When planning our African safari in Kenya, I inevitably got to the point where I didn't know what to pack. It was going to be our first safari experience, and for me - a first African experience as well (if we don't count the islands of Cape Verde, just off the African coast).
So, I started searching online in order to get some clarification. All the blogs I read were talking about layers, which seemed logical, but giving examples with long pants and then shorts. Which made me really confused. Are you supposed to dress your long pants on top of your shorts? Or you're able to change inside the safari vehicle?
It is true, however, that layers are crucial for a safari. When leaving for the morning game drive, the temperature outside was around 14*C. But the sun starts shining shortly after and by the time we were going back to the camp for lunch break, it was around 26*C. Around 4 p.m. we would leave for an afternoon game drive and go back, only after the sunset, which is when the temperatures go down again. So, this is what I packed for 3 days of game driving:
- three tank tops
- one t-shirt
- one long sleeve shirt
- one turtleneck sweater
- one light jacket
- one pair of pants
- one pair of leggings
- one pair of sneakers
- sun hat & sunglasses
As the Masai tribe explained us, the bold, red colour provides them protection, as it scares the wild animals. When going to a safari, the main goal is to actually see the animals, interacting in their natural habitat, so vivid, bright colours are completely out the question. Black and blue (including denim) are also not recommended, as they attract the tsetse flies and the mosquitos. So, basically, it's better to stick to bright, pastel colours - like nude, beige (khaki) and green.
When it comes to shoes, I was divided between bringing ankle boots or sneakers. I ended up buying cheap sneakers for the purpose, with the idea if they get ruined, I will easily throw them away after the safari and would not even take them back home. They did a great job and actually, I still have them. We left the safari vehicle only once during the game drives. And even though the roof of the mini-van was almost always open, the dust that got to the sneakers (which was not as much as I expected) was easily removed.
Packing for an African safari can seem a tricky task, but actually it's pretty simple. Just stick to the basic colour pallet of nudes and take with you light, comfortable clothes, we all have in the wardrobe.
And don't forget you camera! 😉 📷