Whether you’re embarking on a safari in East Africa or Southern Africa, you are in for the experience of a lifetime. We provide you with a detailed packing list for each of our safaris, so you’ll have the right clothing and gear for your destination. We’ve reached out to our Africa Specialists for their personal list of items they have found especially useful when on safari.
“I enjoy bringing a small language pocket guide like ‘Simple Swahili.’ Practicing with the crew is fun!” —Lisa Laferte, WT’s Africa Specialist
Your guides are with you during your entire safari, sharing their passion for the area, and it’s great to get to know them. A few words in the local language, such as “tau” (Setwana for lion) and “simba” (Swahilia for lion) are a great icebreaker!
“In addition to always throwing a headlamp into my safari bag, I always keep my pocket copy of Out of Africa in my carry-on. It was the first book that I ever read about Africa and always gets me in the spirit for safari.” —Jennifer (Jeffi) Norris, WT Africa Specialist
Headlamps are great for reading a book while you relax in your tented accommodation at night. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) is a fantastic safari read, as is the beautiful memoir, West with the Night by Beryl Markham, an acquaintance of Dinesen.
“Be sure to pack a great pair of binoculars and a good telephoto lens—fantastic for close-ups! But also remember to put them down and experience the moment.” —Barbara Wright, WT Africa Specialist
Spotting wildlife on safari is an absolute thrill. Have your binoculars handy at all times, whether in the vehicle or on foot. If you don’t own a pair yet, check out 8×40 travel-sized binoculars (handy for concerts back home, too). You’ll get top photos with a DSLR camera and a 300 mm lens, but even the zoom lens on your point-and-shoot can get you great photos.
“I wore my wide-brim safari hat just about every day, and shoes that were easy to slip on and off made the safari drives in the vehicle very comfortable. Also, don’t forget to bring a deck of cards to play one of the evenings!” —Nicole Duke, WT Africa Specialist
The midday sun is intense, whether you’re in the open savannas searching for wildlife or exploring along the coast. A shade hat (ideally with a chinstrap) makes all the difference. Evenings are a great time relax and get to know the others in the group. Be sure to savor some time by the fire, listening to the sounds of the African night.
—You can explore our vast array of safaris here, and be sure to check out our WT Gear Store, it’s a great one-stop shop for your safari needs. It is organized by destination, and even includes a complete “Jambo” (welcome) set of gear and luggage.