You may have been mesmerized by the thought of exploring the African wilderness, picturing yourself in comfy cotton clothes, a shoulder bag, a pair of binoculars and a camera. And then you wonder with the over-loaded suitcase that you have already packed, what should you really ditch and pack for your safari in Tanzania.
You surely don’t want to move around your tented camps with heavy bags, feel overwhelmed and overtly concerned about your belongings. Are you confused and unable to decide knowing that this will be your first experience in Africa?
Our team of safari experts has made a packing list for your next African adventure. Here is what you need to read just decide the must haves and not’s.
1. Your Suitcase
Remember, you are not packing for a Disney Tour, Las Vegas or Paris. Your choice of clothes and all other items is dependent on the size of your bag. Domestic and chartered flights will not allow you to carry bags above 20-23 kgs and have strict bag size policy. Check with your tour operator and always consider carrying bags that are light-weight and have room for compact packing.
Pack: An extra small back pack for walking safaris, day game drives and other activities in which you can carry small money, a water bottle, sanitizer, camera, batteries etc.
Ditch: Fancy hand bags that occupy space and are really not required during a safari. Also avoid very heavy suit-cases that are may be challenging to transport in small chartered flights, camps and safari cars.
2. Daily Wear
Although Tanzania is a tropical country, this part of African Savannah also experiences the winter and dry climate. Therefore do not presume packing clothes for your typical summer holiday. In fact, packing your daily wear thoughtfully will really decide the comfort of your Safari in Tanzania. Do not be carried away and pack too many extras. Many camps and lodges also provide laundry services at an extra cost.
Pack: Practical and comfortable cotton clothes including 2-3 shirts, t-shirts, pants or trousers, one shorts, 2-3 warm layers in jackets, light weight cardigan, sweater and wind- breaker and dresses for evening wear. Carry subtle colored t-shirts like beige, khaki, a hat, a and a swimming costume if you would like to take a dip. Don’t forget to pack a pair of socks and shoes or boots.
Ditch: Tight clothes including jeans, bright colored clothes such as green, red as they attract animals giving wrong signals, blue and black t-shirts that attract animals like tsetse fly and white shirts that can get dirty very easily.
3. Your ‘Essential’ Stuff
Apart from your passport, visa, credit card and other documents there are some essential extras that you cannot afford to miss. Imagine going for a game drive on a sunny day at the Serengeti National Park or during a walking safari at Selous Game Reserve just to realize you did not pack your sunscreen. However you may not always need those extras that will add considerable weight to your bag.
Pack: Moisturizer, lip balm, sun protection and polarized glasses for the shifting dry and sunny weather. Personal toiletries (most items are available in mid-high end lodges and camps), first aid kit, small torch and drinking water bottle.
Ditch: Big volumes of liquid shampoos, soaps and lotions, fancy make-up and too many accessories like jewelry.
Although this completely depends on your needs, we urge you to travel as light as possible and go easy with your gadgets. If you are on a honeymoon or a family safari it is best recommended to spend time in nature as much as possible. The African wilderness is so breath-taking that you will barely need even music for entertainment.
Pack: A power bank as electricity supply is limited in many camps, a 3 pin adapter to charge your devices, one light weight camera a 2-3 extra batteries, a GoPro that is small and light weight, phone charger.
Ditch: Heavy tri-pods unless you are a professional photographer or on a workshop, gadgets such as play station, tabs, laptops; carry only if very necessary or any devices that occupy too much space and weight such as hair dryers and external speakers.
We would recommend you to give a high priority to packing medicines of both personal and general use first. Safaris in Tanzania are usually in the remote areas and access to pharmacies is challenging unless you or on a transit in cities like Arusha and Dar es Salaam. You can of course check with your tour operator on facilities available in case of minor accidents and insurance policies.
Pack: Mosquito repellents, pain killers, pills for travel sickness, band aid, personal medication for travelers with high-blood pressure, diabetes or any specific prescriptions by your private doctors. Check with your doctor if you need vaccination other than yellow fever.
Ditch: A big box of first aid kit that may contain sharp objects and occupies too much space in your bag.
Do you have any specific query about your upcoming safari? We are a family managed Company planning safaris since 1948 and are delighted to offer you services that you can trust and rely on. Let’s Explore Tanzania together!