What to PacK: SAFARI
Dressing for Safari
No white or bright colors!!! For the most part, stick to neutral shades- beige, brow, and muted greens. These will help you blend into your surroundings, especially while walking. White and black are okay in vehicles, but not during walking safaris! The animals will spot you at a distance and disappear before you see them or you could potentially attract unwanted attention from dangerous animals and insects. If you are traveling to Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia area refrain from wearing darker colors at all. Dark shades like black and navy attract the Tsetse fly and their bite is painful. Some carrying a sleeping sickness. The Serengeti, Masai Mara and the Amboseli area are largely free of the pests.
Winter. The days can start out chilly at about 23Deg F and warm up nicely in the day to about 65-70 Deg F. At night it is often cold and clear. The jeeps should provide blankets for added warmth on game drives but I highly suggest wearing a jacket as its always colder than you expect.
LAYERS are the best, as you will be peeling your clothes off as the day goes on and the weather warms. Then putting them back on for the evening when the sun goes down as the temperature drops again.
Summer. The temperatures can reach 120 Deg F during the day. The further North you go the hotter it gets. The evenings will be pleasant and cool. The jeeps always have blankets for the evening just in case the temperatures drop.
Suggested Packing lists:
2 pairs Leggings like yoga pants (Winter)
3-5 short sleeve T shirts/tank tops
5-8 changes of underwear
4 pairs socks (as high as your boots)
2 pairs khaki/brown/olive cotton pants. I pair can unzip at the knees for warm days
2 pairs khaki/brown/olive shorts (Summer)
2 khaki/brown/olive long sleeve shirts – mosquito and sun protection
1 light sweater or fleece (Winter)
1 light weight waterproof windbreaker
Swim suit (Winter/Summer)
Swim suit cover-up
Sturdy walking or hiking boots (well broken in)
Sandals - for outdoor showers or to walk around camp during the day.
Hat with a good brim for sun protection and rain
Gloves (game drives are cold - Winter)
Ski hat (Winter)
Down Jacket/coat (something that can be balled up -Winter)
Shampoo and Conditioner. Most of camps provide wonderful shampoos and creams that are locally made or eco friendly.
Mosquito repellent with high content of Deet 30%. Most camps supply this but I like to have my own as well.
Tick repellent if it is not already in your mosquito repellent. Good to have for walking tours to rub on your ankles
Sunscreen SPF30+ even for the Winter- The sun is strong in Africa
Contact lenses and spare glasses (if you wear them)
Hand wipes/ baby wipes and/or Sanitizer
Repair kit for mending
Book (paper back)
Bird and Mammals of southern Africa pocket guide books (great for identification and charting)
Journal - if you are inclined
Mini hair dryer - not all camps provide these. Take one if you must but seriously no one cares what you look like in the bush and you are liable to blow the camps amps if it is not converted.
Small amount of laundry detergent if you plan to wash your own undergarments. Most of the camps have a laundry service.
Water bottle to refill at camp
Types of Safari
Zambia, Kruger, Madikwe areas you will probably be doing a lot of walking so bring durable and comfortable walking shoes, sun hat and avoid dark clothing.
Zambezi and Okavango (Botswana)- you should take a good waterproof windbreaker and prepare for very cold nighttime temperatures.
Kruger sees far fewer mosquitoes during the winter months. Therefore, there is less worry about being bitten but always use mosquito spray.
If you are going on safari close to Cape Town, The Eastern Cape, Pilanesberg or Madikwe, you don't need to worry about packing malaria medication- these areas are all outside of the malaria belt. Western Cape has a Mediterranean climate and has warm, dry summers October- April and cold, wet winters June- Septmeber.
South Africa- Kruger and Pilanesberg area are subtropical, with summer rainfall and dry winters. Temperatures during the day 25C/77F
Botswana, Zambia and Kruger- can reach 40C/104F if you're traveling in summer it is however dry with little humidity.
East Africa- daytime temperatures of high 20C/68F year-round. Cooler at night and can drop to 30F. Rainy seasons in Kenya and Tanzania are from November to January and March to May, with some regional variations. If you're traveling in these time frames, pack a raincoat.
Laundry Considerations:Many camps have laundry facilities and you can have all your clothing washed. It is best if you take clothes that need ironing for this reason: - The Putsi also known as the Mango, Tumbo, or Maggot fly, like to lay eggs in damp clothing- ironing kills eggs. If you have any delicate clothing that would be burned or damaged by ironing, be sure to let the staff at the camp know!
If you prefer to wash your own undergarments, hang the inside the cabins to dry. Bring some liquid detergent.