We’re always asked to provide the ultimate packing guide for a safari. I suppose we can claim the title of experts because we’ve collectively been on about 100 safari trips and we always manage to pack everything we need into one soft-side duffle each. So, to help you out, here’s our personal packing list:
- Duffle bag: Ashley’s pick is the Northface Base Camp Medium (70 L) Duffle and Nick’s is the Patagonia Black Hole Medium Duffle. They are mostly waterproof and can certainly handle the rough and tough traveling conditions that take us across the globe (often on small planes and helicopters). Another stylish option to consider is the duffle by Filson.
- A good hat is a must: Pack a wide-brimmed, foldable hat. Ashley’s pick is a Sunday Afternoon hat and Nick opts for a Dorfman.
- Bring your battery power: Don’t forget to pack a portable charging pack.
- Always keep a kikoy on hand: Kikoys are a versatile fabric wrap that are absolutely brilliant for traveling. They’re lightweight, versatile and can be worn as a dress, or inspired styles of skirts, scarves, and shawls. They also have infinite alternative uses, such as doubling up as a pillow, sunshade or beach mat.
- Stock up on SPF: Africa’s climate can be harsh on your skin and eyes. During the day, temperatures can be very hot and dry, but then drop drastically at night. We always pack a good sunscreen and have some Jack Black SPF 25 lip balm packed in our bags. Eye drops are also essential for those unpredictable, dusty days. Ashley likes to travel with her own water bottle (which she can then fill up along the way).
- Boots that are made for walking: Everyone asks us about shoes, because they can really make or break your trip. Nick wears his trusted Blundstones and Ashley opts for a lightweight but stylish Teva boot. Right now the Ellery has her vote. It’s also a good idea to tuck a hiking sandal into your duffle and make sure it has a thicker sole (Tevas and Birkenstocks work well). Durable trainers are also good options.
- Bring on the buff: When you book a trip with us, we always send you on your way with a buff. It’s perfect to use as a COVID-19 mask, a headband and dust guard, and a general neck-warmer on cold morning game drives.
- Pack some bright colors: Travelers often feel they need to only pack khaki gear for their safari trips but you can splash out with pops of color in the bush. Look at the Maasai warriors. With that said, stay away from white and black just because white stands out so harshly in the African bush and gets grubby, and black/dark navy attracts tsetse flies.
- A few last must-haves: Nick doesn’t leave home without a handful of his favorite Lululemon Silverscent shirts. They work so well for travel. Check out Vuori outdoor essentials for long pants that are comfortable, stylish, and perfect for adventure.