Packing for an African Safari – the ‘Big 5’ Do’s and Don’ts!

Packing for an African Safari

Packing for a safari can be a tricky task, especially if you’re a first-timer. From unpredictable weather patterns to not knowing what you’ll need when you’re there, it’s easy to overpack. Unfortunately, luggage space is not often a luxury that one is afforded on safari. Baggage weight restrictions on small aircraft are often very limiting (sometimes only 15kg per person) so packing light is the most vital aspect. Over the years we’ve picked on some valuable ‘do’s and don’ts’ when it comes to packing for a safari.

Here is a Few of Them to Help Get you Started:

Do use a durable canvas holdall rather than a hard suitcase as this can be easily squeezed into tight spaces like the back of your game vehicle. Some light aircraft will also only accept soft bags and the weight limit can be as little as 15kg per person so make sure not to pack every item of clothing in your closet! Most safari lodges offer a laundering service so packing a different item for each day is completely unnecessary. Think light, sensible, and comfortable. Neutral colors like khaki, green and brown work well but avoid wearing black, white, or vibrant colors. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants work the best as they provide protection from the sun and insects.

You’re Traveling with Children

Don’t fuss too much about bringing along lots of toys and games if you’re traveling with children. Safari lodges often have board games and books available and offer specialized activities to keep kiddies busy on safari. Most lodges also have their own pools so don’t forget to pack swimming costumes!

Do bring appropriate footwear. As shoes can be heavy and add weight and bulk to your luggage, be very selective in which shoes you want to bring. We recommend a pair of light trail shoes and also a pair of sandals. If you’re doing a walking trail in a wet or forest area, then a pair of waterproof hiking boots are the best option.

Every Piece of Photographic

Don’t bring every piece of photographic gear that you own. Rather only pack exactly what you’ll need and don’t forget your camera charger! Other gadgets such as hairdryers can also take up a lot of space so make sure you research where you’ll be staying as many safari lodges will offer things like this in the rooms.

Do pack a wide-brimmed hat (preferably with a chin strap to avoid it blowing away), sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun during the day. At night, some insect repellent and a torch will be your best friends. While there is no exact formula for packing the perfect safari suitcase, we hope that these tips give you useful guidelines to help you get started packing for your African safari adventure!

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