What to prepare for an African safari

What to prepare for an African safari

20/05/2022 0 By admin

After more than 20 years of travel, I have developed my packing technique very well – I can pack a bag even in my sleep when I start early. However, there are some tours that require a little more attention to your luggage list and an African safari is one of them – especially for fly safari when there are weight restrictions on how much luggage you can take with you.

Read more: A day in the life of a safari at Naledi Game Lodge in South Africa

On a safari in South Africa - a jeep in the bushes 

on a safari in South Africa

As I did my research, the safari style seemed to have two ends – either zip-up and khaki pants from top to toe, or five-star resorts, maxi dresses and flip flops – or my style. However, it is possible to pack the extreme sun, heat, dust and cold found in Africa in one bag – here it is.

This safari packing list works well for a four or five day safari, but if you are going for a week or more, you can add an extra bag and some tops or wash the clothes while you are on it. either from your playground or bring handwashing liquid.

African safari packing list

Swimming pool at Naledi Game Lodge, South Africa 

Cool off at Naledi Game Lodge


A safari can be a once in a lifetime trip, so you do not want to buy a bunch of special clothes that you will never wear again. But using what you already have is fairly easy. You do not even have to wear the traditional creams, coffees and greens that we all associate with safaris. If you walk, most animals see the jeep as a large creature and not as individuals, so it does not matter what colors you wear.

However, there are some things that are best avoided. White and light colors can get dirty very quickly in the dust, and black and dark blue can attract temptations – nasty little bugs that are not inhibited by insect repellents and can bite your clothes. It is also a good idea to stay away from camouflage, as in some countries it is considered a military uniform.

What to pack for an African safari - clothes and shoes

If you are going on a safari on foot, you should wear neutral colors to match the background and not scare the animals – think brown, sand, beige, tampa, khaki and green tones. If you do not already have it in your wardrobe, you can get cheap t-shirts and chinos from places like Primark, Marks & Spencer or H&M.

Another thing to watch out for is mosquitoes. If you are in the malaria zone (or if you want to avoid itching all the way through), it is a good idea to wear long-sleeved T-shirts, pants and closed shoes that will also help protect you from the African sun. You can also buy special clothes soaked in mosquito repellents, such as the Craghoppers Nosilife range.

Wildlife watching in a den in South Africa 

Wildlife watching a den

Choose light cotton pants and loose shirts in summer, but in winter and spring and autumn it can be very cold in the morning and evening, so choose long-sleeved jersey t-shirts and bring a light fleece to cover it. Safari huts tend to be quite relaxed – even luxurious – so you usually do not need to pack anything too formal.

Normally, when it is warmer, you will have free time at the cottage or camp at noon, but there is usually enough shade and not too many mosquitoes around so you can wear shorts and a t-shirt / vest – and prepare your swimsuits if You have it. there is a swimming pool. You want to avoid mosquitoes at dusk, so cover it with jeans, pants or a long skirt and you may need a cardigan as the weather gets colder. If you want to look a little smarter, just add some colorful jewelry.

Giraffe and buffalo at Naledi Game Lodge in South Africa 

wildlife monitoring


Lightweight hiking boots are good for toys, as they keep bugs out and are stable on rocky ground. You also do not need to spend a fortune – we have these breathtaking £ 20 from Mountain Warehouse. Also pack a pair of camping sandals – Hotter, Clarks and Merrell have beautiful designs that are good for walking but stylish enough for evening wear.

The African sun can be brutal, so make sure you have good sunglasses and a hat with you, preferably one with a brim to keep the sun off your neck. A foldable hat is a good idea so you do not have to worry about crushing it, but make sure it fits snugly or has a drawstring because it is easy to lose your hat when the jeep accelerates. A scarf is also a good idea – it keeps dust off your face, protects you from the sun and keeps you warm on a cool morning or evening. And ladies with big breasts may want to wear a sports bra because the restraint areas can be quite uneven!

What to pack for an African safari - clothes and accessories


Many African safaris are located in malaria zones, so check if you need malaria medication before you go. If you are in the malaria zone, you will also need a strong mosquito repellent – DEET is often recommended, but it uses harsh chemicals, so there are natural alternatives. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, it is worth taking travel sickness patches or pills with you, as jeep rides can be abnormal if you speed through the park after locating an animal.

The air is really dry, so in addition to drinking plenty of water, add some heavy-duty humidifiers. My recommendations are the same old favorites I use for cold climates – Elizabeth Arden eight-hour cream and Carmex lip balm. Carry a few wipes and hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes in case you need a toilet seat in the bush. And pack plenty of high-performance sunscreen.

What to pack for an African safari - sanitary ware and electronics

Pack an adapter plug for your electrical appliances – if you are visiting Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana or Zambia, use the same plugs as the UK. South Africa has its own exclusive sockets, but you can buy international adapters cheaply when you’re out.

And last but not least, the headline made you read this photo. If you have a DSLR, it’s worth getting a zoom lens, if possible, as it makes a real difference to your photos – I bought a second 55–200mm lens for my Nikon camera for about 100 £, but you can also use a zoom lens if you do not want to buy one. tenancy. Or if you are looking for a good compact camera, the Panasonic Lumix TZ100 has an impressive range of 25–250 mm, but it is still light and easy to carry.

Monkey on safari at Naledi Game Lodge in South Africa 

Approaching with the zoom lens

This is the safari packing list in Africa – what are your safari packing tips?