It can be difficult to decide what to take with you on your safari holiday. Especially if you are going on to another destination. If you have a fly-in safari it is likely that you will have very limited baggage allowance. So, what are the important items you need to pack for your safari?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. This does not cost you anything extra. For full details please see my disclaimer page.
The Right Clothes
It is important to think about the clothes that you are taking with you. As it is likely that you will experience different temperatures on your game drive. So it is essential to take layers with you. You might start off a morning drive wrapped in several layers, and finish it in a t-shirt. Don’t forget the vehicle is often open top and can be travelling at speed.
It is very important to avoid bright colours and patterns on your clothes. In order to see the most animals possible, you will want to blend in with the environment. Khaki and any green colour are the best options. I have often gone for grey too. Avoid dark blues and black, you do not want to be mistaken for a wildebeest! In fact, I suggest avoiding all blues, unless you want to attract some bees.
Long sleeves and trousers are the best ideas, as they will give you added protection from the sun and insects. I suggest that you wear clothes that you do not mind getting stained. This is because insect repellents and sunblock can often leave their mark on your clothes.
Bug spray is an essential item for your safari packing list. There are many places, especially in South East Asia where a repellent with natural ingredients will be sufficient. However, if you are going somewhere with malaria and other threats then you will need better protection. Deet based repellents will likely be your best bet. Some can cause skin irritation, and it can be better to spray them onto your clothes. Insect repellents can reduce the effectiveness of sunblock.
The duration of a safari can vary. Most safaris are about 3 hours. However, sometimes you can be out for the day. It is essential to include adequate sun protection on your safari packing list. If you are more prone to sunburn than most, it could be a good idea to select a safari company that has a shaded vehicle. This will give you some respite throughout the day.
Having a hat will help to protect your head from the sun. Many people will opt for a wide brim sun hat, which will protect more of your head from the sun. However, I prefer wearing a cap. Whatever you choose make sure that it is a good fit. You do not want it flying off during the drive. If you do go for wide brim style then be mindful of the size of it. You do not want to obscure your vision.
The majority of safari lodges will have a swimming pool. You might have even booked a room with a plunge pool. So don’t forget to take swimwear with you. Remember that some colours can attract insects.
It is very likely that wherever you are going will be bright and sunny. You will also be spending most of your day looking for wildlife. Make sure that you pack a suitable pair of sunglasses. Take into account UV protection, and eye strain when choosing the perfect pair.
Taking a torch or headlamp is a good idea. You will find that it is going to be dark when you wake up, and when you go to bed. Whether you are staying in a safari lodge or camping it is likely that you will have to walk to the main communal area several times throughout the day. If you have a torch on your mobile phone, remember that it will drain your battery.
You are going to want to take some pictures of the animals that you see on safari. It is advisable to invest in a decent camera to do this. Cameras are expensive, and not everyone can afford to buy one. Especially when you consider the cost of your holiday. I did not have a camera on my first safari holiday. I still had an amazing time, but the photos from my smartphone are not the best. If you are not going to take a camera with you, then the following 2 items are essential.
Whilst your safari driver will always endeavour to get you as close to the animals as safely possible. Sometimes the wildlife will be far away. If you have a decent camera with zoom function then you can utilise that to see further. If not then binoculars are going to come in handy., and are much cheaper than cameras
Portable Power Bank
If you are depending on your phone for photos it is essential that you take a power bank with you. Many phones will not last for 3 hours of constant use, and you do not want your device to run out of power during your drive. I don’t travel anywhere without my power bank.
Travel Adaptor and Multi-plug
Most of you will be travelling with someone else. If you are sharing a room with someone, then the chances are that they will also have a camera, phone, and power bank. Both of you are going to need to charge your equipment regularly.
Different countries will have different electrical outlets. It is important to check what your hotel uses. If like me, you do not want to buy several adaptors every time you go to a different country, then you should take a multi-plug with you.
Last, and certainly not least is cash. If you have received good service it is important to tip your safari guide and driver. You might also want to tip the various staff that have contributed to your stay. Porters, chefs, waiters, and room attendants will all be very appreciative of any tip. If you would like my free guide to tipping, please add your email on the link below.
What are the essentials that you would add to your safari packing list? Please add them in the comments section below.