Safari Packing Checklist
When packing for a safari, the most important thing is moderation. While there is no need to go minimalist, you also don’t want to carry an abundance of unnecessary luggage across Africa with you. Remember, travelers on safari will move with their luggage in the safari vehicle throughout the tour. For the days spent in the same hotel or lodge, of course you will leave your bags back in your room. Hence, if you bring too much luggage it could be an inconvenience or even a hindrance wildlife viewing.
We have created a packing list, based on years of leading excellent safaris, to help you pack just the right items (but not too much!) for you incredible African safari in Tanzania:
The Maasai African Guides Safari Packing List.
Remember that you will spend a great deal of time in the safari car, viewing wildlife. However, you may participate in walking safaris or cultural tours throughout your safari, so you should have practical, comfortable and sturdy walking shoes. Please leave high heels, fashion sneakers and platforms for other occasions.
Weather in Tanzania can vary depending on the altitude and time of day. It is wise to bring layers for added warmth, especially in the early mornings and late nights.
Safari Packing List:
- 1 -2 long sleeved shirts;
- warm sweater or light jacket (the temperature in the Ngorongoro falls to 0 degrees Celcius in the evening and in the morning);
- Regular, light shirts or T-shirts (preferably 1 pc for every day of safari);
- 1-2 pairs of light cotton trousers;
- Shorts or a loose skirt, for the ladies;
- swimsuit / trunks (most lodges offer a swimming pool);
- A hat, for the sun (visor or other cap is also acceptable).
You may note that many travelers on safari wear khaki or neutral colors, and avoid bright whites or florescent colors. There are several reasons for this: firstly, you will blend in with nature better by wearing neutral tones, whether you are walking or seated in the car; secondly, some areas of Tanzania are very dusty and khaki-colored items are less likely to show discoloration from the dust of the safari than white garments.
What medications should you take on safari?
Keep in mind, every safari vehicle is stocked with a basic first-aid kit. If you have prescription medications or special needs, please come prepared with your necessary medications.
- antimalarial drugs (such as Malarone, Lariam);
- tablets from motion sickness, if you are susceptible;
- antihistamines for allergies (Claritin, Loratadine, Azelastine), which can be difficult to purchase in Tanzania;
- Inhaler for asthma remedy, as the dust may aggravate athsmatic symptoms;
- Any prescription medications you may require.
It is also recommended to bring insect repellents. These pesky insects are only active in the early morning and evening, likely when you are already back at your accomodations for the evening. Alternatively, wearing a long-sleeved shirt can help deter mosquitoes, as well.
Do not forget the sunscreen! The equatorial sun is strong in Tanzania, and you are likely to be at a higher elevation throughout your Tanzanian safari, especially when in Ngorongoro or the highlands. Choose a product with SPF 40 protection or higher to protect your skin.
Other important tips
Most of our partner hotels and lodges provide full room and board for our guests, meaning 3-full meals are provided each day. However, the excitement and fresh air of a safari are known for building up quite an appetite!
Just in case, you may consider packing:
- biscuits, chips, cookies or other packaged snacks;
- fruit (pre-washed or dried varieties;
- chocolate bars;
- Various mixtures of nuts.
Some fruits (such as bananas), or nuts (like cashews or peanuts) may easily be purchased locally as you drive through local Tanzanian villages.
Even if the weather forecast guarantees the lack of sun, don’t hurry up to lay out protective glasses. They will help protect your eyes from wind, dust and small insects while you pop out of the window or through the open roof of the running speed car in search of objects for observation. Put in your backpack:
First of all, you may leave your binoculars at home – every Altezza car provides a pair of binoculars for our guest’s convenience. We also have charging stations in each of our vehicles so your devices will never lose power during a safari.
Here are the items we recommend you bring:
- Bandana or handkerchief in case of dust;
- Adapter for electric plugs (Tanzania uses three-pronged plugs, similar to England);
- Photocopies of your passport and other necessary travel documents;
- Camera and all photo equipment;
- Hand sanitizer or disinfectant;
- Personal hygiene items (including sunscreen and insect repellant);
- Notebook and pen.