What To Pack For A Safari: A General Checklist

Wondering what to take on safari? Check out our basic list of what to pack, and adjust it to your needs, taking into account any extreme environments you might be visiting. Spending time at higher altitudes*? Pack more warm clothes. Sticking to the beach? Less is more.

* The wildlife areas of East Africa are at a higher altitude than most people expect, and can be cool at night, even in summer. For example, the Masai Mara reaches up to 2,100m above sea level, the Serengeti 1,800m and the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater 2,300m.

CLOTHING

  • Lightweight long-sleeved shirts (to keep the sun off)
  • T-shirts (to wear around camp)
  • Shorts (for hot days)
  • Lightweight pants and jeans (for cooler days and evenings)
  • Warm sweater or fleece (to layer over clothes)
  • Windbreaker (open vehicles can get windy)
  • Lightweight closed shoes (most useful on a safari)
  • Walking shoes (if you’re planning more serious walking)
  • All-purpose trail shoes (these are the best option, as they can be used for everything)
  • Sandals or flip-flops (to wear around camp)
  • Socks and smalls (no explanation required!)
  • Wide-brimmed hat (that will stay on your head in an open vehicle)
  • Beanie (for colder areas)
  • Scarf or kikoi (to stay warm and to keep the sun off)
  • Sunglasses (Africa is sunny!)
  • Swimming costume or shorts (to cool off in the pool)
Tip: Evenings are generally informal, so there’s no need to bring anything too dressy. For the ladies, if you want to pretty up your safari outfit, statement jewellery and bright lipstick work a treat.
Tip: Mornings and evenings can be chilly, while days are usually hot, so it’s best to dress in layers.
Tip: Most mid- to high-end lodges will do your laundry, often on the same day. When packing, plan in laundry days, so you can take less clothing.

TOILETRIES

  • Sunblock (the African sun is fierce!)
  • Good moisturiser (days can be hot and dusty)
  • Wet wipes (to use while travelling)
  • Shaving kit (if you shave – most lodges will have facilities for charging electric shavers)
  • Insect repellent (to keep the bugs off)
Tip: Most mid- to high-end lodges will have good quality toiletries like soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion, so you can leave yours at home.

BITS AND BOBS

  • Passport and travel documents (don’t forget these!)
  • Some local currency, or small USD bills (for tips)
  • Medication (whatever you might need)
  • Camera and accessories (unless you’re using the one on your phone)
  • Binoculars (to find game)
  • Cables and chargers for your electronics (mobile phone, laptop, etc)
  • International plug adaptor (so you can plug in your electronics)
  • Torch (handy for walking around camp)
  • Small bottle of liquid soap (to rinse out clothing or smalls yourself)
Tip: Even though porters will be at hand to carry your bags, travelling light is always more convenient.

SHOPPING FOR SAFARI GEAR

Need to buy any of these items? Take a look at The Safari Store, an online retailer that stocks great safari gear – and Art of Safari clients get a discount!

Read more about packing for a safari in our blogs, What to pack for a safari: for women and What to pack for a safari: for men.

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