Your Tanzania trip is quickly approaching. You have read through the packing list for climbing Kilimanjaro. You have watched the video as well. You’re feeling confident that you are ready for the climb. However, you also booked a safari for after the climb and you haven’t even thought about what to pack for that. Luckily you can probably get away with wearing about anything. But here are six essential items to pack for your Tanzanian safari.
First of all, you will want to wear comfortable clothing. Preferably light colors. You have seen movies where everyone is wearing white or light colors. That is for a reason. Bright colors—especially blue—attract the tsetse fly.
Tsetse is a large biting fly that inhabits much of tropical Africa.
The tsetse is an obligate parasite that lives by feeding on the blood of vertebrate animals.
Basically, they are biting flies. Normally they will not be harmful to healthy adults and children. So don’t worry. Their bite however is momentarily painful. Kind of like a pinprick.
The clothing should also be loose so you can move around the safari vehicle easily and comfortably. If you are wearing too tight of clothing, it will be hot and cumbersome to move around to see the animals.
The shirt should have long sleeves so you can roll them down to protect your arms on the sides of the vehicle as it cruises along the bumpy road.
Besides comfortable clothing, you’ll also want to wear a hat. We recommend one with a strap so it doesn’t blow off when you are standing and driving around.
It should have a brim to shield you from the sun.
Another item that you should bring is a neck gaiter, buff, or scarf. This is to block your nose and mouth from the dust that will be kicked up by the wind or other safari vehicles. Safaris are dusty.
4. Closed-toe Shoes
Do not wear sandals or open-toed shoes on a safari. You are just asking to stub your toe. you’ll be moving around the truck angling for better views of lions, hyenas, dik-dik, and all the other animals. You won’t be paying attention to your foot placement. That combined with the moving vehicle can end badly for your toes.
Finally, another important item to bring with you is sunglasses. It is bright out on the savannah. Sunglasses are essential to protect your eyes from the glare as well as the dust.
Finally, you can’t go on safari with a smartphone or tablet for photos. You really need to bring a DSLR camera. It should have at least a 300-400mm lens. Ideally, 500mm or more is best. Animals generally do not like to hang out right by your vehicle. You’ll need to be able to zoom into their location to get those shots you see in National Geographic.
Lenses can be expensive, so do what we do and rent one. A good 500mm lens can easily run you $2,000 or more. You can find camera rental places that’ll rent a lens for two weeks for around $200.
There you have it. We have given you the six essential items to pack for a safari.
The safari parks we visit are Lake Manyara National Park, Arusha National Park, Tarangire National Park, The Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, and Serengeti National Park. Top see the Serengeti (highly recommended) you’ll need at least four days due to its location.
We hope this helps make your safari one that is memorable for the animals and not how uncomfortable you were.