Packing a Checklist for Your Next African Safari

The following article was contributed by one of this blog’s collaborators.

One of the more underrated and underappreciated skills of the experienced traveller, proper packing can make or break any trip. To those who spend a lot of time on the road, packing is an area in which we take particular pride, and it can be one of the more crucial elements of special excursions.

Each destination, climate and locale may require its own clothing and other items.  This is especially important if the excursion takes you a good distance from civilization.

African Safari packing checklist

 

An African safari is the perfect example of this. A safari is not like an American road trip, a Caribbean resort or a European city, and the items you bring should accordingly reflect the difference. Africa is rugged and unforgiving, but it can also be one of the most memorable and exciting journeys of a lifetime for those who come prepared.

If you have been on safari before, you may be well aware of these facts. But whether this is your first trip to Africa or you are a seasoned pro in the area, this guide will help explain the necessary items to bring — and some to leave at home — in order to get the most of your time there.

1. Safari Clothes

The majority of proper packing comes down to clothing. On most vacations, you may pack clothes that are designed to impress, but safaris are casual affairs in which comfort is key. You will want to bring clothes that are lightweight and comfortable. Your safari wardrobe should consist mostly of neutral earth tones, as this will help you blend in while in the bush.

Remember that it is impossible not to get dirty on safari, and you should pack accordingly. Unless your camp or lodge provides laundry service (many do not), you should pack a small travel bottle of detergent and a nylon rope for a laundry line. This will also ensure that you are not over-packing and bringing separate outfits for every day.

As far as climate, it should go without saying that much of Africa gets pretty hot. However, you may still want to wear long sleeves and pants instead of shorts to keep mosquitoes away. Nights and early mornings can also be chilly, even in the middle of summer, so a lightweight jacket will also be helpful.

An example packing list would include:

  • 4 t-shirts
  • 2 long-sleeve shirts
  • 2 pairs of cotton pants
  • 1 pair of comfortable shorts
  • 1 lightweight jacket
  • 1 light raincoat
  • 3 pairs of wool socks
  • 1 pair of durable, waterproof boots or shoes
  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • 2 sports bras for women
  • 1 sun hat or baseball cap

2. Electronics

Although this will be a rugged journey in the outdoors, you will still need to bring some electronics. Depending on your needs and what all you plan to do, this could also make up a large portion of your packing items. A camera will be an absolute necessity, and a tablet or eReader will be important for nighttime. But if you have a newer, larger phone like a Samsung Galaxy Note8 or iPhone X, this could take the place of both items.

African Safari packing checklist

As outlets will likely be few and far in between during your time in Africa, you should remember to bring power backups like a rechargeable power pack to keep your electronics juiced. Adapters and a power strip will also be helpful, so you can take full advantage of outlets when you have them.

Remember that packing light is one of the more important elements here, and this is especially important in the case of electronics. Unless you plan to write while on safari, it may be best to leave your laptop at home or at the hotel. With a wireless keyboard, this is another item that a good modern smartphone can replace. Additional memory cards can also take the place of your laptop for photo and video storage.

3. Toiletries and Additional Items

For the most part, your lodge or hotel will provide most toiletry items. But if you are particular about your brands, it does not hurt to bring small travel bottles. First aid is another area in which most items will be provided, but you may want to bring any specific necessities. This may include malaria pills, prescription medication, allergy medicine (for bug bites and allergic reactions), birth control and over-the-counter pain medicine.

Sunscreen and after-sun cream will be very helpful, especially if you burn easily. Bug repellant can be another important item. Because of the constant dirt that you will inevitably accumulate on safari, antibacterial hand sanitizer and wipes can be one of the most crucial items of the entire process.

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About COMtnMom

Hi, I'm Tami! Writer, Influencer, and mom of two who loves travel, the outdoors, staying active, photography, reading books, and eating desserts. We are pretty much always planning our next trip to Disney World.

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