Looking for the Great Migration? Well what do you bring to make your adventure the experience of a lifetime?
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What should I pack for an Africa safari?
Pack as lightly as possible but be prepared for all the activities in which you are planning to participate. Pack for the destination and season you will encounter and be mindful that climates may vary drastically from region to region, such as in Kenya's blend of high altitudes and tropical sun. Temperatures can also vary quite a bit between the midday heat and the evening cool, so plan to dress in layers.
Pack neutral-colored, comfortable, lightweight cotton clothing. White, bright or vividly patterned clothing should be avoided when game viewing so that safari-goers can blend in with the natural landscape as much as possible. Long Lightweight Zip-Off Cargo Pants that convert to Shorts are useful and don’t take up much room in your suitcase.
CAMOUFLAGE CLOTHING IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR TRAVEL IN AFRICAN COUNTRIES.
Bring sturdy Walking Shoes or Tennis Shoes if they have thick soles to protect against stepping on the sharp acacia thorns. “Flip-Flops” or Sandals are handy in the camps and around the swimming pools. Depending on the anticipated level of physical activity you may want to take Hiking Boots, Wide-Brimmed Hat, Sunglasses, Lip Balm with Sunscreen Protection and good quality sunscreen are essential to protect against the harsh African sun. Insect Repellent with DEET is also a must when on a safari. You may want to consider packing a Travel Alarm Clock, so you can rise and shine to meet your safari vehicle for those early morning adventures. Also, pack a good pair of Binoculars to optimize wildlife viewing.
A Travel Kit is recommended with any basic medications you may need, such as painkillers, antihistamines, allergy medicines or remedies for an upset stomach.
Divers you may want to bring some of your own personal equipment especially if it is fit specifically for you such as your own Wetsuits or Diver Suits, BCD - Buoyancy Control Device, Dive Masks, Dive Boots, Divers Regulator, Divers Knife – [which must be packed in your checked luggage at the airport], underwater camera or GoPro Hero5 & Session Divers Mask, Divers Watch, Diver Fins, Divers Flashlight with extra batteries, quick dry gear bag, as well as dive certification cards. Check with the airlines for any restrictions on your gear.
Snorkelers you should also consider bringing your own Snorkel Equipment that fits you specially such as your Snorkel Mask and Snorkel Flippers, with a Quick Dry Gear Bag to contain it all within. By bringing your own equipment this will help in maintaining a sterile environment to keep you healthy especially being so far away from home.
Climbers may want to consider bringing they own Daypack, Duffel Bag [a ‘catch-all’ for your climbing gear], Approach Shoes or Approach Boots, Climbing Harness, Climbers Helmet, Gear Sling, Belay/Repel Gloves, Cams, Multi-Use Tool, Belay/Repel Device, Bandana’s or Buff’s, Sunglasses with retention strap, Water Filtration System and/or Purification Tablets, your Rock Shoes, Headlamp and/or Flashlight with extra batteries, GPS, (Click on the link and see our recommendation) Insect Repellent with DEET, Binoculars, Water Bottle, (Click on the link to see our recommendation) plus Locking and Non-Locking Carabiners just to name a few items. Other items may be able to be rented or purchased once you get there. Check with your Travel Agent.
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Please Note: the Africa Travel Adapter above requires a power converter from 240v to 110v see the product below to purchase.
The plug configurations and voltages offered in African are varied. For example, in Kenya the voltage is 240V/50hz and the plug is a 3-pin rectangular prong that form an isosceles triangle. Whereas, South Africa is 230V/50hz with 3 completely different types of plug configurations. We recommend the following Universal Adapter Featured on our Travel BLOG.
Don’t leave for your African Safari without your Best Digital Camera [bring Large Capacity Memory Cards] and/or the Best Video Cameras [bring extra tapes/DVDs], battery chargers and other electrical connector items. Bring ALL appropriate Power Converters, Power Cords, Chargers and Adapters. Extra batteries for all your electronic devices are ‘must have’s] and of course, a Camera Bag with Strap.
On your adventure one of the most important bags you will need to make an investment in is your Camera Bag. You not only have to think about protecting your Camera while in transit, but it will be especially important for when you are on the safari. It will need to be protected from the dust and grit while traveling. This bag should be one that you can seal tightly, such as a waterproof one, and be shockproof. The safari rides are not exactly a smooth ride on a paved road. Here is an example of one that I recommend if you have a Canon or similar camera. It is a Caden Waterproof/Shockproof Shoulder Messenger Bag.
We highly suggest that while you are actually shooting with your camera you have ‘at the ready’ a small cotton t-shirt or soft cloth towel available to cover it while you are waiting for the next shot. When not in use place it back into your camera bag and seal it up. Keeping the camera and lens dust free with render more beautiful pictures. You only have one-shot to get the ‘money shot’.
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What sort of luggage should I bring?
Due to space limitations aboard motor coaches and domestic flights between safari destinations, tour operators may place restrictions upon the number of bags allowed per person, and upon the maximum weight of each bag. Guests also may be required to use only Soft-Sided Luggage or Duffel Bags rather than Hard-Sided Suitcases. It is always advisable to have TSA Approved Luggage Locks to secure your belonging. For more information consult your itinerary, airline carrier and/or your travel agent.
A small Daypack is a handy means of carrying travel documents, Cameras and everyday items. Securely bind all travel documents together with a Waterproof Document Holder or a Neck Wallet With RFID, (Click on the link to see our recommendation) including tickets, passports and any visa entries, vaccination certificates and travel insurance documents. Make extra copies of your passport, airline tickets and traveler's check numbers. Pack one set of these copies to take with you in case you lose them and leave one set with family or emergency contact.
Your Health and Vaccines you may need
Africa is a huge continent so the vaccines that you will need depends heavily on where you're going.
First and foremost, you will need to visit the CDC - Center for Disease Control’s website for up-to-date requirements and recommendations for destination specific health issues and vaccines. This site will allow you to search exactly where you are visiting and what will be required of each traveler for vaccines prevalent in each African country.
Next, it's essential to visit a doctor that specializes in travel medicine or the travel medicine department of a local hospital to learn about health issues in your destination. Certain immunizations are required, and others are highly recommended. It's best to make this visit well in advance of your trip, as some health threats require a series of inoculations over time, all prior to travel.
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