It’s not every day that you and your friends or family get to experience a proper African safari vacation. As anyone would expect, emotions will understandably run high during and after the visit. What you probably didn’t expect to find nerve-wracking is the hectic nature of the stage that comes before the visit.
An African safari vacation can be an incredible experience, but packing for it can be a challenge. You want to be prepared for the adventure, but you also don’t want to overpack and weigh yourself down. For the sake of simplicity and efficiency, let’s go over the dos and don’ts of safari preparation.
Do: Pack The Right Shoes
When you’re on a safari, you’ll probably be doing some walking. It’s important to pack the right shoes for both of these activities. You’ll want comfortable, breathable footwear that is durable, but not necessarily new. Closed-toe shoes are recommended to protect your feet from rocks and thorns. while higher boots are suited against potential rain.
Don’t: Forget The Sunscreen Or Hats
The African sun can be intense, so it’s important to protect your skin and eyes. Make sure to pack sunscreen with a high SPF and a hat with a brim that will shade your face. Sunglasses are also a must to protect your eyes from the bright sun. Plus, given the risk of dehydration you might face, make sure to keep as many fluids on hand as possible.
Do: Bring A Lighter Jacket
Despite the scorching afternoons, it can get chilly in the early morning and late evening on a safari. So, it’s a good idea to bring a jacket or sweater. However, given the daytime temperatures, you don’t want to bring anything too heavy.
Don’t: Bring Your Valuables Along
While you may want to bring your favourite jewellery or an expensive camera, it’s best to leave valuables at home. Safaris can be dusty and bumpy, which can damage delicate items. Additionally, theft can be a problem in some areas, so it’s best to leave anything valuable at home.
Do: Take Photos Of Your Luggage
When you’re travelling to multiple destinations on your safari, it’s possible for your luggage to get lost or delayed. To make it easier to track down your belongings if this happens, list or take photos of your luggage. This will make it easier to describe your bags to airline or hotel staff if they go missing.
Don’t: Overpack For Game Drives
Though game drives might demand some preparation, it’s also important not to overpack. Keep in mind that most safari vehicles have limited space, so it’s best to pack only what you need. Pack light and bring only essentials like a camera, binoculars, and a water bottle.
Do: Limit Your Photography Gear
It can be tempting to bring all of your photography gear on your safari, but it’s best to limit what you bring. Consider bringing a single camera body and a couple of lenses. A zoom lens is recommended for wildlife photography as it allows you to get close-up shots without disturbing the animals.
Ultimately, however, a safari is like a concert experience. You can view the sights through the eyes of the camera all you like. But nothing beats the experience of taking in the sights and sounds of the wilderness firsthand for a change.
Thus, you’ll spend less time scrambling to erect your gear and more time taking in the spectacles and fresh air. You can bring a journal along to make notes and immortalize your memories, instead.
Packing for an African safari vacation requires careful consideration. Remember to pack the right attire and equipment, and to leave what will only slow you down behind at home. By following these pointers, you’ll be able to enjoy your safari experience to the fullest.