One of the reasons we visit Africa is because she is so different from our Western norm.

While this is most wonderfully interesting and alluring… it can also be a little uncomfortable.

For those who were born in Africa, there are some things that always make the packing list. And while there may be the odd trip where you find you never use anything from your in-the-know stash… when the need for one of these little Africa essentials DOES arise you always end up congratulating yourself on being so very clever and prepared.

Our African Sun

Your body may bloom at being bathed in an overabundance of Vitamin D when you first arrive but an African Sun should never be taken lightly. Sunburn isn’t fun. Sunstroke is a serious problem at worst and will rob you from days of pleasure at best. And sunscreen cannot be the only soldier in your anti-sun army.

  1. Don’t bring a hat. Instead, invest in a really great hat

A roll-up Panama hat that packs in a tube, looks great with any outfit, can quickly be reshaped and will keep the sun off your face is a thing of beauty.

  1. UV filtered binoculars

The camps will supply binoculars but getting comfortable with your own pair and ensuring they are UV filtered is a smart move for getting the most ‘viewing’ from your game viewing.

  1. A Great pair of sunglasses

Find a pair that will stay on your face when you are sweaty – and again: UV filtering is key. Also – a strap or chain for your glasses can be really handy especially if you are switching between binoculars and camera and driving all the time.

  1. Get technical about sleeves

Invest in a couple of high tech, long-sleeved shirts. Look for ones that provide SPF50+ sun protection, vents, and moisture wicking as well as built-in insect protection properties. Our Director of Sales and Operations, Melissa Hansen loves Athleta and other favorites of our staff are Columbia SportswearUnder Armour, REI, Travelsmith.

  1. Aloe Vera, Moisturizer and Lip balm

We are always surprised again by how quickly our skin can dry out on Safari. Come prepared!


  1. Biodegradable wet wipes

From being caught needing to go to a bush loo to having to change a contact lens or simply wanting to wipe some dust from your face or your feet before you collapse into fresh linen at the end of a long day when a shower or a bath is one step too far… these little heroes have saved many a day.

  1. Extra Memory cards

Because Africa will have you taking many more images than you expect. And syncing online isn’t always available where the Wifi is weak.

  1. A GorillaPod

It is so handy having something that will hold your camera or phone for you. Please try it.

First aid

  1. Anti-nausea medication

From small aircraft to boats and shaking around on a game drive… these are a lifesaver – discuss with your doctor or bring some armbands.

  1. After Bite

Here is the thing. Sometimes you travel and nothing finds you delicious. And then suddenly every mosquito’s mother wants a part of you! Wanting to scratch your skin from your body is not a good look. Be prepared.

  1. Probiotics

Start taking them a little while before you travel and continuously through your travels to boost your immune system and digestion.

  1. Electrolytes

A great tool for preventing jet lag they will also help you beat dehydration and feel good.

  1. Activated Charcoal

Used to absorb toxins and return your digestion to normal.


Anyone planning to use electronic devices to connect to the internet should consider using a good VPN in Africa.

If it works for you, a menstrual cup is much easier to use on Safari than other feminine hygiene products. Especially in more remote areas.

Images via CC0 Public Domain, Pixabay, Adobe Stock