Packing For A Safari

This seems like a lot, but fits into one medium pack or duffel plus a camera bag. Take "travel" sizes. Eliminate what you don't need, but don't count on borrowing or buying while on safari. Don't forget your reading glasses or contact lenses if you wear them (daily disposables are most convenient). In-flight reading material (to be discarded later) is also nice to have. Remember, you are limited to 33 lbs on any in-country flights within Africa. More importantly, your bag should be medium-sized and "squishable" (as in a durable medium duffel). At the airports (especially going through customs) you will be hauling all your own baggage. Don't take anything you can't carry! TravelSmith is an excellent source for lightweight, reliable travel clothing and accessories.

Modify this list to suit your needs.
You will be happier if you travel as light as possible!


  • Passport and visas
  • International Vaccination Card
  • Airline tickets
  • American Express travelers checks
  • U.S. Dollars
  • Driver's license and/or other ID
  • Insurance cards
  • Polarized Sunglasses (With neck strap)
  • Tour documents
  • Luggage locks (preferably combination)
  • Luggage ID tags
  • Inexpensive alarm wristwatch


  • Pocket comb or brush
  • Daily disposable contact lenses (if worn)
  • Reading glasses (if worn)
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss
  • Small Mouthwash
  • Shampoo/conditioner
    (Sample packets are ideal!)
  • Washcloth (face cloth)
  • Facial cleanser/face soap
  • Facial moisturizer
  • Makeup - unscented (if worn) & small mirror
  • Razor & cartridges
  • Anti-perspirant, unscented
  • Nail file
  • Antibacterial hand cream (small, unscented)
  • Sanitary products


  • Brimmed "safari" hat with chin strap
  • Underwear (5 day supply - can hand wash)
  • Photo/Safari vest (bush vest)
    (Make good use of all those pockets!)
  • Safari jacket (with interior pockets)
    and slacks (wear departing U.S.)
  • 3 pr. khaki slacks, Supplex or cotton/poly
    (2 for the field, 1 for evening)
  • Optional shorts or convertible slacks
  • Belt (wear inflight)
  • 2 or 3 Supplex shirts, convertible-sleeved
  • 2 or 3 T-shirts (or buy in Africa!)
  • Nightgown or pajamas
  • 3 or 4 pr. socks (hand wash)
  • 2 casual, lightweight dresses - long (women)
  • Swimsuit & cover-up
  • Lightweight hiking or walking shoes
    (Wear departing U.S. to save space)
  • Walking sandals
  • Shower shoes
  • Bandana or scarf (for dust)
  • Hooded sweatshirt (for cool mornings)

First Aid/Health

  • Insect repellant (30+% Deet)
  • Pyrethrin spray (for clothing & mosquito nets)
  • Sunscreen lotion (high SPF)
  • Sunscreen lip balm/chapstick
  • Vitamins
  • Anti-malarial pills
  • Band-Aids
  • Benadryl ointment
  • Tylenol ot Aspirin
  • Allergy-Sinus medicine
  • Imodium
  • Pepto-Bismol chewables
  • Dramamine tablets

Preferred Extras

  • Durable neck wallet (Can wear across shoulder)
  • Credit card (American Express, Visa or MC)
  • Journal or diary
  • Ink pens
  • Mini flashlight & batteries
  • Spare batteries for everything
  • Frequent flyer cards
  • Small travel umbrella or packable raincoat
  • Anti-bacterial cleanser or wipes
  • Kleenex Pocket Packs (several)
  • Reading material (for in-flight)
  • Assorted heavy-duty Ziplock bags
    (For packing everything!)

Serious Photographers
But who want to travel light!

  • 35mm SLR camera w. 70-300mm zoom lens
  • Optional spare camera body w. zoom lens
  • Lens hoods/shades, lens caps, filters
  • Comfortable neck strap (and spare)
  • Cleaning pen, solution, lens tissues
  • Blower brush
  • Extra batteries
  • Durable cover to cover camera on game drives
  • Heavy-duty ziplock plastic bags for cameras/film
  • Camera bag, waistpack or daypack with rain cover
  • Camera manuals
  • Film (200/400/800), average 3 36x rolls per day
  • Slower 50/100 film for landscape photography
  • Optional bean bag (for in vehicle)
  • Optional small, lightweight tripod
  • Customs certification for photo gear

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