Adventure TravelAfrica

What to Pack for Your Safari

What to pack for your safari

It’s important to come prepared but packing for safari doesn’t mean bringing everything but the kitchen sink. Keep it simple and smart with our handy safari gear guidelines.

Embarking on a safari in Africa is among the most epic experiences a traveler will have, and it’s natural to want to arrive prepared — and maybe over-prepare in the process. But the safari gear you’ll actually need is much more basic than you might imagine.

“It’s easy to spot first-timers and tourists,” admits Donna Salerno, Luxury Travel Consultant, “They’re decked out in all the Africa safari clothes gear. The thing is, you really don’t need that much — you can probably find a lot of what you need in your closet.”

Donna Salerno Travel’s packing tips for safari and here are 10 must-haves.

Wear cotton of hybrid short sleeve shirts

Cotton or hybrid short-sleeve shirts

Bring a few that are light and breathable, as well as a protective, long-sleeve sun shirt. Temperatures fluctuate over the course of the day, so when planning your safari wardrobe, think layers. One more addition for the ladies: those dirt roads are bumpy, so take it from the pros and pack a sports bra — you’ll be happy you did.

wear comfy pants

Comfy pants

Jeans and slacks made from hard fabrics aren’t ideal due to their weight and lack of movement. Instead, choose convertible and windbreaker-type pants that give you room to move. Yoga and “dance” pants are added options for women.

wear a wide brimmed hat

A wide-brimmed hat

Don’t forget about protection from the sun when you’re packing for safari and be sure to bring a hat with broad coverage. You’ll also want to choose something with a chin strap to keep your hat from flying off while driving in open-air safari vehicles.

wear closed toed shoes

Closed-toe shoes

Keep in mind that safari vehicles often ramble off-road and along dirt paths, so you’ll also want a pair of closed-toe shoes that you don’t mind getting dusty. And while you might want a pair of flip-flops to slip on during your down time, they’re not a practical option in most cases since biting insects are plentiful. Leave your boots at home; they won’t do you any good in a safari vehicle and they’ll eat away at your weight limit.

have binoculars for spotting wild game


Of course, you’re bringing your camera, but consider binoculars or a spotting scope, which can be a game-changing piece of safari gear for observing distant game.

Bug spray

Africa has some of the world’s most magnificent wildlife; unfortunately, it has its share of mosquitoes and biting flies, too, so bring insect repellent with a high concentration of DEET.


A pocket-size LED flashlight is handy for when the sun goes down, especially if your safari includes a guided night game drive.

wear warm layers for cool nights

Warm layers for cooler temps

If you’ll be on safari during winter months (mid-May through early September), pack a heavy sweater, gloves, warmer slacks and a lined jacket. This will keep you comfortable on chilly mornings, when temperatures often dip into the low 40s Fahrenheit. A down sweater or jacket also comes in handy; it’s lightweight but warm and it won’t take up a lot of space. Depending on where your itinerary takes you, smart casual attire is appropriate for big city and resort dining establishments.

use soft sided duffel for luggage

A soft-sided duffel

Because flights to remote locations pose weight limits and most safari camps include laundry service, the most important rule is this: Don’t over-pack. Luggage restrictions are strictly adhered to, and soft-sided luggage or duffels are required for storage on safari vehicles and light aircraft.

wear Natural colors for African safari clothes

Natural colors for African safari clothes

When selecting your gear and African safari clothes, keep in mind that there’s a reason safari-goers traditionally wear khaki: Bright colors or white (which make you stand out against the typical African background) can frighten animals and send them into hiding, while dark blues, blacks and browns attract insects. Additionally, leave your camouflage gear at home — it’s illegal for civilians in many African countries. So, when raiding your closet for your trip, go for khaki, olive, gray and light brown.

Courtesy of A&K

Does this article have you thinking of the Big Five and your safari!  Contact Donna Salerno Travel today, so we can research the best trip for you, friends and family.  You’ll love where we take you!  Connect with us for more travel inspiration on Twitter or Donna Salerno Travel YouTube Channel.

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Donna Salerno


Donna Salerno Travel


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