African Safari Gear Packing List - What To Take Along

The last thing you want on an African safari is to realise that you have left any important safari gear behind.

Because of the nature of safari there are some things that are essential to take with and others that you can do without because they are only going to add to your luggage weight.

This is a listing of some of the "must have" safari gear you need to pack to take along which forms a part of the full safari packing list that you can print out to tick off each item as you go along.

This safari packing list is based on the packing advice and recommendations from a collection of safari trip reports and my own experience in packing for the dozens of safaris that I have been on...


If you are going on a walking safari it's essential that you get the safari clothing right. Bright colours are definitely to be avoided.

My wife and I went on a walking safari in Botswana and we came across a group of elephant that the tracker wanted to take us closer to but because my wife was wearing a red shirt she had to wait further away for fear of the elephants noticing us. So remember to pack the following safari gear...

  • Clothing in neutral colours: khaki, light brown/green, tan. Avoid bright colours and white for improved game viewing.
  • Comfortable non-synthetic short- and long sleeved safari shirts (2 or 3 of each)
  • Comfortable non-synthetic shorts and long trousers (2 or 3 of each)

    Every safari company worth its salt should have a first aid kit available for use by its clients so it might be a good idea to check with them first if they do and what it contains.

    But if you have specific medicine requirements then take it with as it might not be available in the areas you are going on safari in.

    • Sun block and after sun
    • Towel - travel towel is light and takes very little space
    • Skin cream
    • Insect repellent/mosquito coils (do not use coils in tent)
    • Anti-malaria medication
    • Citronella or other body soap/shower gel
    • Wet wipes/hand sanitizer or no-water/antibacterial soap ? very handy in the Landrover etc.
    • Band aids and moleskin
    • Pocket knife (Swiss/Leatherman type)
    • Small scissors, if not on your Leatherman/Swiss knife
    • Small unbreakable mirror
    • Plastic bags (wet washing/muddy shoes/organise clothes in suitcase)
    • Book to read between game viewing and other leisure time
    • String/rope (washing line, tying sleeping bag, multitude of uses!!)
    • Cold/flu tablets
    • Allergy remedy
    • Some people take a basic antibiotic in case
    • Prescribed medicine (enough to last your trip)


  • The thing to remember when choosing safari luggage is mobility. You might be moving between several different modes of transport (airplanes, cars, light aircraft, trucks, boats) so plan accordingly.
  • Suitcases with wheels don't work very well in the African bush but they are adequate if you don't mind carrying them. (A good safari company will probably have someone on hand to carry your luggage for you).
  • A daypack is very handy to transport the safari gear you need while driving around in the safari vehicle or walking through the bush

    There is one item of safari gear that you should never be without on your trip and that is binoculars.

    The frustration of seeing an animal in the distance and not being able to take a closer look because you don't have a good pair of binocs is intense.

    Many safari companies do supply them for you but they might be a little battered and bent with use and you will also have to share them with other members of the group which will mean less viewing time for you.

    • Binoculars (essential safari gear)
    • Torch
    • Camera and film (can be expensive and/or difficult to obtain) and extra flash batteries and lens cleaner
    • If taking a digital camera: memory stick(s)/data card(s), charger and extra batteries
    • Small bean bag to substitute a tripod
    • Sleeping bag (may be supplied by safari company so check first)
    • Travel pillow, or you can use your polar fleece/windbreaker
    • Small calculator (or if you're taking your mobile phone) for currency calculations
    • Money belt


    Visa requirements are an important consideration especially if you are going on safari in multiple African countries as some of them have different visa terms. Your travel agent or safari operator should be able to help you with this so make sure you check with them...

    Scotland - The New White Water Rafting Capital of Europe

    Scotland has taken its place as the new Mecca for... Read More

    Inflatable Boat Trailers

    An inflatable boat trailer is needed if the user has... Read More

    Three Classic Hikes Abroad

    Paul Scott Mower once said, "There is nothing like walking... Read More

    Old Barney -- A Visit to Barnegat Light, New Jersey

    Barnegat Light, NJ is the home to "Old Barney" a... Read More

    Visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park

    If anyplace on earth is a natural paradise, Plitvice Lakes... Read More

    Dont Forget that Camping Gear Checklist Before You Leave on that Family Camping Adventure

    A camping gear checklist is an important tool to help... Read More

    River Rafting in the Grand Canyon

    Rafting through the Grand Canyon is the experience of a... Read More

    Your Virgin Bushwalk

    Isn't it time you stepped out of the concrete jungle... Read More

    Whitewater Rafting Trip

    For the dedicated water sport enthusiast there can be no... Read More

    Code of Conduct for Outdoor Enthusiasts

    My favorite outdoor related quote comes from John Muir, the... Read More

    What You Need to Know About - Camping Vacations

    Camping is a delightful and adventurous way to spend your... Read More

    Shark Attacks! How Common are They? Where do They Occur?

    Last week in Australia, one man's day at beach could... Read More

    Plymouth Plantation and Mayflower ? Links to Our Past Guide, Part 1

    Plimoth Plantation and the Mayflower II ship are major attractions... Read More

    How To Buy a Used RV - Part 2

    The key to getting a good bargin, instead of a... Read More

    Kerala Backwaters - Gently Down the Stream

    The quaint little balcony was large enough to accommodate two... Read More

    Ultralight Backpacking Skills - A Three Day Test

    On Lake Michigan, at the end of the Stonington Peninsula,... Read More

    A Retired, Single RVer Travels

    For some 30 years I practiced law in Mesa, Arizona.... Read More

    A Review of Popular River Rafting Trips and Services

    Organized river rafting trips are a good idea for novices... Read More

    PaintBall Gun Buying Tips

    There are so many selections available when it comes to... Read More

    Alternatives to Pressurized Fuel

    Recently I attended a Boy Scout Leader Roundtable meeting where... Read More

    All the Way to Timbuctu

    Yes, it's real. There is a place called Timbuktu and... Read More

    Catch Another Falling Star

    Recently we stayed at a state campground in Michigan near... Read More

    Camping - Get Those Tents Up!

    Have you ever thought you might like to try a... Read More

    The American Picnic ? Make Yours Memorable

    We love spending time outdoors and if you are expecting... Read More

    Planning Your Own Gorilla Safari Will Save You Money - Heres How

    Going on a gorilla safari must rank as one of... Read More