Your accommodation is booked, your trip is all mapped out and it’s almost time to head off on safari. First thing on the to-do list - get your packing sorted! It can be a daunting task for the first time safari-goer but don’t stress, we’re here to help. We want your safari experience to be as comfortable and as enjoyable as possible, so here’s a basic list of the essentials to assist you in packing for your African getaway.
PACK THE RIGHT CLOTHING
Layers, layers and more layers. This is the best tip we can give you when packing clothing for your safari. Your morning game drives may be chilly but the day can quickly heat up to sweltering temperatures and once the sun goes behind the horizon the temperatures can drop significantly again.
Neutral coloured clothing is best (tan, khaki, green and so on) for blending into the environment. Bright colours, white and animal prints should be avoided. You want to minimise your visibility in the bush so that the animals won’t be aware of your presence. We suggest packing the following essential items:
Comfortable cotton shirts, both long sleeve and short sleeve. Lightweight long sleeve shirts are good for shielding you from the sun, and can also help prevent mosquito bites.
Comfortable long trousers, shorts and dresses. If you’re planning a walking safari, then you will need breathable clothing, suitable for walking through the bush.
Swimming costume for that chill time by the pool.
Windbreaker or rain jacket and a fleece/warm top, just in case.
Scarf or shawl – great for chilly evenings and as protection from the sun and mosquitoes.
THINK ABOUT YOUR FOOTWEAR
A pair of durable walking shoes are a must for game drives or walking safaris, along with a comfortable pair of socks. Even if a walking safari is not on your agenda, closed shoes are suggested as you may be stepping out of the vehicle for sundowners and the like. It is also great to have a pair of sandals or casual, comfy shoes to wear around the lodge when relaxing by the pool or heading to dinner. Whatever shoes you decide to pack, make sure they are functional. We think it is safe to say you can leave the high heels at home.
CAMERA AND BINOCULARS
There will be countless moments on safari that you will want to commit to memory, so one of the first things you pack should be your camera and to avoid missing out on that winning shot, make sure you pack a battery charger, extras batteries and enough memory cards too. Binoculars are also a great addition to the packing list - these will allow you to really get up close and personal with the wildlife and will help you spot an array of birdlife.
SUNBLOCK, HAT AND SUNGLASSES
You’ll spend a fair bit of time in an open-top game vehicle and the African sun can be harsh. We suggest packing a good sunscreen with a high SPF, between 30 and 50, as well as a wide brimmed hat with a drawstring (so it doesn’t blow off while you are driving) and good pair of UV protected sunglasses.
Don’t forget to pack your passport (with enough blank pages) as well as a form of ID and your visa if necessary. It’s always handy to have photocopies of all your travel documents with you too. Store them separately from your original documents so that you have a backup in case you misplace one or the other.
AND A FEW EXTRAS...
A small torch - for traversing the lodge late at night.
A day bag - for keeping all your belongings together and dust-free while out on a game drive.
Travel adapters - bring a few with you so that you can keep all your electronics charged.
A great book - for downtime between game drives.
We hope this packing guide will help you prepare for your safari so that you can focus on having a great time once you are out there. Feeling inspired to book a safari getaway? Check out our three bush escapes and book your stay now - Ekuthuleni Lodge, Tshwene Lodge and The Outpost Lodge.