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.
It can and does get cold on safari. See our Womens Safari Jackets and Fleeces page for more information on why this is the case.
Pack women's garments and accessories for your safari which keep you warm. Women's safari scarves, safari beanies, and safari gloves should be considered a packing essential over the African winter - and may also be required for some mornings on summer safaris too.
At the very least, we recommend packing a safari beanie on any safari as they are so small and light to carry in your luggage, yet have a big effect on how warm you are should you get cold. Keep your safari beanie in the bag you take on game drives. You may well get some envious stares from others who have not had the foresight to pack a safari beanie.
Further to the point above, for the African summer, pack a women's safari beanie just in case. For the most part, your women's wide-brimmed safari hat should keep you warm enough, but why take the risk? Please also take note of the altitude of the area in which you are going on safari. The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, as an example, is over 2000 metres above sea level and most camps are on the rim of the crater and so may have cold temperatures (morning and evenings in particular) and precipitation throughout the year, so we would recommend taking warmer safari accessories just in case.
Pack safari scarves, safari beanies, and safari gloves in safari colours.
Number of women's safari scarves, safari beanies, and safari gloves to pack for your safari:
1 x women's safari scarf; 1 x women's safari beanie; 1 x women's safari gloves - although you should be fine tucking your hands into your women's safari jacket or fleece to keep them warm.
You will need a smaller safari bag to take with you on all safari activities - whether a few hours or a few days - including game drive safaris, walking safaris, horse riding safaris, mountain biking safaris, boating safaris, fishing safaris, canoeing safaris, and mekoro (dugout) safaris.
Into this smaller safari bag will go any number of safari essentials such as sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellent, binoculars, waterproof jacket (assuming you are wearing your warm-layer safari jacket or fleece), a safari beanie, any books you want to take on safari with you, water bottle, perhaps your passport if you prefer to keep it with you - and any other personal effects you want to take with you on safari.
The nature of your safari will determine which bag - or bags - you decide to take with you on your safari. For example, if you are only planning on going on game drives, then you will be fine to take any safari satchel, safari backpack, safari tote, or over-the-shoulder safari bag as you will just be walking with it from your room to the safari 4x4 and then placing it on the seat next to you. If you also want to do walks from the lodge (recommended), then you would need a safari satchel or safari backpack and, if you are on a proper walking safari, then you would need a safari satchel or safari backpack which you are happy to have over the shoulder or on your back for many kilometres or miles of walking.
Your choice of smaller safari bag (or bags) could and should also double as your safari carry-on bag for flights to and from Africa. If you prefer a larger carry-on to carry some clothes, then take this bag in addition to your carry-on. Some brands of holdall/duffel luggage - such as the Mara&Meru™ Voyager range - also allow you to zip and lock the ideal safari satchel-backpack combination bag as an end pocket on to your main safari bag, which means that you simply unzip it when you get to your safari to use it as your smaller safari bag. That way you are able to check it into the aircraft hold for your international flight to Africa.
Number of smaller safari bags to pack for your safari:
1 x smaller safari bag per person.
Walking in the bush while on safari is the quintessential experience. We recommend it to all who go to Africa.
Whether you go for a short nature walk with your guide or a multi-day walking safari, please ensure that you pack safari-coloured safari socks which offer a double layer for blister protection. Bad blisters ruin good walks.
Ankle gaiters are ideal for walking in the bush as they offer both your ankles and socks more protection from thorns, wet grass, grass seeds, and anything scurrying around at ankle level. A must-have for longer walking safaris, but useful on any bush walk.
Number of blister-proof socks to pack for your safari:
Up to 4-day safari: x 2; Up to 8-day safari: x 3; Up to 12-day safari: x 4.
Number of Ankle Gaiters to pack for your safari:
Pack 1 x Pair per person.