What to pack for safari
Pack like a pro for your safari at Mahali Mzuri or Ulusaba.
From luggage restrictions on smaller planes to avoiding brightly coloured clothing, packing for an African safari can be daunting. To ease the process, we have gathered packing tips from our experts at Mahali Mzuri in Kenya and Ulusaba in South Africa to ensure you set off for your adventure fully prepared.
The essential safari packing guide
Let’s tackle those luggage restrictions first.
In Kenya, the SafariLink and Air Kenya aircrafts serving the airstrips nearest to Mahali Mzuri have a luggage limit of 15kg/33lbs inclusive of hand luggage. In South Africa, Federal Air, flying directly to Ulusaba’s airstrip from Johannesburg, allows 20kg/44lbs per person with maximum hand luggage is 5kg/11lbs. A handy tip is to forego wheels which add weight and instead opt for soft-sided, lighter, duffel-style bags. Safarlink, Air Kenya and Federal Air all have complimentary luggage storing facilities for excess luggage also.
What to pack?
Let’s start with clothes. Lightweight clothing in muted, earth tones is recommended for game viewing. With game drives taking place in the early morning and late afternoon it’s important to layer up with a windbreaker, jacket, fleece or jumper, and make sure to pack some long trousers too. Avoid bright colours as they can shy away the animals while biting insects are often attracted to striped patterns. Bring a hat and a light scarf or bandana (just avoid camouflage patterns) to keep you warm on cooler days or protect your neck from the sun on warmer days. If you are joining our guides and rangers on a safari walk, bring lightweight comfortable walking shoes with a firm sole but avoid white or brightly coloured shoes. Sunglasses are essential and make sure to bring a swimming kit for those leisurely afternoons by the pool.
How about gadgets?
With photo opportunities galore, avid photographers should bring their photography kit, including extra memory cards. If you don’t have all the gear, smartphones are also great for capturing striking wildlife shots – just make sure to bring a fully charged power bank to ensure your device doesn’t run out of battery just as you spot the Big Five. Our guides and rangers carry binoculars on the game drive vehicles.
Anything else to bring?
Both Mahali Mzuri and Ulusaba are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows visitors to make lasting impact in the local communities by using some of the space in their luggage to bring suppliers for school or clinics. Find out more about how you can help support projects near Mahali Mzuri or near Ulusaba.
Remind me of the essentials?
And of course, make sure to pack these essentials:
- Passport, tickets, and visas (if required)
- Any medication you may require and a small first aid kit
- Any vaccinations, if required
- Travel insurance
- Sunscreen and insect repellent – you’ll also find these in your accommodation at Mahali Mzuri and Ulusaba but you may have your own brand of choice
You will also find adaptor plugs in your accommodation.
Lastly, what shall I leave at home?
Kenya is a polythene-free country and plastic bags have been banned. If carrying liquids in your hand luggage, we recommend using small transparent toiletry bags. If you are planning on taking a drone, make sure you check the rules and regulations first as many camps and national parks do not allow drones or have strict no-fly zones in place to protect the wildlife.