African Safari Packing Guide

Embarking on an African safari is a dream come true for many wildlife enthusiasts and adventure seekers. To make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, careful packing is crucial. From the vast savannas to dense jungles, Africa’s diverse landscapes require thoughtful preparation. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to pack for an African safari to ensure you’re well-prepared for the journey ahead.


AFRICAN SAFARI PACKING GUIDE – CLOTHING

PACKING TIPS

  • Bring neutral-colored clothing only: you will want to pack neutral-colored tones like khaki, beige, and olive to blend in with the natural surroundings and avoid attracting insects. Tsetse flies can be pretty bad in parts of Africa, and they are mainly attracted to black or dark-colored clothing. Also, do not wear any bright colors, as it is a target for animals!
  • Dress casually & comfortably: the days can be quite long, so wear something you can be comfortable in all day.
  • Wear clothes you can layer: morning and evening drives can be quite chilly! Pack a warmer jacket or vest that can be easily removed and packed in a day bag.
  • Pack lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants: protect yourself from the sun and potential insect bites. The sun is no joke in Africa!
  • Use a laundry service: on most safaris, you are limited on the size and weight of the luggage you can bring, therefore doing laundry during your trip is a must. Pack clothing that can be easily washed and air-dried. Most camps will not launder undergarments due to religious beliefs, so keep that in mind while packing.
  • Camouflage clothing is NOT recommended for travel in African countries. Camouflage or military-inspired clothing is even prohibited while traveling through Zimbabwe.
  • Drones are prohibited at most camps.
african safari packing guide

Clothing to Pack:

Insect Protection:

The one question I am constantly asked is: “How bad were the mosquitoes in Africa?” And honestly, we barely saw any! However, it truly depends on the time of year you go and the area you are going to. My motto is better to be safe than sorry, so come prepared!

  1. Insect Repellent:
    • Choose a stronger repellent to ward off mosquitoes and other insects. I HIGHLY recommend bringing wipes, spray, or lotion. I found the insect repellent wipes to be the best; much easier to apply while out in the bush.
    • If you are really worried about mosquitoes, you can self-treat your clothes before your trip with Permethrin clothing repellent. I treated my pants and looser fitting tops. Overall, I found the pre-treatment spray to work well.
  2. Anti-malaria Medication:
    • Most likely you will need to take anti-malaria medicine during your safari. Consult with a healthcare professional for appropriate medications based on your destination. To do this, make an appointment with a local travel clinic in your area or book a consultation with Passport Health. They will also go over any vaccinations you may need.

Safari Gear:

  1. Binoculars:
    • Enhance your wildlife viewing experience by bringing a good pair of binoculars.
  2. Camera and Accessories:
  3. Flashlight/Headlamp:
    • Flashlights are essential for navigating campsites and for nighttime excursions. Most camps will provide lights, so double-check beforehand.
  4. Sunglasses
safari

Travel Essentials:

  1. Travel Adapters:
  2. Power Bank:
    • Keep your devices powered during long journeys and game drives. I personally like this cordless one, very easily packable and just pops onto your phone.
  3. Water Bottle:
  4. Electrolytes
    • The sun can be HOT, so make sure you replenish by drinking lots of electrolytes.
  5. Toiletries

Health and Safety:

  1. Medication:
  2. Travel Insurance:
    • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies and trip cancellations.
  3. Personal Identification and Vaccination Records:
    • Carry essential documents and ensure you are up-to-date on required vaccinations. The only required vaccine might be Yellow Fever, again, check with your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date information.

Luggage:

  1. Durable Duffel Bag Suitcase: choose a sturdy bag for easy transport between camps. I looked at so many bags and eventually purchased the Stevyn Large Rolling Duffel by CalPak. I really did love the suitcase, especially the lower compartment!
  2. Day Travel Pack
  3. Packing Cubes: keep your belongings organized and easily accessible.
  4. AirTag
  5. AirTag Passport Wallet
  6. Shoe Bag: things do get dusty, so it’s nice to keep your shoes separate from your things.
  7. Zip Lock Bags: for wet swimsuits or clothing.

I hope this African safari packing guide helps assist you prepare for your trip! Packing for an African safari requires careful consideration of the unique challenges and environments you may encounter. By preparing ahead and packing wisely, you’ll be ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of the African wilderness and create lasting memories on your safari adventure.

If you need any help planning or have any questions, please comment below or message me on my contact page! I would love to hear about how your trip went as well. Which products did you end up packing? Tell me in the comments below!

Meet Mel

I started Mel’s Scene to showcase my trips and offer my personalized itineraries to other global wanderers. I have never cared for material things, I care more so for the experiences and memories that each travel destination has given me.

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