Any classic tomboy worth their outdoor soil would know that when you’re going on an adventure in the heart of African savannah or the Eastern tropics, wearing the right clothes is crucial. After all, it is important to blend in when in the wild with your beastly friends. Hang around as we give you important travel tips on how you can breeze your way through your next greatest safari adventure.
Just recently we gave you some tips on how tomboys like us could go wild with the timeless safari-styled look no matter where you are.
Well, Indiana Jones and Janets –if looking the part isn’t good enough, then hold on to your wide-brimmed hats and whips because in this treasure-trove of an article, we dig up more tips on how you can travel safari and do it right, with help, once again from the good folks of The Safari Store in London – founded by safari enthusiast, Steve Adams in 2007.
Now, if you’re a classic outdoor tomboy and know your adventures like the back of your hands like we do (Tomboy Tarts Persis and Raven have had a lot of such wild adventures), it’s not exactly archaeological science on how one can pack for such a trip. Whether you choose to take the Norman Carr Walking Safari in Zimbabwe or lodge it out at the Samode Safari in Madhya Pradesh, India, you want to make sure that you’re covered, literally, during your adventures, as temperatures can get to scorching levels and protection from insects like the tsetse flies is crucial.
In short, you want to look at packing light and packing right, tomboys, so here goes.
TIPS ON PACKING FOR A SAFARI TRIP
“Preparation is perhaps one of the most important parts. This is exactly why The Safari Store offers our clients a packing list and general advice. Space is always limited on safaris or self-guided expeditions so it is important to know what the climate is like so you can pack the right clothing without unnecessary extras. It is also vital to know what you are in for to avoid having an unpleasant experience. Things like bugs, extreme heat, extreme cold and luggage restrictions should all be considered. If our clients are really not sure about what to pack, we also offer a tailor-made packing list where we examine the details of their safari and use local conditions to explain exactly why we are recommending certain items for their safari,” says Steve from The Safari Store.
We couldn’t agree more Steve, and this is why we put together a quick guide on how to prepare for that wild safari trip. Let’s start off with some essential packing tips you need to lighten your load and one of the first things all of us recommend is to pack, at most 2 sets of clothes, including what you will be wearing when you travel there and back.
WHAT TO WEAR ON THE PLANE
One of the best ways to travel light is to wear some of your clothes when travelling to your safari destination of choice. Wear one set of clothes, usually the heaviest and bulkiest so that it takes the weight off your carry-ons or checked-in luggage. On the plane, you can opt to wear the following:
- 1 x T-shirt
- 1 x long sleeve shirt
- 1 x multi-pocket safari gilet or fleece jacket
- 1 x cargo utility zip-off pants
- 1 x hiking boots (or light-weight walking shoes in safari colours)
- 1 x wide-brimmed safari hat or baseball cap (in safari colours as well)
- 1 x Serengati Sunglasses
| TO LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD, WEAR THE FOLLOWING WHEN YOU TRAVEL TO YOUR DESTINATION
OTHER ESSENTIALS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR CARRY-ON
Every badass safari adventurer needs a durable bag that can meet her most demanding needs while blending in the grasslands, watching the most amazing wildlife. For a durable carry-on that will pack some of your essentials, we recommend the The Maru Meru 3 -in-1 Pocket Satchel Day Pack. This bag comes with a removable shoulder strap that converts into a stylish satchel. It’s ideal for keeping your fleece, binoculars, sunscreen and animals books on game drives or for a quick stroll to the restaurant deck for sun-downers.
- 1 x a good pair of binoculars
- 1 x DSLR camera with standard kit lens (and zoom lens if you have one) + chargers and batteries
- 1 x tripod/monopod for those who are planning to shoot a lot of video
- 1 x mobile device like a Kindle reader or Mini iPad (yes, the older iPads are bulky and add weight)
- Mobile device chargers
- 3 x Field Note notebooks
- Insect repellent and sunblock
- 1 x towel
- 1 x wet wipes and more
If your 3-in-1 Satchel can’t hold your DSLRs and it’s peripherals then you might want to try the Mara&Meru™ 4-in-1 Pocket, Camera Bag, Satchel and Daypack. These bags are beautifully crafted from quality canvas and leather and the stitching is extremely strong.
The handles and straps are made from thick woven canvas with padded leather tabs for comfortable carrying and it comes with detachable backpack straps and shoulder strap.The durable zips have leather tags to make zipping and unzipping easy on the hands and the main compartments have lockable zips that allow you to put a padlock through to keep the contents of your bag safe.
Adjustable compartments are also available on this bag. Inside, you’ll find padded ‘walls’ that can be adjusted with Velcro to fit your camera and camera equipment.
| THE Mara&Meru™ 4-IN-1 DAYPACK CAN PACK IN ALL YOUR CARRY-ON SAFARI ESSENTIALS
With regards to your DSLR camera, The Safari Store recommends not to let the desire to take amazing photographs spoil the event you are viewing. “As an example, sometimes it is best to put your camera down and soak in the feelings you experience when watching the sunset, a lion roar or a cheetah hunt. Social media loves great photos, but your body loves to have all senses stimulated – and that is what you will really remember and what makes for an incredible safari.” Wise words indeed from the experts themselves.
PACKING FOR YOUR MAIN LUGGAGE
Now that we’re done with your carry-ons, how about your main luggage? Well, when packing stuff for your checked-in ‘cargo’, you may want to do it in a RufijiSafari Explorer bag to keep things, once again, light and easy. Besides that, one of the most essential tips shared by The Safari Store is that you have to bring a bag that is ‘strong and squashy’.
‘Squashable luggage’ also allows you to fit your bags into tight places during your journey whether it be in the hold of a light aircraft or a 4×4 and the RufijiSafari Explorer certainly meets that requirement along with its amazing design.
In your ‘ready to squash’ RufijiSafari Explorer bag, ensure that you’ve got the following packed:
- Practical safari clothing in the right safari hues
It is a well-known fact among safari veterans to not pack black, white or loud printed t-shirts or short shorts. Stick to beige, khaki or olive greens. Why? Well, dark blue or black clothing attracts tsetse flies; bright coloured clothes (i.e. non-safari colors) can startle the wildlife and could put a dampener on your experience out there in the grasslands or tropics, especially when they’re running towards you! On the other end of the spectrum, it is also best not to use camouflage clothing especially when travelling to Africa. Camouflage clothing makes you look suspicious in a region that is politically unstable. You may be unnecessarily questioned at airports or border crossings. Leave the camo-look to the military personnel while travelling within the continent. You can earn your stripes elsewhere soldier.
- Pack as little clothes and underwear as possible
Another piece of good news is that when going on a safari, you don’t have to bring so many clothes because most of the camps and lodges have laundry services. Plus with a lot of The Safari Store’s latest BUGTech range of clothing for women, you don’t have to worry about smelling and eventually killing the wildlife around you with your stench. The lightweight nature of the fabric not only quickly releases wrinkling by packing, it also has anti-bacterial technology to keep your shirt smelling fresh for much longer without washing. Another amazing thing about the BUGTech range is that most of the pieces are quick dry allowing you to have your shirt washed and dried within 24 hours! With the added SPF 50+ protection built into the shirts, protecting your skin from harmful UV rays, this range is definitely a big win for us.
| STAY DRY FOR LONGER WITH THE SAFARI STORE’S NEW BUGTech RANGE OF CLOTHES FOR WOMEN
- Pack only the necessary toiletries
Another big surprise about most safari lodges or camps is that you can take as little personal items as possible as they provide essentials like soap, shampoo and toothpaste. Unless you have your own brand preferences for some reason or the other, leave toiletries at home. If you must bring these along, then it’s best to prep them in 3 oz travel bottles to keep things light and practical. One 3 oz bottle is said to be able to last you a week.
- No laptops please!
You should also absolutely not bring your laptop unless you’re a journalist/blogger and even then, 2-3 lightweight notebooks to take notes should suffice. We recommend the nifty, vintage Field Notes brand. Keeping things nice and light is important because a lot of the chartered flights out in Africa do not allow more than 22 pounds of luggage per person so stay in gazelle mode during your journey so you’re not relegated to ‘elephant class’ when you’re travelling. Besides, being wired all the time robs you of the sensual and physical experiences one comes to enjoy from their exotic safari adventure. Stay offline as much as you can people!
SAFETY ON YOUR SAFARI
| AFRICA IS LIKE ANY OTHER COUNTRY SO DO YOUR RESEARCH WELL BEFORE HEADING OUT TO THE WILD
Going to Africa is a really risky affair with many of the regions in a state of political turbulence or inflicted by civil wars. You may wonder how you can maintain a decent level of safety when travelling to such places but you can stop worrying. Thankfully, most of the tourist places in Africa are generally isolated from these events but then again, it is always a good idea to research your destination before taking off. Most of The Safari Store’s clients plan their trips through tour operators who will avoid places in turmoil and who have a vested interest in your safety. It is not recommended that you venture into Africa without expert advice or guidance. It also helps to bring a small dose of common sense to keep you safe during your travels. As with all places on our planet, the vast majority of places and people in Africa are safe, secure and friendly.
YOUR SAFARI DESTINATION MATTERS
Is doing a safari in Africa different from doing a safari in India or in tropical regions? Not really, according to The Safari Store. The climate is essentially very similar across all warm and tropical destinations worldwide. While each country, even within Africa, will have its own set of attractions and local climatic conditions, essentially the differences are not that great . As an example you would also need to take good binoculars, sunscreen, clothing which keeps you cool, insect repellent and pack as lightly as possible when going into the Gir Forest to view Asiatic lions, or Pench Tiger Reserve to view tiger . The Safari Store regularly supplies their products to clients travelling to India, Costa Rica, Australia and just about anywhere with Africa-esque conditions.
OTHER SURVIVAL TIPS
It is handy to learn a little bit about the country you are visiting as well as its wildlife. There is so much to take in and having a little bit of knowledge will help. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the different cultures, foods and languages and embrace them rather than avoid them. Safaris are for the soul. We cannot think of any experience which comes close.
A SPECIAL OFFER FOR TOMBOY TARTS READERS!
Ready to go for your next safari adventure? No problem! The Safari Store has graciously given all Tomboy Tarts readers a discount on all items being sold in the store! Prep for your journey by heading on down to The Safari Store’s online shop to browse now. When placing an order online simply type the code: safari where it asks for a voucher code and click on ‘update basket’ and your purchases will be instantly discounted. Happy shopping, Tomboy Tarts readers!