Here are some tips on what to carry while on an African safari
The weather in some places in Africa is hot. Cotton and linen are the most comfortable fabrics to wear. So when packing your wardrobe for your safari or trip: think cotton. Natural fabrics like cotton absorb perspiration well. They also feel cooler to the skin. Being properly covered up in well fitting clothes is a good way to ensure you don’t get burned to a crisp. Underwear absolutely has to be made of cotton. A warm jacket is a good idea if you intend to spend time in the highlands where the weather is cold at night. Shawls can also be very helpful against cold wind especially during the early morning road trips.
- Facial Spritz and wet wipes
A facial spritz to cool your skin and plenty of wet wipes will do you a lot of good.
- Bug spray/cream
Most safari lodges out in the bush provide mosquito nets, but it does not hurt to carry some bug spray with you. While we are on the topic of bugs, try to wear pants instead of shorts to avoid bug bites, dust, brushing against coarse grass etc. Long sleeves are also better than short sleeves.
Carry plenty and plenty of sunblock. It can get really hot in some places and sunblock is absolutely necessary for those moments when you can feel the sun beating down on you.
- Corkscrew/bottle opener
You never know when you will be thirsty and in need of a bottle opener!
It is good to carry a small pack of aspirin or panadol in case they are not immediately available or too expensive. If you take prescription medicine make sure you are well supplied before coming for a safari.
- Extra memory cards and batteries
You can take hundreds or even thousands of pictures. Don’t forget to carry extra memory cards for your camera. They will ensure you don’t run out of memory. Different lenses and all the camera equipment you will need. You also don’t want to be stuck with a dead camera so extra batteries are a must.
- Toilet paper or small tissue packs
Carry your own toilet paper. You never know when you might find a toilet without toilet paper.
- Flashlight or torch
Some of the lodges turn off their generators during the night. So you might need a flashlight to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Your phone torch might also be sufficient most of the time.
- Dress pants and shirt
Some hotels have a dinner dress code. Carrying one pair of dress pants and one shirt will ensure that you are never caught err pants down.
Swimsuits and bikinis are important for visits to swimming pools and beaches. Don’t wear them outside the beach or hotel though.
Keep it simple. Expensive jewellery should be left at home. It is not necessary while on safari and if you plan on exploring the local cities, expensive jewellery can attract the wrong kind of people.
Hiking boots are necessary for any outdoor excursions in the bush. Casual shoes in case you need to visit a nice restaurant and sandals to wear the rest of the time are also important.
There are a lot of toiletries that you can carry. Hand sanitizer is vital. Sun burn ointment, zip lock bags, tweezers that can be used to remove splinters, toothpaste and toothbrush, gauze, ace bandage in case you need it, and malaria medication.