October 11

What to Pack for a Safari in Africa

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October 11, 2022

You’re itching to jump on the plane and catch your first glimpse of Africa’s wide-open plains. However, there’s still some packing to do! If you’re wondering what to pack for your safari in Africa, keep reading! Our handy guide will tell you exactly what to remember and what to leave behind.

Couple enjoying African travel

African travel will make your heart sing with joy

The Ultimate List of What to Pack for a Safari in Africa

Before we delve into which items to pack, it’s important to consider what time of year you’ll visit Africa. Different areas have different seasons. Furthermore, day and night temperatures can differ as much as…well, day and night! Mornings can be cold, whereas you’ll be plunging right into the pool by lunch as the day heats up! 

So, be sure to book through a trusted Travel Expert like us, Rhino Africa, the World’s Leading Safari Company.

DOS: What to Pack for Your Safari in Africa

1. DO Pack Lots of Sunscreen

The African sun is potent, so don’t take any chances! You might be able to lie in the sun for an hour without burning back home, but this will not be the case on our continent. We can’t stress this enough. Ensure that you pack enough sunscreen and that you reapply frequently!

2. DO Pack a Hat and Sunglasses

The sun is bright, and you will miss your shades if you do not pack them! It's also best to opt for a wide-brimmed hat for optimal protection so that you don’t burn your ears or neck. Remember that game drives are often on open vehicles, so you’ll be exposed to the elements.

3. DO Pack Your Swimming Costume and Flip-Flops 

Most luxury safari lodges have stunning plunge pools. And sometimes the wildlife even walks right past! The weather can also heat up during the day, depending on the season.

Silvan's pool is the perfect place to unwind with a drink

Safari and swimming go hand-in-hand, especially at Silvan Safari in Sabi Sand

4. DO Pack Insect Repellent and Necessary Antimalarial Meds

If you're travelling into a malaria area, always ensure that you consult your doctor first to get the necessary antimalarial medication. Remember that you often need to take these a day or two before arriving to the area, so plan accordingly. Also, remember insect repellent to further ward off the mosquitoes. 

5. DO Pack a Warm Jacket or Two 

Remember that your game drives will often take place very early in the morning or just before sunset. Therefore, you can expect it to be quite chilly! Make sure to pack warm jackets and perhaps consider a windbreaker and rain jacket. 

6. DO Pack a Beanie, Gloves, Scarf and Buff

Even in summer, you'll appreciate having a scarf, gloves, beanie or buff to stay warm while you’re on the move. 

7. DO Pack Comfortable, Closed Shoes and Long Socks 

Even if you’re not planning on going on a walking safari, we highly recommend you bring closed, comfortable walking shoes and long socks. You will have to walk back to your room or suite from the main lodge, and you don’t want icy toes or anything crawling over them! You also want to prevent any pesky mosquito bites.

8. DO Pack One or Two Nicer Outfits 

Want to dress up a bit for your bush dinner? Why not! Furthermore, if you have other stops on your trip, like trendy Cape Town, you might want some smart casual clothes.

A private evening dinner on the pool deck illuminated by soft-glowing lanterns

Romantic lantern-lit dinner overlooking the vast wilderness, Image Credit: Elsa’s Kopje

9. DO Pack Light, Breathable Trousers and Shirts 

Sometimes the weather might be warm, but you still want to protect yourself from the sun and insects. In that case, light cotton fabrics are a good choice.

10. DO Pack Binoculars

You definitely want a pair of binoculars on hand when you’re on safari. Sometimes the lodges will provide you with binoculars, but if you want to play it safe, rather take your own pair. 

11. DO Pack Your Camera and Extra Memory Cards

Your camera is going to work overtime! Avoid disappointment by packing extra memory cards. If you’re a keen photographer, some safari lodges offer photo safaris in specialised vehicles, hides from which to get excellent photos, and even photo studios where you can edit and print your captures. When it comes to drones, however, be careful and double-check regulations of where you’re going, as they’re often not allowed.

Man photographer on safari in Africa

Pro and amateur photographers will be inspired by Africa's landscapes and wildlife

DON’T: What NOT to Pack for an African Safari

Just like there are some dos, there are also some don'ts of things you should rather leave at home. Remember that the time of year and region your visit will have a big influence on what you pack. Always ensure that you book your African holiday with trusted Travel Experts like us. 

1. DON’T Pack Brightly Coloured Clothing

There’s a reason why safari outfits are generally neutral colours seen in nature – for example, khaki and olive greens, beige and light browns. The wildlife does not like high contrast colours such as bold patterns or stark whites and blacks. Furthermore, in some African countries, navy blue can attract tsetse flies.

2. DON’T Pack Army-Printed Clothing 

It might be trendy sometimes, but wearing army print is illegal in certain African countries. Rather steer clear of bringing anything in this print to Africa.

3. DON’T Pack Your Heavy Perfumes and Deodorants 

You might love your Coco Chanel, but the animals more than likely don’t. They have super senses when it comes to scent, and a whiff of your perfume can signal danger to them, which will cause them to hide away. Not exactly what you want on a safari game drive!

4. DON’T Overpack 

It can be tempting to pack a million different outfits for all the Instagram-worthy photos you will take in Africa. However, please note that your trip might sometimes include flights on smaller aircraft with limited luggage space. A lot of safari lodges have laundry facilities, so that you always have a clean outfit to wear. If you book with our Travel Experts, they will let you know every detail before you leave, so you don’t have to worry about a thing! Sometimes you need to pack in soft duffel bags instead of hard suitcases, so always check before you leave.

Ready, Jetset, Go! 

If you’re ready to start packing, why wait? Contact our Travel Experts, and we will plan your dream Africa safari in no time. We look forward to welcoming you to Africa!

X Rhino Africa Consultants

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About the author 

Tania de Kock

Tania has always been an avid reader, which ultimately led to her life-long dream of becoming a best-selling author. She loves travelling, super spicy food, South African wine, and cats! When she's not reading with a glass of wine, you can find her at the nearest beach or camping, running or hiking in the mountains.

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