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To do list for your safari

Tips from our specialists

By Frank, Jan 7, 2018

  • Baggage on safari should be carefully considered. One soft-sided bag and one smaller piece of hand luggage per person is recommended, weighing not more than 20kg on small Southern Africa charter flights. You may have to pay for an extra seat on a charter flight if the luggage is heavier than 20 kg. This allowance includes camera equipment.

  • Days on safari are generally hot and call for shorts and t-shirt. In the mornings and evenings, long-sleeved shirts and pants are better and will also protect you from mosquitoes. For those sensitive to the sun, a loose cotton shirt is a good bet during the day, as is sunscreen. For colder mornings, layering clothing helps keep you warm and is a convenient way to ensure you’re wearing what you need as the day heats up. Some lodges have a dress code, but this is quite liberal, with some restrictions on shorts and swimsuits in the evening.

  • Dull and/or neutral colours are suitable for safari; you want to blend in as much as possible with nature. White is not practical. It is best to pack hardy, durable clothing. Best stay away from camo, as in many places in Africa only the military wear camouflage clothing and – in those areas – you might be arrested for it.

What to take

  • Sun block, sunglasses, wide brimmed hat, lip balm with an SPF of at least 15
  • Blouses/ shirts with long sleeves (even in summer, they will protect you from the sun and from mosquitoes)
  • Khaki, green, beige and neutral colours
  • T-shirts; shorts or a light skirt; cotton pants or safari trousers for evenings and cooler days
  • Fleece or sweater and a warm jacket for game drives (necessary, even in summer)
  • Sandals or rubber thongs (for showers and boats, not for general use in the bush as you’re going to want to protect your feet from poisonous snakes, thorns and rocky terrain.
  • Jeans or safari trousers for evenings and cooler days
  • Some hotels and country clubs require gentlemen to wear a jacket and tie and women to be suitably attired for dinner
  • Comfortable hiking or walking shoes
  • Light, compact raincoat is a good idea for the summer
  • Swimsuit, as most hotels and lodges have swimming pools

We also recommend

  • Cellphone
  • Chargers for your cell phone, camera, video camera, etc
  • Batteries for small electronics and cameras
  • Flashlight
  • Small first aid kit
  • Personal toiletries.
  • Tissues (for when the dust gets up your nose on a game drive)
  • Insect repellent and malaria tablets, depending on where you’re going

Paperwork & Co

  • Credit and ATM cards – check to see if your bank has international ATM locations to avoid high fees, and let your bank know you’ll be traveling abroad before you leave
  • Contact information
  • Driver’s license
  • Health-insurance card
  • Local guidebooks, bird and animal guidebooks, maps, translation dictionary, etc
  • Passport and photocopies of passport
  • Photograph of luggage contents in case of loss
  • Printouts of reservations
  • Travel journal
  • Yellow Fever Inoculation certificate – if travelling to Zambia or East Africa, you need to have a yellow fever inoculation (no less than 10 days prior to travel) and will need to have a certificate/card as proof when entering the country.
  • Swimsuit, as most hotels and lodges have swimming pools
  • Binoculars and a camera are a must

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