Going on a safari is an experience that one should tackle at least once in a lifetime. If you’re used to the great outdoors, then adapting to a new environment and coming up with an African Safari Packing List should never be a problem. But given the fact that there are a few essential items you should not leave home without and taking into account the luggage restrictions, you’ll need to pack cleverly. Here are the things to consider on your Africa safari packing list.
As soon as it gets dark in the African savanna, turning on your headlamp when walking around your lodging will prevent you from running into some creepy crawler or, a predator. If you are camping, it will be the same inside your tent too. Go for a reliable headlamp that offers sufficient beam distance and brightness.
Guidebooks and maps could be of use at some point on your safari
On guided tours, your guide will act as an encyclopedia, don’t hesitate to ask any questions. It never hurts to have a guidebook to introduce you to various environments and cultures, not to mention a wilderness book at hand while on game drives. Being able to identify various species of wildlife or birds by yourself will eventually add up to the excitement.
NOTHING BUT BREATHING THE AIR OF AFRICA, AND ACTUALLY WALKING THROUGH IT, CAN COMMUNICATE THE INDESCRIBABLE SENSATIONS
Prepare your documents
Every country in Africa has different passport requirements for it to be regarded as valid. They also have requirements like a certain number of consecutive blank pages being available in your passport. So be sure to pull out your passport well in advance of your trip, and thoroughly review all the entry requirements for each country you’re visiting.
Passengers to Tanzania are now required to present their Yellow Health Cards to an official that boarded the plane to verify the documents at the moment of touchdown. Some countries won’t even allow you off the plane if you can’t present this card, so it’s equally as important to have as your passport.
The other thing to pay close attention to is our visas. Many countries require an entry visa. Often a visa upon arrival is offered, and you should be prepared to pay for your visa with cash as electricity operates on the grid and connections and so can be unreliable for card machines. Check out Tanzania visa application guidelines
Toiletries and Basic Medical Kit
Basic first aid kits are available at most African lodges and Camps, but you should always have one with you should an emergency arise. Women should also bring adequate quantities of feminine hygiene products, such as tampons, pads, and panty liners. Panty liners are also useful for trickle drying after urinating in the bush. You should also pack travel-size deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, and other basic toiletries. Camps and lodges supply shampoo, conditioner, and soap but if you prefer your own, feel free to bring it on board in small-size travel bottles.
Camera and binoculars
Whilst most people will remember to take their camera or some will use their mobile phones, not everyone thinks they need to take binoculars! Binoculars are very essential for optimum wildlife viewing on safari. A good pair of binoculars will make a BIG difference to your safari. Get the most expensive you can afford (at least 8x or better still 10x magnification) for the best views. Going on a game-viewing safari without binoculars takes the “viewing” out of the “game”
Africa is a photographer’s dream. Not only does the boundless wildlife come in all shapes and sizes, but the continent is also blessed with stunning landscapes, colorful people, and fabulous light! Don’t miss out. Buy a camera, if you don’t already have one. Unless you’re planning to call your family while staring into a lion’s eyes, iPhones have no business being here. All jokes aside, you need some serious zoom, preferably up to 300mm, if you need to take some decent wildlife photos.
Your cell phone/ Music System(iPod)/ Laptop
Never forget your phone/ a portable music system/ laptop on your African Safari Packing List, you are going to need them at some point.
Mosquitoes and tsetse flies are both capable of carrying diseases and their bites can be quite irritating, and painful or may get you some infections. Tsetse flies can deliver a particularly nasty sting. An insect repellent can be the best way to keep off these blood-thirsty little buddies.
While there is plenty of room in our safari vehicles for your larger suitcase, it’s always handy to have a more manageable bag that you can have with you in the vehicle for some fast stuff that you are going to need along the way. A bag for day trips and excursions will come in very handy, so it’s important that you include a backpack on your Africa safari packing list.
Sunscreen/ Sun protection
The most obvious item on our African Safari Packing List, sunscreen is a customary item in any traveler’s luggage. If you are heading to Africa, chances are that your safari will take place in some sunny areas. Therefore, it is well important to choose a sunscreen that is able to moisturize your skin properly and make you comfortable.
Casual but comfortable Clothing and shoes
Comfortable fits are preferable throughout the year when on safari to Africa. While you may elect to start a completely new safari ‘wardrobe’ in an African Safari Packing List. It is really not necessary to look like an extra on the set of out of Africa! Apart from selecting reasonably neutral or ‘non-bright’ colored clothing, safari wear is generally casual and practical. Well advised not to put on an animal print while on a safari. Be sure you go for an outfit that will make you feel comfortable especially when it comes to your walking/hiking boots. The newer quick-drying fabrics, shirts with ventilation, and trousers that convert into shorts are all worth considering. Read more on What to Wear on a Tanzania Safari
Batteries and chargers
These can make or break your safari trip, so think twice before sacrificing quality and double-check to make sure you’ve packed all necessary accessories, including pug batteries and extra ones, chargers, and adaptors.
Cash is an important aspect of your Africa safari packing list. You won’t find credit card machines in the African bush and you’ll likely visit at least one village where you can pick up some unique souvenirs. US dollars are fairly widely accepted, and you can also easily take out local currency from an ATM when you arrive at the international airport. Know that tipping is common throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and you should have cash on hand to tip guides and service staff. Your safari company should answer questions and provide a guide on tipping etiquette. Normally for a luxury safari, you should plan to tip your guide around $25 – $35 per day per couple. Read more about Kilimanjaro Gear List