Luggage & Practicals
Most safaris involve at least one domestic small flight which restricts luggage allowance to 15kg in soft sided bags. The best type of luggage for this purpose is around a 28 - 30" rolling duffle. I like one with a few outside pockets/compartments so that I don't lose all my bits and pieces in the central black hole. My main concern is with quality especially the durability of the fabric and the sturdiness of the zips so I would veer away from the very budget end for that reason. Either of the below would work:
30" Rolling Duffle
30" Rolling Duffle
When travelling with family I carry a small backpack which I use as hand luggage during the international flight and also for during the day on safari. I also carry a camera backpack that fits all my equipment. It works well to have one of each if travelling as a couple. This may sound strange but I love a good diaper backpack - lots of pockets to keep organized.
If you are going to be doing bush walks or treks then a packable lightweight daypack is worth considering.
The camera pack below is the one that I have - It has a padded sleeve in the back for a laptop or tablet, plenty of space in the front compartment for camera and lenses plus a big top compartment that will fit a lot of game drive essentials. If I am travelling alone this is all I need to carry daily.
In order to keep clothing and other items from becoming one big jumble during a safari involving multiple camps packing cubes help to keep it all in order - I pack one with t-shirts, one with pants/shorts, one for underwear etc ….. and they stack well inside the type of duffle above.
I also recommend a money belt to keep money and passports safe and on your person.
Raytix Money Belt
Raytix Money Belt
Bugs!! I prefer to avoid Deet products and find that that Picardin is an effective alternative. Wipes are a good choice especially with children and/or a combined bug spray/sunscreen isn't a bad idea. There are a million out there but I use the ones below.
Skin so soft
Sunscreen & Bug Spray
Deet Free Bug Wipes
Let's talk electrics …… Tanzania runs on 220v with UK-style plugs; 3 pin chunky rectangles like this.
Many camps now have universal charging strips as do our vehicles but it is always advisable to carry an adapter.
Most electronics do not need a converter - laptops, tablets, phones, camera batteries should be fine just plugged up to the simple adapter below (the blue one). If you want to use a converter then the one that I carry is the Bestek one below.
…..ahem …..ladies (and maybe a couple of gents) you may have to leave your hairdryer at home - if a camp or lodge allows or can cope with the voltage needed for a hairdryer then they usually supply one …. otherwise you are in danger of blowing the power to the whole camp; I know because I have done it!
multi port and USB
Adapter with surge protection
1 plug and 2 usb
Avoid white (gets dirty too quickly), blue (the testse flies love it) and dark colors (too hot). Keeping to neutral colors and lightweight fabrics is the best idea. Go for comfort over style with loose fit and stretch fabrics. A safari involves a lot of sitting so make sure those waistbands aren't too tight!
Most of our safaris include accommodation that offers complimentary laundry so 3 or 4 sets of clothing should be adequate for an average 10 night safari.
See the packing list for a complete list of what items to take.
Shirts and Tops
T-shirts and tanks are fine, I also like lightweight fishing shirts both ladies and gents - examples below or go to your local Academy or sports/outdoors store.
Columbia Fishing Shirt
Pants & Shorts
I prefer lightweight walking pants that can be rolled up from full length to crop/capri. Mornings can be cold and you want ankles covered in the evenings so these can be an all-day item of clothing and also great for any guided walks through scrub/bushy terrain. Another great option are the convertible pants to shorts style.
Columbia Saturday Trail
An essential safari item; the below are just suggestions - easy to pack, with good shade and a string so they don't fly off while you are enjoying the wind in your hair.