Although many African destinations are hot during the day, nights are frequently cold – making for very chilly early morning game drives. You should go for sweaters or jackets that are highly compressible to ensure your small bag does not get bulky.
2.) Zip-off pants
These may not be fashionable, but they are indeed very practical in the African plains, where temperatures fluctuate widely. It is common to start off wearing a hat in the morning and changing into shorts by noon.
3.) Hiking boots
These are hardy for taking hikes and walking safaris in Africa. Although you may be advised to carry an old pair of sneakers, lightweight hiking boots are most recommended for safari as they cover your ankles (just in case of snakes) while hiding dust.
4.) Wide-brimmed safari hat
This is highly advisable since it sufficiently covers your neck and ears. A good safari hat with a cord is best for you since it stays put when you are driving at high speeds in an open-sided van with the wind lashing.
5.) Socks and underwear
While most safari camps offer laundry services, it is a good idea to carry enough socks and underwear for the trip, especially if you are rushing from one camp to the other and do not have time for laundry.
6.) Spare pair of sunglasses
Of course you always carry your glasses, but bad things do happen. You can lose them, break them or a mischievous monkey can snatch them from you. It is therefore very advisable to carry a back-up pair of glasses just in case – as you may not easily find replacement in the heart of the African jungle.
7.) Camera and its accessories
I’m sure you want to take some photos of yourself hiking the Ngorongoro Crater. And since cameras can get dusty, be sure to pack a lens wipe and cleaning fluid.
Also, carry with you some spare camera battery and larger memory card capacity than you think you need. The last thing you want is to miss photos of lions mating just because your camera memory is full.
These will help you to see wildebeests rehearsing for the Great Wildebeest Migration – several miles away or to catch a glimpse of a leopard chasing gazelles across the valley. It is recommendable to carry binoculars with 12x magnification.
9.) Insect repellent
While most safari camps provide insect spray, it is advisable to carry a small bottle of repellent especially when travelling during the rainy season.
The sun in Africa can get excessively hot even under the roof of a safari van. It is therefore advisable to carry a high-SPF sunscreen to shield yourself against sunburns.