What To Pack For An African Safari Holiday

Suitcase and safari hatPacking a suitcase for your first safari is an incredibly exciting time as you get ready to embark on an adventure into the unknown. However, it can also be quite stressful trying to think of everything you need.

The essentials, such as socks and underwear are easy – they are usually the first items to pop in the case, but what about the rest? A safari is a completely different experience to a beach holiday, so it is important to organise accordingly.

Here’s what you need to bring to ensure that you are comfortable, safe and prepared for your adventure.

Clothes

With hot temperatures and chances of rainfall in all parts of Africa, the clothing you wear can make a world of difference to how comfortable you feel. For any item of attire, avoid dark colours as well as bright whites – opt for neutral shades like pale greens, khaki, beige and light browns instead as these are less likely to attract animals and insects.

Whether you’re out on a game drive in the early morning, or enjoying a drink at the lodge at night, you should pack the following:

Hat

A hat is one of the most necessary pieces of clothing whilst out on safari. Choose a lightweight waterproof one with a cord to stay protected from the elements.

Jacket

When choosing a jacket, look for one which has zip up sleeves so it is easy to adjust to the temperature. The jacket should have multiple pockets for storing everything you will need too.

Footwear

Comfort is key when choosing shoes to wear on walking safaris, so pick sturdy boots that you are comfortable walking in. Alternatively, you may wish to  wear comfy tennis style shoes. Whilst spending time at the lodge and the local area, opt for flip flops or sandals.

Shirts and Trousers

The weather across the continent often stays incredibly warm from early morning until dusk, so clothes should be made of breathable materials like linen and cotton. Include a selection of short sleeved tops for the day time, as well as long sleeved for the evenings to protect your skin from exposure to insect bites.

The same principle goes for shorts during the day and trousers in the evening. Don’t neglect to bring extra layers as well, as the temperature can drop.

Sunglasses

As the sun can be strong, you must wear sunglasses that will shield your eyes properly and allow you to see wildlife and landscapes clearly without having to squint. Choosing polarised shades will let your eyes rest and enjoy the sights to their full potential.

Medicines and Lotions

Before travelling to any part of Africa, be sure to check with your doctor whether any vaccinations are required. As with any trip abroad, it’s always best to pack a small first aid kit, as well as these important medicines and lotions:

Sun Lotion – Factor 50

Due to the heat and wind, becoming sunburnt is incredibly likely if you don’t use sun lotion. Sunstroke can also take place if you are not properly protected. Use high factor sun lotion to be on the safe side.

Malaria Tablets

Although the resorts you stay in and the guides you spend your time with will do their upmost to advise on avoiding malaria bites, carry tablets at all times just in case. You will probably need a prescription for these tablets, so check with your doctor first. Many larger chemists may also provide a prescription over the desk too.

Antiseptic Cream

For other insect bites, antiseptic cream will prevent the likelihood of an infection occurring. Make sure when packing cream that it doesn’t spend the duration of the holiday in the case – always keep it on you as you never know when it might be required.

Motion Sickness Tablets

This may seem like an odd addition to the list – but areas of Africa have bumpy terrain which you could pass over on a game drive. If prone to inner ear infections or any other form of motion sickness, keep these tablets at hand to avoid becoming unwell.

Other items to remember

Money

Even if your trip is all inclusive, there is no harm in having some money spare for food, drink or souvenirs. Depending on where you are going, there will be different currencies – for example in Botswana there is the Pula, and in Kenya the Kenyan Shilling. Check that you have the right amount of money for all the places you are visiting if you’re exploring different areas.

Binoculars

Don’t forget to pack these! If you are still looking to purchase a good pair of binoculars, make certain to get a high power but lightweight model. Investing in a decent pair will pay dividends when you’re able to observe beautiful wildlife from a distance as if they were much closer.

Camera

Regardless of your level of photography skills, bringing along a decent camera allows you to capture the memories forever. Much like the binoculars, find a model that is light and can produce good quality pictures.

Don’t forget to pack extra batteries or the camera’s power supply as well as memory cards to ensure you can take all the pictures you want.

Now you should be fully prepared for your holiday to Africa, and all that’s left to do is look forward to arriving! If you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Image Courtesy of Bigstock Photo.

KENYA SAFARIS

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