Packing guide for an African Safari

What to pack for a Safari

We have just completed our first Safari and we wished we had a list of what we needed to bring to make sure it is a comfortable as possible. So here is our list of what you need to bring, regardless of what safari you are experiencing.


Backpack or suitcase?

We decided to put everything in a suitcase and that was definitely a winner since it is so much easier to find what you are looking for when in dark areas, tents, etc. Your bags will be stored in the back of the van in any case, so bag or suitcase won’t make any difference!
We always recommend to pack light, but when it is during June-August in Kenya, it can be quite cold, so don’t sacrifice heavy for light if it is for warm clothing!

All weather clothing

Get clothes that will be warm enough for early mornings and evenings when you eat in a semi or completely outdoors area, but also make sure to have light clothes for during the day as it can get quite warm. People tend to recommend people to bring clothes you don’t care much about, but in our case we did not get too dirty at all, unless you plan to go totally in the wild!

We saw many people wearing full on khaki wardrobe which was totally not very great looking, but hey, each to their own! I mean ok yeah, they make you hide the dirt, but do you really need to stand out even more though? If you hear locals pointing at you and screaming “Muzungu”, you can imagine what it means!

The important pieces

Long-sleeved shirts: The mosquitoes will want to munch on you so have some layers to protect yourself.
Pants: For ladies, don’t come to Africa wearing your mini shorts unless you are in your resort. It is always a good idea to be quite conservative in Africa to not get eyed off.
Rain Jacket: If you are travelling during the dry season, you might not need it.
Hat: Any cap or hat is always good to enjoy looking at the animals during your safari as the sun can be quite annoying.
Shoes & Flip Flops: I am a big fan of wearing flip flops/sandals everywhere, but for Safaris and outdoor in general, you will feel much cleaner having shoes on. Although, don’t ignore the flip flops to walk around freely in between showers and in areas you don’t feel like being barefoot! It always can be handy 😉
If you are going to do Mount Kenya, obviously don’t forget your proper trekking shoes.

Bug spray, Toiletries & Sunscreen: Both bug spray and sunscreen are pretty pricey in Kenya so make sure to simply bring your own instead of buying them in the country. You will get mosquitos, you will get some sun, might as well use the products you trust from back home! Throw in there some extra soap/shampoo/hand sanitizer/Antidiarrheal pills just in case!

Portable Charger: Not all camps will have electricity on demand. So if you run out of batteries, better have your portable charger. Wasn’t the best for my cameras as they need a plug, but at least we had the phones covered. Here’s another list of electronics you can consider:

• Converters, a must if you are not using the same as in Dubai
• A flashlight/headlamp (we used our iPhones) + Extra batteries
• A camera and a telephoto lens (well the animals can be quite far..)
• A Kindle/iPad (we had our laptops because we needed to do some work, but it is completely safe and fine to carry them)
• Consider Ziplocks/waterproof bags if you want to be extra careful, we just chucked them in a normal backpack and my purse.

Extra Camping Gear: Only if you are travelling budget, consider some camping equipment, but don’t waste your time with the sleeping bags and tent as even the cheapest accommodation options would offer you that. Of course, if you plan to rent a car and camp randomly, do consider bringing the whole camping kit!

Other essentials:
• Wet wipes, these are the best!
• Roll of toilet paper: I sneezed quite a lot the last day so it was very handy
• Get a SIM card (Read more on How to get a SIM card in Kenya)
• A towel or Sarong: Can be helpful for ladies as if you really need to go to the “natural” bathroom…

Did we forget anything? What are your travel essentials if you pack for a safari?

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