You could say that I am a worrier. I worry about drowning in the ocean, I worry about missing a flight, and I worry about getting sick abroad.
As a result, I am a planner. I make itineraries, triple-check my bag and verify gates 15 times. Passport? Check. Credit card? Check. Passport? Check again.
Before heading to Africa, I scoured the internet for safari packing lists, medications I might need, and the best bug spray to keep malaria at bay.
Exhausting as it was, I was thankfully prepared and didn’t even get sick once. In fact, I had so much fun that I plan on doing it again, following the same tips that I am about to share with you.
Rest assured friends, this is the only safari packing list that you will need!
Unless you can hold it or you magically don’t have to pee all day, there will probably be a moment where you are having to do your business in the bush.
Most major sites have washrooms for you to use, but they may be a) squatter toilets or b) have limited supplies.
If you are heading out into Cat Country, there will be no chance of modern relief facilities, so you may just be peeing on a tree (sorry ladies!).
New foods, new bacteria, and limited hand washing can easily make you sick on vacation. Good hygiene is imperative in keeping you healthy in a foreign place!
Staying healthy is hard work when your body is not used to the different types of food and bacteria.
Again, I prioritize health over everythinnnng. You are not going to have a good holiday if you are always searching for the next bathroom.
Immodium is a must-have; traveler’s diarrhea is the most common travel-related illness, affecting between 30 and 70% of people.
If you are more prone to getting sick to your stomach, Pepto Bismal might be more for you. If you are looking for more of a long-term solution, I take Iberogast from the first day. A natural remedy for digestion, I find it helps WONDERS when eating new foods.
Skin cancer is a real thing, y’all, and that equatorial sun is no joke. Although I would recommend lightweight pants and long sleeves (not just for sun but also tsetse flies), coverage for your head is just as important.
I would recommend a wide-brim hat, and don’t be shy about wearing one that you like…you are on safari after all! I like the ones from Nine West as they are sturdy enough to hold the brim up…no flopping over!
Sunglasses are a necessity as well. Besides the obvious reason of protecting your eyes from the UV rays, there is limited shade, so it gets BRIGHT. You do not want to be squinting in an effort to see the cute lion cub running beside your jeep!
I am not a huge fan of sunscreen but have found one that doesn’t leave you a greasy mess. Neutrogena Dry-Touch Sunscreen is tolerable for even the pickiest of sunscreen-haters.
Okay, even I panicked about this one before heading on safari, so I am here to set the record straight.
What kind of camera do you need on safari?
A DSLR is preferred by many, but technology has come so far that some of the best shots I’ve seen were taken on my iPhone. If you plan on zooming in to capture photos, I would recommend investing in a camera. I use a Fujifilm X-A 5 and love how easy it is to use.
The reality is that the animals are often close enough to get great shots, so unless you plan on selling your prints upon our return, your existing camera is probably perfectly fine.
I was also thankful that we had brought binoculars – they were useful in those rare moments when the animals were too far away.
Coming soon….a blog post titled “What I wish someone had told me about going on safari in Africa.”
Number 1: you will need ‘hiking’ boots, but not for the reason you think you will.
Unless you sign up specifically for a hike, you will not be doing much hiking. You will actually be doing a lot of sitting and standing in a jeep.
So why the boots?
Remember how we talked about doing your business in the bush? You will need boots so you don’t end up peeing on your ankles.
Unless you are actually hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro, I would choose a popular yet stylish boot, such as the Troopa Boot by Steve Madden.
I am a devout Birkenstock fan (yes, they can be ugly), but I LOVE the support it offers for the arches of your feet. I wear these ones, which I think are low on the ugliness scale.