What to Pack?

Planning a wildlife safari requires careful preparation.  So, what to pack?

 Start with your International Certificate of Vaccination (yellow fever inoculation), travel insurance policy, your valid passport, visa and other important documentation.  Now for the other safari essentials.

We have outlined the important items to pack including appropriate luggage, small medical kits, toiletries and camera equipment when on safari. We also provide you with advice on the best clothing and footwear to wear on jungle and river treks especially with the tropical sun and heat, changing temperatures and at nighttime — even when taking a dip in a river or swimming the surf.

luggage

The weight of luggage is very limited in 4 x 4 wheel drive, by aircraft or by train. The most important thing is to forgo wheels on your bags and ‘go light’.

  • Use a lightweight duffel [waterproof] or soft-sided bag for clothing 
  • Pack in your carry-on bag only essential items such as spare clothing, your travel documents, light toiletries, camera and medications.
  • Carry a light, waterproof back-pack for trekking as it will help protect any electronic items from the elements of weather [dust, mud and rain]
  • Leave any plastic bags at home. Go “green” in Gabon and use material bags where possible

clothing

Pack only neutral colours and avoid blue, which is the colour that Tse tse flies are attracted to. Bright colours also attract other insects and may cause the wildlife to shy. Neutral colours such as beige and khaki are always best, especially with game viewing. 

  • Pack light layers of clothing for both hot and cold temperatures, especially long-sleeve shirts and trousers during the winter. You will also need to wear long-sleeve shirts to keep the mosquitos at bay during the rainy seasons
  • Shorts, T-shirts, several pairs of socks, a light rain jacket
  • Sports bra for women, swimsuit and sunglasses
  • Hat to protect your face. A bandana is also great for wiping perspiration away
  • Sarong [for men or women] to wrap around
  • Light back-pack that you can take with you on daily trips
  • If you intend to visit any formal gatherings, long pants, closed shoes and button shirts are required

footwear

On a safari choose comfort over style. With any footwear, they need to fit and provide you with excellent cushioning. Remember, your feet are at their largest late in the day so test them with socks if you’re buying a new pair for your trip.

  • A pair of lightweight sneakers or trail runners with a synthetic upper in preference to leather. They will not only allow your feet to break but they won’t need to be broken-in like leather .
  • We recommend that you choose a pair that have already been broken in and have good tread.
  • Hiking boots are only necessary if you’re trekking up a mountain.
  • Flip-flops or sandals; comfortable footwear to wear at camp or for swimming.
  • It is important to remember that the weather is mostly hot and humid. Looking after your feet is vital.

toiletries

Leave your hairdryer at home and carry only light cosmetics. On safari, the most important thing is to protect your face from the sun.

  • Pack toiletries in a clear in a see-through toiletry bag for customs.
  • Pack the basic essentials such as soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, shampoo, eye drops, tweezers, etc.
  • Sunscreen [SPF 30 or higher] and moisturiser.
  • Insect repelent for your arms and legs.
  • Mini tissues, cotton buds and wet wipes for personal hygiene.
  • Antiseptic soap 
  • Nail scissors, file, clippers and tweezers.

medical kit

Come prepared. Here are our recommended over-the-counter items you should include in your luggage. 

  • Antidiarrheal medications
  • Anti-malaria medications
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Codeine and aspirin
  • Antiseptic and anti-histamine cream
  • Plasters or band-aids
  • Any prescriptions
  • Eye drops

equipment

Here are a few essential items you should never leave home without when you’re on a safari in any of the national parks.

  • Camera and telephoto lens
  • Charger or batteries, memory cards
  • Extra memory card
  • Smart phone  [when reception is available]
  • Universal plug converters
  • Binoculars 
  • Eye glasses in lieu of contacts 
  • Small flashlight if you don’t have your phone
  • Notebook or journal and pen

documentation

It is important that you have the following documentation in place before you leave and carry spare copies in case of an emergency.

  • Have a current passport that has been valid for six months
  • Yellow Fever inoculation card. 
  • Credit cards: Mastercard and Visa. [Amex and Travellers Cheques are not accepted].
  • Printed copy of your eVisa.
  • Euros or US dollars to convert to Communauté Financière Africaine Francs [XAF]
  • Travel insurance policy in the unlikely event of a medical emergency.
  • An an emergency contact name and number