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PACKING LIST

After decades of travelling to Africa and talking to hundreds of other like-minded travellers, this packing list is the culmunation of experience, expertise and... crucially, learning from mistakes! We believe it offers the best and most comprehensive response to the no.1 question "What should I pack for my safari to Africa". 

This safari packing list has been split up into different sections to ensure that you pack the correct safari wants and needs for just about all types of safaris. Whether you want to focus on clothing, camera gear, accessories, medication and visas... you'll be able to find what you're looking for.

That said, it's nearly impossible to cater to every individual and their own unique questions. So, if you're still finding yourself lacking information after searching through below... simply get in touch with us and we'll get back to you asap.

Image by JESHOOTS.COM
oscar phone sunset.jpg
Photographer

PRE-DEPARTURE
TIMELINE

3 months before departure:


- Visa: If you require a visa and want to get it beforehand, make sure that you apply for the visa as soon as possible. For countries like Kenya, you can only get e-visas (where you apply online).
 

- Passport: Check that your passport has sufficient pages as most African countries require two blank pages or more, and that your passport does not expire within 6 months. Apply for new passport if needs be.
 

- Malaria and medication: Ensure that you visit your doctor and tell him where you are going. He will then advise you on malaria prophylactics, and other injections or medication that is necessary for your trip.

8 Weeks Prior to Departure:

- Start going through your itinerary and making a note of what you may need across the various stages of your trip. This is a good time to also contact us for advice if you're feeling a bit lost.


- Check that all flight times (including dates) coincide with your holiday dates and the safari itinerary. You should have all your flights booked by now, and make sure to print out physical copies of your e-tickets as a backup option.

4 Weeks Prior to Departure:
 

- A smooth departure day is paramount to taking the stress out of your safari experience. Make sure to double-check everything is in order for whilst you're gone (house sitter, dog walker, relatives watering plants etc).

 

- Make sure to book any overnights needed before flying, as well as anything such as taxis or car parking. Anything you can pre-book or arrange beforehand, it's best to start organising now.


- Currency. Work out what you are going to do to pay for tips, purchases, extra tours etc while travelling. Arrange cash, credit & debit cards accordingly. Take small denominations in cash if you're able to for easy tips and small purchases.

2 Weeks Prior to Departure
 

- Start packing! If you are organised, this is a good time to start packing for your trip. Ensure that you have all the correct safari clothing and luggage... and if you don't, there's still ample time to start buying or ordering online. Make sure that nothing of vital importance is being checked-in, and that all valuables and important items (cameras etc) are in your carry-on luggage.


- Check again that you have your passport with visa, correct travel documentation, travel vouchers, confirmed itinerary, tickets, etc



- Confirm any taxi, bus or train times, pet & house sitters. This may also be a good time to check on exchange rates for the country you are going to.

Departure Day:
 

⊙ Hopefully, if all the above was taken care of, this day should be smooth sailing. Allow yourself sufficient time to check in at the airport, and try to enjoy as much of the process as possible. Consider checking in at a lounge for a more relaxed atmosphere. Keep in mind, it's always best to arrive early, rather than late. 

Work Out Clothes
Safari Sunrise

ESSENTIAL
ITEMS TO PACK

Ultimately, you could travel anywhere with just your credit card and passport and it is not the end of the world. Without them, you wouldn’t get further than the airport.

Make sure you keep a copy of your passport separately from your actual passport. It is much easier to get replacements issued in an emergency if you do this.

  • A hat of some description, preferably wide-brimmed
     

  • Light material shirts and t-shirts and t-
     

  • A light waterproof / poncho
     

  • A fleece
     

  • A couple of pairs of trousers / pants as well as shorts
     

  • A comfy and sturdy pair of shoes or trainers
     

  • A large, soft-sided duffel bag or holdall. Hard-sided bags are sometimes damaged and / or are not appropriate for small planes.
     

  • TSA approved padlocks (for bags, suitcases, lockers etc.)

For winter months but add:

  • A beanie
     

  • Scarf / buff / 
     

  • Gloves
     

  • An additional warm jacket / coat

In the winter months (May - August) you want to consider dressing in layers, as the weather can vary from being very cold in the mornings to pleasantly warm and sunny in the day. As such, you may find yourself either too hot or too cold on game drives, which is where the layering comes in handy. Dress is multiple layers and then shed them off as you get warmer, and then add more when it gets colder.

Neutral coloured clothing is advisable, although not strictly necessary for a safari. Simply plut, we don't want to draw attention to ourselves so the less colourful we can be, the better we'll be able to blend in. For game drives this isn't a strict necessity, but if you want to go on bush walks then you will have to wear neutral colours. Greys, browns, greens etc.

Packed Luggage
Image by JESHOOTS.COM
Camera Lens
Reflex camera

TECH PACKING LIST
CAMERA & LAPTOP RECOMMENDATIONS

The bread and butter for so many of us, the part of our packing that we really feel as if we cannot live without.  Be ruthless and truly take just what you need.  Aside from the weight, consider the value of the technology you end up walking around with.  Accidents happen so avoid taking anything unnecessary.

  • A DSLR / Mirrorless camera
     

  • A telephoto lens, minimum of 70-300 (ideal is 100-400 or 150-600)
     

  • A wide angle or kit lens (such as an 18-55)
     

  • Extra batteries (minimum 2)
     

  • Extra memory cards (minimum 2)
     

  • Camera strap
     

  • Any camera cleaning equipment
     

  • Potentially a tripod or monopod

  • Battery charger and all needed cables

     

  • Laptop
     

  • Portable hard-drive
     

  • Charging adaptor and all needed cables

     

  • Adobe Lightroom Classic *preferred version
     

  • Adobe Lightroom
     

  • Adobe Photoshop

     

  • A travel adaptor and multi-plug extension 
     

  • Mobile Phone
     

  • Portable power-bank
     

  • Binoculars

Image by JESHOOTS.COM
Zebras in Wild

TOILETRIES
& MEDICAL

Without a doubt the heaviest part of your supplies, aside from my camera equipment, and very easy to go overboard with. Toiletries are easy to replace so only take travel sized items, and remember to check which items your lodge may already provide so you can avoid packing them altogether.

  • Toothpaste & toothbrush
     

  • Deodorant
     

  • Small bottle shampoo / conditioner
    (lots of lodge supply basic shampoo / conditioner)

     

  • Soap
     

  • A couple of bottles of high quality sunscreen
     

  • Small bottle of moisturiser
     

  • Small bottle of hand sanitiser
     

  • Small pack of baby-wipes
     

  • Small hairbrush
     

  • Plasters of various sizes
     

  • Antiseptic cream
     

  • Paracetamol / ibuprofen
     

  • Imodium
     

  • 4 Rehydration sachets
     

  • Insect repellent (if applicable)
     

  • Anti-malarials (if applicable)

Wood Toothbrushes
Image by Scott Rodgerson

IMPORTANT NOTES

Image by JESHOOTS.COM
Zebras in Wild
Image by Егор Камелев

It is recommended that travellers going to the Kruger region of South Africa, and other Southern and Eastern African countries, take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip. Talk to your doctor about which malaria medication you should take.

For guests who are visiting Madikwe, Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa, there is no need for malaria medication.

Find country-specific information about malaria.

Zebras in Wild
Crushed Plastic Bottles

Plastic bags are banned in Kenya. Arriving visitors are requested to avoid bring plastic bags into the country and being in possession of a plastic bag is an offence and offenders could be penalised.

 

Please check hand luggage before disembarking and any plastic bags (including the transparent ziplock plastic bags that some airlines require passengers to use for keeping liquids, cosmetics, toiletries etc) should be left in the plane. This does not apply to people in transit.

All single use plastics, such as plastic water bottles and straws, are banned in all National Parks, forests, beaches and conservation areas.

Zebras in Wild
lightroom.jpeg

If you plan on using any Adobe product, such as Adobe Lightroom Classic or Adobe Photoshop - please make sure you have it downloaded, installed and have checked it is working BEFORE departing for your safari.

Due to limitations on power and Wifi, it's not often possible to be able to download or update these programmes / applications whilst out on safari and it also isn't fair on other guests to strangle the bandwidth on such a large download.

Zebras in Wild
Image by Oliur

On Kenya domestic flight air services, the maximum luggage weight is 15 kgs /33Ibs in soft-sided bags.
 

As a guideline, standard checked luggage should have the three dimensions of 24 inches (60cm) height, by 18 inches (45cm) length and 13 inches (33cm) width.
 

For hand luggage, 12 inches (30cm) height, by 21 inches (53cm) length, by 9 inches (23cm) width.

For our photo safaris, we include additional weight allowance for every guest - but the bags must still meet the required guidelines as stated above

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