A complete packing list for a safari

A complete packing list for a safari: Well, most people have been asking this question of what to pack for a safari frequently and today, I decided to ease the stress of wondering about the packing list for any safari. In case you are planning for a safari any time from now, then relax and take a brief reading through this guide of what to pack for a safari. In the article, I am including the most crucial things that should be included in your packing list as you plan your memorable safari to any destination be it in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and many more. 

Most people especially those planning for long safaris know how tiresome it is to pack that back pack as you keep wondering what to include and what to exclude. This article acts as a guide to ease your stress as you choose the most essential items to pack. Ensure that you get your pen and keep ticking off which ever you buy and at the end of the day, you will find yourself with a full package ready for the adventure depending on which safari you intend to go on. Be it gorilla trekking Safari in Uganda, Rwanda or Democratic Republic of Congo, be it mountain hiking, wildlife viewing, leisure and many more.

While packing, ensure that all items are placed well to save space. Items like liquid staff that can leak easily should be first put in plastic bags before placing then in the back pack or any travel bag, heavy items have to be placed at the bottom of the bag and the light ones on top. However, some things that need to be used upon arrival should be on top of the pack or bag. Ensure that your clothes are rolled instead of folding them as rolled clothes take less space and sit well in the bag.

Below is a full list of the 35 most essential items you need to pack for your safari,

  1. Passport

A passport is one of the most important document and the essential item that every traveler must possess before embarking on any safari thus it should never miss out in your backpack. In fact, it should be the first thing to put in consideration while choosing your packing list for a safari because without a passport, trust me you won’t be able to travel further at some point. However this is mostly applicable for the foreigners. For Ugandan citizens and East African community member states, they can use their national IDs or driving permits though a passport is more preferred than the ID especially if one need to take a flight. At any given period of time, ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6months before setting off for a safari.

  1. Adaptors

Yes, you will need to include at least 2 adaptors in your packing list before setting off for your safari. These adaptors will help you in charging your camera, your laptop, your mobile phone, and as well help you connect your hair dryer and many other electronic appliances.

  1. Camera

Trust me if you forget your Camera at home, you will not fully enjoy your safari as you will fill like something is missing. You need to pack your camera and its charger as early as possible because you need to capture almost all moments our safari.

However, nowadays if your phone camera is of good quality then no worries, you may even opt to leave out the camera and use your phone otherwise a camera is a necessary item to include on your packing list for a safari. Remember to as well pack the camera charger and memory card.

  1. A power bank/ phone charger

Yes! I am sure we all know how it feels like when our phones run of battery while on a safari. Therefore, while planning your safari, ensure that a power bank is included in your pacing list to keep your phone on at all time as you communicate with your family and friends back home while enjoying your safari. Keeping your phone charged as well helps for in case you get lost in a particular place, it is very easy to put a google map and get direction back to your lodge therefore, a portable power bank is very essential..

  1. Underwear

Trust me some people usually pack all thing things perfectly and forget about the under wear. This sound funny right? But it’s the reality. Under wears should never miss out in any travelers backpack or travel bag at any given period of time. You may choose to wash your under wears when you have time at your lodge or if you have  a few days on a safari then it is better to pack the dirty under wears and other dirty clothes in a thin plastic bag and keep them well to be washed when you return to home. But in case you have a long safari, then better wash your under wears in case you don’t get out of your lodge and keep them well when dry.

Note: Avoid mixing up the dirty laundry with the clean thing, ensure that you always fold them well and place them in a plastic bag before returning them to the bag containing clean things.

  1. Clothes

Choosing the best clothes the pack for a safari is as well a tiring experience but with this guide, you will pack the best clothes for your safari. Make sure that you pack both light and warm clothes for your safari depending on the climatic conditions of the destination you intend to visit. In fact, the best way to know what to pack is by consulting a tour operator about the weather at the particular period of time you intend to travel and there you will be able to pack accordingly. The kind of activities you intend to do also matter most while choosing the clothes to pack. For instance, if you are planning a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, ensure that you park long sleeved clothes and a rain jacket since in the jungle it can rain at any given period of time. For game drives, you can pack your light clothes since you will mostly be in the car, for hiking you need light clothes depending on the hike you intend to do. There are some hikes that require both light and worm attire since the higher you go, the cooler it becomes. Therefore, the activity you intend to do determines the kind of clothes to pack.

  1. A water proof MAC

While planning your safari, ensure that a Mackintosh is included in your backing list. Packing a hooded MAC is an added advantage as it will protect you in case of rainfall while on a safari. The weather especially in countries like Uganda is always unpredictable thus a MAC should never miss out in your backpack. Ensure that you choose a light weight one since it will always.

  1. Water proof walking shoes

Water proof walking shoes are as well essentials for safari especially for those planning to do walking safaris like Gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, mountain climbing, Golden monkey trekking, nature walks and many other activities that require walks.

  1. A sleeping bag

If you are interested in camping, then a sleeping bag should as well be included in your packing list. However, most of the lodges and hotels usually provide the best sleeping linen to ensure that you have the best sleep during your safari.

  1. Socks

Pack some good pairs of socks as they are essential for your safari. They help in protecting your feet from getting hurt by the shoes especially during long walks on your safari. In case you are visiting a cold destination, ensure that you pack long thick socks to keep your feet warm. As well pack ankle stocking if you need to wear your best trainers while on a city tour and many more.

  1. Dollars

While planning your safari, ensure that you carry with you enough dollars and avoid exchanging them at the airport. Try to find a best exchange rate within the nearby cities. Make a best accountability of how much you will require per day and carry the money in the same limits to avoid carrying less or more. Travelling with dollars makes your safari good since there are several forex bureaus around the world that enable exchange of dollars into local currencies and besides some lodges also prefer payments in dollars than in local currencies.

  1. A water bottle

You could be wondering why you need a water bottle on a safari. Well, a water bottle help you to carry water at any time keeping you hydrated while enjoying your safari. Basically a reusable water bottle is the best choice as it saves your money in buying water bottles every time and as well keep the environment clean. 

  1. Hair products

You need to pack some hair products that you need to use while on safari. Some lodges especially luxury lodge provide some essential hair products like shampoo, hair gel, and hair drier. However, it is better if you pack some in your backpack for incase your lodge doesn’t provide them.

  1. Painkillers

It is very important to pack some painkillers while on your safari and any other medicine like that for allergy. This will help you in case of headache, muscle pain, fatigue, stomach ache and many more while on safari since change in environment sometimes affect some people differently.

  1. A towel

A towel is worth packing while choosing the packing list for your safari. Ensure that you carry a light towel since you don’t need to take a big space of your bag. However, most of the lodges and hotels do provide towels for their clients. 

  1. A body wash

You personally need a body wash for your safari though, some of the lodge do provide the shower gels in their bathroom but carrying your own would save you the embarrassment of not finding one in your bathroom. Grab an empty reusable bottle and pour a few body wash that will take you throughout the trip.

  1. Moisturizer

Your skin needs to be moisturized at all the time while on your safari therefore, remember to pack your moisturizer. This protects you from drying out due to sun and cold.

  1. Deodorant

A roll on deodorant is the best choice as you plan your safari. Ensure that you buy it in time and pack it well since it is small and saves the space for other items that need to be packed in the same bag. The reason as to why roll-on is the best choice for deodorants is that the spray deodorant may not be good for other travelers on your lodge since people have their underling medical conditions like Asthma and some are generally allergic to spray.

  1. Sun cream

Since most people prefer travelers during dry months, expect sun at any time thus packing a sun cream is a fascinating thing you can do to protect your precious skin from sun burns.

  1. Out fits for outings and shoes

In case you are a party animal, remember to pack your best attire for the night outings. You well know the best outfit you need to rock the club so pack at least 2 to 3 party out fits to avoid filling up your bag.

Do not forget about the shoes. I recommend that you choose the best shoes which can be wore during the day as well as at night like trainer shoes, flat bikers, converse shoes and maybe heels for those who wish to go outing in a place that is very fancy.

  1. A first Aid Kit

While planning for what to pack for a safari, ensure that you remember to pack a first aid kit. This is as well an essential in every travelers backpack.

  1. Garden gloves, a cap, a scarf and sun glasses

While they seem small, they are supposed to never miss out in every travelers backpack. For example, if you are travelling to a destination that has winter, remember to carry these handy items as well as when planning to visit Uganda for a gorilla trek.

  1. A toothbrush and toothpaste

Your teeth need to be clean always. Therefore, a toothbrush should be in your backpack before you set off otherwise, you will need to buy it upon landing. Obviously, a toothbrush goes hand in hand with the toothpaste and they are both essential for a safari.

  1. Ear plugs

You need to pack at least 2 pairs of ear plugs to help you in case you need to enjoy your sleep without interactions by noise since at the accommodation there are various travelers from different destination and you never know whether they won’t make noise especially after late night outings but with earplugs, you won’t hear such noise, you will sleep like a baby.

A complete packing list for a safari
A complete packing list for a safari
  1. A swimming gear

If you are a water lover like me, pack your swim gears that are easy to wash such that you can re wear them. 2 or 3 can be enough depending on length of your safari

  1. Shaver

Depending on how long you wish to spend on the safari, try to pack your shaver to keep your beards and other hair short while enjoying you safari. There are both reusable and disposable shavers so may the choice depending on your wish and how often you think you will need to use them. But the reusable ones are the best choice. 

  1. A spare mobile phone

You may need a spare phone for your safari for just in case of an emergency. You may choose to buy a cheap small phone and upon landing you buy a sim card that works abroad to help you connect with your people back home. Trust me this is necessary to include on your packing list while planning a safari.

  1. Coffee Cup

A reusable coffee cup is the best choice for a safari whether you want a hot coffee from a nearby café or at your lodge or even in your own private room, a cup is crucial.

  1. Sandals

You may choose to either pack sandals or Flip flops for your safari especially during summer time or dry season since you need a comfortable foot wear that won’t stress your feet while on an adventure. Choose a best quality that will keep you moving throughout your safari.

  1. Backpack rain cover

If your backpack doesn’t have a rain cover, then it is your responsibility to ensure that you buy 1to ensure that all your things in the backpack are safe and dry at all the time as you move from one place to another.

  1. Reading Material 

Buy yourself some reading materials like Novels, phrase books, travel guide books and many other that will keep you busy while on long travels in planes or trains. Since some books are heavy, then you will need to at least pack one of them not all. You can as well use internet to get some reading material.

  1. Lip balm

Yes I said lip balm: Your lips need to keep soft at all the time since some lips be affected and damaged by sun, a moisturizing lip balm will be your savior as it protects lips from the sun burn just like you need a sun cream for your skin.

  1. Snacks

I repeat it, Snacks! Try to pack a little snacks in your backpack like biscuits, chocolates and any other snack that will give you a taste of your cravings while on a safari at any given period of time.

  1. A torch

A torch is as well a necessity while packing for a safari as it helps you for in case you are planning a camping safari, an early morning walk or a night walk or even when you feel like not turning on the lights in your room.

  1. A padlock

A padlock is really important. After packing your bag well, you need to lock it up and protect your belongings safely. You may choose to buy a normal padlock or opt to use a code padlock. In fact a code padlock is the best option as it helps to avoid the stress of losing the key at any time or having to move with the key every time. Ensure that you use an easy code which is easy to remember as long as it is not like 123 etc which is easy for anybody to manipulate.

With the above, I am sure you will choose wise wisely what to pack for your next travel.