What to pack for an African safari
What to bring on safari?
Casual, comfortable wash-and-wear clothing is most useful. Jackets and ties are only required in certain hotel restaurants and golf clubs. All hotels and most lodges offer quick laundry services, usually done within a couple of hours. It is not necessary to bring a separate change of clothing for each day and evening, and it is recommended that you keep luggage to a minimum.
A handy checklist for your safari:
– Anti-malaria prophylactics, insect repellant
– Comfortable sturdy ankle length thick-soled walking boots
– Binoculars, camera and accessories (remember spare batteries and film/memory cards)
– Casual lightweight cotton, khaki or neutral coloured clothes for safari
– Fleece or sweater and a warm jacket for game drives or cool evenings
– Shorts & cotton T-shirts
– Swimming costume
– Wide brimmed hat
– Personal toiletries, sun barrier creams and lip creams
Autumn and Winter months (May to September)
Warm clothes (thick jacket, scarf) are needed for evening activities and high altitudes.
Light sweaters are sufficient for midday.
Spring and Summer months (October to April)
Neutral coloured light cotton clothing, T-shirts and shorts for everyday wear.
Jeans or safari trousers for evening wear.
Take a soft bag, especially if you will be using light aircraft transfers to your lodge or camp. The baggage limit is 12kg per person for lodge safaris as well as scheduled camping safaris.
Visas, Customs and Immigration
All visitors are required to carry a passport that is valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay. Nationals of certain countries do not require visas – this depends on the country you are visiting. It is advisable to check with the Consulate of the country you intend visiting for the latest visa and entry requirements. We assist our clients with information regarding the visa requirements for each destination visited as the requirements and costs change on a regular basis.
Safety in Africa
Africa is in general a safe destination for international travellers. However, it is wise to take certain standard security precautions while travelling. These precautions should be applied while travelling anywhere in the world. Following basic advice can avoid most potential problems.
Most safaris take place in remote wildlife areas and game reserves, away from villages, towns and cities. This means that you will most probably not find other people around, except those who look after your every need while on safari! The transfers (by road, air or water) between airports, hotels and lodges are operated by reputable companies or by the properties themselves. If you booked a packaged holiday through a tour operator it means that you will not be unattended at any time during your safari.
A few tips to consider are the following: make photocopies of your passport, airline tickets, drivers license and other important documentation. Also keep a record of the numbers of your travellers cheques. These should be kept in a safe place.It is also best to leave expensive jewellery at home.
When in towns and cities, do not carry large amounts of cash in your pocket. Keep enough for the expenses of the day and place the rest in a safety deposit box at the hotel/lodge or money pouch under your shirt. Also be discreet with an expensive camera or jewellery. Take note of onlookers and keep your possessions in sight at all times to avoid opportunistic theft. Make use of your hotel safety deposit box for expensive items. Never leave baggage or personal items unattended, especially at airports. It is best not to wander around the streets after dark.
If you are travelling in a car (self drive safari), it is important to lock all the car doors and keep the windows as far up as possible. Plan ahead and know which route you intend to take using clear maps. When leaving your car, do not leave your purse or bag lying on the passenger seat in clear view – rather keep them in the car boot. Never pick up hitchhikers.
Is it safe to drink the water?
Kenya: While mains water in major towns is chlorinated and relatively safe to drink, it is safer to stick to sealed bottled water, available from most hotels and lodges.
Tanzania: It is advisable to drink boiled or bottled water, bottled or canned drinks. If camping – bring drinking water and all other camping provisions.
Are there any medical precautions?
As vaccination requirements change from time to time, we suggest you consult your local doctor or health department for prophylactics and the latest health precautions. Some countries require advance inoculations (and certificates thereof) Most lodges have qualified emergency first-aid staff members.
Malaria is present in many parts of Africa – we will advise you if you will be visiting a malaria area. Anti-malarial precautions are essential when travelling to Africa with exception to some parts of South Africa.
If you are on prescription medication, please ensure you have an adequate supply to last the duration of your stay and a copy of your prescription(s).