First thing before embarking on a safari is always to know where one is going. After that, get a good travel agent or make your own travel bookings online depending on what your plan is and what activities you are intending to take.
Then work on how much you intend to spend, make the booking by either paying in full or per the agreement made. Get all the required documents that you will use when traveling and any vaccines you need to take, after that count down begins.
When the day finally arrives, the most important part of the process especially for women is, what do I pack? what should I carry? how is the weather of the place I’m going? will the clothes I have in mind be enough? will they all serve the purpose?
When embarking on such a safari, I always ask myself such questions and hence I had to come up with a list of what should be in my safari bag. Point to note is that the weather in Africa is always fair except for a few months when the rains are quite heavy.
Here is what I would recommend packing for a safari in Kenya, it needs not to be heavy.
Well, a safari involves a lot of outdoors mostly all day and only taking breaks for lunch and an afternoon siesta. Most of the activities do not need a lot of change of clothes unless you are combining business and leisure.
I would advise you to use a bag pack like you are going for camping even if staying in a hotel rather than a suitcase. This is because most safari destination have tented camps with a laid back look hence a casual luggage would be more appropriate.
You can also include a smaller bag pack to keep personal stuff like passport, camera, binoculars, phone, snacks and a bottle of water. It may not be necessary to go on a safari with a laptop unless you urgently need to use it during that time.
The aim is to make it as light as possible even if your safari will take a number of days. Go with a bag that is waterproof and can resist a good coat of dust as the roads in most safari destinations are quite dusty.
Well you find so many photos in the internet showing people wearing full khaki with a matching cup on a safari. It is actually not necessary to wear full khaki when on safari, it may end up being too heavy on you and uncomfortable.
In Africa, the weather is fairly warm in most months so there is need to dress in very comfortable clothes plus the fact that most activities take place out in the sun most of the time.
I would suggest dressing in simple cotton tops for ladies and cotton t-shirts the gents. This will go well with tights, jeans or cottons pants. You can also opt for some shorts when doing the safari in the hot season.
For your feet, go for some comfortable sneakers or go for hiking boots if you intend to do some walking in the wild while on the safari. You can also add in a pair of sandals to wear while in the hotel or lodge to air your feet from all the heat they had to undergo while wearing sneakers.
If there is a pool in the hotel you will be residing in, don’t forget your swimming costume, It is always a good idea to consider adding a swim wear when heading for a safari especially in the hot season as it is considered a good way to cool down from all the heat.
You can add a jacket or two to wear in the evening as at times its tend to get cold and windy. Most lodges and hotels always have an evening born fire to help the visitors wind up their day under a warm fire. So no need for a heavy jacket, just a light you will do.
Well as earlier started, Africa is always sunny all day and if you are not very used to the hot sun, it might cause damage to your skin. Always invest in a good sunscreen on top of your usual skin care remedy.
It is good to also add a mosquito or insect repellent to your skin care list. Whether you will be doing a game drive or just relaxing in the hotel while on safari, consider protecting yourself from mosquitoes as these are prevalent in this area. When your dress code includes shorts, then a mosquito repellent is a must as they tend to attack the legs.
When a walking safari or hiking is in the itinerary, then the overall insect repellent is a good option as there are other bugs that you may encounter out there in the forest.
You can add in sunglasses to your bag to help deal with the scotching sun. A sun hat may also be necessary especially when your choice of activity include game drives, hiking or mountain climbing. This will also be necessary when planning beach activities.
Well it will not be complete adventure if no photos were taken to keep the good memories. Add in a good camera to your bag. This will be quite necessary if you are going for a game drive as some animals like the leopard might be up in the tree and will only be captured by use of a good zoom in camera.
Binoculars can be added to the bag though not really necessary especially if you have a good zoom in camera but if you are a real adventure enthusiast or a bird watcher and don’t want to miss a single moment of your trip then you can include them.
For hiking/mountain/rock climbing and camping
Before embarking on any of the above it is good to confirm with your travel agent if any equipment will be provided for the activities and if not, what you will need to carry.
If camping, it is good to confirm if you need to come with your own camping gear or it will be provided at the place. It is also good to know where you will be sleeping whether in semi-permanent structure or you have to build up a tent yourself.
Food and snack
Always good to confirm if things like water, drinks, snacks are being provided in your trip. If not always keep some money to buy this, you can buy from the local supermarket. You can also carry any special snacks from your home town that you can’t do without.