What to take on Safari
As a general guide, the below is mainly for camping, tented or overland safaris. Those who are participating in lodge and fly-in based safaris also have a few aspects to consider a few of which are listed below, we will email those through to you when enquiring.
Space in the safari vehicle is limited and we request that you pay particular attention to the following guidelines.
Your luggage is restricted to:
- 1 bag not exceeding 12kgs and 65x46 cm. We recommend that you pack your personal effects in an inexpensive barrel/sausage bag available from discount stores, hypermarkets and sports shops.
- 1 sleeping bag & small pillow if you are on a camping safari (warm sleeping bag or blanket for winter).
- 1 small handbag (airline type) or day-pack containing money, travel documents and camera equipment. This will be allowed inside the vehicle, placed by the passenger's feet.
- 1 waist pouch or money belt.
- 1 small fold-up bag to be used on itineraries that include short excursions. Essential for optional excursions.
We recommend that you utilize old or inexpensive luggage. Solid type suitcases are unsuitable for our type of safaris. You may use a small/medium-sized rucksack, provided that it has no frame.
PLEASE NOTE THAT ON MOST CAMPING SAFARIS THAT ANY EXCESS LUGGAGE OVER 12KGS WILL NOT BE LOADED INSIDE THE VEHICLE. EXCESS LUGGAGE WILL BE STORED AND ANY COSTS INCURRED WILL BE THE PASSENGERS RESPONSIBILITY.
Important: To avoid lost luggage in Transit
Please take your sleeping bag, medication and toiletries with you on board the plane. For passengers with connecting flights, please allow sufficient connecting time between flights (usually 2 hours). We suggest you check your luggage to each transfer point airport en route, especially if travelling via Johannesburg, to allow you to identify and collect your luggage and re-check to your final destination.
Clothing and Personal effects
Most people make the mistake of taking along too much clothing. Take along comfortable, casual and semi-casual, "wash and wear" clothes. Bright colours and white are not suitable for game viewing. Please avoid clothing resembling army uniform (i.e.: camouflage clothing).
This list below is purely a guideline and will depend on the duration/length of the safari as well as month/season travelling. Additional warmer clothing may be required during June/July/August;
- 1-2 pair/s of smart/ casual trousers.
- 3-4 pairs of shorts.
- 7 Shirts/ T-shirts (any combination).
- 1 light cotton dress/sarong for the ladies.
- 1 jersey for the evenings (April to August).
- 1 tracksuit (April to August).
- 1 windbreaker/ rain jacket (December to March).
- 1 warm jacket (May - September: winter nights can be very cold!).
- 1 pair of walking/ running shoes.
- 1 pair of sandals/ thongs/ rafting or canoeing shoes.
- Underwear and socks.
- 1 swimming costume.
- 1 sun hat.
- 1 towel.
Essential to have a pair of rafting or canoeing shoes. A long sleeved shirt will provide protection from the sun. We also recommend a pair of gloves and a sarong.
- Please dress appropriately when crossing borders (no bare feet, bare chests, no bikini tops, no sunglasses or hats); visiting markets, villages, towns and when travelling in the vehicle.
- In Mozambique and Malawi, ladies should wear a T-shirt/ shirt and a sarong/ skirt when going to or leaving the beach. Topless or nude sunbathing or swimming is not permitted.
- In Zanzibar as a form of respect to local customs and Islamic religion, ladies are requested to dress discreetly by covering their knees and shoulders while visiting Zanzibar towns and local villages. Strappy dresses and G-string costumes are not allowed.
Also remember the following:
- 1 litre water bottle (essential).
- 1 torch + batteries (essential).
- 1 roll toilet paper.
- Bath soap, Toothbrush/toothpaste.
- Shampoo & hair conditioner.
- Comb/ hair brush, nail brush.
- Razor & blades (preferable battery operated shaver).
- Suntan lotion/ Sun block.
- Lip balm.
- Hand cream & Moisturizing Cream.
- Insect repellent.
- Tissues or disposable moist tissues (e.g. Wet Ones).
- Washing powder, plug for sink.
- Washing line (length of cord) pegs.
- Plastic bag (to pack wet/ dirty clothing).
- Spectacles (if worn) - some people have trouble with contact lenses & dust.
- Pen for immigration formalities.
- 1 note book.
- Multi-purpose knife (e.g. Swiss army knife).
- NB: small sports/ kit bag for excursions as mentioned under "Luggage".
You are also welcome to bring along a bottle of your favorite drink/ liquor.
Sleeping Bags/ Pillows
Mattresses are provided on all safaris. Clients on camping safaris to bring a sleeping bag and small pillow, if required (this may be packed in your sleeping bag or luggage). A warm sleeping bag is essential during the winter months (May - September) as some nights can be very cold. A "sleeping bag" may be hired at a cost of from around US$ 30 per week or part thereof (Overland Adventure itineraries) or from around US$ 45- per trip (Camping Safari itineraries), and consists of either a sleeping bag or bed roll made up of blankets in a duvet cover, – these must be booked and paid for in advance.
Personal Medical Kits
We suggest that you take along the following:
- Aspirins/ paracetamol.
- Anti-diarrhea pills and laxatives (consult your pharmacist for advice).
- Throat lozenges.
- Antiseptic cream.
- Insect bite cream.
- Eye drops.
- Anti-malaria tablets (refer MALARIA section).
- Any other medicines & toiletries you regularly use.
- Energy bar drink for canoeing safari.
- Rehydrate powder/ sachets.
- Personal toiletries.
Maps & Field Guides
We recommend the following:
- Michelin Map No 955 - Africa Central & South, Madagascar.
- Robert's Birds of Southern Africa - G L Maclean.
- Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - Kenneth Newman.
- Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa - Chris & Tilde Stuart.
- Southern Africa Mammals - Robin Frandsen.
For photography of birds and animals a 300mm telephoto lens is recommended. Films & batteries are only available in larger cities and tend to be expensive. We recommend that you take along sufficient films and a spare battery for your camera.
Participants must not take photographs of border posts or military/ police posts as this can lead to an unpleasant situation and even arrest. In most parts of Africa it is considered respectful to first ask permission before taking a photograph of the locals (e.g. the Masai in Tanzania) and in many cases, payment is expected.
Some cultures believe that the camera steals their soul and we request your respect and understanding in their beliefs.
Many people bring video cameras on safari. The power supply in the countries that we will be visiting are mostly 220-240 volts. It may be possible to recharge the video camera off the battery of the vehicle through a 12 volt cigarette lighter socket (this will be at the discretion of your safari guide & will not be allowed if there is a risk of draining the batteries).
We recommend that you take along enough batteries and recharging equipment with cigarette lighter adapter.
When visiting wildlife areas it is essential that participants have a pair of binoculars for their personal use, in order to benefit fully from the safari
Water is a precious commodity in Africa. Please use water sparingly. Please do not waste water (e.g. when brushing teeth, unnecessary washing of hair, lengthy showers etc).
Food & Drinks
Please bear in mind that in certain areas it is not possible to obtain fresh fruit and vegetables. In summer (September - April), fresh produce will only keep for 2/3 days. Teas and coffees are readily available while in camp. Mineral water, soft drinks & alcoholic beverages are not included but may be purchased en route from local bottle stores or supermarkets. Please take along a bottle of your favorite drink/liquor.
A continental breakfast consisting of cereals, bread, jams, tea, coffee and powdered milk is served in the mornings. Lunch is usually a cold picnic. Brunch with eggs and bacon is sometimes prepared when in camp. Dinner a hot meal often prepared on a campfire. Please note that the main meal is served in the evening. When we are travelling we serve a light picnic lunch.