What To Pack For A Safari To Hwange National Park

C. Fraser Claire

Preparing for a Zimbabwe Safari: What To Pack For a Safari To Hwange National Park

Pack Your Bags With The Best Of The Essentials For a Safari To Hwange National Park

Hwange Links:
Hwange National Park Quick Travel Tips | Hide and Seek In Hwange National Park: Destination Inspiration for Zimbabwe | What To Pack For a Safari To Hwange National Park |

What To Pack For Safari To Hwange National Park by The Safari Store

What To Pack For A Safari To Hwange National Park

As the country's largest national park, Hwange National Park is a top destination for anyone planning a Zimbabwe safari. When it comes to the question of what to pack for a safari to Hwange National Park, climate is an important guiding feature of our advice. The diversity of landscapes makes for great game-viewing, giving guests the chance to experience golden savannah and grasslands, moody and memorable woodland, and sometimes desolate mopani scrubland. The dry season runs from July to October, when daytime temperatures are moderate, but it's important to prepare for the cold. The wet season occurs between December and March and very high temperatures and stormy conditions will impact what you pack.

What to pack for safari to Hwange National Park - men's safari shirt by The Safari Store

Stay Bite- and Burn-Free in Hwange With The Right Safari Clothing
Our trip to Hwange was in October - a time of year with incredibly high daytime temperatures and dry conditions. I took a photo of the car thermostat showing 40 degrees Celsius / 104 degrees Fahrenheit at 4pm, making day-long sun protection a must for this Zimbabwe safari. We took in the sights and sightings without sunburn and bug bites by applying (and frequently reapplying) sunscreen and insect repellent - and covering up in light and cool BUGTech™ clothing like the Everyday Shirt for men and women.

Shop Safari & Warm-Weather Clothing >

Safari Packing Advice For Hwange National Park

  • Pack Sun Protective Clothing and Accessories: Temperatures during the dry season are a little more moderate, but sun protective safari clothing and accessories are essential whenever you choose to travel. Your best defence against the sun is to cover up. Our lightweight BUGTech™ and SAFARITech safari clothing has built-in UPF50+ sun protection - and this feather-light technical fabric is cool and moisture wicking for warm weather conditions. Apply and re-apply sunscreen throughout the day. Our range has been extensively expedition and safari tested to offer top performance in Africa. Protect your face and neck by wearing a wide-brimmed safari hat and accessorise with sun protective garments like the Vintage Print Head&Neck Scarf, made from nanoweave fabric that offers UPF50+ sun protection for your neck on game drives, walks, and while you are out and about.

  • Prepare For Heat - But Always Pack A Warm Layer: While the daytime temperatures get very high in Hwange National Park, it can get cold at night. You will go on early morning and evening game drives - and packing a warm layer for the chill will stop you shivering your way through sightings on the back of open game viewers. A fleece or safari jacket should be on every safari packing checklist, all year round. A beanie and scarf in safari-friendly colours are also a good idea for extra snugness. During our summer safari to Hwange National Park, I wore my lightweight BUGTech™ Safari Jacket (available in men's and women's styles) every day - and was pleased to have an extra warm layer to fall back on.

  • Layer Up: The best way to dress for safari in Hwange National Park is to wear layers. This helps you to adapt as the day heats up. As mentioned above, keep a fleece or jacket handy, but wearing versatile clothing helps with this. A long-sleeved safari shirt is the ideal shirt for covering up to avoid sunburn. Pick shirts with roll-up sleeve tabs to make the change to short sleeves as needed. Similarly, convertible trousers mean you can start the day in longs, but seamlessly zip off the legs into shorts during the day.

  • Avoid Disease, Discomfort, and Distraction With Insect Defence: Hwange National Park is in a medium- to high-risk malaria area. Please consult with your doctor before travelling. The best first defence against insect-borne disease is to avoid getting bitten in the first place. Bushman Insect Repellent is a top Australian-made brand and our go-to bug spray for safari, offering protection against a range of insects and eight hours of protection against mosquitoes. Don't do DEET? Mosi-guard Extra Natural Bug Spray offers the same level of protection with an all-natural citriodiol active that is used in insect repellents around the world. It offers up to ten hours' protection against mosquitoes and other insects. No matter which insect repellent variety you choose, be sure to apply and re-apply regularly to be safe. When it comes to how much insect repellent to pack, we recommend two bottles per person per week of travel - and it's always better to have too much rather than too little. Pair effective insect repellent with our BUGTech™ anti-insect safari clothing for an extra layer of defence and cover up to avoid bites. Disease is not the only concern. An insect defence strategy also means you avoid the discomfort of bites and the annoyance of insects, so you get unfettered enjoyment of this beautiful destination.

  • See More Through High-Quality Binoculars: High-quality binoculars are the top safari essential - no matter where you go in Africa. This safari essential helps you to watch the action - even from a distance - in crystal clear detail. With over 400 bird species on record in Hwange National Park, binoculars are the top tool for amateur and seasoned birdwatchers. If you're not ready to invest in top brands, use our safari binocular rental service (UK only).

  • Feet First Into A Walking Safari: There is nothing better than walking in the African bush - and this is an opportunity every visitor should take if it is available. Whether you go on a short walk or longer trail, pack blister-free socks in safari-friendly colours and comfortable walking boots or shoes. On walks, the colour of your clothing is especially important. BUGTech™ safari clothing is available in safari-friendly colours and offers a range of features for comfort and protection on walking safaris.

  • Technical Fabric is Tops, But Pack Comfortable Favourites Too: Our top recommendation for safari clothing is to choose technical fabrics for comfort and protection in warm-weather conditions. We always mix and match BUGTech™ safari clothing with non-technical clothing in safari-friendly colours - like the Serengeti range for women and the Savute range for men. Every garment in these ranges have been designed around comfort - and they are a great option for hours on game viewers or planes - but also around the lodge and out and about.

  • A Soft and Squashable Bag For Safari: If your Zimbabwe safari itinerary involves a flight by private charter, avoid packing your belongings into a hard-sided suitcase. These flights have strict restrictions around weight and volume and will need to be squashed into the hold, making a hardy canvas and leather duffel bag the best option for safari travel. It is also a good idea to use this kind of bag if you are taking a road transfer as part of a group. Don't forget to take along a satchel or backpack as a day pack to carry your binoculars, sunscreen, insect repellent, and other game drive and travel essentials.

  • Take a Torch: If you are planning a self-drive safari with camping as part of the mix, a rechargeable torch is a necessity for nighttime around camp. This is a useful safari accessory for any safari traveller for safety and navigation after dark in Africa.

Hwange National Park Shopping Guide

Whether you are a newcomer to safari or a seasoned safari-goer, packing the best made-for-purpose safari clothing and gear can make all the difference to your travels. Shop our top essentials below, get a free, intuitive safari packing list, or get in touch with us for personalised safari packing advice.

BUGTech™ and SAFARITech Safari Clothing
Protect your skin from the sun and get insect defence properties built into your clothing with BUGTech™. Made from ultra-lightweight ripstop fabric, it has built-in insect defence, UPF50+ sun protection; it wicks moisture, is quick-drying, and has an anti-microbial finish - high-performance features for Africa and adventure travels. SAFARITech offers the same features, but without the anti-insect finish for high-performance UPF clothing. Take a mixture of long-sleeved safari shirts with roll-up sleeve tabs and convertible trousers for versatility throughout the day.
Shop now >

Super Comfy, Safari-Friendly Clothing
My ideal safari outfit balances safari clothing in technical fabrics with super comfy favourites in safari-friendly colours. The Savute safari clothing range for men and the Serengeti safari clothing range for women are chic and stylish items that will easily become everyday favourites.
Shop now >

Safari Jackets, Fleeces, and Knitwear
Even at the hottest time of year, it's essential to travel with a warm layer. On the back of open game-viewers or taking in the sunrise or starlight on safari, stay comfortable and combat the chill in the air by packing a fleece jacket in safari colours, a safari jacket, and knitwear or a tubular scarf. If you are travelling during the rainy season (November to April), it is also a good idea to take a waterproof layer in case of summer storms.
Shop now >

A Wide-Brimmed Safari Hat
A wide-brimmed safari sun hat is an essential sun protection accessory. Our range includes flat-packable hat options - and our Mara&Meru™ and Rufiji™ hat brands include a detachable chin strap and have an adjustable internal drawstring for a secure fit on the back of windy game-viewers.
Shop now >

Insect Repellent
Avoid disease, discomfort, and the irritation of insect bites with effective insect repellent. Bushman Insect Repellent is a reliable DEET bug spray that is effective at repelling mosquitoes and a range of insects. If you prefer to go the natural route, Mosi-guard Extra Natural Bug Spray contains an active ingredient derived from oil of lemon eucalyptus. Ensure you pack enough to apply and re-apply as needed during the day and at night.
Shop now >

High-Quality Safari Binoculars
Top-quality optics are a lifelong tool for nature-lovers - and they are our number one safari packing essential for enhanced game-viewing and bird-watching. Our selection of safari binoculars have been chosen for clarity and performance from some of the leading brands in the world.
Shop now >

Shoes and Boots For Safari
Pack safari footwear for every leg of your adventure - and go prepared for guided walks should the opportunity present itself for you to go while you are there. Take a mix of walking shoes, comfortable shoes, and sandals - and a pair of blister-free socks for safari.
Shop now >

Soft and Squashable Safari Luggage
Soft, squashable duffel bags are the best-suited luggage for safari. Whether there is a flight by private charter or road transfer as part of your Hwange travel plans, a cotton canvas and leather holdall should be your bag of choice for African travels.
Shop now >

Bags and Satchels For Safari
Keep small accessories and essentials with you by packing them into a shoulder bag or satchel.
Shop now >

Torches, Headlamps, and Lanterns for Safari
Keep an eye out for wildlife and everything that creeps and crawls - especially in low light and at night - by packing a reliable, rechargeable torch, headlamp, or lantern.
Shop now >

Hwange Links:
Hwange National Park Quick Travel Tips | Hide and Seek In Hwange National Park: Destination Inspiration for Zimbabwe | What To Pack For a Safari To Hwange National Park |

View basket