How to Pack For Your African Safari


You just booked the trip of a lifetime, an epic adventure on safari in Kenya. (🎉crowd cheers) You’ve probably already started dreaming of elephants roaming the vast African plains and lions basking in the golden sunset light. But before these dreams become a reality, let’s talk about what to pack! Like any other trip, the contents of your luggage are vital, especially when packing for a safari, as this kind of getaway requires a bit of planning, and your typical day-to-day wear probably won’t cut it in the bush. In addition to the ultimate packing guide, let’s dive into what to pack specifically for your African safari.

Keep it cool & comfy

This adventure is one where keeping it cool, comfy, and simple will help you maximize your trip.  Kenya’s climate can be unpredictable, so layering is key. And when it comes to color, there are some things to keep in mind. According to Travel & Leisure, "Stick to neutral colors like khaki, light brown, gray, stone, and tan, which blend in with the colors of nature," says Richard Avilino, a private guide with Wilderness Safaris. Micato Safaris advisor Liz Wheeler also recommends “Skip white—it's not ideal for the dusty conditions of most safari landscapes, and to avoid flamboyant colors like red, which can scare off animals, and darker colors like dark blue, which can attract flies.”

  • Lightweight Layers: Think T-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, and a cozy hoodie or fleece jacket for the chilly mornings and evenings.
  • Comfortable Pants: Leave your jeans at home in your closet and opt for cozy, breathable fabrics.
  • Hat: A wide-brimmed hat is a must to protect you from the intense African sun. 
  • Sturdy Walking Shoes: Perfect for those on-foot safari walks and getting in and out of the safari vehicle.
  • Raincoat: Consider a packable, lightweight raincoat, just in case the rains bless Africa.

Sun essentials

  • Sunscreen: SPF 30 or higher. The African sun is no joke, so protect your skin!
  • Sunglasses: A good pair to shield your eyes from the glare.
  • Lip Balm with SPF: Lip sunburns are real. Get the SPF lip balm!

Gadgets and gear

  • Binoculars: To get an up-close view of the incredible wildlife without disturbing them.
  • Camera: For this trip, you’ll want to upgrade from the iPhone to capture those unforgettable moments. A good zoom lens is a big plus.
  • Adapter: Kenya uses Type G sockets (same as the UK).
  • Power Bank: Ensure your devices stay charged throughout the day.
  • Headlamp or pocket flashlight: Handy for nighttime in the bush.
  • Reusable water bottle: While you’ll want to stick to bottled water during your trip, filtered water stations may be available.
  • Backpack: or other day bag to hold your daily essentials.

TIP: If your camera has a great zoom lens, ditch the binoculars, and use your camera zoom instead!

Keeping things fresh

  • Personal Medications: Bring any prescription meds you need.
  • Insect Repellent: Malaria is a risk in some areas, so this is crucial.
  • Hand Sanitizer and Wet Wipes: For quick clean-ups from the dusty bush on the go.

TIP: Speak to a travel doctor before departure to learn about anti-malaria pills. 

Now that your luggage is packed correctly, you’re ready for a trip of a lifetime. With the right gear and essentials, you can focus on making the most of every moment and seeing nature up close and personal, living its best life as you simultaneously do the same. Remember, less is more on your African safari. The Big Five won't care what you look like, so prioritize practicality and simplicity. So, double-check your list, zip up your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable safari adventure in Kenya.