The thought of packing for an African safari might just be intimidating—you hear about all kinds of restrictions, such as the fact that small charter planes only accept luggage under 40 pounds and that it must be soft-shelled (no frames or rigid structures).
While our agents are equipped to prepare you adequately for your African safari, we thought we would put together a packing list for you to use as a reference while you’re preparing to come to Africa.
Documents You Must Pack
Losing documents is a very common occurrence, especially while travelling. As a result, packing the necessary documents safely should be your first priority before packing the rest of your luggage.
A passport that has all of the necessary visas for every nation that your safari will visit or pass through.
A small amount of cash, bank cards, and/or travelers’ checks are recommended. These days, you can also utilize e-wallet apps to avoid lugging around multiple credit cards and cash.
Air tickets and travel vouchers for any pre-arranged organized safaris that have been purchased.
Where necessary, vaccination certificates (yellow fever, mumps, etc.) will be provided. Some immunizations must be administered many weeks in advance (see Vaccinations needed for your African Safari).
Medical treatment may include malaria prevention medications (see Malaria Made Simple) as well as any personal medications (also take your prescription in case of an emergency-your medication gets lost, wet, eaten by a baboon etc).
The specifics of your travel insurance policy Your policy number, as well as the contact information for claims and emergencies, will be provided.
Prepare a copy of all of your important documents, including your airline tickets, travel insurance policy, immunization records, and records of prescriptions and prescriptions.
Wearing neutral colors such as light browns, greens, tans, and khaki is ideal for safari. These colors do not attract attention and blend in perfectly with the African bush. Wearing bright colors makes you more visible to wildlife, which you want to avoid on safari. Especially when you’re on a walking safari.
Some other tips to consider:
Dress in a relaxed manner. It is important that you are comfortable with your safari experience. Pack light clothing. Wearing cotton is great for safari.
Make sure you’re protected at night. Pack a few long-sleeved shirts (depending on the duration of your trip) and slacks to keep warm on your night-time game drives.
On game drives, you’ll need a jacket and scarf with you because temperatures drop quickly once the sun goes down in the evening.
Pack a swimsuit and some casual clothing for around camp.
It is not necessary to bring heavy hiking boots with you on this trip. Walking in hiking boots would not only be uncomfortable in the heat, but they are also cumbersome to transport. Any pair of robust closed-toe shoes will suffice in this situation.
Make use of the laundry service. Our camps provide laundry services, although they do not wash undergarments. Clothing that is simple to clean is recommended.
Pack a hat. You will need protection from the sun. It can get extremely hot in Africa. You need a hat that is durable.
On the small aircraft that travel to Africa, the weight of luggage is severely restricted: 44 lbs. per person in a soft duffel for Southern Africa, and 33 lbs. per checked bag, per person, for East Africa. The most important thing to remember is to avoid using wheels on your luggage because they add around eight to twelve pounds to it, whereas if you use a lightweight duffel without wheels, you have significantly more weight for clothing and shoes than if you use wheels.
Tools and Equipment
Remember to bring along all your electronic devices, including your camera, memory cards, batteries, chargers, and a tiny torch with you. The use of telephoto lenses on your camera, as well as lightweight binoculars, is highly recommended.
A pair of binoculars should be brought by each participant to get the maximum enjoyment out of the safari. A general-purpose binocular with an aperture of 8×40 or 8×42 is excellent for both birding and mammal observation purposes.
A waterproof/dust-proof bag/cover for your camera; good quality sunglasses; glasses (if you wear contacts, you may be more prone to dust irritation); moisturizer; and sunblock are all essentials for traveling.
A flashlight or a head light, as well as a Southern African bird guide (such as Newman’s or Sasol), are recommended.
Recommended Items to Pack:
An SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera with memory card ports that accommodate SD cards, or a smaller Superzoom camera, are also acceptable options. When deciding which camera to bring on safari, the size (which should not be too large) and quality of the zoom lens are important considerations.
All of your chargers, batteries, and gadget power cords, as well as the correct plugs or adaptors for the regions you will be visiting on your safari.
Camera storage devices have the memory to save a billion photographs! Make sure you have enough memory space on your device.
Early mornings and evenings, particularly during game drives, can be cool, so bring a warm hat.
What Not to Pack?
When packing for your safari in Africa, make sure to exclude the following items:
Single-use plastics are a problem. Many countries, particularly in East Africa, have outlawed it.
See airline restrictions for further information on needless jewelry and pricey accessories (seeds, plants, certain foods etc).
Water bottles that are disposable The majority of safari vans and hotels are equipped with water dispensers for re-filling reusable water bottles. Alternatively, purchase a large 5 or 10-litre water jug and fill it with water as needed along the trip.
A digital camcorder is a compact, handheld video recorder that may be used to record personal films and upload them to YouTube. It can capture all of the activity on your vacation.
You’ll need something to keep you engaged on the trip and while waiting for transfers and relaxing while on safari. A good book, iPod, iPad, or games will do the trick.
A compact diary for recording your travel experiences, taking down the names of animals and birds spotted on game drives, as well as valuable local terminology and phrases,
In addition to listening to audio books, headphones are useful for listening to a soundtrack while driving or falling asleep, as well as for watching the scenery.
Our Final Packing Suggestions
Don’t go overboard with packing. An extremely common blunder is over packing. It is common for your luggage limit to be restricted if your safari includes flights between destinations in small fixed-wing planes (check with your agent).
With African Bush Camps, you won’t have to worry about bringing your own emergency first-aid kit, and most of your meals will be covered in the tour cost.
You can rely on our guides who know where to stop for supplies and how to obtain the most essential items if and when you are caught unprepared.
Towels, bedding, and basic toiletries may be included as part of your African Safari package; please inquire before making your booking. However, we can assure you that our camps are well equipped.