When it comes to packing for a trip, the golden rule is that less is more. However, there are some items that you should not leave home without when going on a Kenyan safari. So, in no particular order, here is our list of safari essentials:
It may seem obvious, but a good pair of binoculars should be among the first items in your safari kit bag. Simply put, you’ll be able to see more wildlife when you can zoom in from a distance.
2. Repellent for Mosquitoes
Some safari destinations are more mosquito-infested than others, but it pays to be prepared. Mosquito repellent containing DEET is essential for evening and nighttime use, and if you really want to go all out, a pack of mosquito coils for your room is a good backup.
Photographs are an excellent way to remember your safari. Point-and-shoot cameras can get the job done, but if you want to get some really close-up shots, the zoom size is everything – no zoom is too big for safari!
4. Day Bag
A smallish bag to carry with you while walking or driving to keep your bits and pieces organized and close at hand. Along with the items on this list, bringing some water and snacks (fruit, cookies, etc.) is a good idea to keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
The sun can be very harsh on safari, especially if you are out in the middle of the day. Because you’ll be spending a lot of time hanging out of your car, protecting your skin from burning is essential.
6. Sunglasses and a hat/bandana
Most game parks can be very bright and dusty while driving or walking, so it’s a good idea to have some sort of protection from both (see our take on what to wear on safari for a full discussion on this).
Wrap-around sunglasses will provide the best eye protection, while a safari hat will provide additional head protection. Bandanas are also useful because you can wear them over your mouth if you’re going through a dusty area.
Even the most opulent lodges have time limits on how long their generators can run, which means you may not have power all night. You won’t have to struggle to find your way around if you have a good head torch with you.
8. Evening Gowns
You’ll be spotting big game in your best khakis during the day, but bring some evening wear as well. After a dusty day out, you’ll want to change, and depending on where you’re staying, the dining room may be a relatively glamorous affair in the evenings.
While it can be too hot during the day, it will get cooler – and sometimes cold – in the evenings, depending on altitude. A fleece or warm top is always a welcome addition to the kit bag for those early morning game drives or evenings around camp.
10. Sturdy Footwear
Even if you do not intend to walk much during your safari, you will most likely stop for lunch or to visit hides. During these times, you will be getting out of the vehicle and walking through potentially hazardous terrain, so a good pair of shoes is recommended.
Simple trainers will be enough for this, but if you intend to do some walking, consider investing in a pair of waterproof shoes.
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