You’ve been dreaming about your African adventure for months, you’ve finally booked your ticket turning your dreams into a reality, and now you stand before your suitcase wondering what to pack. Perhaps it is a return trip so the overwhelm is less, however as a first timer there are a few packing trips one should take heed of! You do not want to be lugging around unnecessary baggage around Africa, as well as being caught red handed without the correct kit!
Jenman African Safaris have gone to the source of travel wisdom, extracting knowledge from our safari experts and professional guides. Having travelled Africa extensively, their multiple journeys have collected a multitude of information, arriving at your disposal for personal use.
- Don’t over pack. Many people make the mistake of bringing too many pieces of clothing and just land up wearing the same things. Laundry services are available. Less is better. Hats, lightweight shirts and pants, (trousers that zip off at the knee and can become shorts are very useful) neutral colours and comfortable walking shoes are a must!
- It gets cold in Africa! Bring a beanie and a jersey for evenings and mornings, especially for your adventures on an open safari vehicle.
- Roll your clothes! It makes packing easier and more efficiently uses the space you have.
- Sunglasses! The African sun is hot and bright, protect your eyes so you may witness all the wonders your safari has to offer!
- Extra battery for your camera or a power bank if you are using your phone for pictures. Sometimes electricity is limited at smaller lodges so best to have back up. Perhaps even add some extra i-cloud storage so you don’t spend time deleting pictures while missing out on memorable moments!
- A selfie stick (or an Osmo pocket gimbal) may not be everyone’s cup of tea, however when travelling solo it is a fantastic way to capture vistas and scenery, giving extra scope and angle to your photographs.
- Bring a journal. It’s great to write down memories and anecdotes from the day to reflect on after your trip. Later when you get home you can link the anecdotes to the pictures, reliving the trip through images as well as words.
- Load a credit card app onto your phone so you are never stuck without means to pay for fuel, food, accommodation and fun! You then do not have to worry about losing your card or how to draw cash as most suppliers have a card machine which you can tap.
- Roll-On mosquito repellent. Easier to pack and access throughout your trip, keeping the bugs and itch away.
- A quick drying and lightweight travel towel can come in very handy, soft and absorbent and compactly packed.
- Pens! There are many forms to fill out as you arrive at the airport and if you are crossing any other borders on your trip, you will save time by having a few tucked within your different bags. They are also useful for when you need to jot down a memorable moment on safari or whilst on a boat cruise!
- Download music, an audiobook, podcasts or series for those long haul flights. Books or movies set in the place you are travelling to is a great way to learn about the people, culture and the landscapes of a destination. Listening to an African playlist is a fun way to settle you into the rhythm of your holiday!
- Placed last to stick in your memory, seek out a community or conservation based programme to contribute your time or resources to. Impactful travel not only changes your life but those on the ground too. Perhaps pack some school/art supplies, toys or clothes for those in need along the way.
And the final and most essential item is curiosity. Speak to the locals, ask questions, seek out the traditional food and say yes to all escapades! Africa has so much to offer, there will most certainly be destinations and activities to satisfy your adventure appetite, leaving you with life long memories and the desire for more!