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Safari Packing List

By Madikwe Hills on February 12, 2020

You’ve booked your safari and the time is approaching for you to board the plane to South Africa. What to pack?

In order to help you navigate those weight restrictions and tricky weather forecasts, we’ve put together a fool-proof list of the essential items you’ll need on safari. Take a look below.

Passport and travel documents


It seems an obvious one and maybe the reason it’s at the top of the list.

Double and triple check you’ve packed your passport, itinerary info, travel insurance documents and eTickets for your safari. It’s a good idea to pack these somewhere that’s easily accessible so you can grab them while going through airport customs for example.

Prescription glasses


If you wear prescription glasses on the daily – especially for seeing at a distance – your glasses will be your best friend on safari.

If possible, we’d recommend packing more than one pair – in case you lose them or they get broken. Not being able to see will be a very disappointing way to spend all your game drives or walking safaris.

Camera and binoculars


For keen photographers and those wanting to share sightings on social media or with family, your camera (or mobile phone) is something you can’t forget.

If you own a good pair of binoculars, don’t forget to pack them! Binoculars are essential for wildlife viewing at a distance (which is often the case) and a quality pair can change your safari experience entirely.

Clothing and toiletries


Another obvious one – but we’d like to share some advice on WHAT to pack, especially with weight restrictions on light aircrafts you might be flying with.

A good thing to remember is that most high end safari lodges offer same-day laundry services. This means you DON’T need a change of clothes for each day. Casual, comfortable, layered clothing is the key to dressing for success on safari. Choose neutral-cloured, practical options that you feel comfortable in – especially when it comes to your walking boots.

Light cotton or linen shirts with long and short sleeves are ideal. They’ll help to keep you protected from the sun during the day and mosquitos at night. Be sure to pack a fleece or warm jacket for chilly evenings and early morning game drives. And a hat is absolutely essential. Here are the ‘must-haves’ on your list:

  • Tshirts and long-sleeves
  • Fleece / warm jacket
  • Light trousers and shorts
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • A hat
  • Sandals or flip flops
  • A swimsuit
  • A casual, elegant outfit for dinner
  • Cotton sarong or scarf
  • Of course, socks and underwear

Preventative medicine


Depending on where you’re planning to visit, you might consider taking anti-malarial medication before your safari. Depending on your doctor’s instructions, you may be required to take the medication throughout your trip – double check and be sure to pack your tablets.

Other stuff you might want to consider bringing with you – headache tablets, heartburn medication, hand sanitizer, an antihistamine, lozenges in case you get a sore throat, eye drops and insect repellent.

Other odds and ends


If you have the space, it’s also a good idea to pack a headlamp – it can be dark in the middle of the bush at night.

A good book to enjoy during downtime between activities or while waiting in airports is a good idea.

A travel journal or diary is also something we highly recommend. Especially for first time visitors, there is so much to see and experience, writing it down is one of the best ways to record and remember it.

If you’d like to enquire about visiting Madikwe Game Reserve, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and efficient reservations team via email at or filling in our online enquiry form.

We look forward to welcoming you to the one and only Madikwe Hills in the near future.


Image credits: 

Madikwe Hills 

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