What to pack for your Safari

Comprehensive Safari Packing List & Safari Advice - for just about all safaris: Why do we spend so much time thinking through and creating our safari packing lists to ensure they are the best out there? In a sentence: we are dedicated to ensuring that you have the most incredible time on safari and packing the right safari clothing, safari luggage, safari binoculars, and all the other important safari accessories is key to this.

This is the new version of our general safari packing list and it is a list of essential safari supplies you should not leave home without. The list has been made by our safari packing list experts to ensure that you pack the correct clothing and gear for just about all types of safaris.

As a general introduction to the safari experience, most safaris start early in the morning and will be on open safari vehicles with little protection from wind and rain. Therefore, the rule of thumb is to dress in layers for all activities. For more in-depth information on what to pack for your safari and why, we recommend that you read through our safari clothing advice, safari luggage advice, safari binocular advice, and our safari accessories advice pages.

To find out what our experts have to say about each item we recommend that you pack, please simply click on "more info." We have also included accessories you may need for add-on safari activities such as gorilla safaris on this page under "other essentials to not forget," plus everything else you will need to remember to pack in your bag.

Please also read our "top tips" section for handy insider information on the guidelines for packing for a safari and visit our expert advice pages too.

This packing list calculates the total number of items you will require for the number of men, women, and children you have indicated above. Simply divide by the number of men, women, and children should you wish to work out the number of items required on a per person basis or, of course, set the number to one for each in the form above.

Please also note that if your safari is longer than 12 days - and if you will have a laundry service available on your safari - that you should only take the recommend number of items for a 12-day safari or you will run out of space in your safari luggage.

Find below your custom Safari Packing List for 1 woman, 1 man and 1 child for 9 days
Click here to adjust the number of travellers or number of days

Women's Safari Clothing to Pack for Your Safari

4 x Women's Safari Shirts More info
We guide you through the world of women's safari shirts to help you to decide which shirts are best to pack for your safari through our expert advice for women's safari shirts. We also show you which protective, stylish women's safari shirts to shop for your safari. Click here to view our range of Women's Safari Shirts
3 x Women's Safari Trousers and/or Shorts More info
Not sure which women's safari trousers, women's safari shorts, and women's safari zip-offs to pack? Simply read our expert packing advice for women's safari pants, convertibles, and shorts. Also explore the ideal women's safari, outdoor, and travel pants and shorts when you shop online for your safari. Click here to view our range of Women's Safari Trousers and/or Shorts
1 x Women's Safari Jacket or Fleece More info
Keep warm and cosy on any safari by packing a women's safari jacket or fleece. Find out why you should pack a warm layer on safari and shop here for the best selection of women's safari jackets and fleeces. Click here to view our range of Women's Safari Jacket or Fleece
1 x Women's Wide-brimmed Safari Hat More info
A wide-brimmed safari hat is very useful on all safaris, no matter the weather - find out why. Take a look at the wide variety of wide-brimmed safari hats available for women - there is a hat to suit just about any safari style. Click here to view our range of Women's Wide-brimmed Safari Hat
1 x Women's Safari Dress(es) and/or Skorts More info
Find out why you should pack a safari dress or safari skorts - and also learn what "skorts" are and why they are great for safari game drives. Add classical style and versatility to your safari look by shopping our range of safari dresses and skorts. Click here to view our range of Women's Safari Dress(es) and/or Skorts
5 x Blister-proof socks for walking safaris More info
To find out which Blister-proof socks for walking safaris are best to pack for your safari read our expert Blister-proof socks for walking safaris advice & shop for the ultimate in Blister-proof socks for walking safaris Click here to view our range of Blister-proof socks for walking safaris
1 x Safari Belts More info
To find out which Safari Belts are best to pack for your safari read our expert Safari Belts advice & shop for the ultimate in Safari Belts Click here to view our range of Safari Belts
1 x Women's Safari Beanie & Scarf More info
When you get chilly on safari, will you will definitely wish you had packed some small, light layers to keep your head, neck, and hands warm. Read our guide on why you need to pack a women's safari beanie and scarf and also shop our range of safari scarves, safari beanies, and safari knitted accessories which will keep you warm. Click here to view our range of Women's Safari Beanie & Scarf
2 x Women's Safari Shoes (walking shoes + camp shoes) More info
To find out which Women's Safari Shoes (walking shoes + camp shoes) are best to pack for your safari read our expert Women's Safari Shoes (walking shoes + camp shoes) advice & shop for the ultimate in Women's Safari Shoes (walking shoes + camp shoes) Click here to view our range of Women's Safari Shoes (walking shoes + camp shoes)

Men's Safari Clothing to Pack for Your Safari

4 x Men's Safari Shirts More info
To find out which men's safari shirts are best to pack for your safari, read our expert men's safari shirt advice & shop for the ultimate in men's safari, adventure, and outdoor shirts. Click here to view our range of Men's Safari Shirts
3 x Men's Safari Trousers and/or Shorts More info
Get the right number and combination of men's safari zip-off trousers, men's safari shorts, and men's safari trousers in recommended styles and fabrics by following our expert advice for men's safari pants and shorts. Discover men's outdoor and travel pants and the perfect walking trousers when you shop for your safari. Click here to view our range of Men's Safari Trousers and/or Shorts
1 x Men's Safari Fleece or Jacket More info
It truly does get cold on safari. Read our advice on why you need to pack a men's safari jacket or fleece and potentially a waterproof safari jacket too - and view our safari-suitable range as you shop online. Click here to view our range of Men's Safari Fleece or Jacket
5 x Blister-proof socks for walking safaris More info
To find out which Blister-proof socks for walking safaris are best to pack for your safari read our expert Blister-proof socks for walking safaris advice & shop for the ultimate in Blister-proof socks for walking safaris Click here to view our range of Blister-proof socks for walking safaris
1 x Safari Belts More info
To find out which Safari Belts are best to pack for your safari read our expert Safari Belts advice & shop for the ultimate in Safari Belts Click here to view our range of Safari Belts
1 x Men's Safari Beanie & Scarf More info
Africa gets cold during winter - of that there is no doubt. Read our advice on why you need to pack a safari beanie and scarf and also shop our range of handmade wool safari accessories which will keep you warm. Click here to view our range of Men's Safari Beanie & Scarf
2 x Men's Safari Shoes (walking shoes + camp shoes) More info
To find out which Men's Safari Shoes (walking shoes + camp shoes) are best to pack for your safari read our expert Men's Safari Shoes (walking shoes + camp shoes) advice & shop for the ultimate in Men's Safari Shoes (walking shoes + camp shoes) Click here to view our range of Men's Safari Shoes (walking shoes + camp shoes)

Kid's Safari Clothing to Pack for Your Safari

4 x Boy's and Girl's Safari Shirts More info
Find out what safari shirts kids should wear on safari with our expert advice for children's safari shirts. Our specialised boys' and girls' safari and outdoor shirts have features for sun and insect protection and comfort. Click here to view our range of Boy's and Girl's Safari Shirts
1 x Boy's and Girl's Safari Jacket or Fleece More info
Find out why you should pack outer layers to keep your kids warm and dry on safari. Shop here for the ultimate selection of warm layers . Click here to view our range of Boy's and Girl's Safari Jacket or Fleece
1 x Boy's and Girl's Wide-Brimmed Safari Hat More info
Learn why it is important to pack a children's wide-brimmed safari hat to help prevent sunburn to their face and neck during safari activities. Shop our range of the best in children's safari hats. Click here to view our range of Boy's and Girl's Wide-Brimmed Safari Hat
5 x Blister-proof socks for walking safaris More info
To find out which Blister-proof socks for walking safaris are best to pack for your safari read our expert Blister-proof socks for walking safaris advice & shop for the ultimate in Blister-proof socks for walking safaris Click here to view our range of Blister-proof socks for walking safaris
1 x Safari Belts More info
To find out which Safari Belts are best to pack for your safari read our expert Safari Belts advice & shop for the ultimate in Safari Belts Click here to view our range of Safari Belts
1 x Boy's and Girl's Safari Beanie & Scarf More info
Africa gets cold during winter - of that there is no doubt. Read our advice on why you need to pack a warm safari beanie and scarf for your children for just about all safaris, and browse the best range of safari beanies and scarves available online. Click here to view our range of Boy's and Girl's Safari Beanie & Scarf

Safari Luggage

3 x Large Soft-sided Safari holdall or duffel More info
Get expert advice on why you need to pack your safari clothing and safari gear into a large, soft-sided safari bag and shop online for our hand-picked selection of great safari-suitable luggage for your safari. Click here to view our range of Large Soft-sided Safari holdall or duffel
3 x Safari Washbag More info
To find out why you should pack a Safari Washbag read our expert Safari Washbag advice & shop for the ultimate in Safari Washbags. Click here to view our range of Safari Washbag

Safari Binoculars

3 x Safari Binoculars More info
Safari binoculars are the number one safari essential - find out why. We have carefully selected our range of binoculars to either purchase or rent (UK only for rentals). Click here to view our range of Safari Binoculars
3 x Sets Safari-suitable camera and lenses More info
To find out which camera options are best for safari photography read our expert Safari Photography advice & shop for the safari photography options which we use on safari. Click here to view our range of Sets Safari-suitable camera and lenses

Safari Accessories

5 x Insect Repellent (Africa-tested) More info
Read our advice on why it is vitally important that you pack a safari insect repellent which actually works - and shop our range of expedition and safari tested insect repellents which you should pack for your safari. Click here to view our range of Insect Repellent (Africa-tested)
5 x Safari-suitable Sunscreen More info
Get the best protection from the sun by following our safari sunscreen advice - and shop for safari sunscreens which are tried and trusted by our team. Click here to view our range of Safari-suitable Sunscreen
3 x Sunglasses More info
Given that we only get one pair of eyes, we all know just how important it is to wear a good pair of sunglasses. Read our advice on why this is particularly so for your safari to Africa. We have also tested and now stock some of the best sunglasses available for your safari. View our range. Click here to view our range of Sunglasses
3 x Safari Torch/Flashlight More info
Packing a good safari torch - and, for more basic safaris, also a small lamp or lantern - is important for all safaris. Click here to find out why. We have selected the ideal range of safari-suitable and Africa-tested flashlights for you to take on safari. Click here to view our range of Safari Torch/Flashlight
3 x Travel Adaptors More info
Keeping your various devices fully charged is key to recording, sharing and staying in touch with loved ones on safari. Make sure to work out how many devices you need to charge and take enough adaptors and usb cables with you to simultaneously charge all your devices. Click here to view our range of Travel Adaptors
3 x Spare batteries, chargers, memory More info
Always take spare batteries and make sure you pack chargers for your smartphone, torch, camera, laptop, tablet computers, and any other electronic devices. Our rule of thumb is always take more batteries than you think you will need - and the same is true for memory cards for your photographic devices. It would be very sad to run out of power and memory on your camera halfway through your safari. Also investigate what power source will be available to you for charging up devices while you are on safari.

Specialist Safari Clothing And Gear To Pack

6 x Anti-chafe tights for walking & active safaris More info
Bad chaffing - as with bad blisters - may make your walking or active safari very uncomfortable. We recommend that you wear a pair of anti-chafe running tights under your safari trousers or safari shorts just to make sure that your inner thighs do not chafe.
3 x Pair of gardening gloves for gorilla safaris More info
The forests of Rwanda, Uganda and eastern Congo where the last remaining mountain gorillas are found can be challenging, thickly vegetated places to trek through. As this vegetation is made up of all sorts of plants with thorns, serrated leaves and sword-like fronds it is advisable to pack a pair of gardening gloves so that you do not cut your hands as you scramble up steep slopes and pull back bushes to make your way in search of these elusive great apes.
3 x Dry-bag for water-based safaris More info
For water-based safaris such as canoe safaris, boating safaris, green-season safaris, dugout/mekoro safaris, pack your valuables into one of our smaller safari bags and then pack that into a waterproof dry-bag to keep all your essential safari gear dry. We recommend that you first test your dry-bag by filling it with tissue paper, closing it and then submerging under water in your bath or a pool. If the tissue gets wet then try re-sealing your dry-bag or get a better dry-bag.

General Clothing To Pack For Your Safari

6 x Non-safari shirts for travel and around the camp More info
While safari-coloured clothing is ideal to wear when you travel to your safari and to relax in around camp, sometimes nothing beats a crisp white shirt to wear around camp - or to dinner at night. When our founder Steve used to work as a safari guide this is exactly what the guiding team used to do for dinner. After a long hot day in the sun, take a long bath or refreshing shower and put on a crisp white shirt or a stylish blue travel shirt for the evening to look and feel great.

Packing extra safari shirts will of course depend on how much space you have left in your safari luggage once you have packed the essential safari clothing and gear. View our range of non- safari-coloured shirts here.

Note: If space is limited only take an extra shirt which is not safari-coloured and wear the shirt with your safari trousers or shorts.
6 x Casual Trousers and/or shorts More info
While safari clothing doubles well as everyday clothing to wear when you travel and relax around the camp in the evenings and during the day - pack Casual Trousers and/or shorts if space allows.
6 x Casual shirts and/or t-shirts More info
While safari clothing doubles well as everyday clothing to wear when you travel and relax around the camp in the evenings and during the day - pack Casual Trousers and/or shorts if space allows. Also see "Non-safari shirts for travel and around the camp" on this packing list.
3 x Swimming costume or trunks More info
Many lodges have a pool and it is great to be able to take a dip during the day.
27 x Underwear More info
We based our estimate of number of underwear to pack based on being able to wash underwear quickly and easily.
3 x Pyjamas More info
3 x Kikoy or Sarong More info
A safari coloured kikoy is very useful to pack for your safari simply as they are very versatile. Wear your kikoy as a scarf, on your head or even as a skirt or dress. Very useful for around the pool too.
3 x Gym gear or Sportswear More info
If your safari camp or lodge has a gym then by all means do pack your gym clothing to stay fit on safari - and to counter all that delicious safari food and drink you will be served.
If you enjoy running then some lodges may be able to take you for a run with one of their fitter guides - at your own risk of course. Usually the way this would work is that you would drive in a safari 4x4 game-viewer to a big open plain or to the airstrip and then your guide would run with you while someone drives the safari 4x4 game-viewer close behind you.
Be sure to drink lots of water whenever you exercise in Africa as often safari areas are high above sea level and if you exercise at midday, then pretty hot too. Perhaps taking some rehydrate sachets is a good idea too, or drink tea before and after exercising.

Seasonal Safari Clothing To Pack

3 x Waterproof Safari Jacket for the rainy season More info
Read our expert advice on why you may need a waterproof safari layer for your safari, when it rains in Africa, view our range of waterproof safari layers for men, women, and kids.

Toiletries to not forget

▢ Malaria prophylaxis (please check with your doctor or travel clinic)
▢ Motion sickness pills (if needed for light aircraft flights)
▢ Lip Balm
▢ Shampoo/Conditioner (most camps have these available, but you may prefer your brand of choice)
▢ Deodorant
▢ Toothpaste / Toothbrush
▢ Dental Floss
▢ Hair Brush / Comb
▢ Electric / Hand Razor
▢ Emery Boards, Tweezers etc
▢ Hand & Body Lotion
▢ Ladies Hygiene Supplies


Sundries to not forget

▢ Passports with any required visas
▢ Health card and Insurance details
▢ Air tickets & Vouchers
▢ Credit Card: we find that Visa is most widely accepted in Africa.
▢ Calculator (or just use your phone for conversion calculations)
▢ Money Pouch with some cash in it: we prefer to use credit cards where possible, but taking some smaller denominations of US dollars is always a good idea for tipping and any emergencies. Opt for mostly US$5, 10, 20 notes with a few $50 notes just in case. Do you not travel with large sums of money, however, and note that many countries in Africa have cash points (ATM's) where you will be able to withdraw local currency too. Again though don't overdraw as you do not want to be heading home with a wallet full of a currency you cannot use.
▢ Prescription Glasses & Case
▢ Safari reading material
▢ Super glue. In our interview with Steve Backshall, he rated this as the one thing to not leave home without.


Trip preparation timeline

2 to 3 months before departure
VISA: If you require a visa and want to get it beforehand, make sure that you apply for the visa as soon as possible.
PASSPORT: Check that your passport has sufficient pages as most African countries require two blank pages or more, and that your passport does not expire within 6 months. Apply for new passport if needs be.
MEDICATION: Ensure that you visit your doctor and tell him where you are going. He will then advise you on malaria prophylactics, and other injections or medication that is necessary for your trip

8 Weeks Prior to Departure
PAY: Make sure that you have settled your balance due for your holiday with your tour operator.
SAFARI SUPPLIES: This is a good time to also contact The Safari Store for advice on what to pack, and to obtain your safari essentials (as above) in good time.
RE-CONFIRM: If travelling independently, you must go through your itinerary, check that all flight times (including dates) coincide with your holiday dates, and contact all lodges, camps, hotels, transfer, private guides & car hire companies to re-confirm your holiday details
PETS, HOUSES ETC: Make sure you have made arrangements for your pets, booked a house sitter, and any other arrangements you may need to make for post, services and so forth.

4 Weeks Prior to Departure:
DEPARTURE DAY PLANNING: A smooth departure day takes 3/4 of the stress out of your holiday. Make sure that you arrange parking at the airport, start looking into taxis or trains, and book where necessary
TRAVEL MONEY: Work out what you are going to do to pay for tips, purchases, extra tours etc while travelling.Arrange cash, credit & debit cards, travellers cheques accordingly (travellers cheques tend to be a pain to use in most parts of Africa - cash and credit cards are best! Take small denominations in cash in US Dollars - US$1, 5, 10 & 20 for tips and sundry purchases)

1 to 2 Weeks Prior to Departure
PACK: If you are organised, this is a good time to start packing for your trip. Ensure that you have all the correct safari clothing and luggage from The Safari Store - and don't forget to pack the BIG 5 Essentials (first page of this list, on the right). If you require any further supplies, contact The Safari Store. Also work out what you are taking as hand luggage, and what will go into the hold.
CHECK: Check again that you have your passport with visa, correct travel documentation, travel vouchers, confirmed itinerary, tickets, etc
TELL: Tell your bank & credit card provider that you are going away so they know to expect transactions from outside your home country; Let your mobile phone company know too, and set up your preferred setting for roaming; Remind friends and family that you are going away - passing on your itinerary, with hotel/lodge/camp contact details to people involved in managing your affairs while you are away is also a good idea.
CONFIRM: Taxis, train times, pet & house sitters. This may also be a good time to check on exchange rates for the country you are going to.

Departure Day
NICE & RELAXED: With the proper preparation this should be as simple as picking up your luggage and travel documents, locking the front door, jumping into your taxi, or walking to the train station, checking in and taking off. Allowing yourself sufficient time to check in at the airport is vital in reducing the stress of travel. Arrive early, rather than late!


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