South Africa is one of the most exciting safari destinations in the world. Hence, it is loved by millions of photographers and wildlife explorers. Safari in South Africa is a life-changing experience. From spotting rare and endangered species to relishing spectacular scenery, witness the magic of nature, and bring home a bunch of memories and a bundle of happiness. But before you take up the expedition and venture off in wild woods, take a look at the top 15 essential items you need to pack on your safari in South Africa. These would assure you have a smooth and comfortable journey. Here is your guide to what to pack for a safari in South Africa.
15 Key Things to Pack for Safari in South Africa
1. Camera & Tripod
The wondrous landscapes and the charming fauna of South Africa certainly deserve to be framed forever. Hence, a camera and a sturdy tripod stand are the top essentials to pack for a safari in South Africa. You wouldn’t be able to refrain from capturing the elegance of tigers and lions or the undulating hills in the countryside or refreshing streams meandering through dense woods or plains. We suggest a DSLR or a mirrorless one for the perfect shots.
If you have a professional camera and an amazing zoom lens, you wouldn’t need any binoculars on your safari. However, if you have one, it would surely be great. Binoculars are of substantial use as they help you zoom in on the details of a subject and provide you with an enriching experience. Whether it is looking for whales from the shore or capturing the beauty of the Big Five from a distance, binoculars would be of a great help.
3. Insect Repellents
An Insect repellent spray or lotion is a must before you venture out to explore the forests and wildlife of South Africa. Though you wouldn’t find many mosquitoes or other insects on your safari tours, it is always advisable to keep a bug spray or an insect repellent lotion for a safe and healthy journey. Be aware of dense woods and offbeat paths as you might encounter a lot of insects there. Apply the substance to your skin at least 10 minutes before travelling.
Water is indispensable and extremely essential for life. Whether you are out on a safari or a historic tour of South Africa or any other place in the world, water is needed everywhere. Moreover, the climate of South Africa is hot at times and hence, it is always beneficial to keep yourself hydrated. So, do pack a few water bottles as per the amount of time you are going to spend away from your hotel or resort.
5. Packed Food
Just like water, food is necessary for health and energy. Hence, it is another essential you must not miss out on as it is hard to come across many restaurants or cafes while on the safari tour. Packed food is preferred for it doesn’t go stale and can be kept for a long period of time. You can pack snacks, juice, tea, bread, dry fruits, etc. If you are going to spend only a few hours away from your resort or hotel, then you can also go with cooked items such as pancakes and eggs.
6. Fanny Bag
Fanny bags are the waist pouch worn like a belt and are mostly used while trekking, hiking, and other outdoor sports. Hence, they are of great use on a safari tour. You can keep your mobile, charger, cash, cards and other important items safely in it. Make sure the fanny pack is waterproof so that your valuables remain intact even after an unexpected downpour or a water sport.
7. Sport Shoes
If you are embarking on a walking safari across the wild woods and the landscapes of South Africa, then a good pair of sports shoes are essential. Hence, buy a sturdy yet comfortable pair of sports shoes for the safari that awaits you. The better your shoes are, the more comfortable your safari would be. And the more comfortable your safari is, the happier your experience is.
8. Sunglasses and Hat
With semi-arid regions and subtropical zone, South Africa experiences a sunny climate. Hence, the days here get quite a high degree of sunshine and are hot most of the time in a year. Consequently, wearing hats and sunglasses would keep you cooler and save your eyes from harmful rays respectively.
9. Light Clothing
Pack breathable and light clothing, preferably in earthy or pastel tones when on a safari in South Africa. A windcheater is recommended for windy days. If it is the summer season, then you can go with sleeveless dresses, t-shirts, shorts and more. During the winter season, you can wear light-weight jackets, capris, trousers, etc. Remember, safety and comfort are the top priorities.
Sunscreen is a must-bring essential when you are planning to visit South Africa during the summer season. This is the time when the scorching sun produces extreme heat and shines brilliantly over the head during the day. Hence, sunburn is common on exposed skin. Do wear sunscreen with a well-suited SPF to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays and prevent any skin infections.
A number of lodges and resorts in and around the national parks of South Africa have pools and other such facilities. Therefore, bringing a swimsuit would complement your safari experience. And, who wouldn’t love to laze in calm waters after a tiring day of exploration? Dipping toes in waters or swimming across baths while enjoying spectacular views of forests from a distance is quite fascinating.
12. First-aid Kit
To keep yourself away from any physical damages, always keep a first-aid kid with you. Plasters, gauze dressing, bandages, safety pins, tweezers, antiseptic, cleansing wipes, painkillers, medicinal creams, and more – all of these items must be there to help you in case of any emergency. You can also request your ranger to arrange one for you.
13. Guide Books
Though you would be traveling with a ranger who has good enough information to deliver, it is always wise to keep guide books with you. These books contain maps and detailed information about the place you are visiting. Be it Kruger National Park or Addo Elephant National Park, they would provide deep insight into the wildlife of the place. Therefore, you would be able to make the most of your safari experience.
Toiletries must also be a part of your essential items while on your safari tour in South Africa, especially if you are going to stay in remote regions. Hand sanitizers, shampoo, soaps, deodorant, washcloth, comb, toothbrush, razor, mirror, tissue paper, sanitary pads, etc., should ideally be packed.
15. Batteries and Chargers
Chargers are of utmost importance and so are the batteries in your camera and other gadgets. Hence, before you are on your way to explore the wildlife of South Africa, make sure to have the required chargers and batteries in your backpack. If you are on a lengthy trip, then keeping an extra pair of batteries is highly recommended.