Packing for a African safari can be a daunting exercise if you are a first time safari goer. In order for your safari experience to be as enjoyable as possible, we have put together a small list of essentials to assist you with the basics of packing for your African safari.
The Golden Rule to remember is that safari should always be more about comfort than style, however it is very possible to do both! Whether you are arriving in the heat of summer or visiting during the balmy winter days, an awareness of what to expect will aid you in bringing along worthwhile items and leaving behind the things that don’t matter as much. Read below to find out what we recommend you should bring:
Weather on Safari
The weather is a variable which nobody can control, however the seasons do tend to follow a fairly reliable pattern. The first thing to remember is that regardless of the seasons, layers of different items of clothing are the real trick to being comfortable on safari.
March through May is temperate as the season changes from summer to the start of winter and the days are mild and warm with the nights becoming cooler. Temperatures drop mildly as the sun goes down so we advise a light fleece or long sleeve shirt, particularly for the evenings. At this time of the year you will still be comfortable in shorts or a dress, however long pants are preferred for the evenings.
June and July are mid-winter in South Africa and can be some of the best months for game viewing. During this time the days are warm and balmy, while the evenings and early mornings are cold. In winter the temperature does drop especially as the sun goes down so we suggest bringing a warm jacket, beanie and scarf for the morning game drives. In the middle of the day the temperature remains pleasant enough for short sleeved shirts, however as the sun starts to go down so does the temperature.
For the months August through November the weather is temperate and signals the change of season from autumn into summer. There is the occasional gust of wind during these months and so items such as eyedrops are worthwhile to combat fine particles of dust in the eyes.
With the months December through March being the height of our summer these are, therefore, the hottest months. The days can get to upwards of 35 degrees celsius and in the late afternoons, their is the chance of an impressive African thunderstorm owing to the build up of heat and precipitation. Short sleeve shirts, vests and shorts are the order of the day, however it is critical to bring along sunscreen and a widebrimmed hat to protect yourself from the African sunshine. Ponchos are provided on the vehicle for wet weather, however a light raincoat or jacket is advised should the temperature drop off after the rain.
We advise that you bring the following items of clothes, regardless of the season:
- A pair of long pants,
- A long sleeve cotton shirt, cotton t-shirts or vests,
- Comfortable pants, shorts, skirts and summer dresses for the ladies
- Walking shoes, sandals and hiking boots
- Wide Brim Hat
- Bathing suit
- Windbreaker/Light Jacket
What to Wear
In the summer, we suggest bringing the following:
- Lightweight shorts and t-shirts
- Summer dresses for the ladies for around the camp
- A light fleece or long sleeve shirt for the sun
In the winter, don’t forget:
- A warm jacket
- Beanie and scarf for the morning game drives
- Long sleeve shirt with thermal under garments.
Photography on Safari
If you are bringing any electronic equipment or camera gear, don’t forget batteries and a battery charger.
With spending at least eight hours a day under the wonderful African skies we advise that you bring a high SPF factor sunscreen when coming on safari to Africa. At most safari lodges the rangers will have sunscreen with them but they might not always have your preferred label so we suggest bringing your own. In the summer months we encourage you to apply this frequently.
Please consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information on prophylaxis. In all camps, and on game drives, we offer mosquito and insect repellent as well as mosquito nets around the bed in your suite.