What to pack on your Safari?

The excitement of my Safari is mounting.  The say that the anticipation phase of a trip is just as exciting as the actual adventure. I agree.

fireplaceI can’t wait to sit by the fire-place in the evening enjoying the almost full moon and stars with Paul or my client Sally and go over our day.

It does get cooler during the evenings even if the day is hot. A fleece or sweater is a good idea. A more heavy one is needed during the cold months.  Last time in June, it was quite chilly during the day time so I had long pants. Paul emailed to say it will be ‘hot and beautiful in Natron’. I plan on taking shorts on this Safari. There will be lots of walking on this Safari. Closed toe shoes for sure.

I am trying to keep it to a carry-on as I will be doing a lot of local flying. I am restricted to 33 lbs of weight plus my weight limit on KLM is 26 lbs for carry-on. I am taking a soft bag [they need to squeeze bags sometimes in the luggage compartment in the small flying taxis] that I have used for years and don’t worry when it comes with extra scratches or dust.

Clothing items I plan on taking on this Safari.
– A warm sweater or fleece for evening. I love this fleece cardigan from Nordstrom.
– 2 pants and 2 shirts for the evenings time that will stay clean. Mix and match is the way to go. Ladies, sneak in a light necklace for instant glam.
– Scarfs. I have one for evenings and one light one for day time. The vehicles tend to be dusty so keeping them separate is a good idea. The scarf can be used as a mask again dust, protecting your neck from the sun and those times you need a wipe.  Putting on a clean one in the evening feels good and instantly dresses you up.
– 2 shorts and 2 hiking pants with 3-4 t-shirts for the day time.
– My closed-toe shoes. I used privo clarks to walk in Serengeti for a whole day and my feet were happy. I may just wear this on the plane as well.
–  Sandals. I have my Birkenstock which I like. A good idea to pack for the comfort in your tent or even on a game drive where there is no walking.
– Wind-jacket. Highly recommend this especially since a lot of the vehicles on Safari are open. The morning and evening wind does get chilly. And when in Serengeti, there was the unexpected rain. I was prepared.
– Sun hat of course.
– Undergarments preferable quick dry ones so you can wash overnight. In most of the lodges, they will provide soap to wash but taking a small laundry bar may be a good idea. This is a good brand as it is environment friendly.

One thing to note is that most lodges we recommend have laundry included or there is a nominal fee for laundry. Take advantage of this service.

Guys, there are a few modification you would need to make but you get the idea of what is necessary.

Personal items:
– Hand wipes. For those times when you have to eat lunch after your game drive and you need to wipe off the dust. Dispose them off properly in the camp.
– I usually take face wipes. Saves on liquid worry at the airport as well as a water savers.
– Shampoo + conditioner travel size. Though I have to say, I used the lodge provided shampoo + conditioner the past couple of Safaris and my hair and I survived. I may skip this again.
– SPF 50+ is a must on Safari.
– Hat.  We do give you a Journey To Africa baseball cap on arrival.
– Flash light. In the middle of the night, should you need to go to the enclosed rest room, this may come in handy as most tented lodges turn off lights after a certain time.
– Mosquito repellant wipes. I got this tip from Susan of the Insatiable Traveler.
– Ladies, umhh, I have used these pee directors and can vouch for them. Enough said.
– Medical first-aid kit. Take your prescriptions as carry-on. A must!! Then you have band-aid, neosporin, cortisone cream, immodium [you never know], Advil or Tylenol. This is just a sample.
– Contact wearers, there is dust on Safari. But, I prefer my contacts over recommended glasses. What to do? I always wear my big sunglasses. They usually help. But I always have my glasses as back-up. I take extra contacts in case I need to put on a fresh pair mid-day. Remember to clean your hands first.
– For those who need a little make-up to feel put together, go ahead, take a small pouch. If you feel good, you enjoy more. Keep strong perfumes/colognes at home. An insect magnet.

Self Image

My trusty hat and wind jacket

And then if you forget anything, you can always buy in Tanzania in the towns before you head on Safari [except prescriptions please], re-wear as no one is really looking or ask the lodges if they can help.

The most important packing tip – your sense of adventure! 

Camera gear next.
Looking at binoculars as well. I always use the guides but this time I am thinking I need to get one of my own especially since I am going with Paul who is an avid birder. I don’t think he will be willing to share with me.

Life worth Elogoxploring. ™
Make memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

Get in Touch //
Email us – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Toll Free – 1.877.558.6288
Outside of US – 1.713.592.6228
Fill out a simple form – Request Information

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Keep Calm and Swat Away!

TseTesThis is Richard, my guide on my exhilarating Walking Safari in our private area in Serengeti. He has company – Tsetse flies. I had their company as well … I was right behind him and took this shot.

When on Safari in Tanzania and Kenya, there are areas in the parks and conservation areas where you just can not avoid these pesky flies. We are talking amazing areas like Northern and Central Serengeti and Tarangire National Park.  Rivers, bushes, woody areas are were you find them. Not going there would be such a shame.

You can do a few things to help yourself.

Wear light-colored clothing.
These buggers are attracted to dark colors. Avoid dark blue and black clothing on Safari. You will notice cloths with this color hanging from trees in various areas, put there by the park officials, in hopes that these flies will be hanging out on the cloth instead of on you.

Try loose clothing.
Create a barrier between the fly and your skin. This is the best protection. And will keep you cool when hot. Win-Win.

Fly swatter.
Some clients have brought these swatter and it has helped them but you have to be really fast. They come in droves and are quick to nip.  You have to Keep Calm and Swat Away. You will feel accomplished when you get a few.

Anti-itch cream.
Okay so let’s be realistic here. Chances of getting bitten are there. You can put some anti-itch cream right away and it will help with the itch. And try not to scratch the sweet itch as you are in risk of getting a gash – personal experience here. Ouch.

Tsetse flies do carry the disease sleeping sickness but the chances of getting the sickness is very rare. If you exhibit high fever for days and it is not Malaria, let your hospital/ doctor [with help from infectious disease] know you have been in areas with Tsetse flies.

The silver lining here is that these flies keep the cows and humans away from the wildlife zones. They don’t seem to bother wildlife which means more areas for the wildlife to roam and slow down of human encroachment. We are talking about the Maasai tribe who live on the periphery of the parks with their cow herds and farmers with their machines. Stay back!

Keep Calm and Swat Away. Happiness is being on Safari … even with pesky Tsetse flies.

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Life worth Exploring. ™
Make memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

Get in Touch //
Email us – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Toll Free – 1.877.558.6288 
Outside of US – 1.713.592.6228
Form – Request Information