After dark on safari: travel & outdoor torches
It is essential to pack a good torch (flashlight) when in the outdoors - and for your safari. With many unfenced safari camps in Africa, you will be able to spot and avoid wildlife which has wondered into camp at night - and avoid insects and snakes in the darkness. Travel prepared in case of limited light late at night.
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.