Safari. – I was asked by African Safari Home (ASH) to do a guest post, offering my best advice and practical suggestions on what clothes to wear on safari.
Find it here: http://www.africansafarihome.com/what-to-wear-on-safari/ or as included below.
With a seductive setting Africa reveals lions roaring by night, the call of a jackal at dawn, treks into the wilderness and stays in luxury lodges and romantically set mobile camps. Wide-open plains and abundant game, 4×4 vehicles traversing untouched landscapes, the thrill of the unknown and the opportunity to reconnect with nature, be humbled by the big skies and offered insight into the wild.
The African Safari remains one of the greatest gifts you can award yourself, yet for most in the planning stage, there are many questions relating to what clothes to wear on safari and how best to prepare for this trip of a lifetime.
This list should offer some useful advice to aid in your preparations.
You can also get information on their popular safari destinations here.
Clothes to Wear on Safari
– Autumnal hues and neutral colours are the best on Safari – beiges, browns, greens etc. and shades of blue, the rule is no bright, neon or white in the bush.
– T-shirts, shorts or light skirts, cotton or linen clothing, jeans in winter or safari trousers for evenings and cooler days.
– Hat and sunblock.
– The days warm up whatever time of year it is, you’ll want to be in something light and cool by around midday.
– Days on safari are generally hot. In the mornings and evenings, long-sleeved shirts and slacks are better and will also protect you from mosquitoes. For those sensitive to the sun, a loose cotton shirt is a good bet during the day, as is sunscreen. For colder mornings, layering clothing helps keep you warm and is a convenient way to ensure you’re wearing what you need as the day heats up.
– A light, compact raincoat is a good idea for the summer.
– For the ladies a big floppy hat, healthy collection of interchangeable scarves and a little slip of a dress to make you feel beautiful on those warm summer evenings, goes a very long way.
– Swimming costumes/bathing suits as most of the lodges and camps have swimming pools.
– A pair of walking (not hiking) shoes and sports socks should you opt to do a walking safari, which we highly recommend. Although at the end of the day there’s nothing better than hanging up your shoes and putting on light flip flops or slip-ons.
– Don’t be mislead, temperatures can drop drastically in the winter and you will want a jacket, fleece, gloves, scarf and woolen hat to guard you from the cold on that open vehicle.
– Make sure that you don’t bring your best clothes if you are planning on doing a walking safari or spending time in a more rustic camp, they could get caught up on thorns, or damaged a little on a long stay.
– The safari experience is relaxed and all about reconnecting with nature, you can leave your best clothes and jewellery at home, replacing it with an open mind and heart.
The Unavoidable Essentials
– Your Passport and copies of your passport, kept separately
– Credit cards – remember to let your bank know you’ll be traveling abroad before you leave
– Contact information of the places you’ll be staying at, transfer companies and your tour operator and a print out of your reservations.
– Driver’s license (if you’ll be driving in South Africa)
– Travel Insurance details
– Local guidebooks, bird and animal guidebooks, maps
– A travel journal to make notes of the animals you saw and experiences of the day
– Yellow Fever Inoculation certificate – if required for the country you will visit.
– Carry some cash as you may visit a local village or craft shop where you can pick up some unique souvenirs, also for gratuities for the lodge staff, tracker and guide, which you’re likely to leave on departure.
– Insect Repellent and Malaria prophylactics if required in the area you will visit. Consult your doctor for these prior to traveling.
– Your cellphone, laptop or tablet – although we do encourage a complete disconnect.
– Chargers and an international adaptor if required.
– I recommend that you pick up a local simcard in arrival in South Africa, it makes for affordable and easier communication.
– A basic first aid kit, prescription medicine and personal toiletries, lip balm, tissues, a packet of wet wipes and a flashlight.
– Your camera with lots of memory cards and even an external hard drive to back up your photos each day. You will need much more storage space than you anticipate and you don’t want to risk losing your captured memories.
– A personal set of binoculars would be wonderful.
– A small backpack to take on your game drives, for your camera, binoculars etc.
– Try and pack everything into a soft bag with one smaller piece of hand luggage per person, with the weight not being more than 20kg, and even as little as 12-15kg on some light aircraft transfers. You don’t need as much as you think you do and most lodges and camps offer a laundry service.
– When traveling, the best habit is to allow everything to have a place and stick to it. This makes it easy to find things on the move and minimises the risk of losing anything, as at a glance you will know what is where and if something is missing.
– Take a padlock as a precaution to lock your bag when flying or traveling.
– Try and get a waterproof or dust-proof cover for your camera bag.
There is nothing more humbling and surreal than a true African Safari and your choice of reserve and lodge matters greatly. It is recommended that you communicate your expectations with African Safari Home so that we can match your dream with the right property. Be sure to be clear on your focus, be it luxury, big 5, walking, game drives, remote private concessions or national park.
Should you need friendly expert advise, contact ASH for more information.
Find more of my Freelance Writing for your reading too. Pics supplied.