By Lou Zagagnoni
While going on a journey to the great outdoors inspires to a simpler way of life and a return to necessities, the packing for such trips is nothing close to simple. Imagine your suitcase becoming a giant puzzle that you must assemble perfectly to optimise your experience on site. There is always a struggle of finding the perfect combination of clothes and accessories and making them fit into your luggage that seems to be getting smaller and smaller as you start thinking of scenarios in which you would need this and that.
Photo Source: Pinterest & Ofonime Essien Aviation
Well, at Travel By XO, we understand your worries and this is why we have prepared this checklist on what to pack for your adventurous journey through Southern Africa.
There are three main types of luggage that you will need. The first is a large soft bag, which is mandatory when flying with chartered airplanes, especially in Botswana. Choose a resistant and flexible bag as most small aircrafts store the luggage in a very small compartment.
The second item you’ll need is a backpack. It’s the most comfortable way to bring as many accessories as you can along on your adventures.
The third item is a small money belt: the necessary choice if you are transiting through smaller, less frequented airports or visiting some bustling local popular markets to purchase authentic souvenirs.
Remember that you are going into the wild and that wild animals will be roaming around you. It is recommended to only bring green, beige, khaki, brown or grey coloured clothing along. You want to blend into nature in terms of the colour scheme as much as you can. Curiously, blue and black attracts tsetse flies while red and white attracts most animal’s attention!
Photo Source: Fashion Me Now & The Safari Store
- 1 pair of comfortable closed walking shoes: ensure that you have worn them before your trip if you are planning long enjoyable walks and hikes or even want to attempt a walking safari.
- 1 pair of sandals – in Southern Africa aside from hot wonderful summers even winter and autumn can spoil you with warmth and sunshine so to enjoy pool, beach and surroundings always pack a pair for just in case.
- 1 tight fitting hat to avoid nasty sunburns
- 1 comfortable pair of sunglasses so you can enjoy the beautiful sights of animals and landscapes even in sunshine
- 2-3 pairs long pants and 1-2 pair of shorts
- 2-3 tee-shirts as well as 2-3 long sleeved shirts
- Sleepwear and underwear
- 1 smart-casual outfit to dine at the lodge (opt for long sleeves and long pants to avoid insect bites)
- 1 windproof jacket with a warm inner lining
- 1 scarf and a 1 woolly hat and gloves for travel during the winter
- 1-2 sports bras: the game drives can be rough going through unfenced terrain (you’ll thank us later for this tip ladies)
- 1 swimming costume
Aside from your beauty case containing all the essentials you use daily, we want to just point out not to forget high factor suntan lotion, as the African sun can be harsh on your skin. You will also need a moisturizer as the wind in, for example, Cape Town can be quite drying. Pack a long lasting lip balm and when packing razors, we recommend non electric options. Please also stay away from strong smelling beauty products or perfumes on safaris as you don’t want to attract the attention of animals.
- Anti-histamine cream & tablets
- Any personal medication (including malaria medication) should be carried with you at all times.
- Foreign foods don’t agree with everyone so make sure to pack something for any gastric issues you may encounter on your journey to ensure that your tummy won’t get in the way of your well-deserved holidays.
Photo Source: Istock – 101 Ways to Survive
Other useful essentials
- Cash in moderation
- Camera – with charger, spare memory cards & battery
- 1 pair of binoculars per person
- 1 torch per person
- 1 adapter for the plugs in South Africa
Photo Source: Silverkris