What to Take on Safari in South Africa?

What to Take on Safari in South Africa?

Embarking on a safari in South Africa is an adventure of a lifetime. The thrill of encountering wildlife in their natural habitat is genuinely unparalleled. To ensure that you have the most enjoyable and comfortable experience, it’s crucial to pack wisely.

Here’s your essential guide to what to take on a safari in South Africa.

1- Appropriate clothing

When packing for a South African safari, the key is to prioritise comfort, practicality, and adaptability to varying temperatures. Here are some specific recommendations:

  • Lightweight and Breathable Fabrics: Choose materials like linen or lightweight cotton, which keep you cool under the sun and are durable enough to withstand the rigours of the bush.
  • Neutral Colours: Opt for earth tones such as khaki, olive, and tan. Bright colours or white can startle wildlife, while darker colours may attract insects.
  • Layering: Since early mornings and evenings can be chilly, consider packing a fleece jacket or a warm sweater that you can easily put on or remove as the day warms up.
  • Protection Gear: A wide-brimmed hat is essential for protecting your face from the harsh sun, and quality sunglasses will keep your eyes safe from UV rays.

2- Durable Footwear

When selecting footwear for a safari in South Africa, it’s important to focus on both durability and comfort to handle the varied terrains you might encounter. Here are more details on the types of footwear recommended:

Robust Walking Shoes

Opt for walking shoes that are designed to offer excellent support and durability. Key features to look for include:

  • Water Resistance: Morning dew, unexpected rains, or crossing wet areas can be common, so water-resistant shoes will keep your feet dry.
  • Ankle Support: High-top designs that support the ankle can be crucial when navigating uneven or rocky terrain.
  • Breathable Material: While water resistance is key, breathability is also essential to prevent your feet from overheating during long walks in the sun.
  • Vibram Soles: Look for shoes with robust Vibram soles or similar high-quality rubber soles that provide strong grip and are wear-resistant.


For more casual moments or relaxing times at your lodge, sandals are an excellent choice. Here are some considerations:

  • Comfort: Choose sandals with good arch support and cushioning to relax your feet after a day of trekking.
  • Easy to Wear: Sandals that can be quickly slipped on and off are convenient, especially when transitioning between indoor and outdoor areas in your lodge.
  • Durable Material: Even for more leisurely use, choose sandals made from durable materials that can withstand the natural elements of the safari environment.

3- Essential Gear

When heading on a safari in South Africa, packing the right essential gear can significantly enhance your experience. Here’s a closer look at some of the indispensable items you should include:


Binoculars are crucial for wildlife viewing, allowing you to observe animals from a safe distance without disturbing them. Consider the following when choosing binoculars:

  • Magnification: 8x to 10x magnification is ideal for safaris, offering a good balance between close-up detail and a wide field of view.
  • Lens Quality: High-quality lenses with anti-reflective coatings will provide clearer and brighter images, which is especially important in low-light conditions at dawn and dusk.
  • Durability: Look for waterproof and fog-proof models that can withstand the dust and moisture often encountered on safaris.

Safari Adventure in South Africa?

Photography Equipment

Capturing the stunning landscapes and wildlife encounters on your safari requires suitable photography gear. Here are key components to consider:

  • Camera Type: A DSLR or mirrorless camera with a good zoom lens (at least 200mm) is recommended for versatility and quality. Alternatively, a high-quality point-and-shoot camera with a strong optical zoom can also suffice for convenience.
  • Memory and Power: Bring several high-capacity memory cards and extra batteries or a portable charger, as opportunities for charging can be limited in remote areas.
  • Protection: A sturdy bag with padding is essential to protect your equipment from bumps and dust. Consider a dust-proof and waterproof case or bag, especially during the dry season.


Proper lighting is essential not only for safety but also for navigating and enjoying the lodge area after dark. Here’s what to pack:

  • Headlamp: A headlamp is hands-free, which is very practical for nighttime activities like reading, setting up your camera, or walking to dinner.
  • Flashlight: A robust flashlight with a strong beam is useful for spotting animals during night drives or for emergencies.
  • Extra Batteries: Always have spare batteries on hand, as cold nights can drain battery life more quickly than usual.

4- Health and Safety Necessities

  • Sunscreen and Insect Repellent: The African sun is harsh, and insects can be a nuisance, so protection is necessary.
  • First-Aid Kit: Always useful for any minor injuries or health issues.
  • Personal Medications: Include all necessary prescription medications and a copy of the prescription.

5- Additional Items

  • Travel Guidebook: Enhance your understanding of the areas you’re visiting.
  • Power Adapter: South Africa’s plugs are unique (Type M, with some Type C, E, and F outlets), so an adapter is essential for your devices.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: It’s crucial to stay hydrated in the heat, and a reusable bottle helps reduce plastic waste.

6- Important Travel Documents

When preparing for a safari in South Africa, it’s crucial to have all necessary travel documents organised and ready. Here are detailed considerations for each essential document you’ll need:

Passport and Visa

  • Passport Validity: Your passport should be valid for at least 30 days beyond the date of your intended departure from South Africa. Additionally, ensure that your passport has at least two blank pages for entry and exit stamps.
  • Visa Requirements: Visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. Most visitors from Europe, UK, the USA, and many Commonwealth countries do not require visas for stays of up to 90 days. However, it’s imperative to check the latest requirements from the South African embassy or consulate in your country, as regulations can change.
  • Children Travelling: Note that South Africa has specific requirements for children travelling with one or both parents, or with guardians. These rules may require presenting full birth certificates and signed affidavits from absent parents.

Travel Insurance

  • Coverage: Opt for comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical expenses, including evacuation in case of serious illness or injury. Additionally, ensure it covers cancellations, personal belongings, and any activities you plan to undertake that may be considered high risk, such as guided bush walks or hot air ballooning.
  • COVID-19: Check if your insurance policy covers COVID-19 related issues, such as trip cancellations due to illness, quarantine requirements, or medical treatment while abroad.
  • Duration: Ensure that your insurance covers the entire duration of your trip, including any possible delays or unexpected extensions.

7- Snack Supplies

  • Non-perishable Snacks: Useful during long drives or when meals are delayed.

Packing efficiently for your South African safari not only prepares you for various adventures but also minimises disruptions to the natural surroundings and the majestic creatures inhabiting them. With your bags packed right, you’re all set to enjoy a mesmerising and unforgettable safari experience.

Luxury Safari Holidays in South Africa

When planning your South African safari holiday, it’s crucial to tailor your itinerary to reflect your personal interests, adventure level, and budget considerations. Oliver Myles offers a bespoke array of South Africa safari packages that cater to a variety of preferences.

Our safari experiences are meticulously curated to ensure you get the most comprehensive and enriching adventure. From thrilling guided walks that bring you up-close with the flora and fauna, to exhilarating game drives across expansive landscapes, and even captivating night safaris that reveal the nocturnal wonders of the African bush, we have something for everyone.

Our expert team at Oliver Myles specialises in creating unforgettable experiences that are seamless from start to finish. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family adventure, or a solo exploration, our South Africa safari holidays are designed to surpass your expectations.


In conclusion, preparing for a safari in South Africa involves careful consideration of what to pack to ensure a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable experience. From selecting the right clothing and footwear that offer both comfort and protection in various weather conditions, to packing essential gear like binoculars and cameras for capturing the majestic wildlife, every item has its purpose.

Additionally, safeguarding your health with necessary medications and protections against the sun and insects is crucial. Equally important is organizing your travel documents and insurance to avoid any complications during your journey.

Moreover, considering the logistical aspects such as choosing appropriate snacks for energy during long excursions and ensuring all electronic devices are compatible with South African power outlets, are steps that enhance the overall experience.

By meticulously preparing for these various elements, travelers can fully immerse themselves in the stunning natural beauty and rich biodiversity that South African safaris have to offer. Thus, with the right preparation, each safari-goer is well-equipped to have a memorable adventure that resonates with their personal interests and exceeds their expectations in exploring the unique landscapes and wildlife of South Africa. Safe travels and unforgettable adventures await in the heart of Africa.