Packing for a safari can be intimidating – there’s so much to think about and so much conflicting information that we tend to end up in a pool of confusion. After all, most of us who go on safaris are newbies. While dreaming about rolling through vast grasslands in an open-top jeep in search of lions or trekking through vine-filled rainforests in search of monkeys, it’s obvious to be hyper about the heat, the cold, the bugs because quite frankly, we have no idea what to pack for such a unique trip.
In order to save you from experiencing the wildebeest migration wearing a winter coat or sunburnt, we present the ultimate packing checklist for your safari.
1. Earth Toned Clothes
Carry clothes in which the dirt blends in. Go for lightweight, moisture-wicking materials, and think natural colours like olive, tan, khaki etc. Because you wouldn’t want to distract wildlife or attract bugs and flies. Remember they love bright shades.
2. Comfortable Shoes
Sturdy shoes are very important for a safari, but that doesn’t mean you sacrifice comfort. Don’t obsess over those commando boots, as your favourite hiking shoes will work just fine.
3. Crushable Safari Hat With Cord
A good safari hat is top-most priority on any packing list. Pick a hat that you can smash into your luggage and which also anchors onto your head. The cord is your rescuer as it ensures your hat stays put when you’re driving at higher speeds in an open safari vehicle with the wind whipping.
Safaris are vast landscapes teeming with world-class wildlife and its drama can sometimes unfold at the horizon. Even when that pride of lions is disemboweling a wildebeest next to your safari vehicle, your binoculars will really heighten the experience.
Sunglasses are a blessing as they take a beating for you on safari. With light and shadows constantly changing, they come on and off throughout the day. Just don’t lose them as it’s impossible to find another amidst a safari.
6. Wet wipes
You can never have enough of these. Wet wipes come in handy for everything, from a quick wash to a face cleanse on the fly, on a dusty track. Even the impromptu toilet paper – if you’re caught heeding nature’s call in the bush.
7. Sports Bra
Safari roads are often termed as free massage. One ride down the lane and you’ll know why. From crossing over boulders and deeply rutted roads to embankments of dry riverbeds and huge potholes, you’ll find all sorts of terrain. So make it more comfortable by wearing a sports bra.
8. Rain Jacket
Come prepared with a rain jacket as it starts raining in such terrains any time of the day. You can also wear it in the morning when it’s a bit chilly and it’ll also serve as a windbreaker when you’re driving around at higher speed.
With early morning game drives and relaxing evenings at your tents, it’s always helpful to have a reliable source of light. Headlamps are the most convenient because they keep your hands free as you rifle through your bag for that windbreaker, bird guide or snack.
10. Power Back-Up
You’ll most likely pitch tents on safari, where you’ll have limited to no plugs to recharge your devices. And it’ll be sheer disappointment to not be able to click the sea of lions you’ll see for real, all because your battery is dead. So carry as many backups as you can.
11. First Aid Kit
Bites, scrapes and dehydration aren’t uncommon on a wildlife trip, so the more prepared you are, the better.