Top 3 Essentials For A First-time Safari In South Africa

I had been longing to go on safari in Africa my whole life. Ever since watching The Lion King, I’ve longed to see lions in the wild, watch the sunset over the plains and fall asleep to the sounds of nature. On a recent trip to South Africa, my dream finally came true! I spent a lot of time deciding what to pack, and even then I didn’t quite get it right! But you can learn from my mistakes – let me share my tips on what to pack for a Safari in South Africa.

#1 Camera and Binoculars

A camera with a good zoom lens should always feature on a safari packing list. As a budding wildlife photographer, I loved capturing the facial expressions and interactions between animals, and it was all possible thanks to my Nikon D3300 and telephoto lens!

If you’re lucky enough to stay in a lodge with a lookout point, you might find some binoculars very useful. We loved spotting animals from high up in the tree house, and even managed to find a herd of zebra which would have been impossible to see with the naked eye.

#2 Lots of Layers

Some traditional safaris will have you out on an uncovered jeep at 5am to watch the sunrise, or back at 8pm after the sun goes down. Because of that, it can get mighty cold as you’re racing to find the animals! Layers are a must on safari, to keep you warm even in the African climate. We took trousers, vests, t-shirts, jumpers and big coats to keep us cosy, and my long desert scarf acted as both a blanket in the mornings/evenings, and a sunhat in the middle of the day!

#3 Mosquito Repellent and/or After-Bite!

You should take mosquito repellent and after-bite on all holidays, not just safaris! Even though we visited in the dry season and stayed in a bed with a mosquito net, I still got attacked by one little insect! Stay safe and comfortable by packing tropical strength repellent and soothing anti-itch creams for when the inevitable bites happen. You’ll regret not having protection!


Anna is a travel blogger who blogs at Would Be Traveller and on Instagram

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