What To Pack For Safari (Africa)
Updated: Jan 22
A safari is up there with my favourite kind of holiday. I love being in the wild and with nature. The first time I visited I was confused with what to pack and packed way too much. Now I know that these are the things I wished I had packed and what you really need to pack for a safari in Africa.... (P.S these suggestions are assuming you are staying in a camp/lodge)
1) A Camera Okay, not an item of clothing but a must. We bought a camera at the airport on the way to South Africa and it was the best thing we did. We captured some beautiful photos and the camera we bought had a special feature that took pictures during movement and captured stills which meant we got the most amazing shots of animals in action.
2) A light Jacket It doesn't matter if you are going on safari in summer or winter the mornings and evenings can be cold. A small quilted type jacket that you can fold down will be fine. By 7am the sun starts shining and you will get pretty hot - even in the winter. You don't want something too large that will get in your way or take up too much room in your case. The best idea for winter is to layer up rather than take a huge coat.
3) Comfortable trousers
Combat type trousers or jeans are fine, as long as they are comfortable as you will be sitting in the vehicle for 4-6 hours. Leggings are good if you are going in mosquito season and you can wear them to bed too.
4) A hat A hat with a peak that keeps the sun out of your eyes is best, sunglasses are great but can sometimes distort natural colours and you want to be able to see everything clearly on safari.
5) T-shirt, tanks & long sleeved tops
Depending on the time of year you go you may experience mosquito or flies and need long sleeved tops. Check with your travel agent. It is always best to take a couple of each type of top to layer up and to swap if you get a bit sweaty!
6)Trainers A comfortable pair or trainers that you can move quickly in. No, not to run from lions but in case you need to jump out of the jeep. From time to time your guide will ask if you want to leave the jeep to have a look at something on the ground, this might be animal tracks or insects for example, so you want to be able to move easily.
7) Walking boots (optional) These are optional if you have comfortable trainers. Most camps offer the chance to do a walking safari so you will need something super comfortable that you can walk in for a long time.
8) Scarf A scarf is great for the cool early mornings and can double up as a blanket.
9) Casual Dress or Floaty Skirt For the evening, nobody dresses up smart, keep it casual. Most days I kept the trousers I had on during the day and just changed my top in the evening.
10) Fleece style jumper
The perfect layer to keep you warm, also comfortable if you get cold in bed at night if you are staying at a tented camp.
11) A Small bag or backpack
You will carry this on your game drives where you can keep your water bottle, camera, binoculars etc. You don't want anything too big as it will just get in your way in the jeep. 12) Shorts After your morning game drive you will be chilling around the camp relaxing and eating until your afternoon drive, this is the hottest time of the day, so any type of shorts will work, denim/cargo etc.
13) Swimwear A lot of camps have a pool to relax around between drives. 14) Flip flops/sandals
Again for between the drives to float around the camp in or for dinner in the evening.
15) Waterproof jacket
Africa weather can be unpredictable, take one you can fold up and fit into a small bag.
Other things to pack for safari: Memory card/cards for camera, binoculars (ask around, someone you know will have some you can borrow), kindle, adaptor, phone and camera charger, sun cream, insect repellent, purifying reusable water bottle, torch, sports bra, socks, underwear, nightwear, shampoo, conditioner and body wash soaps. Things to avoid packing for safari: Silky style scarfs of clothes, these get sticky in the hot weather. Expensive jewellery. Make up - take the make up you can't be without but it's unlikely this will be a priority
Most camps provide shampoo, conditioner, body wash and insect repellent. You can usually hire cameras and buy memory cards