Be sure to bring meds just in case the worst happens: diarrhoea, headaches, heartburn, insect repellent, bites (antihistamine), indigestion and rather be safe than sorry – consult your general practitioner with regards to anti-malarial tablets.
Hats, sunglasses and more importantly sunscreen/block!
Don’t underestimate the scorching African sun, pack a hat, sunglasses and definitely some sun block or maybe even a pair of these items as sometimes things go missing while having a good time on safari.
Camera, video and binoculars
South Africa is the intrinsic nature of photography as it not only has immense wildlife in all shapes and sizes but it is also endowed with marvellous landscapes. I mean who wouldn’t want to capture amazing moments to brag about when you return or even just to glance at when you are missing your South African friends that you made while on your trip.
Binoculars are ESSENTIAL for optimum wildlife viewing on safari and for some reason most times gets left behind.
What you must pack for your trip are your phone, tablet or laptop – and their respective chargers, country-specific adaptor plugs. However unless using your phone to take photos/videos we suggest to leave them behind when you are on your safari as loss or damages may occur.
Clothes and toiletries
You will obviously not forget clothes and a toothbrush! But are you taking the right clothes…which conforms to the aircraft weight restrictions? Most international airlines will restrict your check-in luggage to around 20 to 30kgs and any light aircraft flights can be as little as 12 to 15 kgs.
Reasonably neutral or ‘non-bright’ coloured (not white either) clothing which is casual and comfortable is best suited for safaris as it is more practical. Layering is key as it helps coping with the fluctuating day/night temperatures. It is always useful to check the weather before you depart on your trip as this will help with the luggage weight restrictions.
- T-shirt, shirt or blouse – long sleeves and collars help to protect from the sun and mosquitoes
- Warm jacket
- A pair of safari trousers (those that zip off at the knees are handy)
- Comfortable walking shoes or boots and socks (ESSENTIAL for bush walks)
- Maybe a pair of open sports sandals for general use during the day
- Smart casual outfit for dinner
- A light, compact raincoat
Do not take any expensive personal jewellery on safari. Be minimalist or take only those everyday items that you normally wear, like your wedding band.
Luggage tampering in airports does occur, unfortunately.
Odds & ends
A good torch (flashlight) is a must as being self-sufficient is always a good idea.
A good book. It never hurts to have an interesting book when travelling.
A travel diary or journal is something recommended as you will experience so much and it is a good way to maintain record of it.
Finally, don’t forget your sense of humour, patience and some common sense!