I am often asked what do I pack clothing wise when I am going on safari so here I will explain all. Please note my Thyroid does not work so I feel the cold way more than everyone else so I will always pack more layers than the average person. I suggest you check the average daily temperatures for where you are going and adjust accordingly.
All of the above you will see what went into my hold baggage on my most recent trip tom the Mara. Below is a list of all the items.
1. Hat – obvious that you should have one this is my favourite as the brim is nealy flat so I can still use my camera in Landscape orientation when wearing it.
2. 2 to 3 sets of bottoms I usually wear trousers but several of mine have zip of legs that means they can easily become a pair of shorts if it gets realy hot. (Its got to be realy hot before my legs make an appearance!)
3. 2 to 3 tops again most of mine are long sleeves simply because I find covering my arms in sun cream a chore.
4. One sweatshirt. This is extra layer 1 for when its cooler first thing in the morning.
5. Long loose maxi dress that I will put on in the hottest middle part of the day, its made of the same material that sports kit is made out of. Anything that is loose and comfortable is good for this.
6. 2 buffs/neck gaiters. Multi use. In hot weather you can make them wet to help keep you cool. In warm weather they keep the sun off the back of your neck. In cold weather they work as a kind of scarf and I regualry use one on the end of my longest lens so I don’t have to faff with the one that came with it that is a pain to put on and off.
7. Top and leggings. My gym kit. I have come to realise that I need to do some exercise on safari so I will do an hour of Yoga at least every third day so I need something to wear to do this in. Note this is also in neutral colurs so I can if needed wear this as an extra set of clothing.
8. Body warmer. Extra layer 2 for cold mornings.
9. My big coat. Extra layer 3 for cold mornings. Now on my most recent trip to the Mara the other 3 ladies travelling with me had either a hoody or a fleece as there extra layer and only used that and they were comfortable so please have a think what you will need and then ditch all the extra layers I have!
10. Something to sleep in.
11. Wash bag with all my toiletries. Many of the camps and lodges will provide shampoo, conditioner and body wash so you may not need those.
12. Packing cube with underwear.
13. Packing cube with my medications and basic medical supplies for example plasters, pain killers like paracetamol, upset tummy meds, rehydration sachets, bite cream etc.
14. 4 pairs of socks.
15. Flip flops.
Every camp or lodge that I have stayed in has some sort of laundry service some are free some charge but even those that charge its really not expensive so you can have your clothing washed as needed.
All of this fits comfortably in my 32L duffle bag that goes on my back. The only other thing that will be thrown in is some protein bars for me to snack on.
As you can see from the image above all my clothing is in neutral colours so grey, beige or green. You don’t have to go full safari colours but avoid anything really bright, muted is best. There has been some studies showing that Tsetse flies are attracted to dark colours so avoid navy blue and black if possible. Although my coats are all black as I think they are outer layers and with the number of layers I have underneath I think I will be okay. Most importantly you want to be comfy.
I will cover what goes in my camera bag and laptop bag in the next blog!
*Edit I was also asked what do I wear on my feet and I have a pair of Vellies from FOM as shown in the photo. They are perfect but most people won’t own a a pair so trainers, lightweight hiking boots etc. all work well.