As someone who has done a lot of traveling I have some good advice to offer. This is because I have probably made all the packing mistakes possible. The stories I could tell you! But since some of them reflect quite poorly on my competency, I will not share those stories. I will simply offer my best advice. For those going on safari, packing is a bit different than other trips. However, if you follow the five “C’s” you will be just fine.
Note: The same principles apply to all adventure travel, in my opinion.
1. Comfortable. All clothing should be comfortable so don’t pack pants that are snug or shoes that aren’t absolutely comfortable.
2. Casual. You’re going to stand out like a sore thumb if you pack any other way. The great thing about safaris (and adventure travel) is that no one dresses up. Along with a casual attitude, casual clothing is a must.
3. Convertible. It is often cooler in the mornings and evenings but one seldom changes clothes on safari. This means you need to layer up or wear convertible clothing. I’m talking about 3-on-1 coats, sweater sets (sleeveless top with light/medium weight button sweater that can be removed or added as temperatures dictate), and convertible pants. You can find these at any good outdoors/sporting store. They are usually available in neutral colors and “convert” from shorts to pants and vice versa by zipping and unzipping the pant legs. There are flaps that conceal the zipped area and they are usually quite stylish and invaluable on any adventure trip. Good places to find specialty clothing and gear are www.amazon.com, www.backcountry.com, and www.urbanoutfitters.com.
4. Color Sensitive. If going on a safari or any wildlife adventure you need to wear neutral colors as animals are color sensitive. It’s true! Studies have revealed that animals are not color-blind. They notice colors, especially bright colors like red, orange, purple, yellow, and white. That is why khaki is a popular safari color. It is neutral and inoffensive to all animals. While you don’t have to pack all-khaki clothes, you should stick to soft colors (earth tones), such as tan, beige, pale green, brown, and khaki.
5. Cords. I have lost or broken more camera caps, sunglasses, and chargers than I care to count. But then I wised up and put my sunglasses on a cord whereby they always stayed around my neck. The same is true with the lens cap. It always stays attached to the camera so that it doesn’t get damaged or misplaced. I also got in the habit of always doing the same routine when recharging a camera or phone battery so that I was less likely to leave the charger behind.
The great thing about safaris is that they’re perfect for all occasions, such as anniversaries, weddings, honeymoons, family vacations, volunteering, adventure, and much more! Seriously, there is something for everyone because there are so many ways to participate, such as walking safaris, overland safaris, and customized safaris. And there is a lot more to see and do than wildlife watching! For more about safaris, check out Terrance Talks Travel: A Pocket Guide to African Safaris. Learn where the best place to go for first timers, when the best time to go is, which type of safari you’re best suited for, how to plan and what to expect, and much more.