Africa is an incredible continent, filled with diverse cultures, stunning landscapes, and unparalleled wildlife experiences. From different cultures to breathtaking views, you can find it all here. Plus, there’s no better place to observe wildlife in its natural habitat.
A safari in Africa is an unforgettable experience, and with the proper preparation, you can make the most of your trip. In this article, we’ll focus on providing you with a list of items you’ll need to pack for your safari to ensure you’re prepared with the right gear. We’ll also include some tips for preparing for your trip.
Before you start packing, you’ll need to plan your trip
- Choose your travel style – are you looking for a relaxing holiday, or do you want to explore the wild and do a bit of hiking and wildlife spotting?
- Decide whom you travel with – are you traveling solo? With your family? With Friends? Or maybe with a group.
- Decide on the vacation duration – how many days do you have for this vacation?
- When will you go? The travel dates will significantly impact the weather, the destinations you can visit, the tours you can take, how crowded it will be, and the trip costs. The best to go on safari in Africa, especially if it’s your first time in Africa, is between May to October, during the dry season. Although prices are higher during these months, you’ll have better weather and see more animals as they gather around the remaining water sources.
For more details on how to plan your perfect safari trip, read the Complete Guide To Planning Safari Trip To Africa.
Preparing Your Safari Packing List
You can start preparing your packing list once you have researched and decided which location, time, budget, and companion you will take. The following are a few basic things to keep in mind:
The first thing to remember is that you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors, so you must be prepared for all types of weather.
Now think and decide what you need close to you, and pack it in your backpack or carry-on. The rest of the equipment you should pack in your luggage.
Avoid overpacking – don’t bring unnecessary clothes or other gear. Avoid the overweight and know that most safari camps and lodges offer same-day laundry services, so use them. It’s easy and cheap enough to avoid overpacking.
- Tourist Visa
- Tickets you booked
- Insurance (baggage and health)
- Cash and credit card
- Swimsuit if your lodges and camps have a swimming pool
Items that are nice to have for any trip but a must on a Safari trip:
- Reusable water bottles – Don’t carry heavy disposable water bottles. Reusable water bottles can be topped up at most safari trucks and lodges using water dispensers.
- Sunglasses – watch your eyes from the African sun.
- Comfortable walking shoes – most trips to Africa include much walking in nature.
- High-quality backpack – you’ll need a good bag to carry your gear comfortably and safely.
- High-quality camera – To have truly unique experiences in Africa, make sure to pack a camera with a telephoto lens. A lens of 200mm or more will help you take great pictures that provide lifetime memories. Be prepared to encounter unique views. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture those rare moments of animals you’ve probably never seen before.
- Wide-brim Safari Hat and Sunblock – You’ll spend a lot of time in the sun. Make sure you are protected from the sun.
- Binoculars – The best way to observe wildlife on safari is by using high-quality binoculars. A good set of binoculars would make your trip much more enjoyable and give you a better opportunity to spot those animals far away or bird hiding at a distance and enrich your experience.
- A good quality flashlight – you need more than your smartphone flashlight.
- Anti-malarial tablets – consult your doctor about which pills you should take before you go.
- Insect Repellents / Bug spray – even if you’re staying in a high-quality lodge or park, you’ll probably encounter insects, either in the park or when traveling.
- Hand sanitizer – it’s always a good idea to have this on you when traveling. Remember to pack this in your suitcase, as many airlines don’t allow liquids on your carry-on luggage.
- Cash – it’s more than recommended to travel with a local guide. It’s common and advised to tip your guide. It’s not a must but expected and appreciated.
There are many other items to consider adding to your list. Check out the complete packing list for a trip to Africa for more details.