What Should I Pack on a Safari Trip?

A safari is one of the biggest travel experiences one can have and is without a doubt life changing because you will be observing stunning animals in their natural habitat and getting to learn and understand different cultures. A safari will inspire you, leave you awe-struck, more adventurous and open-minded, more connected to nature and above all make you realise that it’s not everything that you hear about Africa that is true. It will be a reminder that life is too short and there is more to life than your daily routine.

For you to get the most out of your safari it is critical that we plan it well and in good time.

At BLAS it is always our aim to exceed your expectations. For us to achieve this goal we encourage our guests to start planning their safari six to twelve months in advance. This is more so when you want to travel during the peak season period – June through September/October. Planning in good time will not only make your experience with us a memorable one, it will help you take away the burden of having to pay for your safari in a lump sum – our travel consultants will guide you on this. Yes, a good safari experience does not come cheap.

We want to advise our guest(s) on what to pack when coming on safari with us.  We will also give you some climate information on the five destinations we conduct our tours within the region of Southern Africa.

Temperatures in the region of Southern Africa vary depending on which destination you choose. There are certain things we advise you to carry with you as you tour the African wilderness.

Within the region there is a well-defined cycle where the most rainfall occurs during the summer season between October and March. As the rains fall during this period and generally across the Sub-Saharan region they bring with them a drop in temperature and less precipitation.

Below is a list of what we would recommend you to bring with you on your safari with us;

  1. Prescription Medications

Medications must always be carried on your person in case your main luggage is delayed or lost. As a safety precaution – it is important to make sure you have extra medication in case of any emergencies. This list includes prescription glasses (carry two pairs in case you lose one or they break)

  1. Clothing

Always travel light but make sure you are carrying weather appropriate clothing. There is always a chance of going on-board light aircraft during your safari and it is important that you are within the stipulated weight which can range between 12 – 15 kgs. Carry with you long sleeved shirt, blouse and t-shirts, pair of combat pants, windbreaker/ fleece or warm jacket because of cooler temperatures at night. A bandana, dipped in cold water can be quite refreshing around your neck. Light raincoat a, sunglasses, hat, swimsuit, comfortable walking shoes and a pair of sandals or rafters for easy walking. You can also bring with you smart casual outfit for the evening dinners. Depending on the time of day or place shorts can also be worn but make sure you will not be coming back to camp late evening or carry with you a pair of trousers.  Your clothes must be light breathable fabrics because you will be in open vehicles exposed to direct sunlight. Avoid bright or neon colours as this will drive away the animals. Recommended colours are khaki, green, brown and tan – earth tones.

  1. Your Electrical Gadgets (Camera, mobile, binoculars)

Make sure you pack the chargers and country specific adapter plugs. South Africa for example, does not take European plugs or adapters so check with your travel consultant before you travel. Make sure your camera and mobile have good memory or carry with you extra memory cards so that you don’t miss out capturing all the exciting animals, scenery and cultural activities you come across. Remember this is a life time experience and every detail needs to be captured and treasured. A portable power bank is highly recommended. For you to get a closer look at the animals and take great photos you will need to pack a good pair of binoculars and camera with you. These two pieces of gear will be your closest friends during your adventurous trip with us. If you are not sure about the type of camera or binoculars you need speak to any one of our travel consultants. We are always happy to chip in a few suggestions based on our experiences and that of our guests.

  1. A Good Read

There will come a time during your safari when you just want to wind down reading a good book by the pool side watching those animals come by at the watering hole or you have fallen victim of the African time.

  1. Travel Documents & Insurance

Your insurance documents should always be on you together with the emergency contact numbers that you may need. Do not forget that all-important document – your passport – make sure you have the right visa in it.

  1. Mosquito Repellents & Sunscreen

Most lodges and camps do provide mosquito repellents however try packing your own high strength formula that provides the maximum level of protection against biting insects in all environments. A good time to apply insect repellent is around sunset ready for the evening when mosquitoes are most active.

 

A Brief Climate Overview of All Our Five Destinations

Botswana – climate is semi-arid. Though it is hot and dry for much of the year, there is a rainy season, which runs through the summer months. Rainfall tends to be erratic, unpredictable and highly regional. Often a heavy downpour may occur in one area while 10 or 15 kilometres away there is no rain at all. Showers are often followed by strong sunshine. A good deal of the rainfall does not penetrate the ground but is lost to evaporation and transpiration. Temperatures can rise to 38 degrees Celsius or higher reaching 44 degrees Celsius on rare occasions. The ‘Pula’, is not only the name of Botswana’s currency, but also the Setswana word for rain.

Namibia – the country is partially covered by the Namib, one of the world’s driest deserts. Its climate is generally very dry and pleasant. The cold Benguela current keeps the coast cool, damp and free of rain for most of the year. If it does rain, the rains fall in summer (November through to April). Between January and February daytime temperatures in the interior can exceed 40ºC (104ºF), but nights are usually cool.

South Africa – is famous for its sunshine. It’s a comparatively dry country, with an average annual rainfall of about 464mm; world average is about 860mm. Western Cape gets most of its rainfall in winter, the rest of the country is generally a summer-rainfall region.

Zambia – In Zambia expect to find a climate that is tropical or sub-tropical depending all depending on altitude, with a hot, humid, and rainy season from mid-November to March and a dry season from April to mid-November.

Zimbabwe – May to September is usually cooler with very little rainfall though like Zambia the climate is varied by altitude. The rain season is usually heavy from about late October to March.

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