Basic Packing List:
You want to pack light on safari (if for no other reason than you’ll want space for souvenirs!), which means you should pack staple clothing items: think convertible zip-off pants, lightweight layers for changing temperatures, or a simple skirt or pair of slacks that can be worn night after night in camp.
Bear in mind that most camps will have laundry service, but that dryers aren’t common in the bush. That’s why clothing made from quick-dry fabrics will allow you to stay clean and comfortable throughout your safari vacation!
- 2 x Athletic socks
- Plenty of undergarments
- 2 x Short sleeve shirts
- 4 x Quick-dry shirts
- 1 x Pairs of pants
- 1 x Rain jacket
- 1 x Fleece
- 2 x Shorts
- 1 x Sun hat
- 5 x Athletic socks
- 1 x Bathing suit
- 1 x Safari Boots
- 1 x Safari Hat
- 1 x Sunglasses
- 1 x Flip flops/sandals for around camp
- Store electronics in sealed water-proof bags (double bagged if possible).
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
- Moist towelettes (handi-wipes)
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper
- Insect repellent
Many camps have laundry facilities, and you can have all your clothing washed. Keep in mind though, that most, if not all, will also iron clothing. This serves a practical purpose, as tsetse flies like to lay eggs in damp clothing – ironing kills eggs. If you have any delicate clothing that would be burned or damaged by ironing, be sure to let the staff at your camp know.
Most people also prefer to wash their own undergarments, so it can be handy to bring along some liquid handwashing soap for this purpose.
Jeans are not ideal – they can be too warm during the day, and take long to dry if you are doing laundry – camps will not have drying machines.
Don’t pack high heeled or wedged shoes, you won’t be needing them and they’re highly unpractical in a bush situation. When it comes to shoe packing, comfort and durability is what you want.
Leave expensive jewelry and watches at home. They’re out of place in the bush, and if left unattended in rooms or tents, they can fall prey to monkeys, who are partial to stealing shiny objects.
Even at expensive camps, safari lodges are mostly very casual. There’s no need to bring evening wear, although you certainly can wear “nicer” clothing than you would on safari. Keep everything comfortable and stick to the policy of avoiding bright colours. Remember to layer!
And one last ‘don’t do’ tip for packing your safari wear:
- Packing it all in one large suitcase. Limit the risk of all of your luggage going missing or being stolen on the flight by packing some essentials – and one safari outfit – in your hand luggage.