By Luke Conod
A safari holiday is a bucket list essential for a great many people, with the wide-open plains and stunning eco-diversity of the Serengeti a particular goal for adventure-seekers. Going on safari is the ultimate adventure, but before you book your trip and start humming Toto in your sleep, you’ll need to come up with a hefty packing list to help the trip go smoothly.
In this post, we’ll explain exactly what you need to pack for safari to make sure you draw as many beautiful memories as possible out of such a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Before you fly: vaccinations
You’ll need a few vaccinations to ensure your safety and health when in Africa. Yellow fever vaccines are necessary for Kenya and not for Tanzania, the two countries that the Serengeti straddles. It’s advisable to contact a doctor with a few months to spare before your trip to get a booster injection, vaccinating you against various diseases such as typhoid, hepatitis A and typhoid.
Make sure you check the status of whichever country you’re travelling on Travel Health Pro well before flying – and take the required precautions – and you should be fine to travel to Africa.
Dressing properly for a safari is important, as you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors, scanning the horizon for rare wildlife. A comfy pair of men’s jeans is a good place to start, as you’ll want something hard-wearing and able to keep you warm when the temperature drops in the evenings.
You’ll also need a wide-brimmed sunhat and sunglasses, and you should eschew fashion on this front and go for the biggest, floppiest hat you can possibly find to keep you cool as you spot hippos, giraffes and more. Alongside this, make sure to pack plenty of your favourite toiletries to ensure you’re as comfortable as you can be – a high SPF suncream and anti-mosquito cream are two essentials on top of these.
Try to avoid wearing bright colours, as these can scare the animals – as well as blue, which can attract the nasty, disease-bearing bite of the tsetse fly. Another pro tip is to avoid wearing camouflage – as you’ll be seen to look like a hunter or poacher, and many African nations regard camo as military wear and therefore unacceptable for civilians.
A quality camera
Your smartphone might be fine for Instagram snaps and day-to-day selfies, but on safari, it won’t be up to the job when it comes to truly capturing the experience. At the very least, you’ll need a DSLR camera with a telephoto lens to get high-quality images of far-off animals, as a small smartphone simply won’t do justice to the wide-open African wilderness.
You’re also a lot less likely to lose your phone in the wilderness if it’s safely tucked away in a pocket – which makes a specially purchased camera the safer option, as well as one that’ll lead to better quality photos to mark your time in the bush.
The correct gear
If you’re opting for a less structured, more wild safari, a mosquito net is an absolute essential. Camping in the wild requires protection from mosquitoes at night, so the savvy purchase of one of these prior to departure will mean your safari experience will be a lot safer.
You’ll also need camping essentials such as a high-powered torch, easy-to-clean clothing, insect repellent and medical supplies in case of an accident. You don’t want to be in wild locations without such items, as failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
You’ll need to have your wits about you when on safari, and make sure that you’re respecting the tour leaders and rangers in whatever park you’re in. Remember, you’re not visiting a zoo, you’re amongst a natural habitat and you shouldn’t expect to see the ‘big five’ on your first foray into the wilderness.
Make sure you’re quiet and respectful, and never, ever get out of the vehicle unless directed by the guides. Your fellow safari-goers’ experience could be totally ruined if you’re too loud, as you might end up scaring off the wildlife.
Be quiet, respect the local people and recognise that you’re not at a theme park or zoo and you should be fine. Add to this the packing tips above and you’re sure to have smooth yet memorable safari experience.
Now that you’ve what you need to pack for safari,
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