WHAT YOU NEED ON SAFARI TO TANZANIA
Planning a holiday to a destination that is foreign to you can be confusing. Planning a safari is not different, especially if it’s your first time. You have already done the essentials: getting a visa, medical checkup from your doctor (very important, and should also be done, especially if you are going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro), bought an insurance package (this is very important, a top-of-the-list item), and you have your plane ticket at hand. All that is left packing, and you start scratching your head. You don’t know what to pack and how much you should pack. You want to pack light, but you don’t want to leave behind something you may need.
Always remember a safari in just like any other holiday. The aim is to relax and have a good time. The first thing you should remember is to pack light. You don’t want to be hurling around a heavy suitcase, full of things you probably don’t need.
So, what are things to pack for a safari in Tanzania? Below is a guide that you can add or deduct depending on your preference.
Weird, right? If you are going to visit parks like the Serengeti, Tarangire, and Selous; or your itinerary states that you will spend some nights inside a park, then a head torch can be your best friend. There are no power lines inside the parks for obvious reasons. You are in the African bush. The only tall things are giraffes’ necks. Many of the lodges and tented camps inside the parks, therefore, rely on generators and solar panels. To conserve energy, lights and electrical sockets are used under a strict schedule. Electricity is usually only supplied during dinner time and extends to a certain point of time during the night. African nights are dark – It’s always great to have a personal torch.
A safari in East Africa, especially Kenya and Tanzania is very different from the one in the southern parts of Africa. Here the parks are far from each other. Moving from one park to the other can involve a journey that can take up to 5 hours. A good book is a welcome relaxation between the adventures.
Remember your feet. They also need some loving as there’s a lot of sitting for long periods of time. Pack comfortable footwear for those long game drives and journeys between parks. While at the camps and lodges, the most comfortable shoes are flip flops, or trainers, or sandals. If you will go on a walking safari or a cultural tour, comfortable footwear is hiking boots and gym shoes respectively.
Safaris are meant to be remembered. What else is better to help you reminisce about the experiences than the good old photos. Pack your camera to capture the moments. Remember to pack as many batteries and memory cards than you think you will need. Many moments have been missed because the camera shut down at the most beautiful moment. If you are using a rechargeable battery, take note that Tanzania uses the three-pin UK power outlets.
But, remember not to be too involved in taking great photos and forget to relax and enjoy the magic before you.
Tanzania is a tropical country, characterized by a warm climate. But, there are cold periods, especially in the morning and evening and during the cold season that you shouldn’t underestimate. As you are packing, remember to include warm clothing for the cold mornings and evenings especially if you are visiting Ngorongoro Crater.
What is a safari without sitting around a campfire in the evening sharing stories? In the Tanzania wilderness, we call it “sitting around a bush t.v.” It’s just fun to sit together with friends or family after a delicious hot dinner, sharing a drink as you watch the t.v and tell stories under the African stars. Imagine all this goodness being spoiled by feeling cold. For these beautiful nights, pack a sweater/fleece jacket to make yourself comfortable around the campfire.
- Comfortable safari clothes
When on safari, comfort is key. This should also be expressed in your clothes. Different periods of the day require their own clothes. Lightweight long trousers and long sleeve tops for early mornings/evenings and Shorts/T-shirts/skirts for the rest of the day. Colours also matter. Avoid white because of the dust from the savannah, and also avoid dark colors especially dark blues. Biting insects seem to like these more than other colors.
- Sunscreen, sun hat & sunglasses, sun cream
The African sun is strong. Remember to take care of your skin.
- Insect repellent and Antihistamine
During your travels you may encounter all types of insects, some of which are harmless while others can carry disease. Mosquitoes, ticks, bees, wasps, hornets, blackflies, spiders, and ants may be mild annoyances, but one small bite can have serious implications on your health.
Practicing meticulous and consistent insect bite avoidance is one of the most important things travellers can do to prevent illness and spreading infectious diseases. Of the common arthropod-borne diseases encountered by travellers, only Malaria and Japanese Encephalitis can be prevented by medication and a vaccine, respectively.
As you have gone through the list, you have noticed not a lot of things are needed. Now, the question is where to put them in. Follow the principle of light packing by packing your belongings in soft bags, and avoid hard suitcases. Not only does it make it easier to stack in safari jeeps, but also on small airplanes if your itinerary demands it – Remember maximum luggage weight for domestic flights inside Tanzania is 15kg. Also pack a smaller bag in which to carry your cameras, a fleece, and personal effects. This will make it easier to access them when the need arises.
It can get hot during the day, especially during the dry season. It is therefore very important to stay hydrated while on safari. At Karibu Africa Safaris, we are very conscious of our environment and try as much as possible to be sustainable when it comes to safari tours. To minimize the use of plastic bottles and protect the environment, we would like to encourage you to use a reusable water bottle.
Always remember safaris are meant to be enjoyed, the experiences cherished. What you pack or don’t can have an effect on the whole adventure.
HAVE FUN PLANNING YOUR SAFARI AND SEE YOU SOON.
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