The golden rule of packing for any trip is that less is more. However, when going on safari there are certain things that you shouldn’t be without. So, in no particular order, here’s our list of the top 10 things to take on safari:
It may seem an obvious one, but a decent pair of binoculars should be one of the first things in your safari kit bag. Quite simply, you’ll be able to spot more wildlife when you can zoom in from afar.
2. Mosquito Repellent
Some safari destinations are worse than others for mosquitoes, but it pays to be prepared. Mosquito repellent with DEET in it is a must for evening and night times, and if you really want to push the boat out a pack of mosquito coils for your room is a good back up.
Even if you’re no budding David Bailey, photographs are a great souvenir of your safari. Point and shoots can do the job fine, but if you want to get some real close up shots it’s all about the zoom size – no zoom’s too big for safari!
4. Day Bag
A smallish bag to take out with you – walking or in your vehicle – to keep your bits and pieces in and easy to hand. As well as the things on this list, popping some water and snacks in (fruit, biscuits etc) is a good idea to keep your energy levels up through the day.
5. Sun Cream
The sun can get very fierce on safari – especially if you’re out in the midday sun. As you’ll probably spend a fair portion of time hanging out of your vehicle, protecting your skin from burning is a must.
6. Sunglasses & Hat/Bandana
It can be bright and very dusty driving or walking in most national parks, so it pays to have some measure of protection from both (see our take on what to wear on safari for a full discussion on this). Wrap-around sunglasses will offer the best protection for your eyes, whilst protection for your head is also a good idea. Bandanas are also handy as you can wear them over your mouth if you head through some particularly dusty area.
Even some of the most high-end lodges have restrictions on the hours they run their generators, meaning you may not have electricity through the night. Having a decent head torch to hand means you won’t struggle to find your way around.
8. Evening Wear
In the day time you’ll be big game spotting in your finest kakhis, but remember some evening wear too. You’ll want to change after a dusty day out, and depending on where you’re staying the dining room may be a relatively glamorous affair in the evenings.
Whilst day times can be too hot, it will get cooler in the evenings – and sometimes cold, depending on the altitude. A fleece or warm top for those dawn game drives or evenings around camp is always a welcome addition to the kit bag.
10. Sturdy Shoes
Eve if you’re not planning on doing much walking during your safari, there will more than likely be some stops for lunch or visiting hides. At these times you’ll be out of the vehicle and walking around some potentially tricky terrain, so a solid pair of shoes is well advised. Simple trainers will suffice for this, though if you’re planning on doing some walking it’s worth considering a pair of waterproof shoes.