I have been traveling to Africa since 2000 and sending clients there since 2009. That being said, I have had a lot of experiences with packing and luggage on safari. While visiting other places in the world, you may need a variety of outfits, but here, you do not. As the avid travelers know, sometimes luggage doesn’t make its final destination. So along with knowing what to pack and how, you should also account for the possibility of your luggage going one way while you go another.
Here are some safari packing tips to take the stress out of packing and the rare occasion that not all of your belongings arrives when (and where) you do.
Unlink safaris long ago, you do not need black tie for dinner and women do not need the perfect little black dress. This part of the world has a sunny, tropical climate modified by changes in altitude and time of year. Riding in a safari vehicle can be chilly in the morning, although by 10am it has usually warmed up.
Safari Packing Tip: Travel Light
The first thing to remember when making your safari trip packing list is that is important to travel light. In most cases, you will be traveling by safari vehicles or flying in small aircraft. Therefore, it is important to take only what you need. It is also important to use soft-sided luggage (i.e. a duffle bag) as it makes it easier to pack the vehicle or the plane. You will also want a personal bag to hold things like your camera and other personal items. A small backpack or camera bag is perfect.
Bring Essentials In Your Carry-On
Things can happen with airlines and luggage so on your international flight I advise bringing a change of clothes in your carry-on luggage in case your bags get delayed/lost during travel. If you are climbing Kilimanjaro or hiking anywhere, bring your hiking boots on the plane with you! You can pretty much climb or hike without anything else, but you are going to want your broken in, comfortable, perfect-for-your-feet hiking boots with you.
Safari Packing Tip: Layering
Lightweight clothing is best and layering is the way to go with a warmer fleece for the evenings. Comfortable, casual, cotton or nylon clothing is recommended for your travels in tropical Africa as the organic material allows your skin to breathe. Trousers or long skirts are recommended after dark to help protect against mosquitoes. Another great safari packing tip is to avoid bright colors. Avoid white, blues and reds, while brown, beige and tan colors are best. Add a bandana to your safari trip packing list because they are good to carry along with a sun hat. Also, a couple of baby wipes in your bag are nice to get the dust off of you from being in the bush.
Below is a packing list that I use for Africa. This is a list for a 2-3 week trip. Remember many lodges have laundry facilities available so you can travel light!
If you pack this you will be quite comfortable and have more room for the beautiful souvenirs you are going to collect!
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