Safari Packing List – Men What to Pack for Safari
When preparing for my African safari, I searched for a mens safari packing list and didn’t find much. I thought I would help all the men out there out with my safari packing list, but the list really is good for anyone going on a safari. One point before diving into the list – don’t over pack. Between small aircraft and/or your safari vehicle, space is limited. With that out of the way – Men, this is what to pack for a safari!
Men’s Safari Packing List – Quick Rundown
- 2 pairs of safari pants
- 2 safari shirts
- 2-3 cotton t-shirts
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 pair of shorts
- 1 long-sleeved t-shirt
- 1 “dress” shirt
- Underwear/socks for duration
- 1 pair outdoor/lightweight hiking shoes for Safari
- 1 pair of comfortable shoes for the evening
- 1 hat
- 1 pair sunglasses
- 1 bathing suit
- 1 lightweight fleece or sweatshirt
- 1 rainjacket
- 20L Backpack
- 60-70L Duffel
- Packing Cubes
- First Aid Kit
- Portable power bank
- Camera and lenses
- Back-up hard-drive
- International plug converter
Men’s Safari Packing List – The Details
Clothes – Temperatures can be a little cool at night and hot during the day regardless of whether you are in South Africa, Tanzania, or Kenya for your African safari. As such, layers or clothing that is versatile are recommended. Your clothing will get dusty and natural earth colors (think green, tan, grey, etc) work best. Here are my recommendations for a 7 to 10 day safari:
- Pants: In addition to whatever you wear on the plane (ie, jeans), I would recommend one to two pairs of pants to wear when out on safari. I brought two on my trip and traded off every other day. Having two pairs can also come in handy if the opportunity for a wash fits with your itinerary. That said, I could have probably gotten by with just one pair. Recommended Pants – Craghoppers Nosi Pro . Craghoppers designs amazing safari clothes and their “Nosi” line includes a built-in mosquito repellent – making them one of the best choices out there. They also make a convertible pant for even more versatility. Craghoppers Nosi Convertible Pant.
- Shirts: While you might be able to get away with one pair of pants on safari, I would definitely recommend two safari shirts. Recommended Shirt – Craghoppers Men’s Insect Shield Adventure Long Sleeved Shirt. Having built-in mosquito repellent and UV protection make these shirts the perfect option for your safari. Going with the long-sleeve version of this shirt and rolling up the sleeves gives you more versatility than trying to get away with the short-sleeve and wishing you had the long-sleeve on a cool morning or when the mosquitos and flies are biting.
- Casual Clothes: The jeans can be what you wore on the plane and 2-3 cotton t-shirts for the few hours you might wear them post safari is more than enough for even a 10 day African safari. A nice light long-sleeved t-shirt is a nice option if it gets a little cooler. For a dress shirt, I’d recommend long-sleeve just because it can get a touch cooler when the sun goes down but that may depend on where in Africa you are and the average temperatures. Either way, unless you are staying at a really fancy lodge, this dress shirt can be pretty casual. I’d recommend bringing enough socks and underwear for the duration of your trip, but if you think you either can do a quick-dry sink wash overnight or have access to laundry facilities you might be able to pair this down.
- Shoes: I’d recommend two pairs of shoes. You could probably get away with just a pair of light-weight hiking shoes on most safaris, but I think having a second pair of shoes to change into is more comfortable.
- Headwear: A hat and sunglasses are a must. The more protective the better as your vehicle is open so you can get a lot more sun that you might think!
- Bathing Suit: If any of your lodges have a pool or you are going to have a day off at a lodge with a pool, you’ll be glad you packed it.
- Jackets: Many African safari drives start early in the morning as this is when the cats are most active. Temperatures can be quite cool and coupled with your moving vehicle, having a sweatshirt of lightweight fleece is essential. While I was fortunate to not have needed my rain-jacket, I would recommend bringing one.
Bags and Luggage: In terms of bags, you’ll want around a 20L backpack. This can be your carry-on for your long-haul flight but also serve as your in safari vehicle bag. There isn’t a ton of space in the safari vehicle so having a small but functional bag for your camera equipment, passport, and any medicines you might need during the day is important. I’m a huge fan of Peak Design’s 20L Everyday Backpack. You’ll want a soft-sided duffel with backpack straps in the 60-70L range. Two good options are Peak Design’s Travel Duffelpack 65L and the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Ultra-Light Bag Backpack. The Peak Design has a more durable material and some nice features while the Eagle Creek is good for those on a budget and looking to go as lightweight as possible. Packing cubes can help as well to ensure that you get all your clothes into your duffel. Check-out these from Compression Packing Cubes from Eagle Creek.
First-Aid and Medicines – Many safari locations are off the beaten path so you won’t have the option to run out and grab something if you need it. While most vehicles and lodges have a first-aid kit, it is wise to bring your own. The same holds true for any medicines or toiletries that you might think you will need on the trip. Talk to your doctor before you travel. Some of the essentials include:
- Antibiotic (ie, ciprofloxacin)
- Antihistamine for allergic reactions
- Diarrhea pills for an upset stomach
- Vaccination certificate (especially yellow fever)
- Anti-malaria pills (if you’re traveling in malaria risk areas)
- Ibuprofen (or similar)
- Insect repellent with DEET
- Hand sanitizer / wipes
- Neosporin / After-bite
- Standard toiletries (toothbrush/paste, extra contacts/glasses, contact solution, etc)
- Melatonin for sleep
Camera Gear and Electronics – An African safari is a once in a lifetime trip for many travelers so having the right camera equipment is important. While some animals will be right off the side of the road, others may be far away or moving quickly. As such, having a camera body that is good in different lighting conditions and has a fast shutter (think number of frames per second that it can shoot) will improve your chances of getting the shot to impress family and friends when you get home. Also, a zoom lens that can go to at least 300mm on a full-frame camera is recommended. You’ll also probably bring with you a kindle, iPad, or computer. So in addition to charging your camera batteries at night, you may have other electronics to charge. An international power adapter will be necessary if coming from the United States. I’d also recommend bringing your own power bank as many of the lodges have limited charging capability. Note that I am a full-time photographer so I brought a LOT of camera gear on my Tanzania safari and was willing to pay any excess baggage fees that would have gone along with the extra weight. Most people can probably get by with cutting half or more camera equipment and electronics from their bag. Here is what I brought on my Tanzania safari:
- Camera – Canon 5D Mark IV with Sigma 150-600mm Sport lens and Canon EOS R with Canon 24-240mm RF lens
- 4 camera batteries and 2 chargers
- 6 x Sandisk SD cards
- Pelican SD card case
- Gnarbox 512GB Portable back-up hard-drive (I can’t say enough good things about bringing this with me. The ability to back-up all my photos on an external hard-drive gave me peace of mind that my photos were safe.)
- Amazon Kindle
- Apple iPad Pro
- Mophie Power Bank
- International Power Adapter
- Iphone and USB cables
Other Essentials and Considerations: Here are a few other essentials (Passport!) as well as items that you might want to consider on your safari packing list:
- Passport (with any necessary visas)
- Cash / local currency
- Travel insurance
- Snacks / Bars
Got questions about this safari packing list? Want to run what you are bringing by me? Send me a note, I’m happy to help!