Packing for Safari

We’re off to Africa again! Visit Packing for our Second Safari – In a Carry-On to see what we’re taking this time.

Elephant Family in Londolozi

Trunks are packed but not yet zipped. 🙂 We’ve laid out our clothes, removed all but the essential and STILL have too much to fit into a small duffel. The issue is that we’re heading to safari camps as well as the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town. The nights will be cool and the days hot. We need comforts items for overseas flights and ponchos for Victoria Falls.

Download our Safari Packing List 

First up on our lists:


  • Passport with at least 4 blank pages – add a scanned copy of the passport to another bag and email a copy to yourself
  • Yellow Fever inoculation certificate – scan this as well as you need it to enter South Africa
  • Tickets & travel vouchers
  • Travel Insurance information – highly recommend travel insurance for such an exotic and EXPENSIVE trip.

Gear and Gadgets – (see Travel Gear: African Safari for more information)

  • Camera with telephoto lens – Africa will be dusty, so it’s important to minimize the number of lens changes
    • extra SD cards
  • Binoculars [optional though highly recommended – our favorites here]
  • iPad or small laptop to review and backup images [optional]
  • Plugs, adapters and chargers for all above
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Money belt or similar security stash

Health and First Aid

  • Malarone – malaria pills
  • Compression socks for DVT prevention on long flight
  • Bug spray (most camps will supply insect repellent but bring some just in case)
  • Bush bathroom helpers – toilet paper, wipes, (Amazon offers a packaged set including toilet seat covers call the Restroom Kit) and the ladies might want to bring a Go-Girl for easier ‘going’ mid game drive.
  • Prescription medicine – leave in labeled bottles if possible. Or take a copy of your prescription with you.


In Dave’s duffel bag:

Dave's safari packing

  1. 1 pair khakis and 1 sweater for dinners out
  2. 1 pair of shorts and 1 bathing suit
  3. 2 polo shirts and 3 tees in earth tones – merino wool recommended
  4. 2 button down shirts
  5. 2 safari style long sleeve shirts treated with permethrin insect repellant*
  6. Windbreaker (Magellan) and Scottevest tech fleece with removable arms
  7. Photo vest with insect shield (Exofficio)
  8. 2 pairs of convertible pants (Columbia recommended)

In Amy’s bag:

Amy's safari packing

  1. Windbreaker with removable sleeves (Scottevest jacket has the versatility of a photographer’s vest without the touristy look!)
  2. Fleece treated with permethrin* (Exofficio)
  3. 4 tees, merino wool recommended! These take up little room and are odor resistant!
  4. 2 scarves – one for safari, one for keeping warm on the plane and dressing up
  5. Wrap cardigan (DKNY cozy)
  6. 2 lightweight, convertible pants treated with permethrin* (Columbia and Mountain Hardwear)
  7. 2 safari shirts (Exofficio)
  8. Casual tops
  9. Silky dress-up tops
  10. Safari hat (Sunday Afternoon)
  11. 1 dress, 1 skirt, 1 travel pants

Safari Packing ListDownload our Safari Packing List 

*we use Sawyer’s permethrin to treat our clothing. Saturate the clothing (outdoors) and allow to dry. Insect repellent should last for 6 washings.


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On Safari: what to bring and how to pack for the ultimate adventure trip, Africa. Suggestions for #packinglight in a soft-sided bag. #packinglistPack for Adventure, safari

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