What to Pack for an Unforgettable Southern Africa Safari Adventure

Posted on Thu September 21, 2023.

Embarking on a safari adventure is a dream come true for many of our Scandinavian and European travellers. Whether you're headed to the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Zimbabwe's Chobe or the Okavango Delta - packing appropriately is essential to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience in the wild.

Here's our Gonana Travel-approved comprehensive guide on what to pack for a safari:

1. Clothing:

  • Neutral-coloured Clothing: Opt for neutral and earthy tones like khaki, brown, and green to blend in with the natural surroundings and avoid startling wildlife.
  • Lightweight, Long-Sleeved Shirts and Pants: These protect you from the sun and insects while keeping you cool.
  • A Lightweight Jacket or Fleece: It can get chilly during early morning and evening game drives, especially from May - October.
  • Comfortable Closed-Toe Shoes: Sturdy, closed shoes are essential for walking safaris and for protection from thorns and insects.
  • Wide-brimmed Hat or Fedora: Protect yourself from the sun's harsh rays with a hat that provides shade for your face and neck - and another not-so-important reason is to be able to look the part when posting on your Instagram feed.
  • Swimsuit: Some lodges or camps have pools, and a swimsuit can come in handy.
  • Pyjamas: Choose lightweight, long-sleeved pajamas to protect against mosquitoes at night.

2. Gear:

Binoculars: A good pair of binoculars enhances your wildlife viewing experience!
Camera and Accessories: Don't forget your camera with extra batteries, memory cards, and a zoom lens to capture those incredible moments - but even a good iPhone or Android will do as you generally get quite close to the action out in the Southern African bush. 
Flashlight or Headlamp: Essential for navigating around your camp at night, although, many lodges already have these in your room.
Power Bank: Keep your devices charged in case of emergencies when the power goes out, or for those dreamy nights spent lying underneath the stars on a safari. 

3. Medical Supplies:

Ensure you have an adequate supply of any prescription medications you may need, although, in South Africa in particular the pharmacies are all well stocked and nearby. However, in other destinations getting medicine isn't as accessible. 

4. Toiletries:

Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the strong African sun - and if possible, try to buy sunscreen that is marine friendly (let's all do our bit to keep our oceans clean).
Insect Repellent: A must-have to ward off mosquitoes and other insects, although, many lodges already have this in your room - however, rather be overprepared!
Personal Hygiene Items: Travel-sized items are practical and save space, but as mentioned above South Africa has many shops to purchase personal items from, but other surrounding countries may not be as readily stocked.

*Remember that luggage space on safari vehicles can be limited, so pack efficiently and avoid overpacking. Many safari lodges offer laundry services, so you can pack lighter and rewear clothing if needed.

5. Travel Documents:

Passport and Visa: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date.
Travel Insurance: It's crucial to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost luggage.

6. Miscellaneous:

Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is vital, so a refillable water bottle is eco-friendly and practical.
Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the sun's glare.
Notebook and Pen: Great for journaling your experiences and jotting down wildlife sightings - you are more than welcome to share some of your notes with us afterwards!
Daypack or Safari Bag: A small backpack is handy for carrying your essentials during game drives.
Travel Adapter: Check the plug type used in your destination and bring the appropriate adapter for charging your devices.

7. Cash and Credit Cards:

Local Currency: Carry some local currency for small expenses in remote areas.
Credit/Debit Cards: Inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid card issues abroad.

By following this packing guide, you'll be well-prepared for your safari adventure with Gonana Travel - and if you have any other questions please do get in touch with Joy and the team who will be able to assist you.