What to pack for your Safari

One of the most important things to get right when heading on safari is what you pack in your luggage! Given you are often going to remote areas where shops are few and far between, you have to make sure you pack all the right things before you get to your safari destination. Of course it depends where you are going – for example if you are staying in Kruger there are small grocery stores at most camps, but if you’re off to Masai Mara or even a private game reserve in South Africa you may find it a bit more difficult (and a lot more expensive) to pick up essentials there.

I’m in the process of packing for my next safari IN FIVE DAYS (!!!) and I reverted to my trusty packing list in OneNote to help me make sure I don’t forget anything important. What better time than to share my AMAZING SAFARI PACKING LIST with you all! 🙂

You can also download and print a handy PDF version to print here (thanks to the amazingness of ONENOTE)!

Essentials

  • Passport
  • Camera + spare batteries + camera charger + SD cards + lens cleaner
  • Hat (best to be relatively tight to avoid blowing off in safari drives) – also consider brim length for balance of sun protection but also interference with your camera 🙂
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent (strong)
  • Phone / phone charger
  • Sunglasses
  • Prescription glasses / contact lenses (if needed)
  • Power adapters – south Africa / india + double adapter or power board (if you want more charging options)
  • Driver’s Licence (for those driving) – check requirements for whether it will be accepted, from my understanding most (if not all) English licences are acceptable
  • Credit cards / debit cards / money

Clothes

  • Shorts / singlets / t-shirts (clothes for warm weather)
  • Warm jacket/jumper (ideally wind resistant) – if going in winter months (June-Aug) make sure you take a really warm jacket / parka
  • At least one pair of long pants (comfortable and ideally with pockets)
  • Long-sleeved tops (layers are good to wear)
  • PJs
  • Underwear
  • Swimming costume / board shorts
  • Beanie / gloves (if going in cooler months)
  • Enclosed walking shoes (may go on bushwalk) + socks
  • Flip flops (thongs in Aussie talk) / sandals
  • Leggings (comfortable in car)
  • Scarf (double as head scarf or for extra warmth or fashion :))
  • Animal onesie for game drives (this is something we suggest because it’s fun AND warm :))

Handy to have (all optional)

  • Device for backing up photos / using wifi
  • CDs and/or audio cable for phone/ipod for music in hire cars
  • Binoculars
  • Small flashlight can be very handy – more powerful the better (you can use to spot for animals)
  • Suitable bag / backpack to take on game drive with your supplies (could just be a reusable sturdy shopping bag)
  • Books to read / games to play during down time
  • Travel pillow
  • Copy of your passport
  • Journal / paper / pen if you want to keep track of trip (or use device)
  • Wet wipes / hand sanitizer
  • Ear plugs / noise cancelling headphones

Toiletries

  • Lip balm and face/hand moisturiser – windy safari drives and flights can play havoc
  • Razor etc (checked luggage)
  • Sanitary requirements
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Travel size shampoo and conditioner if camping or staying in Kruger
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Nail clippers / tweezers etc (checked luggage)
  • Deodorant (checked luggage)
  • Makeup – ideally with SPF 15 or higher (if you want to wear makeup)
  • Contraceptive needs (always good to be prepared)

Medication (all optional and subject to needs of course)

  • Malaria tablets
  • Anti-diarrhoea medicine / generic antibiotics
  • Paracetamol / pain killers (good to have on hand)
  • Allergy medication / antihistamines
  • Phenergan (think this is Aussie only) or sleeping tablets for flights
  • Band aids
  • Any other prescribed medication you take regularly or may need

Those are the most important things to take in my opinion – but of course you could add a stack of photographic equipment if you are an avid or professional photographer. Hopefully this helps you pack for your safari adventure – but let me know in the comments below if I missed anything!

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