Safari Packing List- Everything You Need For a Tanzania Safari
Heading to Tanzania for a safari and wondering what to pack? This guide has all the information you need to ensure your suitcase is filled with all the right things.
If it’s your first time doing an African safari, you might be confused about all the right things to bring. The good news is that you don’t need as many items as you may think. Packing for your safari actually can be quick and easy!
Your travel documents are the most important thing to pack before leaving for your safari. Without them, you will not be allowed to enter Tanzania.
- Copy of your travel insurance card if you have one
- Yellow fever vaccination certificate
- Tanzania visa (you can also get this on arrival for most nationalities)
- Credit/Debit Card for using ATMs
- Cash to exchange (certain places don’t have ATMs so it’s always wise to have extra cash on hand)
Clothing For a Safari
You probably see tons of pictures of people dressed from head to toe in typical safari clothing like khaki buttoned-up shirts and wide hats. This is not a must. The truth is you can wear whatever you want on a safari. You don’t need to go out and buy a new wardrobe unless you want to!
It’s a good idea though to bring neutral-colored clothing which is why you'll see many people wearing khakis or beige clothes. Dark clothes like black and blue attract Tsetse flies which carry diseases, so you want to avoid being bit.
Earth tones are the best choice for clothing. Choose items that are tan, light brown, beige, olive, and green.
Layers are also essential as the weather can be cold in the morning but very hot in the afternoon.
All your clothing should be lightweight and breathable. 100% cotton items are also comfortable and will keep you warm on colder days.
Here is a list of clothes to bring:
- Sweater or jacket for cold mornings
- Durable boots or sneakers
- Sun hat
- A t-shirt for each day
- 2 or 3 lightweight long sleeve shirts
- 2 or 3 pairs of shorts
- 1 or 2 pairs of long trousers
- Underwear for each day
- A pair of socks for each day
- Sports bras
- Pajamas or whatever you usually sleep in
- Raincoat and rain trousers if you’re visiting in the wet season
- If visiting in the colder months, consider bringing a warm hat and gloves
- Swimsuit if your lodge or campsite has a pool
- One light scarf
- Dress or fancy shirt if you want to have a dress-up night for eating at some of the fancy lodge restaurants
You might need more or fewer items depending on the duration of your safari! Clothing can get dirty quickly on a safari so it’s a good idea to bring a fresh shirt and a pair of trousers or shorts for each day.
Besides your clothing and travel documents, here are some other items not to forget!
- Insect-repellent spray or cream
- All the toiletries you normally use including haircare items, toothbrushes, lotion, etc.
- Camera and extra memory cards
- Chargers for all electronics
- Plug adaptors (3 prong UK style)
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Prescription medicine if you have any (safari companies have basic first aid items in case someone gets injured but don’t forget your own prescriptions!)
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Malaria medicine (depends on which parks you’re visiting)
- Luggage lock for your bag
You should have one bag for your clothes, toiletries, etc. Most people bring a large backpack or a duffel bag. Get a duffel bag that has a strong zipper so that it won’t break even if you fill the bag to maximum capacity.
Along with the large bag for your clothes, you should also bring a smaller bag to carry with you on the safaris. Small backpacks are best so you can have your hands free to use your camera or binoculars.
Make sure the bag has enough space for all your essentials like sunscreen, your wallet, your camera, and your phone.
General Packing Tips
- Try to pack as light as possible. Some lodges offer laundry services so you always have the option of washing your clothes if you’re on a long safari.
- Make sure your shoes are durable and comfortable especially if you’re doing walking safaris.
- Bring some cash to tip your tour guides and drivers. You can tip in Tanzania shillings or US dollars.
- Try not to bring too much jewelry or other expensive items. If you have to bring them, lock them in the safe in your lodge room.
- Leave some extra room in your luggage for souvenirs. If you pack your bags too full, you won’t have space to bring back special items from your safari.
- Soft bags like backpacks and duffel bags are easier to put in the back of a safari vehicle. They are also easier to carry around your campsite compared to a wheeled suitcase.
- Consider using packing cubes to keep everything organized in your duffel bag.
What Not to Pack
- Tanzania has banned single-use plastic bags so do not bring any in your luggage. You can bring Ziploc bags though.
- High electricity items like hair dryers. Luxury lodges may be able to support them, but many campsites cannot.
- Camouflage clothing is not needed for safaris. It’s also recommended you do not wear any military-inspired clothing.
- Bright clothing is not recommended for safaris.
- Strong-smelling perfume is not recommended as it can bother the animals and other people in your safari vehicle.
Getting Ready for Your Safari
You should be able to pack everything you need for your safari in two bags- your large duffel and your smaller daypack. If you need more guidance, you can always ask your safari tour guide about what they recommend!
If you forget something, don’t worry. There are many shops and markets in Tanzania that have all the things you need for your safari.
The most important things to remember are your camera and binoculars so you can see all the animals that call Tanzania home!