Travel Guide » A Gentleman’s Guide to Packing for Safari Get in touch

Who packs the bags for the next Safari in your family?

You know we are a company run by a herd of matriarchs and we have packing for children and women down to a fine art. We have, however, never addressed packing for gentlemen exclusively and specifically.

This oversight will now be fixed.

The Safari world did belong to men for over a century. As Karen Blixen’s script in Out of Africa reads ‘Africa is a hard place for women. And so, there is a chivalry of a sort here.’

Today, the Safari industry has made great strides towards equality… but we think it remains one of the last places on earth where a little chivalry comes naturally, one is allowed to be slightly more daring and dashing, and practicality is satisfyingly praised.

Yawning lionOf course, packing for an African Safari is a little different from any other trip preparation.

✈︎ There will be dust. More than you can imagine in some seasons and certain places. Contrary to popular belief which erroneously bestows the gift of color vision on wild creatures the dust is why neutral colors are often prescribed for Safaris – they simply do not show dust as easily as anything else. (Do heed the no blue, particularly royal blue, or black fabrics in areas with tsetse flies – these colors have been scientifically proven to be more attractive to a tsetse fly.)

✈︎ Temperatures can vary wildly. Not only from one season and country to the next but even throughout the hours of a single day.

✈︎ The very strict restrictions on packing for light aircraft transfers require more thought and careful consideration than usual. This will also mean that you are limited to a soft-sided duffel bag that can easily be manipulated into small spaces.

✈︎ The airports in Africa are notorious for being prone to occasional luggage theft. Do pack your most valuable items in your hand luggage.

General notes

☞ Almost all the properties will offer an excellent laundry service.

☞ Even in the most impressive properties, a Safari tends to be casual. Having said that, Africa accepts flair with grace and in your lovely surroundings, you will not look out of place if you choose to add a beautiful patterned shirt, a pocket square or decide to wear a kikoy wrap instead of trousers at night.

☞ No need to keep your personality under wraps but do ensure that your clothes are loose-fitting, lightweight and will cover as much as possible in the evenings if your Safari falls within a malaria area.

☞ You also want to bring at least one warm jacket and think about how quickly your clothes will dry if you are caught in an African rain shower.

☞ If it is possible for you to pack different bags for different parts of your Safari; we will always advise you. For instance, you may be able to pack a regular bag for Cape Town and bring a separate duffel for the Safari section of your trip.

☞ There are a number of companies who make clothes that meet all these requirements but are also UV-protective and treated with Permethrin insect repellent.

ExOfficio

The Safari Store

Clothes and Accessories


Toiletries and First Aid

Please note that you have to be very careful in carrying medication across borders. In Africa, some countries ban medication that is widely accepted elsewhere.


Electronic Devices

Most of the latest mobile phones are excellent for documenting a trip. Learn to use your phone for taking pictures (you can even buy some good lenses to use with your phone if you fancy).

But if you are a keen photographer then you will need:


Finally

If you are planning to tip during your stay it will be best to carry cash in small bills to last throughout your Safari.

You might also want to check in with Pack for a Purpose before you go. They give you the best advice about the most practical items to bring with you if you would like to help a community on Safari.

Images © Boxed Water Is Better – unsplash.com; © Benjamin Davies – unsplash.com; © Blake Wheeler  – unsplash.com;©  Patrick Fore – unsplash.com; © Tierney– stock.adobe.com

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