The essential thing to remember is to travel light!
Be Certain to Have with You:
1. Valid passport
2. Valid visa – if required
3. One other picture identification (e.g. driver’s license)
4. Photocopy of passport page to carry in wallet
5. Air tickets
6. Expense money
7. Comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy
Dressing for Safaris
On safari, most people wear shorts and a T-shirt during the day and put on long sleeved shirts and long pants in the evening for warmth as well as protection from mosquitoes. Should you be particularly sensitive to the sun a loose cotton shirt is essential during the day. Khaki, brown, olive and beige colours are best for and safaris and game walks.
White is not a suitable colour for these activities, as it increases your visibility to wildlife you want to get a closer look at and it will get dirty very quickly. Fleece or sweater and a windbreaker for game drives, because it is highly possible that you may go out on a hot day, but be faced with a chill evening on your return. Remember that layering your clothing will keep you warmer than relying on one thick item.
Clothing to Pack for Safaris
2 pairs khaki cotton pants
2 pairs khaki shorts
2 long sleeved shirts/ blouses (for sun protection as well as warmth)
1 light sweater or sweatshirt
1 lightweight, waterproof windbreaker
Sturdy walking or hiking boots
3-5 short-sleeved shirts or T-shirts
5 changes underwear and socks
Hat with a brim (baseball caps might cover your nose but not your ears and neck)
Gloves (if you really feel the cold)
Down vest or jacket (if you really feel the cold)
A sarong or kikoi type garment
Most lodges and safari camps offer laundry as part of their service. Hotels all offer laundry, at additional cost.
Toilet kit including shampoo and soap
Good quality sunglasses plus protective case
Hand wipes or ‘Baby wipes’
Stuff-sacks or plastic packets; to compartmentalise items within your travel bag
Repair kit: needle and thread, nylon cord, rip-stop tape
Camera, film or memory card
Spare batteries. Film and batteries can generally be obtained at lodges, but at a price of course, so please be sure to have sufficient supplies for your needs
Paperback reading, writing material (keep weight at a minimum)
Sunscreen or block
Moisturizer, lip balm
Personal first-aid kit (headache pills, antihistamine cream etc)
Large towel and washcloth (thin, quick-drying) – if required for camping/overland safari
If you take prescription medication, be sure to bring a sufficient supply with you. If you are on a lengthy holiday, we suggest that you carry a copy of your prescription with you.
Luggage for a Mobile Safari
For Safari travel, the best type of luggage to bring is a soft bag, or backpack with an internal frame. As packing space in Safari vehicles is limited, only one bag is allowed, but you should also have a daypack for all of your personal items/camera/binoculars. Hard suitcases are usually scuffed or damaged in transit and are inappropriate for a game safari.
Light aircraft: Important note
If part of your itinerary includes light aircraft flights, there are serious weight restrictions. You are usually restricted to 10 or 12kg (22 or 26 lbs), per person, in a soft bag. Storage space in a light aircraft is at a premium, and the pilot may refuse to take on bulky or excessive luggage. The most common aircraft types used for charter work are Cessna 206 or 210, and Cessna 208 Caravans. Slightly larger aircraft are often used in East Africa, but luggage is still restricted.
A reasonable amount of hand luggage and camera equipment is generally allowed.
Remember that the charter pilot has the final say in terms of taking the luggage and you will be responsible for costs should your luggage need to be forwarded for you, or should an extra aircraft be required for transportation.
By Gerald Crawford
About the Author
Gerald Crawford: born in South Africa, studied electronics, telecommunication, eco-travel and african travel concepts. He taught responsible tourism in South Africa and the United Kingdom. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me on. E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org Website Address: http://www.12234455.co.za