Tourist wandering in Sossusvlei, Namibia

What to Pack on Safari

April 5, 2024

Itinerary? Check. Flights? Check. Next up: packing essentials for your safari adventure. Here's a handy guideline to ensure you've got everything you need and don't forget any essentials when packing.

Travel Documents

Make sure you have your passport, visas (if necessary), travel insurance and any other travel documentation in place including having any necessary vaccinations and immunisations in advance. Keep your itinerary handy, ensure you have received your vouchers and make sure you have advised your credit card company of your travel plans.


One of the most important things to consider is your luggage. Make sure you know the weight limits and restrictions on your international flights as well as for any internal flights once in country. If your itinerary includes any “bush flights” you’ll need to keep in mind that these smaller aircrafts adhere to strict weight and size requirements for luggage which means packing with these in mind. Generally this is limited to a weight of 15 – 20kgs per person in soft-sided duffel type bags, so be sure to pack only the essentials. We know this may seem a challenge but the list below should help you to cover the most important necessities you’ll need while on safari.

What to wear?

While there's no strict dress code for safaris, having some guidelines can certainly help you pack smartly. Check out these tips to get an idea of what to bring and what you'll need:

  • Comfort is the most important, so pack clothes you are comfortable wearing and comfortable shoes for walking. While you may wish to wear sandals or open shoes when at the lodges, closed-toe shoes are encouraged for game drives and activities.
  • Ideally look at packing items that can be folded into your luggage that won’t require ironing and won’t take up too much space.
  • To blend in with the natural surroundings, it's advisable to steer clear of bright colors during your safari. Opt for earthy tones that seamlessly blend into the bush environment instead.
  • White clothing isn't the most practical choice for safaris as it tends to stand out and gets dusty and dirty easily during game drives and other outdoor activities. Similarly, it's best to avoid dark clothing to help you stay cool in the African heat.
  • It's a good idea to pack clothing that you can layer. This comes in handy during early morning and late afternoon game drives and activities when it tends to be chilly and windy until the sun rises.
  • Long sleeves and long pants are great for evenings when it gets cooler but also to help protect against mosquitos, should there be any. During the day a long sleeved shirt or blouse can also protect your arms from the sun.
  • Formal attire isn't necessary for meals. Often, you'll head straight to dining after a safari without changing, so comfortable clothes are the way to go.

Other tips

  • Consider packing clothes with fabrics that dry quickly and are well ventilated. Natural and breathable fabrics will help to keep you cool.
  • A windbreaker or light rain jacket is a good idea. During game drives in open safari vehicles, a jacket or something warm can be essential, especially when there's a chill in the air, particularly during cooler times of the day.
  • Most of the lodges will offer laundry service (either complimentary or at an additional cost) so you can always give in items to be washed during your stay. Plan this for the places where you have more than one night stay.

What to pack: The essentials.

A guideline of the items you should pack, but of course this is dependent on your destination, your mode of travel and the length of your holiday.

  • 2 to 4 short and long sleeved shirts
  • 1 to 2 pairs of hiking pants and 1 to 2 pairs of shorts
  • A fleece or warm jacket
  • A light rain jacket or windbreaker
  • A swimsuit
  • A hat
  • Undergarments and socks. We recommend bringing enough undergarments along for the duration of your trip or washing them yourselves as you go along should you be limited for space. Some lodges will not launder these items.
  • Pyjamas
  • Athletic wear if you plan to get active or use gym facilities where available
  • A comfortable pair of closed shoes and a pair of easy slide-on shoes for when lazing around


  • Don't forget your prescription medication. It's also wise to have a copy of the prescription on hand in case of emergencies.
  • A sanitiser or pack of anti-bacterial wipes. These always come in handy.
  • Personal toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner and soap if you have preference although many lodges will provide the basic toiletries.
  • Insect repellent, an itch relief cream and sunscreen.
  • Any must-have first aid items such as plasters, burn shield and an antiseptic cream.


Do your research and make sure you have an adaptor for any plug points that may differ from the ones at home. Don’t forget your cellphone, laptop and camera battery chargers. Be sure to pack your camera, photo equipment, extra memory cards and batteries for all devices where necessary.

In summary

Although we all know how important it is to remember the essentials, these days it’s almost always possible to buy what you forgot along the way. Unless it’s something really specific, in which case make sure you pack that first.

You don't need much for your safari adventure. Just grab a hat, some sunscreen, an empty memory card for your camera, your binoculars, and a copy of your itinerary. With these essentials in hand, you're all set to embark on your exciting journey. Let the adventure begin!

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