Preparing for an African safari isn’t the same as preparing for other trips. Moving in dusty roads in a jeep that is opened at the top means that dirt will be all over you. Temperatures can change drastically within a day, and layers are crucial. If you are going with a bush plane, you will have to pack light for you to comply with restrictions regarding baggage. Here are ten other things to keep in mind when packing for a safari.
- Travel insurance documents, itinerary, eTickets and Passport
These are the obvious items that you will need when traveling from one country to another. You should start with these.
- Prescription Meds
Don’t forget to pack your prescriptions medications in the hand luggage. Sometimes people lose their check-in bag. Ensure that they are enough for the entire safari.
- Prescription glasses
Remember to pack more than a set of prescription glasses if you wear them. You will be outdoors for long, and sometimes they get broken or lost.
- Video, binoculars, and camera
Most people don’t forget their cameras and video, but some people forget their binoculars. You will need binoculars for optimum viewing on safari.
- Toiletries and clothes
No one can forget clothes, but are you packing the right clothes? Have you complied with weight restrictions for the light aircraft flights? The most accepted check-in luggage for international airlines is about 20 – 30kgs. But for safari aircraft flights, then it will be about 12 – 15kgs.
You will need casual, comfortable clothing while on safari since they are suitable throughout the year. Layering is also crucial. It will be easy to cope with continually changing temperatures while on safari.
- Music, phone, laptop or tablet
You will need your phone, tablet, music or laptop and their chargers. You might have to consider country-specific adaptor plugs.
- Preventive pharmaceuticals
You will need medicine should anything happen such as headaches, diarrhea, heartburn, hand sanitizer, insect repellent, bites, sore throat, indigestion, eye drops and anti-malarial tablets.
- Odds and ends
You will need a flashlight. It can be very dark in the tent or bush during the night. It will be perfect if you have a rechargeable flashlight. Perhaps you can get a LED miner’s lights since it can fit on the head and your hands will be free.
You can consider smaller touch to be used in emergencies. Some camps will provide torch for you or even walk you back to the tent when you need, but it is good to be self-sufficient.
You might also need a good book. You can get delayed at the airport, and you might need something to read.
Perhaps you need a journal or travel diary. You might want to write down the experience and keep a good record. There is a lot to see in a short period as a road trip in Namibia where there are fantastic landscapes, the great wildebeest migration in Masai Mara and many more.
- Hand luggage
Learn to restrict the hand luggage to just one item. Sometimes you might have several items but remember that it will make travel harder. A handbag is considered a second item. The one item should be acceptable to the airlines.
For photographers, they have to have enough space in their camera bag for prescriptions medications, travel documents, clothes, and binoculars.
Remember that restrictions are ton what they allow and don’t allow on board an aircraft. Those that are not allowed include liquids, sharp objects, and flammables. You should also be aware that rules keep changing and you need to double check before packing.
- Have a sense of humor, common sense and patience
Avoid wearing clothes that are taken as camouflage. This means to avoid any form of attire that involves green/brown combat coloring. Avoid it even if is in the latest fashion trends or if your young child is wearing it. Even the smallest clothing like caps. Most African authorities have a phobia about such attire, and it can lead to you being harassed or question by the police. If it can cause grief, why not avoid it anyway.
Avoid talking expensive personal jewelry while going for a safari. Take the items that you usually wear such as wedding band and inexpensive earrings.
When it comes to having your luggage secure, you can have more than one combination locks to secure the zips together if the suitcase doesn’t have a locking mechanism. Tampering of luggage at the airport sometimes happens. Luggage straps which wrap around the suitcase may deter and shrink wrapping facilities can be found in some airports.
These tips will help you in knowing what needed to be packed for the safari. To enjoy a trip, one needs to be fully prepared especially when it comes to African Safaris. You won’t want to find yourself that you need something urgently but you forgot to include on the packing list. The list above is the most common among most people. If there are other things that you need and it is not on the list, remember to include.