A classic African Safari is an experience everyone ought to have at least once in their life. Be it at Tsavo National Park in Kenya or a dive into the Akagera Park in Rwanda, experiencing animals in their natural home is a life changing experience. It is important to ensure we are practicing sustainable ethical safari and this starts from what you are packing for your trip.
An ethical safari aims to protect the wildlife, the natural habitat of the wildlife and respecting their space. Not sure what to pack as you plan for your one of a lifetime safari, worry not, here are some essentials you should always have.
There are no rules set on stone when it comes to dressing while on safari. However, comfort is key to ensuring you enjoy your time on holiday. It is important to pay attention to the weather, the type of transportation you are using and the area you will be visiting so you can pack effectively. When packing your safari outfits, here are some things to put into consideration.
- Avoid clothes that are too bright. You want to blend into the environment and not attract unwanted attention while deep in the animal reserves. This works to keep you safe as well. Stick to colors that are neutral such as browns, greens and khaki materials.
- Avoid clothing that easily stains. White might look good for your instagram post but it is not a practical color for a safari. This is nature and getting dirty is a great possibility.
- It might look cool to wear camouflage but it is not advisable. Many army officers, wildlife protection officers and even poachers tend to dress in camouflage and you do not want to attract that kind of attention. In kenya, camouflage clothing has been outlawed.
- Pack shoes that protect your feet from thorny bushes, grass and crawling animals. Replace your open sandals with a comfortable pair of boots or sneakers.
- As you avoid bright colors, be weary of black too. Black clothing tends to attract tsetse flies whose bites you don’t want to experience.
- Ensure you pack both warm and light clothing as the african weather tends to shift from very hot during the day and very cold at night. Layering is important when on safari.
Here are some essential pieces of clothing that you will need while on safari:
- Hiking trousers/ pants at least two
- Long sleeved tops
- Short sleeve tops/ t shirts
- A warm jacket
- A windbreaker jacket
- Undergarments and socks
- A wide brimmed hat
- A raincoat
2.Toiletries and Medication
Many hotels and campsites are located in the middle of the wildlife reserves and it is therefore important to carry eco-friendly toiletries and personal products. Many times the water used to shower and clean up flows back into the environment and is recycled. Do your part by carrying eco friendly shampoo, toothpastes and shower gels or soap.
Do not forget to carry any medication that you take regularly and antihistamines if you are prone to allergies. It is important to also pack eco-friendly insect repellents. Avoid oils and perfumes that attract insects to you. If this trip is your first in recent times, ensure you carry pain medicine and diarrhea medicine in case you try new foods that do not agree with you.
The most exciting part of a safari is creating memories. As you go on a game viewing drive, a pair of binoculars is important to have. As you safari ethically, it is important not to go off the designated roads and binoculars will help see the animals that are far off from the roads without disrupting the ecosystem.
A great zoom camera is essential if you want to capture great wildlife pictures. As amazing as smartphone cameras have become, nothing comes close to a wide angle lens camera to capture these beauties in their natural habitat. Ensure you pack extra batteries, chargers and lens covers for your cameras. It would be a real bummer if your battery died just as the lions hunted.
The African savanna gets super dark when the sun sets. Hotels and campsites may offer lamps and lighting options but it doesn’t hurt to have back up. Having a good flashlight will be beneficial for moving around your area of accommodation without stepping on small animals on your pathway eg Mr. Snake.
Other important things to pack as you head on to your incredible adventure include:
- A waterproof bag
- Waterproof covering if a waterproof bag is not available
- Your favorite guide book so that you identify the animals
- A recyclable water bottle
- Ensure you check with the country and place of visit for all the paperwork you will need and pack them all. Eg passport, ID, vaccination certificates etc
That’s it, you are now ready for your next safari adventure! Pack up and have some fun on your well organized ethical safari.
The core of T4P is to create a positive impact while travelling. This blog is all about sharing valuable, fun gems on impact travel, living with purpose and insights into Kenya, our home!
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