Going on Safari has always been at the top of my world bucket list. I am a crazy animal lover and a huge David Attenborough fan so when I was given the amazing chance to head on an amazing trip to Botswana, I said no thanks…. jokes I cried inside and couldn’t stop smiling for days. As soon as I was told what was coming – camping, bush loo’s and bucket showers, it begun to hit me… what in gods name do I pack? I have never been on Safari before… I have camped like twice in my life; once in my backyard and once down at a campsite, not in the middle of the African desert! Thank fully I had a few friends who were able to help me out with words of wisdom and after my own experience I have compiled a list of packing must haves.
- Warm Clothes – Make sure you bring clothes that are thick but layerable (big knits and jumpers are always a win), that way you can strip down the layers during the day. Driving on a chilly morning in an open air-safari car feels more like the arctic tundra than an african desert, so be prepared for the serious wind chill factor.
- Gloves – Best thing I bought with me. I took fingerless gloves so I was able to use my index finger to take photos… rookie mistake.. for the most part I wasn’t able to feel it or move it to push the button! Take proper gloves, the drivers will stop for you to take photos.
- Beanie and Hat – These you will chop and change through, beanie in the AM and a hat in the PM.
- Shoes – Something comfy (ladies no heels!) I found cheap sandshoes and runners to be best. With the outdoor showers bring thongs. If the rest of Africa is anything like Botswana there will be some nasty little bindi like prickles in the grass and they get on EVERYTHING. You don’t want these bad boys in your feet, they hurt like crazy.
- Amenities – Im not talking about make up because you are camping, no one is looking at you when there is a pride of lions chilling by the water, but do take some face moisturiser as you skin will dry up in the wind and sun. For the bush loos, bringing your own travel tissues (lots!) and hand sanitiser is a must, toilet paper can come in scarce supply in the middle of a safari ride! With the bucket showers, its really a rinse and run kind of action. Wet wipes will help for the days you can’t shower to help you feel clean and dry shampoo for the ladies as you won’t be able to wash your hair properly. Ladies with long hair braiding is a great idea.
- Electronics – Camera, video camera, phone, Polaroid anything that takes a good snap bring it! You won’t want to miss a thing. A portable charger also comes in handy as well since there are no power points in the bush.
- Luggage – If you can, try not to take a hard case suitcase. A travellers backpack or a sports bag is great because it is soft, mouldable and light weight, making it perfect for those smaller airline flights. Handy Hint: Some small aircrafts won’t allow hard suitcases so double check before you go.
“Take only memories, leave only footsteps”