EAST AFRICA SAFARI PACKING LIST
Packing for your first safari can be a bit daunting. What do you bring? What don’t you need? Below you’ll find our recommended list of things to bring along with you when you’re on safari.
While there is plenty of room in our safari vehicles for your larger suitcase, it’s always handy to have a more manageable bag that you can have with you in the vehicle.
A WARM SWEATER OR LIGHT FLEECE.
Nights and mornings in East Africa can be cold, so it’s always good to have something a little warmer to throw on until the sun warms the plains up.
A WINDBREAKER OR WATERPROOF JACKET.
You never know when there’s going to be a sudden squall or downpour, so packing a lightweight rain jacket is a good idea.
While you’ll be safe and dry inside your safari vehicle, a rain jacket is a good option for when you’re getting about camp.
WALKING SHOES OR BOOTS.
Much of your safari takes place within your safari vehicle, but you’ll need a comfortable pair of shoes or hiking boots for walking to your lodges, snapping photos from the picnic spot, or if you’ve added any walking safaris to your itinerary.
Even in the car, you’ll want a pair of comfortable shoes that cover your skin to prevent sunburn and insect bites.
A LONG SLEEVE DRESS SHIRT AND TROUSERS.
Perfect for both sun protection and to ward off hungry mosquitoes, a long sleeve shirt and trousers are also a good option for a cold morning or evening.
If you’re staying in nicer lodges, you’ll also want these handy for dinner and drinks at the end of a long day.
The sun in East Africa can be quite intense, so sunglasses are a good protective measure and have the benefit of reducing glare while you’re game-viewing.
Sun protection should be a priority while you’re on safari. While your vehicle provides shade, having the top up for game-viewing means you’ll be exposed to the elements.
A good hat is a great way to avoid nasty burns or heatstroke.
SUNSCREEN AND LIP BALM.
Another valuable precaution against the often harsh equatorial sun, sunscreen and lip balm will protect you where your clothes don’t.
Mosquitoes and tsetse flies are both capable of carrying diseases and their bites can be quite irritating or painful. Tsetse flies can deliver a particularly nasty sting.
A good insect repellent is a good way to ward off these blood-thirsty little guys.
It goes without saying that you’re going to want a camera for your safari adventure. While in some cases your smartphone will be enough to snap a shot, a camera with a good zoom lens is the perfect companion.
Shadows of Africa vehicles come standard with a single pair of binoculars that you can share with your driver, but having your own pair is a good way to ensure you don’t miss a second of the action.
You don’t need an expensive pair. Even a travel-sized pair of binoculars is sufficient for game-viewing.
CHARGER FOR YOUR CAMERA.
You don’t want to be midway through a day on safari and suddenly run out of battery for your camera.
Overland Safaris vehicles come standard with in-car charging stations, but it’s always a good idea to travel with an additional battery.
Additional SD cards are also a good idea to ensure you don’t need to stop to delete photos.
A FLASHLIGHT OR HEADLAMP.
The wilderness can be pretty dark, so a headlamp or flashlight can be essential when moving about camp after dark.
Many lodges provide these, but a good idea to bring your own headlamp.
You don’t need a hefty Lonely Planet for your safari, but having a wilderness guidebook is a good way to build a ‘to-do list’ for your trip.
Overland Safaris driver guide is a font of knowledge when it comes to animal, bird, and plant-life too. Don’t hesitate to ask questions!
PHONE AND CHARGER.
Whether it’s to stay in touch, to share your photos, or just so you can snap pictures on the fly – bringing along your smartphone is a good idea.
Savvy travellers may wish to purchase a local SIM card, but many hotels have WiFi.
While on safari in Tanzania, our vehicles also come with WiFi, although this is dependent on location.
TISSUES OR WET WIPES.
While all national parks and lodges have toilet facilities available, there’s no telling when nature might call and you’ll need to make use of the famous ‘bush toilet’.
Having a packet of tissues or wet wipes in your pack is always a good idea.
While all of our Overland Safaris vehicles have their own onboard first aid kit, it never hurts to be prepared.
You might wish to consider the below list and figure out which medications you’d like to bring along for your trip. We’ve highlighted those we think are most essential in italics.
Antihistamines for allergies and insect bites;
Cold and flu medication;
Medicines for re-hydration after diarrhoea or sunstroke;
Moisturizer for treating sunburn;
Bandages and plasters;
All of our safari clients are provided with 1.5L of drinking water per day.
Don’t let the above list daunt you. Many of these items are only necessary in extreme cases, but it’s better to have something and not need it than it is to need something and not have it!
WHAT TO WEAR ON SAFARI.
There is no dress code for safari, however, it is advised that you were inconspicuous clothes in brown, green, beige, khaki, or other neutral colours so as not to draw attention to yourself or frighten the animals away.
As driving distances can be quite long while on safari, it is advisable that you dress lightly and comfortably. With evenings able to get quite cold, it is also advisable to bring along warmer clothes.
WEATHER IN TANZANIA.
As an equatorial country, Tanzania does not experience the four traditional seasons – instead of having alternating wet and dry seasons.
The long rainy season takes place from April through May and is considered the low season in Tanzania.
The short rainy season is in November and December. The rains at this time of year are lighter, and crowds are at a more respectable level.
June through October is Tanzania’s long dry season. Rain is extremely uncommon and game-viewing conditions are at their best.
January, February and March represent the short dry season and this the best time to see the majority of the wildebeest migration in southern Serengeti national park.
On average, temperatures rarely get lower than 60F and average at about 85F in the dry months. The overall average temperature hovers between 70 – 75F year-round, with just mornings and nights being cooler.
EAST AFRICA SAFARI PACKING LIST