Safari Packing Suggestions
Your packing list will vary depending on the season and the specific areas you plan to visit.
You can check current temperatures/weather forecast at www.qwikcast.com. In general:
- Mornings and evenings are often cool.
- If you’re out on a game drive early or late during the cooler season, it can be downright cold!
- Mid-day temperatures tend to be quite warm (sometimes hot!).
Clothing — General
Given the above, packing with layers in mind is important. To layer while also packing light, use clothing items made with lightweight, quick-dry, versatile fabrics. They are worth the investment! Many camps/lodges offer laundry service, so you can wear items multiple times.
If you’re spending time in a large city, you might pack one “smart casual” outfit. In respecting the local cultures, it is recommended that women wear a skirt or shorts that cover their knees when visiting local people in the rural area.
Clothing — Safaris
On safari, the emphasis should be on practical and casual clothing. One strategy to packing light is to do what the safari guides do: Have “a uniform” for your safari outings. Khaki/beige shorts and shirts are ideal as they are least likely to attract the animal’s attention … and least likely to need washing.
Luggage and Weight Restrictions
Charter / Light Air Flights: For safety and space reasons, all charter/light air flights to remote locations have luggage weight restrictions. Including carry-on items, camera bag and equipment, passengers are generally restricted to:
Southern Africa: 33 lbs (15 kgs) or 44 lbs (20 kgs)
East Africa: 33 lbs (15 kgs)
Charter companies request you use “soft luggage” (no hard suitcases can be transported as they physically cannot fit into the aircraft), usually with maximum dimensions of 36”x12”. Some companies do not allow wheeled luggage and restrict the dimensions to 10″ x 12″ x 24″. Please see your itinerary for exact weight limits for your specific trip.
It is very important that you adhere to these restrictions as the pilot can refuse to fly you if your luggage is over the weight limit or not in a soft bag. If by chance you have a special need to carry additional weight, depending on your routing and with advance notice, payments can be made for the additional weight and/or arrangements can be made to have some luggage stored for you along the way. Please contact us for details.
Regional Commercial Flights: Note that most all of the regional commercial flights restrict carry-on luggage to 15 lbs (7 kgs).
Suggested Packing List
Print out our “Safari Packing Checklist” as a helpful reference when preparing to depart.
*Note check out www.globalsojourns.com/blog for a detailed list of what one of us packed for a 2-week safari.
Electrical & Adapters
The electrical current is 240v/50Hz. Plugs vary by region and country and sometimes… within a country!
In Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, sockets are usually 3 prong square (British type). In Namibia and South Africa, sockets are primarily 3 prong round.
In East Africa, plugs are typically 3 prong square (British type) and sometimes 2 round pin (European).
While some hotels/lodges may have adapters, it is best to travel with your own. Our recommendation is to travel with a universal travel adapter (all-in-one adapter), and if spending significant time in Namibia or South Africa, a 3 prong round adapter will have to be purchased separately as these are not included in the universal travel adapters.
Many safari camps are situated in remote areas and operate on generators for a limited number of hours per day. In the event you need to charge electronic equipment, the camp staff will assist you with this. It is advisable to always bring a spare battery. Few electronics require a transformer these days but if you’re bringing an item such as a hair dryer, check to see if one is needed.
*Note see http://www.travelproducts.com/electricity_guide.htm for more information on conversion tables, plugs and adapters around the globe.
Items for Bartering at Markets
Some clients have enjoyed bartering for souvenirs at local markets (e.g. the market next to Victoria Falls in Livingstone). Some of the items sought after by vendors include clothing (e.g. pants, t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts) and pens. If you plan to do some shopping at the end of your trip, this can be a good way to make room for your souvenirs!
A Few Favorite Products from Fellow Sojourners
- ExOfficio Air Strip shirts
- ExOfficio quick dry underwear (for men and women)
- Gramicci QwikDry pants and shorts
- Eagle Creek Luggage – the Switchback model, carry on size
- Merrill and Keen shoes: walking, running and hiking options
- TeaTree Oil Ointment (an all around great item to have in your toiletries bag)
Website Resources for Travel Stores/Products