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Preparing for an African Safari Trip: African Safari Packing List
By June 28, 2023 No Comments

Preparing for an African Safari Trip: African Safari Packing List

As you prepare for your safari adventure in Africa, it’s important to make sure you have all the essentials in your safari luggage. Whether you’re traveling solo or with family, packing the right outdoor clothing, travel documents, and other necessities can help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on your African safari. Read on for our ultimate safari packing list essentials put together by experts to find out what to pack for an African safari!

Prepare Your Documents and Passport

Identification is always necessary when venturing into new places. Having the appropriate documents with you at all times will make your trips much smoother. When embarking on an African safari, it is important to ensure that your passport is up-to-date and that you have the necessary visas for any countries that you plan on visiting. Always make sure you have enough space in your passport for travel stamps. A few other documents that are crucial for any safari or overland trip include:

  • Paper e-tickets or airline itineraries: You’ll want to keep these with you at all times, so it’s best to print them out and have a hard copy on hand. Don’t rely on your phone for the internet because you may run into issues or might not have any service.
  • Travel insurance documents: In case of an accident or injury, having travel insurance in place can save you time and money. With insurance, you’ll be financially prepared if your luggage is stolen or if you need to cancel your plans. Unexpected sickness is always a possibility, but with this document, you won’t have to worry.

Health and Vaccinations

Before you travel to Africa, it’s important to be aware of what immunizations and other health risks may be present in the countries that you plan on visiting. Before you leave for your trip, be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Give them plenty of time- at least four weeks- so they can properly prepare any vaccinations you may need. Depending on where you’re going and what activities you have planned, some of the shots you might require include:

Yellow Fever Vaccination

You need to have had the vaccination 10 days or longer before you go to an area with yellow fever. It takes a few days for the vaccine to work, and during that time you may have flu-like symptoms, which will be unpleasant when flying long hours. After you’ve received the shot, the travel clinic will give you an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (IVCP), also known as the World Health Organization Yellow Card, that proves your vaccination.

Malaria Prevention

Malaria is preventable and treatable, but unfortunately, it’s also one of the most common diseases in some parts of Africa such as West and East Africa. If you’re planning on traveling to an area where malaria is present, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible to get advice about whether or not you should take antimalarial prophylactics.

Sticking to your antimalarial drug’s schedule is key to it working properly. If you have any issues or side effects while on safari, make sure to tell your tour operator or camp manager.

In conclusion, you should also take any prescription medications that you might need with you in an easily accessible location, such as a travel bag or first-aid kit. Make sure to pack enough for your entire trip, as well as a few extra days in case of delayed flights or other unforeseen circumstances.

South Africa Entry Requirements

As per the government of the United States, the following are the South Africa entry requirements. Keep in mind that the requirements may change depending on your nationality, so ensure you are aware of the current regulations or contact the South African Embassy in advance.

Two Consecutive Blank Visa Pages

If you’re planning on visiting South Africa, make sure you have at least two consecutive blank visa pages in your passport. You will not be allowed into the country if you don’t meet this requirement.


If you’re traveling to South Africa from a country with a risk of yellow fever virus (YFV) transmission, as designated by the World Health Organization (WHO), you must present your current and valid International Certificate of Vaccination, which is approved by the WHO. As stated, this certificate is also known as a World Health Organization Yellow Card.

What to Pack for an African Safari

When preparing for an African safari, it’s important to pack the right gear and clothing. According to safari experts, here are some essential items that you should include in your carry-on luggage:

  • Comfortable, durable hiking boots for a walking safari
  • Lightweight and moisture-wicking layers of clothing, including long safari trousers and long-sleeved shirts. This is often useful during game drives in an exposed safari vehicle.
  • Sturdy hand luggage for safari trips in the day or longer excursions
  • Insect repellent
  • Waterproof gear, such as a raincoat and rubber boots
  • A lightweight waterproof blanket or tarp to keep you dry while sleeping in the wild
  • A small backpack that you can wear while on safari. This is especially helpful when traveling across rough terrain or climbing on rocks or cliffs.
  • Avoid military-inspired clothing such as camouflage clothing as it is illegal in many African countries, including South Africa.
  • If you’re going on a guided safari, also remember to pack your binoculars and any other camera equipment you may need.

If you’re planning on taking a hot air balloon safari, be sure to add the following items to your list when packing for a safari:

  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Camera, with an extra battery pack
  • A light safari hat for protection from the sun
  • Ultra-light down jacket 

A laundry service is often available at most safari camps or safari lodges and is available to guests on request. Hence, there’s no need to overpack clothing, especially in light of weight restrictions. However, you should still bring a few extra pairs of shoes and socks for walking safaris for the duration of your trip.

Bring Cash

Although most safari tours and camps accept credit cards, you may find yourself without access to an ATM or credit card machine. It’s always a good idea to have some cash for emergencies, tipping, buying souvenirs at local markets, and paying for extra activities like hot air balloon trips at your safari destination.


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