What To Pack For A Safari To Etosha National Park

C. Fraser Claire

Get Dressed For The Best Experiences At Etosha National Park

Pack All The Essentials For A Safari To Etosha National Park

Etosha Links:
Learning To Read A New Landscape: Destination Inspiration For Etosha National Park | Etosha National Park Quick Travel Tips | What To Pack For a Safari To Etosha National Park |

What To Pack For A Safari To Etosha National Park

As Namibia's top-visited tourist attraction, Etosha National Park holds plenty of allure for both rustic and luxury travellers. As with any destination, the time of year you choose to travel will have an impact on what you should put into your suitcase, but some general safari packing rules apply all year round. The landscape changes from the extraordinary white Etosha pan to mopani forests and stony koppies as you explore, but it is generally accepted that the park has a desert savanna climate. This means dry winters that are generally warm during the day and cold at night. The dry season usually lasts from May to October. The rainy wet seasons can reach very high temperatures during the day, with quick, heavy downpours. This means insects - and insect protection is a must during these months (although we recommend travelling with a good stock of reliable bug spray at all times of year).

The constant is the sun - and packing adequate sun protection is our number one top tip for Etosha. Keep reading to find out exactly what to put into your suitcase and shop the bestsellers.

What to pack for a safari to Etosha National Park

Dressed in the Best For Etosha
June is the sweet spot for travel to Etosha - and warm days and fresh nights are a hallmark of the winter months. The Explorer and Pioneer BUGTech™ Safari Jackets were the perfect in-between layer on morning and evening game drives or whenever the wind picked up. Etosha was the perfect location to safari-test the packing essentials - and the Adventurer Flat-Packable Hat is our top choice for simple sun protection.

Shop Etosha-Tested Safari Clothing >

Safari Packing Advice For Etosha National Park

  • Pack Sun Protective Safari Clothing And Accessories: You can expect sunny days all year in Etosha. Even on overcast days, effective sun protection is a must and long days self-driving the park or out on open game viewers makes for easy sunburn. Your best first defence against red and painful sunburn is to cover up. Our BUGTech™ and SAFARITech technical safari clothing has built-in UPF50+ sun protection. In ultra-lightweight ripstop fabric that wicks moisture - and with roll-up sleeve tabs - it is the coolest way to cover up and protect your skin from the sun. Pair sun protective clothing with an effective sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat. The sun on the white sand also makes sunglasses useful to combat the glare while looking for wildlife and birds.

  • Binoculars Are An Etosha Game-Viewing Essential: The best game-viewing happens with the help of high-quality binoculars. We used our binoculars at almost every sighting - especially where game walked off into the pan or where waterholes left a sensitive distance between the road and the action. They also help you to view even closer animals and birds in more detail. This accessory has the power to transform your safari. We also offer a binocular rental service to our UK clients.

  • Layer Up And Dress Prepared For Changing Conditions: No matter what time of year you travel, a jacket, fleece, or hoodie in neutral safari colours is always essential in Etosha National Park. We also like to pair these with Thusk™ handmade wool knitwear for a little extra warmth. Don't be fooled by sometimes hot daytime temperatures. Early morning and evening game drives on open game viewers will almost certainly come with a chill in the air. During winter, temperatures can drop significantly - something to keep in mind as you pack. We suggest layering up so you can remove layers as the day heats and cools. Long-sleeved safari shirts and convertible trousers are a good way to get around this. A windproof and sun protective Mara&Meru™ Head&Neck Scarf is a clever game drive accessory - especially on open game viewers. Whether you need a headband, hairband, or to wear it as a scarf, it's a useful accessory on every leg of your African travels. We also suggest a lightweight, packable waterproof jacket or poncho. Of particular concern in wet summer months, open game viewers offer little to no protection from the rain and our safari-friendly waterproofs are the perfect accessory to tuck into your day bag.

  • Insect Defence: Wherever you travel in Africa - and during all seasons - packing insect defence accessories and clothing is a must. This is the only way to remain 'unbugged' by flies and midges and to stay bite-free for comfort and good health in African destinations. This is especially important if you are travelling in the rainy summer months. Cover up in anti-insect safari clothing and apply insect repellent for safari - particularly at night.

  • A Light For Bush Nights: A torch is essential for nighttime in the bush. Our hand-selected favourite safari torches are the best way to keep an eye out for wildlife in open camps or to watch where you walk for insects and snakes at night.

  • A Selection of Shoes: When it comes to safari footwear for Etosha, pack a mixture of closed shoes and open sandals. Closed shoes are great in the dry, sometimes sandy terrain - especially if you are given the opportunity to go for short walks. Pair these with our blister-free safari socks to be truly prepared.

  • Comfortable Safari Clothing in Safari-Friendly Colours: When you are out on game drives or back at camp, pack safari clothing that is comfortable for long stretches of time on the car or as you relax and explore. Safari clothing in technical fabric is our number one recommendation for all the benefits they have for warm-weather and adventure travel. Wear these with non-technical garments in safari-friendly colours, like our super comfy Savute men's safari clothing or Serengeti women's safari clothing.

  • Soft and Squashable Safari Luggage: If your safari includes a flight in a light aircraft, there is usually a 20kg (44lbs) weight limit, with restrictions around hard suitcases. This makes a soft-sided duffel the bag of choice for safari. Our range is made from safari-grade cotton canvas and leather - hardy and luxurious for your travels. It is also a good idea to take a backpack or shoulder bag for carrying binoculars, guide books, sunscreen, and insect repellent for game drives and day trips. These weight restrictions also circle back to the importance of your choice of safari clothing. Picking lightweight safari clothing in technical fabrics means your wardrobe will not only be safari appropriate, but these quick-drying garments help you to minimise what you pack, allowing you to wash yourself or send to the lodge laundry without a worry.

Etosha National Park Shopping Guide

Every item available from The Safari Store has been safari and expedition tested to be the best for African travels. Use the shopping guide below to plan what to pack for a safari to Etosha National Park and use our intuitive safari packing list tool to generate a quick and easy checklist before you go.

Safari Clothing With Built-In Sun Protection
The best way to prevent sunburn is to cover up. If you're worried about wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers in hot weather conditions, our BUGTech™ and SAFARITech safari clothing is ultra-lightweight and wicks moisture to keep you cool - with lab-tested UPF50+ sun protection. BUGTech™ also provides insect defence for extra peace of mind on African travels. For the best sun and insect protection, don't forget to apply sunscreen and insect repellent.
Shop now >

Wide-Brimmed Safari Hat
A safari-stylish wide-brimmed hat is a classic sun protection accessory. The best way to keep the sun off your face and neck, opt for a hat with a chin strap and internal adjustable drawstring to secure your hat in windy conditions or on boat cruises or game viewers.
Shop now >

Warm Layer
It is a common misconception that Africa is hot all the time. Even in the summer months, it is a good idea to take a warm layer to avoid uncomfortable chills on the back of open game viewers at dawn or in the evenings. The best way to dress for Etosha is to wear layers that can be taken off as the day heats up and cools. Knitwear accessories are also a good way to beat the chill. While Etosha is dry for most of the year, it is always better to be safe than sorry by carrying a travel-friendly waterproof layer in a safari-friendly colour.
Shop now >

Binoculars are the number one packing essential for a safari. It is important to remember that not all binoculars are made equal - and poor-quality binoculars make for some frustrated moments at a sighting. Pack high-quality binoculars from reputable brands - preferably one pair per person.
Shop now >

Insect Repellent
When it comes to insects in Africa, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Remaining bite-free is not only a health concern. It can also affect the quality of your experiences and comfort. We only trust top bug spray brands on safari for their ability to reliably repel a range of different insects.
Shop now >

Comfortable Walking Shoes and Sandals
When it comes to footwear on safari, we like to mix and match comfortable, closed shoes with sandals. Walking in Africa is one of the best things you can do, but the wrong footwear is a hindrance in terms of comfort and distance. Closed, comfortable walking shoes or boots are perfect for sand-free, comfortable walking - and removes the worry around insects, snakes, and exposed toes. Give your feet a breather in the heat by wearing sandals.
Shop now >

Rechargeable Torches
Having a torch handy means you are always aware of what is around you at night. This is essential in wildlife areas or where insects and snakes are a concern - no matter where you are staying. If you are camping, it is also a good idea to bolster your trusty hand torch with a camping lantern or head torch in unlit camps. We've selected the best brands to light up the night between taking in the starlight on safari.
Shop now >

Non-Technical Comfortable Clothing in Safari Colours
Safari clothing in technical fabrics are our number one recommendation on safari, but we like to mix and match this with safari-friendly clothing in non-technical fabrics too. Pair convertible trousers and safari shirts in technical fabrics with our range of super comfy T-shirts, shorts, skorts, tights, cargoes, and joggers for the best of both worlds.
Shop now >

Safari Luggage and Bags
If your safari involves transfers by light aircraft, you need to give careful thought to your bags and luggage weight. Choose a soft, squashable bag in durable canvas and leather. Add safari-styled satchels and backpacks, toiletry bags, and passport holders for all-round safari style.
Shop now >

Namibia Safari Links:
Learning To Read A New Landscape: Destination Inspiration For Etosha National Park | Etosha National Park Quick Travel Tips | What To Pack For a Safari To Etosha National Park | Desert Namibia | Namib Naukluft National Park & Sossusvlei | Namib Desert and Namibrand | What To Pack For A Desert Namibia Safari | Quick Tips For The Namib Desert & a Desert Namibia Safari | Damaraland Links:
Damaraland Quick Travel Tips | What To Pack For A Safari To Damaraland in Namibia | Namibia Safari Destination Inspiration: Hobatere to Palmwag, Damaraland | Namibia Safari Destination Inspiration: Skeleton Coast To Twyfelfontein, Damaraland | Namibia Safari Destination Inspiration: Twyfelfontein and the Khowarib Schlucht, Damaraland |

View basket