In your quest for adventure and the thrill of getting close to wildlife and nature, you might have decided to go ahead and book yourself a trip to Africa. Not only that, but you might have chosen what is perhaps, the most exciting way of experiencing the continent – going on a safari.
The term stems from the Swahili word meaning journey and it surely is a wildlife adventure of a lifetime. An overland trip through certain parts of Africa gives you a chance to fully immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery and get intimate with the landscape around you.
Although these trips are challenging, you will have a chance to see wildlife in their natural habitat up close, take part in exciting activities, get in touch with nature, and meet tribes along the way and learn about local cultures and their traditions.
However, as amazing as this sounds, one needs to be prepared for such a trip. Even though it is best to just bring what is necessary, there is still a lot of packing to do. From clothing, shoes, equipment, and everything in between, it might be difficult to know everything you might need.
So, here is a list of all the essentials you should bring with you when going on a safari.
What Gadgets Should You Bring?
1. A Good Camera
You will be closer to the wildlife than ever before, but you will still be at a good distance not only for safety reasons, but also to not disrupt the animals. And even though smartphones have great cameras now, they still won’t be able to get you decent pictures you are looking for. This is why it is best to bring one that has really good zoom features and even consider bringing extra lenses.
Additionally, if you are planning to photograph a lot, make sure you pack extra batteries, several memory cards, and your tripod. On the other hand, if you thought about taking beautiful aerial shots, you might be disappointed to hear that your drone should be left at home because they are banned in most places.
Do not forget to bring chargers for your phone, camera batteries, and any other electronics you might have brought with you. Packing a power strip might also prove useful since you will probably have a limited number of outlets you can use. You can check online and see if you will need an electrical adapter too and pack one if you do.
As already mentioned, although you will have a chance to see lions, monkeys, leopards, giraffes, cheetahs, zebras, and many other animals, they will still be further away from you. And what is the point of going on a safari if not to take a closer look at all of these beautiful creatures?
This is exactly why you should not forget to take a pair of binoculars with you, especially ones that offer you great magnification features. If you do not already own a pair and are unsure of what the best type or brand is, websites like Target Frog offer you reviews and a buying guide for any price range and budget.
4. Flashlight/ Headlamp
Once night sets in the African savanna, it can get quite dark in the bush. Using a headlamp or flashlight when walking around will keep you safe and help you avoid running into any creepy crawlers or even worse, predators. Make sure you choose a reliable gadget that offers enough brightness and light beam distance.
5. A Waterproof Bag/ Ziplock Bags
Whether you will need to use one or not mostly depends on the country you are visiting, the type of safari you are on, and of course, the season. However, it never hurts to at least bring along a few ziplock bags in case you need to protect your phone, documents, money, and everything else that is not waterproof.
6. A Small First-Aid Kit
It is always a good idea to have first-aid supplies on any trip you go on, but it might be even more important when going on a safari. Make sure you bring insect repellent, band-aids, antiseptic spray, gauze, anti-malaria and anti-nausea tablets, and wet wipes.
Of course, you should not embark on your journey without bringing along enough sunscreen to last you the entire trip.
7. A Useful Guidebook
If you decide to go on a guided tour, understandably, your guide will be able to answer all your questions and teach you many interesting facts. On the other, it never hurts to bring along a guidebook so that you will know what type of animal species you can expect to see and identify them on your own. Through the book, you will also be introduced to the culture and traditions of various African tribes you might encounter along the way.
What About Clothing?
Do not make the mistake of assuming that traveling to Africa means warm sunny days and comfortable mornings or evenings. Your choice of attire will depend on several factors, for example, the country you are traveling to, your surroundings, as well as practicality.
Optimally, you should pack 2 or 3 T-shirts and the same amount of blouses or shirts with long sleeves since they offer extra sun protection and shield you from mosquito bites. Bring both trousers and shorts, one to two pairs of each should be enough. A warm jacket is a must since mornings and evenings tend to be chilly and you will also need a windbreaker, a light raincoat, and of course, enough undergarments and socks.
Do not forget to bring a wide-brimmed hat, some sunglasses, and a bandana or scarf to protect you from the dust. Comfortable hiking or walking shoes are essential, as well as some sandals or flip flops.
Choose durable clothes, in colors that blend in with the environment. Avoid anything that is colored brightly and stay away from white clothing too. Black and blue attract a variety of insects such as mosquitoes and tsetse flies while camouflage is banned in Zimbabwe and is something that poachers or the military tend to wear.
One bag and one carry-on are all you need when packing for your safari adventure. And even though it is an activity you probably do not enjoy, take your time and make sure you have everything you need. This way, you can rest assured that you will have an amazing experience and the best trip possible.