The first thing before embarking on a safari is always to know where one is going. I consider my safari bag as the second thing, it helps me to determine the kind of trip I will have. 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.
The second step is to work on how much you intend to spend, and make the booking by either paying in full or per the agreement made. Get all the required documents that you will use when travelling and any vaccines you need to take.
When the day for the safari draws near, the most important part of the process especially for women is, what do I pack? What should I carry? How is the weather at the place I’m going to? 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 the above questions. Hence I had to come up with a list of what should be in my safari bag. The 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 outdoor activities 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 one to use a bag pack like you are going camping even if staying in a hotel rather than a suitcase. This is because most safari destinations have tented camps with a laid back look hence casual luggage would be more appropriate.
You can also include a smaller bag pack to keep personal stuff like a 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 withstand a good coat of dust as the roads in most safari destinations are pretty dusty.
Well, you find so many photos on 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 a need to dress in very comfortable clothes plus the fact that most activities take place out in the sun.
I would suggest dressing in simple cotton tops for ladies and cotton t-shirts for the gents. This will go well with tights, jeans or cotton 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 light 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 experienced while wearing sneakers.
If there is a pool in the hotel you reside in, don’t forget your swimming costume. It is always a good idea to consider adding swimwear 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 it tends 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 one you will do.
Well as earlier stated, 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 skincare remedy.
It is good to also add a mosquito or insect repellent to your skincare 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, a mosquito repellent is a must as they tend to attack the legs.
When a walking safari or hiking is on your 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 scorching sun. A sun hat may also be necessary mainly 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 a 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 the 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 the 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 on your trip. If not, keep some money to buy this, you can buy it from the local supermarket. You can also carry any special snacks from your home country that you can’t do without.