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.


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 Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) More info

To find out which Women's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) are best to pack for your safari read our expert Women's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) advice & shop for the ultimate in Women's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) Click here to view our range of Women's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season)

1 x Women's Wide-brimmed Safari Hat More info

A wide-brimmed safari hat is very useful on all safaris no matter what 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

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

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 Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) More info

To find out which Women's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) are best to pack for your safari read our expert Women's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) advice & shop for the ultimate in Women's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) Click here to view our range of Women's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season)

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

1 x Men's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) More info

To find out which Men's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) are best to pack for your safari read our expert Men's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) advice & shop for the ultimate in Men's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) Click here to view our range of Men's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season)

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

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

1 x Men's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) More info

To find out which Men's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) are best to pack for your safari read our expert Men's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) advice & shop for the ultimate in Men's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season) Click here to view our range of Men's Waterproof Safari Jacket (rainy season)

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

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

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

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

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

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


Top tips from the safari experts

When packing for your safari, select safari clothing which offers some or all of the following six key travel garment technologies:
1. Safari clothing which is easy to pack, dries quickly, and wicks moisture away from the skin;

2. Safari Clothing which offers a built-in insect repellent. Insist on

seeing proof that the built-in insect repellent has been proven to work by asking to see the laboratory test results;
3. Safari Clothing that offers protection from the sun. This will be shown as an SPF rating. 50+ is the highest rating available today;
4. Safari Clothing that is lightweight, but which also has built-in ripstop for added strength;
5. As we all prefer to smell fresh, select safari clothing that uses an anti-microbial or anti-bacterial fabric. This also means that you will be able to wear the same safari clothing for longer and so pack less and travel lighter.
6. Add to the protective performance of the safari clothing which you take on safari by packing a wide-brimmed, packable safari hat, an effective sunscreen, and insect repellent which has been proven to work to spray onto your safari clothing, safari hat and skin.


Other essentials to not forget

▢ For gorilla safaris pack a pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands from the sharp foliage you may encounter while trekking to find the gorillas.
▢ Ensure that you pack blister-proof socks should you be going on a dedicated walking safari
▢ For canoe or white water safaris, a small dry bag is very useful to keep your phone, camera and other personal effects dry. Should the colour of the dry bag not be safari-suitable, simply place it inside a safari-suitable satchel or backpack. This advice also applies for other waterborne activities such as motorboat and mekoro (dugout) activities while on your safari.
▢ For photographic safaris - whether you are using an SLR or your smartphone - always make sure you have more storage space than you think you will need. It is highly frustrating having to try to quickly select images to delete while on safari and the wildlife action is hotting up. Take spare batteries for your SLR and a portable charger for your other electronics.


General clothing to pack

▢ Not sure what to wear around the safari camp and in the evenings? If you have to pack light then our safari clothing certainly doubles as suitable safari camp clothing. If you are able to take few extra items of clothing then you may also wish to pack your own casual clothing to wear around the camp in the evenings and between game drives. Take a look at our travel and outdoor clothing made exactly for travel to your safari lodge and to be worn around the camp. Every lodge we have ever been to does not have a dress code, but it is best to check with your tour operator or the lodge itself. Nothing beats a crisp white shirt for him and her for lunches and dinners at your safari camp or lodge - no matter how rustic the camp is (think Out of Africa!).
▢ Pyjamas
▢ Swimming Trunks
▢ Underwear


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

▢ Health card and Insurance details
▢ Air tickets & Vouchers
▢ Money Pouch
▢ Credit Card & Calculator


▢ Prescription Glasses & Case
▢ Safari reading material
▢ Digital Camera with suitable lens with long focal length (around 200mm at least). The Swarovski iPhone adaptor allows you to take images too through your Swarovski binoculars. As a team we use either Digital SLR's with suitable lenses, or the Swarovski iPhone system which, with practice, works really well.
▢ Extra batteries, memory cards, camera, lens & binocular cleaning kit
Travel adaptors and portable power for USB devices
▢ 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 asap!
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:
EASY PEASY: 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!
⊙ Anything to add to this timeline? Please contact us to let us know.


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