A well-organized Kenya safari starts the moment you start packing for the trip.
Your safari checklist can be the difference between an unorganized, chaotic journey and an enjoyable trip.
|Tourists on safari in Kenya|
This article discusses the bad and bad things to consider when packing for a safari, the essential items to carry, and what to exclude.
Entering the wilds of Kenya requires comfortable, breathable clothing.
The colors you go for must not intimidate the animals or attract insects like tsetse flies, which are generally drawn to blue and white stripes.
But what do we mean by appropriate colors?
Well, if you’re looking to get into the savanna, tanning / khaki and green are highly advised.
Why? Because warm colors like red tend to intimidate the animals, and what good is a safari if there are no animals for you to see?
2 Man on safari
While still on the topic of clothing to carry, try to pack light. Too many bags can be onerous and expensive to carry around.
Remember that local flights have a luggage allowance of between 15 and 20 kg, and anything above that allowance will incur an extra cost.
It is therefore essential that you pack strategically to ensure maximum comfort even with the smallest luggage possible.
- Lightweight cargo pants and sun hats are some of the essential clothing to include.
- As Kenya gets quite warm during the day and cold most nights, remember to include a couple of lightweight, breathable T-shirts, warm but light jackets, and a scarf or pashmina.
- A pair of smart casual clothes is advisable if you plan on attending a semi-formal dinner while on safari.
- If not, you can leave that out and focus on wearing a pure safari. Fighting the heat during day game drives, including a bandana is a great move.
- The idea here is to dampen the bandana and tie it around your neck for a cooling effect during those inflated game drives.
- Throwing a bikini in is always a smart idea too, only if the urge to take a dip in the camp / lodge pool tickles your fancy.
Also, remember to choose the right type of shoes. Walking boots or sneakers are ideal and are sure to provide adequate protection for your feet.
3. A pair of sturdy shoes is a staple on a safari
If you have a beach safari on your trip, include sandals to wear on those beach walks and marine safaris as well.
Closely related to this, for snorkeling enthusiasts, the boat operators usually provide snorkeling goggles and masks.
However, if you feel more comfortable wearing your own clothes, you can bring those with you.
Other smaller items that may be essential for you include telephone / laptop / electronic chargers up to 220v (the electrical outlet capacity of most camps / cabins).
Bags: In line with the luggage recommendations while maximizing your load capacity, it is best to carry a duffel bag. That’s because it weighs less than a suitcase (especially the variety on wheels).
With a duffel bag, so you can carry more stuff.
Hot Tip: When deciding what to carry on a Kenyan safari, remember to bring an extra empty bag to carry your souvenirs on your way back!
Kenyans have amazing works of art such as paintings, carvings, decorations, and jewelry to choose from.
What not to carry
Most of what would be considered security items in the western world are not allowed in Kenya.
For that reason, you cannot bring guns / firearms (unless licensed – subject to entry point security protocols)
You are also not permitted to carry pepper spray or other such items.
Also, note that polythene bags are banned in Kenya, and carrying items in polythene bags could get you into trouble with the law.
Instead, go for reusable bags. These are also readily available in Kenya.
Apart from your luggage, below is a quick checklist of your Kenyan safari essentials.
Some of these items are personal, and their importance can vary from person to person.
- Medication: This includes any prescription medication you are under. Also note carry antihistamines (in case of unexpected allergies), pain medication, and antacids.
- Travel documents: Your passport, airline tickets, and entry Visas fall into this category.
- Toilets: Body lotions, toothbrushes, sunscreen, hair brushes, face towels and underwear.
- Insurance Documents: If you have travel insurance, please carry the necessary documentation with you.
- Vaccine certificates: Yellow fever vaccination and COVID-19 health certificates.
- Credit cards: Most organizations in Kenya accept all major credit cards.
To wrap up:
If you forget one or two items, it’s not the end of the world; you can still buy them when you land.
Kenya tour operators not only pick you up from the airport but offer guidance on the best places to shop for personal items.