Thursday, March 1, 2012

South Africa: Packing for Safari

There's no doubt about it, heading around the world for a safari will be an exciting trip! Now that I've shared a bit about our safari adventures, here are a 10 suggestions for what to pack...

1. Camera + accessories: A big trip like this requires an investment in a good quality camera because you don't want to miss out on a perfect photo opportunity. Whatever your budget, try to find something that will take amazing pictures (or beg a friend to lend you theirs). After the trauma of accidentally deleting my digital photos while studying in China, I became a bit obsessive with backing up my images daily to my mom's iPad.

Bring an extra memory card (or two), plus extra batteries or a voltage adapter if necessary. It’s terrible when your camera runs out of power in the middle of nowhere! The way I see it? Credit cards will eventually be paid off but travel photos will last forever, a good camera is a must!

2. Comfortable shoes: Pack something relaxed (I love my Birkenstock sandals) plus another pair of sneakers for hiking. If possible, bring an old pair since they could end up completely soaked with mud and take forever to dry, resulting in a very gross situation. Which of course, is exactly what happened to me. 

3. Sunglasses: Bring them even on a cloudy day since the weather can change quickly. Plus, they can protect your eyes from extreme wind and rain. You don't want to squint the entire time or you'll miss all the action!

4. Scarves: There’s a reason they are my favorite accessory! Aside from warmth or adding flair to an outfit, scarves can be wrapped around your body as a small bag, worn as a sarong or offer protection from the sun. Thin, cotton scarves wash easily and dry quickly in your hotel room. 

Ready for the adventure with all the proper safari accessories!

5. Layers and pockets: I packed neutral colors, light, long layers (some days you might end up wearing them all!). It's more practical to bring less with more matching opportunities so pack in similar colors. Before the trip, I purchased a ‘safari’ style jacket There's a reason why they're so popular, all the pockets came in really handy to hold my camera, bug spray, maps, etc... instead of hauling a purse or backpack. It's great to have everything accessible and keep your hands free to take lots of pictures!

6. Alarm clock: We woke up very early since of course, wild animals don’t sleep in. Use a battery operated one in case of a power outage and most importantly don't forget, to set it for the proper time! (right Mom??)

7. Mosquito spray: ...with DEET. A few people forgot this, good thing we brought enough to share. Malaria or being covered in bites will probably ruin your travel experience.

8. Binoculars: We didn't a pair but they can be helpful since wild animals won’t necessarily be close to the jeep. This is another item you can probably borrow from a friend.

9. Light raincoat or poncho: The video above should be explanatory enough. We didn't bring ponchos either but a cheep plastic could fit without adding weight to your carryon luggage. Thankfully, our jeep had a few stowed away...except we didn't discover them until after a few hours of wind and rain. Oops!

10. A friendly smile: Hands down, a smile is the best way to make new friends while traveling. Remember to enjoy whatever adventures come your way or make the most of an unexpected windy, rainy day, like we did!

Well friends, that's the last of my safari posts, I hope you enjoyed them. Next up, I'll take you along on our Garden Route drive from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town...stay tuned! 


  1. How cool! Yours was the first blog I picked from FatMumSlim's linky list to check out the March-A-Day photo's and you've got a post about visiting South Africa - where I live! Just simply fab!
    I hope you had a great time in the game parks, and the Garden Route is a splendour that is so wonderful, even the jaded South Africans love travelling it too!
    I look forward to seeing more of your piccies!
    Helen -- Firenze Cards
    Cape Town, South Africa

    1. Hi Helen! Thanks for checking out my SA post, glad you enjoyed it. We had SO much fun, I'd love to visit again one day. Next week I'll post about the lovely Garden Route, what a scenic drive! Cheers :)

  2. oh my goodness the cheetah!!! that's enough to persuade me to go to South Africa :)