Packing for your Kruger Park safari experience
So you have decided to make that dream vacation a reality – A trip to the Kruger National Park in South Africa, or possibly one of the many great game parks in Southern Africa. You can get plenty of advice if you have booked through a top professional tour operator, but if it’s just some packing advice you need, then look no further.
Packing for your Kruger Park Safari experience is fairly straight forward, but may seem daunting for those who have never been to Africa, or on safari. You will be spending the bulk of your time doing what you really came here to do – spotting wildlife and in the Kruger Park you can see all of the ‘Top 5’. These are the animals deemed most difficult to spot, but apart from thee somewhat elusive Leopard you should not have any problem sighting at least the other four – Lion, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino.
Now we have whet your appetite for the trip, let’s get down to the practical side, what to pack? This comes under three essential categories – Sighting equipment, Clothing and General…
Let’s start with this first as it is the most important on this type of vacation.
- Good camera equipment with lenses to get long range shots – and to suit your level of professionalism. The cell phone camera just won’t cut it if you want to get great pictures. Sure you probably will get ‘up close and personal’ enough to do so, but you’ll want something better. Camera equipment can be arranged for hire and specific Photographic Safaris arranged. Don’t forget your chargers for cameras and phone and spare memory cards.
- Sunglasses – bring good ones – the sun can be fairly intense depending on the time of the year.
- Binoculars – Very important, especially if you want to be doing most of the spotting instead of taking the pictures. Also if you come with a group, bring a few pairs – everyone will want to look at once sometimes.
- Flashlight – this could be useful as you may occasionally be walking in the dark. In the camp or supervised of course!
- Protective wear, like wide-brim hats, a good lightweight waterproof jacket and sneakers or light hiking boots. There are many changes of temperature from hot in the day and very cold when on the safari vehicle at night. It can also rain quite a bit in summer. Light protective shoes are fine – heavy hiking boots are not necessary. Even have some sandals for lounging around the pool between game drives.
- Lightweight clothing of neutral colours – Bring mostly shorts and T-shirts or light cotton blouses. The days are generally warm. Try to bring light brown green or khaki colours. Better to avoid white and bright colours as they can distract the wildlife.
- You do need to pack some long sleeve shirts and long pants just for the colder periods, as well as jerseys and jackets. Ladies can pack a semi-formal dress if staying in a lodge, but dress is generally very casual. Ladies can bring a support bra though for the sometimes rather bumpy drives!
Just a few general things you need to bring are:
- Sunscreen – very important
- A small medical kit – for just in case. Obviously most lodges have medical kits, but in particular bring adequate chronic medication, lip balm and a small bottle of moisturizer.
- Malaria medication. Not always necessary, but consult your tour operator. The Kruger Park is within a malaria area, so you may need this and if so, it is necessary to bring it.
- Reading material – There is a fair amount of time to just chill between thrills. Not all rustic camps will provide TV and you probably won’t want it in this setting anyway. Some good reading material is more appropriate.
A sense of adventure
We hope packing for your Kruger Park Safari experience will be fun. Don’t forget to pack your sense of adventure too, as no two people will ever see the same things and your safari will be unique and unforgettable. The Kruger National Park is just one of the many destinations that we at Safari Odyssey can arrange for you.