Africa is a beautiful continent with diverse wildlife ecosystems. Every traveler keen on taking an Africa safari has to prepare mentally and physically. Bearing in mind that movement may be limited in some areas, it is advisable to travel light. This is also because of the weight restrictions in the local airlines. In this article, we highlight the most pertinent items that you must have for that perfect safari.
In Africa, the name ‘safari’ commonly refers to game drives. Game drives form a crucial part of the travel as they allow tourists to venture deep into the wilderness and experience mother nature at its purest form. Game drives are accompanied by other activities such as camping, shopping for artifacts, souvenirs, clothes, shoes, and personal effects. Common safari activities include game drives, hiking, game tracking, bush trekking, nature walks, bird viewing, and feeding wildlife such as giraffes. Cultural events and sampling local cuisines also add spice to the safari. This means that as a traveler, your interactions are most likely to be in the wilderness, local villages, and neighboring towns.
In this detailed breakdown of the items that you may need to carry in your travel bag, we prepare you for a magical experience in Africa.
Carry cotton shorts, tank tops, vests, sleeveless shirts, bathing suits, khaki slacks, windbreaker, a pair of jeans, underwear, socks, sarong/kikoi/kanga/pareo, bandana, ho-rags/scarfs, gloves/mittens, and a free safari dress. Note that blue and black clothing attracts tsetse flies found in African savanna ecosystems. Beanie hats, wide-brimmed hats with chin straps, baseball caps help shield yourself from the hot sun. Comfortable sunglasses and prescription sunglasses should also be on your core list of safari items.
The terrain in Africa differs from place to place, so tourists have to prepare accordingly. Flip-flops are great for walking around swimming pools and within the camps. Hiking boots are needed for hiking expeditions. Comfortable gym shoes or walking shoes for level walking fields while trekking boots are necessary for tracking wildlife in the thick bushes. Sandals are lovely for trips to local towns to do shopping. Neon and bright-colored shoes are discouraged for trekking in the wild as they scare wildlife.
Toiletries are critical in overall hygiene observation. Basic toiletries are availed in tourist camps and related facilities. However, it is advisable to walk around with some of your own for emergency purposes. Pack some toilet rolls, wet wipes, sanitary wear, toothbrush, toothpaste, colognes, body splash, hairbrush, hair combs, nail file, scissors, razors, nail cutters, tweezers. Carry your moisturizer, lip balms, body lotions, hand sanitizers, and sunscreen. A waterproof bag to keep your electronic devices and favorite book. An extra duffel bag to put extra clothes that you may buy. Pocket knife, water bottle, backpack, business contact cards, Ziploc bags, re-usable bags, hammock, earplugs, stationery, souvenirs, and a travel journal.
Cash and Documentation
You will need to exchange money for local currency to use in remote places that do not accept USD. At the airport, you can access ATMs and withdraw cash in the local currency. In major towns, you can exchange USD with the newest serial numbers in local banks.
Keep your passport, a printed copy of e-visa, essential vaccination documents, personal documents such as physical contact cards, travel insurance policy document, medical prescriptions, air tickets, and safari guidebooks in your handy bag.
First Aid Kit
Being in the wild exposes you to some level of risk as you will be in unfamiliar territory. The weather may affect you differently in Africa. Carry your prescribed medication in sufficient quantities. Also, pack antihistamines, antacids, anti-nausea tabs, malaria tabs, cough drops, eye and ear drops, flu tabs, motion sickness relief bands, antiseptic cream. A bandage, antiseptic liquid, clean gauze, scissors, razors, tweezers, surgical spirit, and ointment creams should also be in the first aid kit. Luckily, all tour vehicles have first aid kits fitted in for emergencies.
Photography and filming are part and parcel of the travel experience. As such, travelers can document their whole safari experience for future reference. In most African countries, electricity is not a common resource. This means that you have to carry extra batteries for your electronic gadgets, power extensions, phone, and laptop chargers. It would be best to have your smartphone, digital cameras, GPS device, binoculars, earphones, headphones, headlamps, flashlights, extra memory cards, USB flash drives, iPods, tablets, digital camcorder, plug converters, a hairdryer (220-240 volts).
Enjoy Impeccable Customer Service in your African Safari
Africa is known for its warm reception of tourists. Feel free to consult your tour agency regarding travel policies and extra items you need to carry. Enjoy the African safari and document it with excellent camera clicks.
Annah is a travel and Safari enthusiast with a great passion for content writing. Her passion for travel and adventure fuels her travel blogging experience. You can connect with her via email or social media handles.