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Guide to Packing for a safari


Baggage Allowance:

Please bring soft-sided luggage like duffel bags, NOT hard suitcases.   Charter flights within Tanzania strictly limit passengers to a total of 15 Kg or 33 lbs including carry-ons, so the key is to pack as light as possible.  Most safari camps offer free daily laundry service so you won’t need to bring so much clothing.

Wondering what to pack on your first African safari adventure?  Here is a suggested packing list:

Travel Documents

Valid passport

  • Tanzania visa, available at airport upon arrival, USD $100 payable in cash only; $50 for residents of UK/European Union.  

  • Copy of flight itinerary

  • Copy of travel and/or medical evacuation insurance

  • Personal medical/dental insurance cards

  • Credit card (Visa and Mastercard are most widely accepted, though many camps do not take cards.)

  • Cash in U.S. Dollars (Bills MUST be crisp, new-format, issued 2008 or later, with no tears. Bring larger bills of $50 and over as the exchange rate is much more favourable on larger notes)


Essential Gear

  • Binoculars - We recommend BinocularsBox for good advice on quality equipment. 

  • Camera and good telephoto lens, waterproof/dustproof bag. If you are a keen photographer: Camera bean bag for steadying the lens in 4x4 vehicles: you can get prefilled with polystyrene, or bring empty bag and borrow beans or rice from the camps.

  • Sunglasses, preferably polarized

  • Hat for sun

  • Eye drops

  • Insect repellent – MozziGuard is good against Tsetse flies (Ruaha) – or any brand with 30% Deet or less. Tsetse flies love black and dark blue, so don’t wear them!

  • Personal toiletries (soap, shampoo usually provided)

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Basic medical kit, plus malaria tablets and prescription medications

  • Sunscreen

  • Glasses (if you wear contacts)

  • Headlamp or small strong flashlight

  • Chargers and extra batteries for electronics such as phone, camera and lights

  • Clothing

  • Sweater or fleece pullover

  • Lightweight waterproof hiking shoes or boots – closed shoes needed for evenings

  • Waterproof sandals

  • 2-3 shirts (golf or T-shirts)

  • 2 lightweight long-sleeved shirts

  • 2-3 pairs of shorts

  • 2 pairs of long pants

  • Swimsuit (if you will be visiting Lupita Island or other water areas)

  • Undergarments and socks; women might consider a sports bra (for bouncy jeeps)

  • Sleepwear

  • Thermal underwear and warm anorak or parka and scarf/gloves (for the cold winter months of May to August)

  • Rain gear (if travelling during the rainy season March-May and Nov-Dec)

  • One nice outfit if you baggage allows it.

Please note:  Bright and white colors are not recommended for safari. Khaki or light tan is best.

General Packing Recommendations:

  • Bring sturdy, soft-sided luggage which is easier to stow throughout the trip and to carry in the vehicles during transfers. Not suitcases.

  • Carry any necessities and small personal items including travel documents, money, medications, and other vital supplies, in your carry-on bag and not in your checked luggage.

  • If you plan to lock your luggage, please use a TSA-approved security device.

  • Leave expensive jewellery at home!  If you would be heartbroken to lose the item, don’t bring it along.

  • Keep cash in more than one place.

  • A water-resistant daypack to carry cameras and other items is very handy while on game drives.  Better yet, let this be your carry-on.

  • Please refrain from bringing hair dryers, irons, radios, and excess clothing or toiletries.  All points of this trip are quite casual, and we recommend that you keep luggage down to the basics.

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