October 29

What to Pack for a Walking Safari in Africa


October 29, 2022

So, you've gone on your classic game drive safari and can write the book on what to pack for that. But a walking safari? That's a whole other ballgame! Taking on the African bush on your own two feet is an unforgettable adventure that will heighten your senses and get your blood pumping. But what to pack for a walking safari in Africa? Well, as the World's Leading Safari Company, we've gone on many walking safaris all over Africa. So, using this first-hand experience, we've compiled the ultimate list of what to pack for a walking safari in Africa! All you have to do is grab a suitcase, get packing, and we'll see you in sunny Africa soon! 

A walking safari is a great way to experience Africa

Get up-close and personal to the wildlife in Africa, Image Credit: Namiri Plains Camp

Your Walking Safari Packing List

When it comes to what to pack for a walking safari in Africa, you want to ensure that you've got comfortable clothing and shoes that will carry you across the open plains. Remember that, when you're out there in the wild, there's no shelter from the elements, so ensure that you're prepared with our handy packing list.

List of Items to Keep You Warm 

The weather in Africa can transition from icy cold to blistering hot in two ticks, so you have to ensure that you're ready for anything. Here are the top items to pack for a walking safari to keep nice and toasty when the weather is on the colder side.

1. Beanies

Much of your body heat escapes through your scalp, so remember to pack a beanie for those early morning excursions and late nights around the fire.

2. Long Pants

Even when the weather is hotter, you want to ensure that you pack long pants to protect yourself from scrapes and cuts as you walk through the bush. Of course, it also helps to keep you warm too.

3. Long-Sleeved Cotton Shirts 

For an extra layer of warmth and protection, consider packing long-sleeved cotton shirts, as they are more breathable and lightweight to wear.

4. Warm Long-Sleeved Jackets

Jackets are important on a walking safari in Africa, especially windbreakers, for those chilly early mornings and afternoons. 

5. Socks 

You need good socks, not only to keep you warm but also to cushion and protect your feet from blisters when you spend a lot of time on them.

6. Buffs

Buffs are a handy item on a walking safari, as you can place them over your mouth to keep the dust out. Plus, it acts as a warm layer for your neck.

List of Items to Keep You Cool and Protected from the Sun 

Although it can be very cold in the mornings and late evenings, midday in Africa can reach soaring temperatures. Therefore, you want to ensure that you can remove layers and are adequately prepared for when the mighty sun brings its A-game.

1. Vests

Wearing a vest underneath your other clothing will make it easy to strip off the layers as the day heats up. At the same time, it also provides an extra layer of warmth in those early and late hours. 

Don't forget your sunscreen when packing for a walking safari in Africa

Never forget about sunscreen when deciding what to pack for a walking safari

2. Sunscreen 

Sun protection is a must! You don't underestimate or play games with the African sun, trust us on that! If you think you've put on enough sunscreen, you probably need to add another layer to be safe. Pay especially close attention to your neck and ears, as these often take the brunt of the sun's rays.

3. Hat

You will definitely need a hat to protect your scalp and face from the sun as well as keep you cool and collected during your walking safari. 

4. Sunglasses 

Just like you need to protect your skin, you also need to guard your eyes against the bright sun. Squinting all day will more than likely trigger a headache later, so rather pack your trusted shades to wear on your walking safari. 

Keep your cool with cotton shirts

Keep your cool by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and lightweight cotton shirts

Other Essentials to Pack for a Walking Safari in Africa

Okay, now that we've covered your basic clothing items, here are some of the other must-pack accessories and items you should not forget.

1. Comfortable Backpack

You want to be able to carry some items along, like water, snacks, sunscreen, etc. Ensure that you opt for a backpack that's comfortable to wear for a long period of time, such as one with straps around your waist to help take the weight off your shoulders (literally). Many luxury lodges will also provide backpacks for your walking safari.

2. Binoculars 

It always helps to have a good pair of binoculars when on a walking safari in Africa, as you'd definitely want to take a closer look at the birds flitting past or any other wildlife on the horizon. There's nothing worse than not being able to see what everyone else is ooh-ing and aah-ing over while on safari! Depending on where you're staying, your luxury lodge might also provide one. 

3. Quality Hiking Shoes

One of the most important things when considering what to pack for a walking safari in Africa is a pair of good walking shoes. But don't rush off and buy a brand new pair and throw it in your luggage without walking them in first. You want to be sure that you can travel for many kilometres without pesky blisters or any major discomfort that could hold you back. 

4. Gaiters

Gaiters are like sleeves to protect your shoes from dust and keep debris out of them. 

5. Headlamp 

Having a headlamp on-hand is always useful for both visibility in evenings and for your general safety when moving around in the dark. 

6. Walking Stick 

A great walking companion, it will prove to be especially useful when ascending or descending steep hills. 

Ready for Your Walking Safari in Africa?

Contact our Travel Experts today, who'll take the effort and logistics of planning a walking safari off your hands! Let's tailor-make your dream African safari today! 

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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