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What to Pack for an African Safari

Written by: Stephanie Ding

Follow along with her: @steph.ding

A trip on an African Safari is an amazing way to be exposed to nature and see a variety of animals in their natural habitat. If you are wondering where to go in Africa to have this once in a lifetime experience, check out these trips to Botswana and Tanzania, to visit some of the most famous places in Africa, like the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, or Ngorongoro Crater. Do keep in mind that many safari trips involve arriving on a small plane with luggage restrictions, so being mindful of what you bring is very important.

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Here is a safari packing list to prepare you for your trip on an African Safari:

The most important thing to pack are your clothes! You may be wondering what to wear on a safari. Pack clothes that are lightweight and similar colors to the environment, such as tans and greens. Don’t wear any bright colors, because it may attract insects or scare away the animals if they see you coming. Tsetse flies, a biting fly, are attracted to blue and black colors, so bring earth toned clothes to avoid attracting bugs. Also make sure to bring layers, as it can get cold during the early morning or night. Long sleeves and pants are also best for limiting the number of bug bites you might get and reducing sun exposure during your trip, especially during the summer time and if you are planning on doing a bush walk. Bring sunscreen and insect repellent with 30% DEET or above to protect against malaria, bugs, and the strong sun. If you are doing a bush walk, make sure to also pack shoes with a firm tread. Keep in mind that you should probably not bring camouflage print clothing. This print and other military style clothing is restricted in some countries such as Zimbabwe.


Be sure to bring a first aid kit or any medicines that you may need. Some people have been known to get motion sickness from the charter planes. It is also good to pack supplies just in case, such as malaria tablets, aspirin, and basic first aid supplies. Your accommodations and safari guide will most likely have a first aid kit on hand, but if you have some extra space in your suitcase, it is better to be safe!

Bring a reference guide for your trip if you want to learn more about the places you’re traveling to or all the different species of animals you could possibly see. Some references guides also include a space you can use as a journal to document your trip and jot down all the different species of animals you see.

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Binoculars are a good asset to have if you are trying to spot animals from far away, but they are not necessary, as your tour guide will bring you as close to the animals as possible without disturbing them. If you do wear contacts, bring a pair of sunglasses or opt for glasses instead, as your eyes might get irritated from the dust during your trip.

Make sure to bring all the necessities you will need for your trip, such as toiletries and electronic devices. Some places will have universal plugs, but to be safe, bring an adapter. Also, make sure you bring enough cash for the duration of your stay in the bush for souvenirs or tipping, since there likely won’t be any ATM machines.

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Lastly, don’t forget your camera! You will definitely have an amazing time on your African safari and see a variety of different animals. To protect your camera, bring a waterproof and dust proof bag. Take a lot of pictures to remember your amazing trip. Remember, you are a visitor in the animals’ home so be respectful of the environment, and happy traveling!