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What to Bring on Safari - Pack for the Purpose
Maximum weight limits for luggage can be as light as 33 pounds per person in East Africa, or 41 pounds per person in Southern Africa.
You Must Bring:
Valid passport (International arrival)
Valid visa - if required (see section pertaining to your trip)
One other picture ID (e.g. driver's licence)
Photocopy of passport page to carry in wallet
Please travel light.
You should also bring a day pack to carry any essentials you might need whilst on safari.
You will find you only need a few items of clothing since all the camps wash, dry & press your clothes daily (most camps can get clean clothes back to you even if you are staying for only 2 nights.)
Dressing for Your Safari
On safari most people wear shorts and a T-shirt during the day and put on long sleeved shirts and long pants in the evening for warmth as well as protection from mosquitoes. Should you be particularly sensitive to the sun a loose cotton shirt is essential during the day.
White is not a suitable colour for these activities. Firstly it increases your visibility quotient to the animals you are wanting to get a closer look at, and secondly, it will get dirty very quickly.
Fleece or sweater and a windbreaker for game drives, as it is very possible that you may start out on a hot day, but be faced with a chill evening on your return. Some areas have very varied temperatures i.e. Very hot days and very cool nights.
Remember that layering your clothing will keep you warmer than relying on one thick item.
Clothing To Pack:
2 pairs khaki cotton pants (jeans tend to be hot)
2 pairs sturdy shorts
2 long sleeved shirts (for sun protection as well as warmth).
1 light sweater or sweatshirt
1 lightweight, waterproof windbreaker
1 or 2 pair sturdy walking or hiking boots or running shoes
3-5 short-sleeved shirts or T-shirts
5 changes underwear and socks
1 hat with a brim (baseball caps might cover your nose but not your ears and neck).
The African sun can be very harsh. Sunburn on safari, in the heat, is not fun.
Toilet kit including shampoo and soap
Large towel and washcloth; thin, quick-drying
Good quality sunglasses plus protective case
Handiwipes or 'Babywipes',
Stuff-sacks or plastic packets; to compartmentalise items within your travel bag
Repair kit: needle and thread, nylon cord, rip-stop tape
Personal first aid kit;
Camera and film or memory card. And batteries. Film and batteries can generally be obtained at the rest camps, but at a price of course, so please be sure to have sufficient supplies for your needs.
Paperback reading and writing material (keep weight at a minimum)
Bird and animal checklist
Snacks; trail mix, nuts, hard candies
Wool or Leather gloves (if you really feel the cold)
Down vest or jacket (if you really feel the cold)
Sunscreen or block. Sun can be very strong a #15 or higher screen will be needed for the first few days if you are pale; #4 or 5 may be adequate thereafter. The African sun is harsh most of the year
Aspirin, Disprin or Tylenol for mild pain or headache
Moisturizer, lip balm
Imodium for diarrhea
Topical antibiotic for cuts, bites or sores.
Insect repellent. The principal active ingredient is N, N-Diethyl-Metatoluamide (DEET), an effective repellent will have 75% content or higher. Liquid drops are best for skin application unless your skin is sensitive, sprays may be taken for clothes.
A-Fil Sun Sticks are best for lips and nostrils.
Moleskin or Second Skin adhesive pads for blisters.
Personal First Aid Supplies List :
Bring a small kit for personal use. Your own experience and preferences will influence your choices. If you take prescription medicines, bring a supply for your entire trip, as these are not available on safari.
Please note that you may be very far from any medical facility. For detailed and/or definitive medical advice, please consult your physician.
Your medical requirements are your responsibility.
Cold capsules and/or allergy capsules . Diarrhea prophylactics: Vibramycin, Ampicillin, Bactrim, Tetracycline, all prescriptive drugs, may decrease or prevent diarrhea when taken in small daily doses. Please consult with your physician. Eye drops, foot powder, spare glasses or contact lenses, personal drugs, properly labelled, with prescriptive forms.
Feminine protection: may not be readily available for purchase.