Safari Packing Advice
First, you should pack in a soft, weather-resistant duffle bag as you will most likely be taking charter flights, and there are strict luggage limits of no more than 33 pounds per passenger for checked pieces. Bags may need to be stuffed under seats or in small holds. (You will be allowed one carry-on; I suggest a backpack that fits your toiletries and camera equipment, which you should NEVER check.) As there is no reason to dress up (even for dinner) and laundry is done every day at camps, you only need pack comfortable clothes for the bush. Safari outfits and khaki colors may seem cliché but they are practical; they don’t show dirt, don’t stand out in the bush and keep you cool and protected from the sun.
Leave valuable jewelry at home. You can honestly stick to the following list and not need anything else.
3 pairs of light cotton pants (khakis; skirts are not practical even in evening because of bugs)
1 pair light cotton shorts
4-5 pairs of underwear
4-5 pairs of cotton socks
1 work-out outfit that can double as pajamas
4 cotton shirts long sleeved and short (I prefer button down-style because they breathe and provide good sun cover and work day or night)
1 Fleece (mornings and evenings can be chilly, especially in July, August)
Hiking boots (weather-proof, light-weight Merrells are great)
Sandals (Tevas or flip flops for going to the pool or even wearing as slippers in your tent)
Bathing suit (if your lodges have pools or you are going to the coast)
1 Sarong/kaftan (for reason above only)
Hat (wide-brimmed sun hat with a tie so it doesn’t blow off on game drives or boat rides are best because cover neck and ears, which baseball caps don’t.)
Backpack (You’ll want to have cameras, binoculars, tissues etc… with you on game drives, and on flights you will want to keep valuables and toiletries with you—NOT CHECKED)
Tip: Micato Safaris gave me a fantastic safari vest with lots of pockets, and I highly recommend a safari jacket or photographer’s or fishing vest because you can keep lens caps, sunglasses, memory cards, lip balm, sunscreen, wipes etc… on your person.
Camera (definitely bring telephoto lens of at least 200 feet, plenty of extra batteries, memory cards, chargers etc…) Bring a camera for each person in the group, even a simple digital ones for kids, so they can “shoot” the animals too
Medicines (see below)
Scarf and gloves
Gifts (Pens, small figurines, little notebooks make nice presents for children in Masai villages if you will visit them.)
Africa-related books (A Kindle is great for traveling because you can download a wide selection of books as well as favorite daily newspapers each day and it weighs virtually nothing) See our Library for suggestions
See your doctor before you leave for advice on what to bring, but, in addition to regular prescriptions, mine recommends the following: Cipro (a strong but all-purpose antibiotic), Imodium, benadryl cream and pills, Neosporin, Band-Aids, aspirin, motrin, Pepto-Bismal (chewable for kids and pills for adults) and cold medicine. I found traveling baby wipes great to have as well as granola bars and fruit strips (from health food store) for when the kids got hungry on a long game drive or plane wait.
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