Whether you’re headed on an African adventure to Kruger National Park or the Masai Mara, or you’re seeking safari stardom in Chobi or Etosha, there are some things you just can’t do without.
African Safari By Simone Roda (Adorenomis) from Italia (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
They might just not be what you’re expecting…
Note that we say block, and not cream or screen. The African sun is harsh for most of the year, and on safari it is often blazing hot. At least for the first few days of exposure, factor 50 is advised; factor 30 is essential.
Catching a tan is not the priority here, and sunburn – the most likely outcome of not protecting yourself adequately – is just not fun on safari, where there is no escape from the heat.
2. A good torch
Finding your way between tents at night can be tricky in the wilderness, and you don’t want to lose your way in the wild! Try an LED option for brightness and battery life – you won’t be sorry.
3. Flip Flops
While sturdy boots walking or hiking boots are essential for long days spent seeking out a glimpse of that elusive endangered species you so wanted to see, a pair of flip flops is pretty high up on our list of safari must-haves too.
Trust us, there’s nothing better than hanging up your dirty boots outside of your tent and letting your feet breathe in a pair of lightweight flip flops.
4. A camera
On safari, you will make memories you’ll want to treasure forever, so make sure your camera is up to the job! If you’re looking to buy something new, but aren’t too specialist or high tech, a Canon EOS 1- with appropriate accessories of course- is a great place to start.
A good pair – at least 8 x 30 magnification – of binoculars are none negotiable for those serious about spotting some wildlife. Go a little more pro than you were planning with yours – we promise, you won’t regret it. For the best value, check out the range of Zeiss binoculars at uttingsoutdoors.co.uk – they seem to be around two-thirds of the price of equivalent models of Leica or Swarovski models and are just as good.
6. A waterproof bag
We say waterproof but really we mean dustproof! Dust is a silent killer, and expensive gadgets are its victims of choice. Protect your valuables the smart way, and keep them safe from rain too…
7. A dose of malaria cure
Experienced safari goers don’t generally take malaria prophylactics like Maralone – instead, they keep a supply of Coartem of Cotecxin handy at all times, which work to effectively to cure a fever just as well as Malaria. (Obviously, you should discuss your options with a health-care professional before taking any medication at all.)
8. A sports bra
This is one for the girls (sorry guys) but a good and well-fitting sports bra is essential for a successful safari! Rides can often get a little bumpy, especially if time is of the essence, or the terrain rough, which it so often is on game drives.
9. Your iPad
While obviously, not everyone is lucky enough to own an iPad or tablet, they are great for safari! Easily reference species of plants and animals, use it to keep a journal of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, or just listen to music on it when it’s time to relax each evening
10. A sense of fun
The most important thing you need to bring on an African safari is the drive to have an adventure – everything else pales in comparison!