You get tired really fast and filling yourself with some food. Most of it can be bought right there before going on a safari

but you can also take some with you. The products you want to eat while riding

across East Africa in a car and enjoying yourself:

 

  • Chocolates or chocolate bars
  • Fruit (necessarily washed)
  • Water
  • Dried fruit or nuts
  • Snacks or cookies

 

Even if the conditions of the safari tour in the lodges and hotels provide three meals a day, it is

recommended to take some of the mentioned food with you during the trip through the parks to use on the road.

Most cars designed for safaris are equipped with mini-fridges, so the products will always be fresh.

 

Conclusion –

So we reviewed a complete list of things to take with you on a safari. Ideally selected and packed items for safari should fit in a sports bag or backpack, the size of which is not more than 65 by 46 cm (weighing no more than 12 kg.). Live your dream, enjoy the animals and have a good time!

How to Pack for an East African Safari