Are you wondering what you should pack for your trip to Africa? What are the essentials? Why is it so important to bring a soft bag rather than a hard-shelled suitcase? Marion Bunnik recently returned from our spectacular small group tour to Kenya & Tanzania. Below we’ll detail her tips on what to bring if you’re thinking about exploring this fantastic continent.
1. Soft bags to hold your luggage. No hard suitcases allowed!
This is very important! When you begin packing for your trip, please note that all your items need to be contained within a soft bag due to luggage restrictions. In Africa, there is often limited storage space in light aircrafts and safari vehicles. Your bags will sometimes need to be squished into different vehicles and piled on top of your fellow traveller’s bags. To make this possible, it is essential that they are mallable!
Marion’s image illustrates the importance of bringing the correct luggage!
2. Sufficient clothing for safaris
Clothes for layering
The temperatures across Africa can be quite varied. Chilly mornings and nights can turn into very hot days. Consider packing clothes that can be used for layering, such as cardigans, scarves, jumpers and button-up shirts.
A large hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
These should be the first three things in your soft bag! Never underestimate the African sun. A light, fragrance-free sunscreen with a high SPF rating will do the job. Consider a floppy, wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and scalp (and cover up any bad cases of ‘safari hair’). Your favourite sunglasses will keep you from squinting and protect your eyes from the dirt and dust.
Some sturdy but comfortable sneakers will certainly come in handy if you are walking in the grass or across rocky areas. Don’t forget some open-toed options for while you are relaxing at the lodges.
Don’t miss out on any of the wildlife action!
It may be wise to pack some tea tree oil or Betadine, just in case you obtain any small ‘ouchies’.
5. ‘Not so easy to buy’ items
In some locations across Africa, it can be hard to get little items, such as snacks, mints, band aids, inspect spray, body lotion and extra toothpaste. It is best to bring these with you.
It may be useful to have a torch in your lodge room, especially if you forget where the light-switches are.
7. Any items to keep you comfortable
Keep some Panadol nearby and consider bringing some antihistamines if you suffer from hay feaver. You might even like to pack a small cushion to make sure you’re comfortable on the safari vehicles.