We strongly recommend packing light and essential items only.
Luggage capacity on safari vehicles is limited and light aircraft domestic flights usually allow 15 Kg only (including cameras, camera bags and associated equipment) for safety and space reasons.
Excess is charged at a fee (about USD 3 + VAT per extra kg) but there is no assurance that it can be accommodated on the flight. Medium or small size soft suitcases or bags that can be molded and fit into small areas are recommended when travelling by road and compulsory on domestic flights.
Safari clothing should be practical and comfortable as you will spend most of the time in the safari vehicle. We do all our game drives with open roof hatches and windows and at times it can get dusty and windy.
The lodges and camps where we will be staying do not have any formal dress codes and safari clothing can double up as dinner clothes.
Be prepared for a large temperature range each day. Temperatures tend to be cool or cold in the early morning and after sunset (if going to the Ngorongoro Crater during the coldest months it can almost freeze in the early mornings). By contrast, it warms up considerably during the day and it can get very hot at midday.
Packing light layers will allow you to adjust to any climate condition, as you simply remove or add layers as the temperatures change. Cotton or other natural fibres are recommended as they can breathe during the hottest hours.
During the day try sticking to dull neutral colours such as light brown, olive green, beige and khaki. These colours help reflect the sun rays, blend in with the natural environment, and do not attract so much attention from certain insects. Bright colours are not recommended. Avoid blue as this attracts tse tse flies where these are a nuisance (especially in some parts of Tarangire NP or Serengeti NP in Tanzania). Please also note that it is illegal to wear camouflage clothing in East African parks and reserves.
Laundry services are available at all lodges and camps at a fee (USD 2 – USD 3 per item depending on size). In some camps laundry is included in the rate.
Read also our page dedicated to camera gear and its accessories.
The number of clothing items to bring may depend on the length of your safari, whether you will be using laundry services and domestic flights on your itinerary. Below is an indicative ticking list of items for your reference.
• Warm winter sweater and/or fleece or jacket – always carry at least one of them, any period of the year, for evenings and early mornings. During the June to August cold season you may want to carry both a sweater and a jacket, especially if you feel the cold
• Light waterproof windbreaker or rain jacket (rainy season, especially for hikes/ treks but not for game drives)
• One pair of light gloves and a scarf or warm hat for early morning drives (June to August cold season)
• Light long trousers or convertible long-short trousers
• Belt (if needed)
• Long sleeved shirts or t-shirts
• Light short sleeved shirts/blouses or t-shirts
• Multi-pocket waistcoat (not necessary but may come in handy for photographers on board of domestic flights where 15 Kg only are allowed)
• Light cotton socks and underwear
• Sun hat that does not blow off all the time! Must allow your head to breathe and not be an obstruction when taking pictures
• Swimsuit/trunks (at some lodges you can cool off from the midday heat with a dip in the swimming pool)
• One pair of light, comfortable sandals that are easy to slip off to allow your feet to breathe during long game drives or quickly stand on the seat to take pictures from the roof hatch. Sandals must be thick enough to protect you from thorns and stones.
• One pair of trainers/gym or walking closed shoes for late evenings (these can also double up as game drive shoes instead of sandals)
• One pair of light rubber flip flops for shower.
• Spare glasses (in case you lose/break them or just sit on them during game drives)
• Contact lens solution, and extra contact lenses, if applicable. It can be very dusty so avoid contact lenses if you can
• Sunglasses and strap to prevent losing glasses/sunglasses.
Some of the biggest safari lodges have small curio shops where you may find basic toiletry and sanitary items, though this is not a guarantee and prices are high. Most bush camps do not have shops.
Hand soap, towels and toilet paper are supplied at all safari lodges and camps. However, not all lodges and camps provide shower gel and shampoo.
Consider bringing the following items:
• Shampoo and shower gel (small bottles)
• Toothbrush and toothpaste
• Travel hair dryer (a small one) only if needed and if supported by the electrical system of the camps where you will be staying
• Moisturising cream
• Good quality lip balm
• Razor & blades and shaving foam
• Nail clippers or scissors
• Sanitary pads
• Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel. They are very handy for bush breakfast and lunch, as well as toilet stops.
• Carry a sunscreen that offers a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Remember that sun rays are very intense close to the equator
• High strength insect repellent, containing DEET, for your skin. This will help protect against the risk of malaria and other insect-borne diseases. Please note that most repellants are not suitable for use on children and must not be applied to cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
There are a few international standard and well-stocked pharmacies in Nairobi and other major urban centres in Kenya and Tanzania. While on safari and off the beaten track, however, there is no access either to good pharmacies or medical facilities.
Following is a list of essential medicines you should consider bringing. Seek your doctor’s advice first, however, as self–diagnosis and treatment are prone to error and may be potentially dangerous.
• Malaria prophilaxys, if advised (read the page “Health and safety” for more info on malaria)
• Broad spectrum antibiotic (ask your doctor how and when to use it!)
• Antibiotic for dental infections (especially if you have had dental treatments shortly before leaving)
Over-the-counter medicines and first aid kit items:
• Anti-diarrhoea tablets
• Oral re-hydration salts
• Paracetamol-based tablets and anti-inflammatory drugs
• Antibacterial ointment for cuts and abrasions
• Anti-itch ointments
• Malaria self-diagnostic kit that can identify malaria in the blood from a finger prick
• Adhesive bandages, sterile dressings and bandages
• Scissors and tweezers
If you are prone to any of these specific conditions, consider bringing the following:
• Antihistamines (for hay fever and other allergic reactions)
• Motion sickness tablets (it may be experienced by some people during air travel on small planes)
• Eye drops or ointment (depending on the kind of eye condition you are prone to)
• Remedies for herpes infections of the lips (long sun exposure can spark an attack)
Remember also to pack adequate supplies of your usual medications, if any, enough to last your trip.
Note on prescribed medications: these should be carried in their original containers and be clearly labelled. Prescribed medications, syringes and needles should be accompanied by your doctor’s prescription letter or certificate explaining their medical necessity.
• UK-style square three pin plug adaptor/s
• Transformer/ voltage converter, if needed for your electrical equipment
• Up-surge protector
• Phone charger.
• Small flashlight for good visibility at night when walking between the tents and spare batteries (though torches are always supplied in each tent)
• Locks for luggage
• Pen for immigration formalities and personal notes
• Small notebook
• Travel alarm clock (remember our days will start well before sunrise!)
• Ziplock/ plastic bags (to pack wet/ dirty clothing and shoes or protect electronic equipment from dust)
• Small back pack to carry your water bottles, notebooks, money, documents and other valuable items during game drives.