Once we've helped you through the process of deciding where you'll go, when you'll go and what you'll do while you're there, you now need to decide what to take with you.

Because this will almost certainly be different from your regular holidays, you'll pack differently too.

Fortunately, with so much experience packing for trips to Africa, we can help you in this process too.


DOs and DON’Ts


1.       Do read the following checklist 6, 3, 2 and 1 months prior to departure, then again at 1 week and 1 day prior to departure.


1.       Don’t pack any food whatsoever, including snacks.  Through a hundred years of diligent practice, the wildlife have no reason to believe there is anything to eat in your tent.  Don’t be the one to break that confidence.  It will have disastrous consequences for both you and the animal.

2.       Don’t pack any tools whatsoever, including allen keys, screwdrivers or blades in your carry-on baggage.

3.       Don’t pack batteries of any kind with exposed terminals unless they are in their original packaging or fitted in your equipment.

4.       Don’t pack any lithium batteries in your checked baggage.

5.       Don’t bring lithium batteries exceeding 100Wh capacity (Approx 26,800 mAh).  They are not permitted in the hold or in your carry-on bags and will be confiscated.

6.       Don’t pack any your checked baggage.  This includes any electronics, cameras, lenses and perfume in their boxes.  Remembering that your bags are soft, and they may be “frisked” by dishonest baggage handlers.  Watch our demonstration here:

7.       Don’t bring liquids, aerosols and gels of any kind in containers exceeding 100ml or 100gm in your carry on baggage.  Gels include honey, yoghurt, lipgloss, toothpaste and many more.  There are further restrictions on how these are to be carried.  Check your airlines.

8.       Don’t bring inorganic powders exceeding 350ml or 350gm in your carry on baggage.  These include salt, talc, sand etc.  There are further restrictions on how these are to be carried.  Check your airlines.

9.       Don’t bring any weapons of any kind, including blades, firearms, mace, pepper spray etc.  The discovery of any of these will result in the cancellation of your travel with no refund.

10.   Don’t exceed the carry-on weight limit which can be as low as 5Kg and unlike the USA, can be strictly enforced in Africa and Australia.  Check your airlines.

11.   Don’t bring any electrical equipment that requires 110V or 60Hz.  Many laptop and camera chargers automatically sense voltage and frequency, so you can bring those, but check the labels first.

12.   Don’t bring any hard-shell suitcases.  There is a very good chance they will be refused by the airline.

13.   Don’t submit delicate or low melting point fabrics to the laundry services in lodges and camps.  The water will be scalding and the irons, if used, may be coal irons like your great grandmother used.

14.   Don’t approach or allow the approach of any animal with teeth, wild, habituated, tame, domesticated or otherwise.  The ONLY exceptions to this rule are humans and your horse if on a horseback safari.

15.   Don’t give gifts or money to children from the vehicle or at the road side.  At best, this encourages truancy but there are much more serious consequences.  After you drive off, thinking you’ve done good, some children will be assaulted by bullies who’ve been watching the exchange.  Worse, there have been cases of begging children killed in traffic.


1.       Water or water bottles.  The camps and lodges provide you with refillable water bottles and filtered water fountains.

2.       Long pyjamas.  The beds in lodges (except those at high altitude and other malaria-free zones) have mosquito nets and the tents in camps are fully insect screened.

3.       Special, evening or formal dress.  Your normal daytime (ie safari) attire or even “safari chic” is the regular standard for dinner at safari lodges and camps.  (It’s different if you are travelling on Rovos Rail or spending any time in a city or at Victoria Falls, for example.)

4.       Hiking poles for the gorilla trek.  You definitely need to use something like this, so you will be provided with a rustic, wooden pole.  But if you’d rather have your own high-tech version, you’re welcome to bring it.



Many people prefer to have a checklist to help them plan their packing.  You can download the one we use here: download checklist



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