by Chris Walker Bush
August 11, 2013

The most commonly asked question by prospective safari adventurers is undoubtedly, "What should I pack?"

The internet is overloaded with packing lists, and our own fertile imaginations often make it easy to over-estimate just how much we need.

Yes, the wilds of Africa do require an extra level of preparedness, but you're not going to Antarctica!

We've made the task of packing for your safari adventure easier by putting together the definitive safari packing list.

Clothing for a safari

pack clothing safari

Obviously, the amount of clothing you pack will depend on the length of your safari, but there are a few guidelines we would suggest you follow.

These are all in addition to the essentials such as underwear, socks, shoes, t-shirts etc.

  • Bring neutral colours: Bright colours can be distracting to animals, and blues & blacks attract tsetse flies. Wear neutral, earthy colours like tan, brown, khaki, or green if possible.
  • A warm sweater or jacket: Even in the warmer months, it can get quite chilly at night.
  • A windproof/waterproof jacket: Especially important if you're visiting during rainy season.
  • Walking boots or shoes: While you'll be in the car most of the time, it can be handy to have these even if you're not hiking or taking a walking safari.
  • Swimsuit: If your trip includes a lodge with a pool or a visit to Zanzibar, this is a must!
  • Towel: Most lodges will provide you with a towel, but if you're headed to the beach or pool - you may want to have your own.
  • Long-sleeved shirt and long trousers: These serve the duel-purpose of being warmer for morning/evening game drives, and for being a good outfit for fancier lodges where you might not want to dress down.
  • Hat: The East African sun can be intense, so it pays to dress accordingly. Even though you'll be in a safari vehicle, the open top can let in enough sun to give a nasty burn if you aren't careful.

 

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  • Sunglasses: The sun can get quite bright out there! Wear sunglasses to cut down on glare while enjoying your safari.

The Safari Medical Kit

You're perfectly safe in your Shadows of Africa vehicle, but sometimes it pays to be cautious.

While your Shadows of Africa vehicle has its on on-board first aid kit, here are a few of our recommendations for packing your own medical kit.

  • Anti-malarial medication;
  • Painkillers;
  • Antihistamines for allergies and insect bites;
  • Cold and flu medication;
  • Anti-Diarrheal medication;
  • Medicines for rehydration after diarrhea or sunstroke;
  • Insect repellent;
  • Sunscreen and lip balm;
  • Eye drops;
  • Moisturiser for treating sunburn;
  • Antiseptic lotion;
  • Rubbing alcohol;
  • Bandages and plasters;
  • Scissors;
  • Tweezers.

You may also wish to bring along water purification tablets and any medications you take for any existing medical conditions.

Don’t let the above list daunt you. Many of these items are only necessary in extreme cases.

The old saying, "Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it" rings true when on safari.

Toiletries

No need to pack anything out of the ordinary here! If you've forgotten something, be sure to let your safari driver know before you leave Arusha. Many of the below can be purchased in town.

  • Toothbrush & toothpaste;
  • Combs or hair brushes;
  • Deodorant;
  • Hand sanitizer;
  • Body wash.

Electronics

In this modern age, we rarely go far without our precious electronics. Cameras, smart phones, and laptops are all perfectly acceptable things to bring along so you can document your trip and keep in touch with friends & family.

It's important to note that African roads can be very dusty, so be sure to protect against this with dust-proof bags for your electronics.

  • Electrical adapter: Tanzania employs the three-pronged UK socket;
  • Camera, batteries, chargers, and SD cards. You can charge your camera in the safari vehicle, and in some lodges.
  • Tablet, smartphone, and/or mp3 player: We doubt you'll get bored while on safari, but you may wish for a little entertainment once the sun has gone down each evening.
  • Binoculars: We provide one pair of basic binoculars in our vehicles. Customers are encouraged to bring their own, or make use of their camera's zoom lens!
  • Torch/flashlight: It gets dark out on safari! While many lodges provide you with a flashlight, having a small portable one or a head lamp for reading can be helpful.

Shadows of Africa can assist with acquiring a SIM card for local calls and data ahead of your safari. Just let your safari expert know what you need!

Cash for tips and shopping

While Tanzania has its own currency, the US dollar is the unofficial currency for tourism - and you'll be fine to tip and buy souvenirs with USD.

As a rule, drivers and climbing guides are usually tipped $20 USD per group per day. Cooks and porters are usually tipped at $15 USD per group per day.

Don't be afraid to haggle when purchasing souvenirs!

tanzania culture

 

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