Packing for an East African Safari - Brownell Travel

Packing for an East African Safari

a series by Catherine Whitworth

I am getting ready for a Safari to East Africa and I thought it might be helpful to write about what to pack. What I am suggesting is equally good for Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. It is important to take into account the other activities one might choose do do other than game drives such as fishing, horseback riding- Singita Sasakwa, and Ol Donyo Waus among others have that- canoeing, hiking, birdwatching, ATV riding , etc. You might need clothing or equipment dedicated to those activities.

The key is to PACK LIGHTLY! Most charter flights won’t carry over 20KG. Which is 44.9 pounds. I found a canvas duffle with rollers from LL Bean. I can carry it on from the US to Nairobi. Then I packed a Longchamps fold up canvas bag to hold camera equipment when I have to check the duffle. Never check ANYTHING valuable, especially camera equipment or medications. In case your luggage gets lost.

For ladies:

4 short sleeved cotton T shirts

3 easy dry long sleeved khaki shirts

3 pairs long khaki pants- mine have zippers to make into shorts

2 pairs of long pants for night

2 pairs long shorts

One dress for night dining

One skirt for night

A really GOOD pair of binoculars

A good wide brimmed hat with a tie so it won’t blow off.

2 pair of sunglasses

Malarone medication for Mosquitos

A really good mossie spray with DEET

a bathing suit

A sarong for both BS and night

2 bright colored pashminas. I use them instead of the plane blankets.

2 cashmere sweaters for night or cold mornings

1 pair of Silver Tory Burch slippers for night

1 pair of sneakers

1 folding fan

All Chargers for phones and cameras

Universal adapter

Ziploc bags for makeup and hair products

1 all weather jacket

2 cameras one with long lense attachment, one video. Extra cards.

A journal

A fold up bag to use when your carryon has to be checked.


1 nightgown

Medjet medical pack

Visa credit card, iPad, and cash.