Safari List

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1. Passport

(South Africa requires your passport to be valid for an additional 6 months after your return date to the USA. No exceptions), Itinerary, Travel Insurance Docs & hard a copy of your Etickets, originals and copies of your Weapons Import paperwork (if required).

  • There should be sufficient blank pages on your passport for entry stamps upon arrival.
  • Visas are not required for citizens from USA, UK, Canada, France, Germany, and Spain.
  • Visitors can stay for a maximum of 90 days. You may be requested to show a return ticket.
  • We highly suggest that you PURCHASE TRIP INSURANCE for any International trip.
  • Please consider a medical/emergency medical evacuation policy if you travel frequently.

(It seems obvious, but we would be remiss if we didn’t put this at the top of the list of what you must pack for your safari.)

2. Prescription Meds / Personal Care Items.

  • Remember to ALWAYS put your prescription medications in your carry-on hand luggage (in case your check-in bag goes astray… it happens!).
  • Make sure you have enough of each type of medication to last your entire safari.
  • Toiletry Kit- keep in mind that all lodges have soap, bodywash and shampoo so don’t worry about them unless you have special needs. Bring any other toiletries you need with you.

3. Prescription Glasses, Sunglasses, Hat, Sunblock, etc.

  • If you wear prescription glasses, be sure to pack more than one set (in case you lose one or they get broken). Contact lens wear in the dry/windy and dusty conditions on safari can be an issue so please plan accordingly.
  • You will be outdoors for much of the time, so be prepared. Pack a hat, sunblock/sunscreen of SPF 40+, a good set of sunglasses, long sleeves, and lip balm.

4. Camera / Video Camera and Binoculars.

  • Still camera and/or video camera (or use your mobile phone if you have a good camera built in it). Africa is a photographer’s dream! Not only does the boundless wildlife come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, but the continent is also blessed with stunning landscapes, sunsets, colorful people, and fabulous sights! Don’t miss out. Buy a quality camera if you don’t already have one. And don’t forget your charger and extra memory cards for storage of your incredible memories.
  • Binoculars are ESSENTIAL for optimum wildlife viewing on safari and a GOOD pair of binoculars will make a BIG difference to your safari. Like all hunting optics, we strongly recommend you get the most expensive/highest quality binoculars that you can afford (at least 8x or better still 10x magnification) and don’t forget a comfortable carrying strap or harness as well.

5. Clothing and Gear

  • Of course, you’re not going to forget clothes! But are you taking the right clothes…and are you within those weight restrictions for your aircraft flights? Most international airlines will restrict your check-in luggage to around 22kgs (55lbs) for each bag. However, if your safari itinerary includes any light aircraft flights, then this can mean as little as 12 to 15 kgs (sometimes including your hand luggage!). Plan and pack accordingly.
  • Don’t panic! Remember, a same-day laundry service is usually available in most safari camps and lodges. This means you DO NOT need a change of clothes for each day you are on safari!
  • Casual but Comfortable is the best option-
  1. Casual, comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year when on safari. While you may elect to start a completely new safari “wardrobe” it is really not necessary to look like an extra on the set of Out of Africa! Apart from selecting reasonably neutral or ‘non-bright’ colored clothing (think olive green, hunting camo, or dark khaki colors, and avoid “loud”/scratchy material), safari-wear is generally casual and practical. Be sure you take clothes that you feel comfortable in – especially when it comes to your walking/hunting boots. The newer quick-drying fabrics, shirts with ventilation, and trousers that convert into shorts are all well worth considering.
  2. Layering Is Key! -Wearing clothes in layers is the most practical way to cope with fluctuating day/night temperatures and cool evenings while on safari. As the day warms up you can always just peel off another layer. Then as it begins to cool toward evening, you can put them back on. Cotton clothing is recommended although the newer synthetic safari clothing lines are quick drying and extremely comfortable.

Here’s the “must-haves” to pack for your safari:

  1. 3 sets of hunting T-shirts and shirts- long sleeves and collars help to protect from the sun and mosquitoes.
  2. Fleece or warm jacket.
  3. 3 pairs of safari trousers – those that zip off at the knees are very handy, too.
  4. Footwear- A well broken in pair of hunting boots with good ankle support, additional pair of sneakers for airport and lodge wear and don’t forget appropriate socks. A good set of gaiters are recommended to help keep out thorns and other irritants from getting in your socks and boots.
  5. Wide brimmed hat.
  6. Bandanna or cotton scarf. Appropriate colored spandex face covering used for hunting will work well too.
  7. A pair of shoes/sandals for general lodge use in warmer months.
  8. Swimsuit – a number of lodges and camps have swimming pools (seasonal).
  9. A comfortable/casual outfit for dinner at the lodge in the evenings.
  10. A light, compact wind/waterproof jacket. Lightweight gloves and a beanie for chilly mornings and windy days.
  11. Your undergarments of choice. Consider a set or 2 of lightweight long underwear if you are prone to chills in the cooler months.
  12. Any additional casual clothes you think you may need for airport travel and touring.

6. Phone, Music, Tablet and / or Laptop, etc.

  • Decide what you must pack for your safari with regard to your phone, music, tablet and/or laptop. Make sure you include their respective chargers and don’t forget country-specific adaptor plugs. South Africa has a 220V system – 3 round pin plugs.
  • Consider a good set of noise cancelling headphones for the long flights if you don’t already have a set.

7. Preventative Pharmaceuticals

  • This is just a fancy way of saying “what if meds” – stuff you need, just in case the worst happens: diarrhea, headaches, heartburn, insect repellent, hand sanitizer, bites (antihistamine), indigestion, sore throat (lozenges), eye drops, and most importantly – anti-malarial tablets if you plan to travel in malaria prone areas.

8. Odds & Ends

  • A good torch (flashlight) is a must. It can be pitch black in the bush or in your room/tent in the middle of the night. A rechargeable torch is ideal but a small battery-powered torch is sufficient. The new LED headlamps that fit on your hat/head (and leave your hands free) are also a good option. A smaller (pencil) torch for emergencies is also worth considering. Most camps will provide a torch, or will walk you back to your room/tent as required, but being self-sufficient is always a good idea.
  • A good book. It never hurts to have an interesting book when travelling. You never know when you are going to be delayed at the airport or fall victim to “Africa time”!
  • A travel diary or journal is something we recommend. You will see and experience so much in such a short period of time on a safari, that the only way to maintain a good record of it will be to write it down. It does require discipline but this will serve as an invaluable record of your safari adventure.
  • Do not take any expensive personal jewelry on safari. Be minimalist or take only those everyday items that you normally wear, like your wedding band, inexpensive earrings, etc.

9. Hand Luggage

  • Firstly, try to restrict your hand luggage to one item only, if for no other reason than more than one item makes travel that much harder. And, yes, a handbag qualifies as a second item! Obviously, that one item should be of a size that is acceptable as carry-on luggage by the airlines.
  • If you are a photographer, then this will mean you must have sufficient space in your camera bag for travel documents, your prescription medication and/or glasses, binoculars and even a change of clothes. A quality, comfortable backpack is invaluable for this task.
  • Bear in mind that restrictions on what can and cannot be taken on board an aircraft are still in place – including for liquids, flammables and sharp objects. The rules change frequently, so please double check and take heed.
  • SPECIAL NOTE!!!- make sure you have NO parts of a weapon or ammunition in your carryon in South Africa. Even an empty shell casing is considered illegal to carry on an aircraft. Hunters, check your gear and carry on very carefully!

10. Checked Luggage

  • With regard to securing your checked luggage, we would strongly suggest using one or more combination locks to secure zips together if your suitcase does not have its own locking mechanism. Luggage tampering in airports does occur unfortunately. Luggage straps that wrap around your suitcase can also deter would be criminals, and shrink-wrapping facilities are available at some airports.
  • Check with your airlines on luggage number and weight restrictions and stick to them. Extra luggage fees add up quickly for both extra and overweight bags.

11. Check the Weather

  • Ask your travel agent (or check online yourself) and find out what the weather will be like when and where you are going to be in South Africa. You may not need any serious cold weather gear at all (and that will really help with the luggage limit!). Alternatively, if you are going anywhere in winter where the temperature drops dramatically when the sun goes down, you may need heavier gloves, a scarf, a thicker jacket and a beanie! Places like the Eastern Cape, Capetown, and even Kruger National Park are freezing in the early morning and late evening during the winter months (June through August). And this is magnified by a significant wind-chill factor that you’ll feel when on the back of an open game-drive vehicle. Plan accordingly.

12. Finally, Don’t Forget Your Sense of Humor, Patience, and Some Common Sense!

*A word (or two) of warning: While not the issue that it used to be, it is still not advisable to wear any form of clothing that may be construed as “military camouflage” while travelling in public areas. By this we mean any form of brown/green “combat” style coloring. Even if it is the latest fashion statement – and even if it is your 14-year-old wearing it – and even if it is just a cap. Many African authorities have a disproportionate phobia about such garments, and this could conceivably result in you being questioned or harassed by the police. It has the potential to cause you grief, so just don’t do it.

Hopefully, these tips will help you to figure out what you need to pack for your safari. If you need more information or want to go ahead and embark on a safari adventure, Contact Us. We’ll be happy to help you decide on the best hunting/tour options for you.

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