Pack high-quality sunglasses for your safari which have very good lenses to avoid any damage to your eyes from the harsh rays of the African sun.
The majority of safari activities take place early in the morning and late in the afternoon. This means that you may be staring into a rising or setting sun during your safari, which makes packing good safari sunglasses even more important.
At midday, the light may also be quite harsh depending on which areas you visit and the terrain prevalent in that location. As an example, in areas of Botswana, there are large salt pans and the sand is bright white, which reflects the sun's rays and may be uncomfortable for your eyes.
Number of safari sunglasses to pack for your safari:
1 x pair of high quality sunglasses per person.
For the best protection from the strength of the midday sun in Africa - for your neck and face - pack a wide-brimmed women's safari hat.
With mean high temperatures reaching mid-20 to mid-30 degrees Celsius on most safaris and with safari areas in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, and Zambia high above sea level, the effects of the sun will be pronounced and the risk of being burnt by the sun will be high. A wide-brimmed women's safari hat is literally your first line of defence against sunburn.
Wide-brimmed women's safari hats also provide shelter when it rains. We find that a wide-brimmed safari hat definitely makes it more comfortable when you are caught out on a walk or game drive by a sudden thunderstorm or tropical shower, as at least your face remains dry and fewer drops go into your eyes.
Colour is key when choosing a women's safari hat - with neutral shades such as khaki, green, or brown the best. Your safari hat will often be the most conspicuous part of you while viewing wildlife on a walking safari.
Pack a women's safari hat which suits your safari style. Fortunately, there are more styles available for women today which range from leather hats to classically-styled indie and panama-shaped hats.
Modern wide-brimmed women's safari hats are also conveniently packable and are easy manipulate back into shape. A note though: not all hats are packable and should be carried with your carry-on luggage - and, even when a hat is packable, never crush your safari hat under a hard object - such as shoes or binoculars - when packing.
Number of wide-brimmed women's safari hats to pack for your safari:
1 x wide-brimmed safari hat per person.
*Pack a warm and cosy safari beanie for cold mornings and the African winter too.
Packing a good safari torch (flashlight) is an important essential for all safaris as it increases your safety while in the safari camp and may also add to the enjoyment of your safari.
Your safari torch should be used in the evenings as you walk around the safari camp to shine on the ground in front of you to avoid standing on any snakes (and other reptiles), spiders, scorpions, or insects which may bite or sting you. This is especially important when wearing open sandals or shoes around the camp area.
Use your safari torch to shine in the bush around you as you walk around the camp at night to spot and avoid wildlife which may have wandered into the camp in the evenings. Please note that this is important as many camps are unfenced - and, even for those with fences, some mammals are able to jump over fences. For unfenced camps, should you spot any of the predators (lion, leopard, hyena, and cheetah) or any of the bigger herbivores (elephant, rhino, buffalo), take care to avoid them as as they are all potentially dangerous. Very important tip: do not shine into the eyes of any of the bigger herbivores listed above, with particular attention paid to not shining into the eyes of elephant.
The safety aspect of safari flashlights aside, safari torches are very useful for trying to view nocturnal wildlife from the safety and comfort of your room or from the safari lodge. It is also a great way to show others the constellations in the night sky and to shine in your tent or room should the camp you are staying in have limited power for lights late into the night or on more basic walking and adventure safaris.
For safaris which are not lodge or camp based - or where amenities are limited and you have to use a torch to light your room, look for your clothes, and check for scorpions in your shoes - then packing a small battery-powered safari lamp which offers more diffuse and less direct lighting is a great idea. These types of lamps or lanterns are also great for reading a book at night where a torch would be too bright on a white page.
Number of safari torches to pack:
1 x powerful, compact safari torch per person; 1 x small battery-powered lantern or lamp per person for safaris where strong lighting is not provided in the room or tent.
*Pack extra batteries and a charger if the torch, lantern, or lamp is rechargeable. If there is no power source in the camp, then pack a small solar charger and recharge your torch, lamp, or lantern during the day. We often recommend that clients pack extra batteries for rechargeable torches and lanterns which are pre-charged at home as it is easier to replace a battery when it runs out - often when you really don't want it to - than to wait for a battery to recharge.