Believe it or not, your Africa Safari suddenly becomes real when you start packing for your adventure. You’ll be imagining yourself in different scenes: on game drives, framing your camera to catch a big cat, sitting around a campfire or boma after a day of safari action; settling down in your lodge or tent with visions of the next day’s journey.
In each of these settings, you’ll be thinking about the proper clothes to bring, the right equipment to carry, and what special medicines or toiletries to pack… just in case.
We’re going to share lots of our insider packing tips so you’ll have the right clothing, gear, and amenities to ensure a fantastic safari.
But First Some Guidelines
Before we get into specific items, let’s talk a little about some packing guidelines: Do you and your partner ever divide your clothing between your suitcases? We recommend this practice should one of your bags get lost. And don’t forget to keep all your important information in your hand luggage – passport, wallet, visa, credit cards, insurance, and prescriptions.
Also, hand-carry your prescription medications and other medicinal items like aspirin, Imodium, malaria pills, and any lifesaving or allergy pharmaceuticals.
Keep on board with you any expensive equipment such as your phone, camera, or binoculars.
Jewelry? Try to keep it to a minimum and definitely keep it close, in view.
A shoulder bag is a great accessory for all of the above and nothing can replace the security of using a money belt to keep credit cards and currency well protected.
Two more important notes: Plastic bags – the sort used in supermarkets – are prohibited in Kenya. Use fabric bags instead.
Finally, please be aware that if you’re going to be flying in-country on light aircraft, your baggage will be limited to a maximum weight of 15 kilograms (33 lbs.) including your camera gear. Any additional luggage can be stored in your hotel in Nairobi.
Most of our safaris are set in warmer climates so casual summer clothes are the rule for your Kenya adventures. Make sure your items are easy to wash and easy to dry. Neutral colors are best – they don’t absorb heat or show safari dust. Also, bright colors can attract flies.
Safaris are a casual affair and your clothing should reflect that. For cool mornings and evenings, layering is best to keep you comfortable. And don’t forget some long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect against the warm sun and after sundown to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Of course, a light jacket is indispensable as is comfortable footwear like tennis shoes or sneakers. If you’re planning on hiking, then some lightweight over ankle boots are recommended.
Don’t forget, you’ll be outside and in the equatorial sun quite a bit so bring plenty of sunscreen or sunblock. And of course, a swimsuit as most accommodations have swimming pools.
We have lots more packing tips based on our experience taking guests on hundreds of safaris. Look for more Africa Kenya Safari tips in the coming months.