You’re finally going on that dream safari holiday and it’s time to prep and pack for your trip. But what do you pack for your safari? Before you pack the khakis and the hip flask, take a moment to read through our recommendations of what to pack for your safari. As a luxury safari company, we’ve gone on our fair share of safaris and we definitely have some insider knowledge of what you’ll be thankful you brought with and what you’ll regret lugging around.
If your goal is to get some really amazing game viewing in during your safari, then it’s essential for you to bring along a pair of binoculars. Sometimes your guide won’t be able to get too close to a sighting so as not to disturb the animals, so whipping out your binoculars will give you a front row seat to the action, even from afar. Binoculars are also essential for bird-viewing, and trust us, there are some spectacular birds to be spotted.
Sorry to break it to you, but your phone camera just won’t do the beautiful African bush justice! We’d highly recommend getting hold of a good quality digital camera for your trip with a decent zoom lens, so you can document your game drives beautifully. Most of the lodges offer photography classes or workshops to help you get the best images during your trip, so a camera is definitely at the top of our priority list when it comes to what to pack for your safari.
We are blessed with some of the most incredible weather here in South Africa, and even the winter sun can be blinding! Your game drives will often take place at sunrise or sundown, so having a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harsh light will make your game drive that much more pleasant.
Further to the above point on sunglasses, a hat is also a good idea to prevent a sunburn because that’s no fun, especially while you’re trying to enjoy a luxury safari! When you’re deciding what to pack for your safari, it’s always wise to bring along a wide brim hat to protect your face, ears and neck from the sun.
Like we’ve mentioned above, the South African sun can be harsh and sneaky, even giving you a sunburn when it’s overcast. Many of us locals have learnt that lesson the hard way! We advise packing at least an SPF 50 sunscreen and applying to exposed areas to enjoy your safari sunburn-free!
Don’t freak out, but if you’re going to the bush then yes, there will be bugs! Flies and mosquitoes are common in the bush because you’re in the wild! While they’re more abundant in summer, bringing along bug-repellent cream or spray is a good idea. This is essential if you’ll be taking guided bush walks as you’ll need to apply to your legs to avoid getting bitten by tics hiding in the long grass. Pro tip: check your ankles and legs when you shower in the evenings to make sure you don’t have a sneaky hanger-on.
7. Comfortable Clothing and Shoes
It’s not necessary to pack a uniform of khaki and beige for your safari but if it’s about aesthetics for the ‘gram then by all means go for it! With that being said, make sure you pack comfortable clothing for your trip and shoes you can comfortably walk in. Game drives can sometimes go on for hours, so you don’t want to be uncomfortable in tight clothing and not be able to enjoy the game drives.
8. Warm Jackets
Despite the warm days, evenings can get chilly, so you should definitely pack a warm jacket or two. A waterproof rain jacket is also a good idea because in summer it can be sunny one moment and raining the next, so it’s always good to be prepared!
It may be obvious, but don’t forget to pack any prescription medication. It’s also a good idea to bring some basic medications with such as headache pills, diarrhoea medication, plasters for blisters, antacids (for overindulging in all the delicious food!) and anything else you think you may need.
A backpack is something often overlooked when you pack for a safari, but it will make your game drives and bush walks much more enjoyable! It’s much easier to carry than a handbag and will keep your water bottle, snacks and camera safely stowed away while you’re out exploring the bush.
We hope these top tips will help you prioritise what to pack for your safari and make your stay at your luxury safari lodge that much more enjoyable!