A couple weeks ago I accomplished one of my life long dreams of going on an African Safari on my recent trip to South Africa. For this trip I was determined to look the part and be prepared for what ever might happen. From my preparation and experience the following is what I think are the top five packing tips for an African Safari.

1. Clothes: For me looking the part made the experience of a Safari that much more exciting. Think neutral colored clothes, light and airy fabrics but also layers depending the time of year. For myself I had khaki pants, tan colored t-shirts and a long sleeve button up shirt to cover up in the hot sun but to also keep me warm for the early mornings and late evenings before and after the sun was up when it can be a bit colder out.

2. Boots/Field Shoes: Often your safari can include bush walks where you will walk with your ranger and tracker by foot looking for animals and learning about the smaller things on Safari like the plants and insects, boots are a must for this. You never know what you might find on Safari and I doubt you would want to find a snake on your bush walk wearing just flip flops or sneakers.

3. Bug spray: While on Safari I didn’t have much of a problem with bugs when the sun was up but once the sun was down they were everywhere. I never got bitten, thanks to my bug spray and I’m sure depending on the season you go on safari they could be worse or not so bad so always be prepared. In the chance you do get bit by something look into also bringing an after bite type medicine with you to remove the itch so you don’t spend the rest of your trip constantly scratching.

4. Camera: Obviously! I was taking photos and videos left right and center while on safari. I had a DSLR with two different lenses and two different phones with cameras on them taking photos while on my Safaris. If you are trying to make the decision to upgrade to a fancier camera definitely make that decision before going on a Safari. Also if you can’t afford buying a zoom lens for your DSLR just for the trip look into camera rental companies that you could borrow a lens from for the entire length of your trip.

5. Binoculars: The first time some ever told me to take binoculars on a trip I laughed and wondered if they thought I was an old man, however I was sad that I didn’t have a pair with me on my safari. Often the animals are far away and if they aren’t a Big Five animal your guide most likely won’t be able to go off-roading to get closer. Also surprisingly there are some amazing birds that you will see on safari like the Lilac Breasted Roller and you are going to want some binoculars to get a closer view of them. Trust me, on Safari everything you see is exciting, even the birds, you will wish you had binoculars with you too.