Game drives are fun. But survival needs are very different when you’re out in the jungle, often driving throughout the day– and in some cases through the night– to witness that perfect kill, or to see that elusive cheetah.
Here are things that you must pack in your bags before leaving for a wildlife safari holiday:
Most good resorts and camps offer laundry service, so you can pack light and just concentrate on the essentials. For, say, a weeklong trip, pack two pairs of convertible cargo pants, 4 T-shirts (two short-sleeved and two long-sleeved), a fleece jacket, four sets of socks, a cozy sweater, a rain-proof windbreaker and water-resistant pants, which can fold into a small pouch.
If you are out discovering Africa on a long safari, you will most definitely be visiting various game parks. Transitions from one game park to another will be made by small charter airplanes with strict weight restrictions– often not more than a few kgs. So make sure of what you are carrying. For instance, you might need to leave the tripod and just carry the camera. Or take just cloths for a day leaving that heavy set of shoes. Make your decisions well. See what you can possibly do without and leave it behind.
Your mobile phone, your camera, your ipad tablet; everything will need to be kept powered up on long game drives so carry that multi-utility cigarette lighter charger. Resorts and Safari Camps have charging units, but we suggest you still pack a global plug adapter.
Very good rain-proof shoes are a must. Nevertheless, the best of them will let rain sneak inside and make your feet shrivel. So do bring a nice comfortable pair of flip-flops while your wet shoes hang outside your tent after the long drive.
You’ll need a camera with strong lenses, really strong ones. It’s OK to not have an SLR, but whatever you have needs to be powerful, and must zoom-in effectively. For SLRs, you’ll need to shop for strong telephoto lenses. Animals are usually far out in the wild and getting those fantastic close-ups can get hard if all you have is a point-and-shoot camera – specifically if you out in the night to capture a kill.
Carry a waterproof bag, especially if you are on a wildlife safari, not only to safeguard everything from the rain but from dust as well. These are dry yellow grasslands with just swaths of mud and dust to drive upon.
It is very essential to carry a very good non-greasy sunscreen that won’t smell of glue, will moisturize your face and arms properly, and won’t come off too easily. Use something starting at SPF 30 and you are great to go.
A good flashlight will save you a lot of trouble. Walking between tents is going to get a lot simpler and less scary with all those creepy animal sounds around.
Animals are normally far out in the jungle, many times away from the safari tracks. Off the track, driving is often not allowed, so ensure that you get a good set. We ‘d personally rely on one with objective lenses of 32 mm to 42 mm (and 12x to 16x zoom.).
If you have one, don’t leave it behind. You can carry a lot of reference material on it, and it’s a good way to check photographs.
A comfy and trendy hat on a game drive is a must. You’ll need a lot of protection from the sun. Get one with an under-chin tie so that the wind doesn’t blow it off all the time.
Animals are generally far out in the jungle, many times away from the safari tracks. Off the track driving is often not allowed, so make sure that you get a good set. We ‘d personally bet on one with objective lenses of 32 mm to 42 mm (and 12x to 16x zoom.).
The perfect companion on those lengthy nights when you sit waiting for the kill to happen, pillows are a must-have. Use a pillowcase that you can distinguish, for this is one thing that could be easily left behind.
You are in the forest now. And they are crazy. While some of you might not have the slightest affinity to get bitten, others might get bitten badly. So bring a mosquito repellent cream with you.
A Sense of Adventure.
Nobody likes complainers wanting to go back to the tent when there is a kill happening on the next turn. So get a sense of adventure. See what it takes to withstand driving on muddy landscapes, and understand wildlife. Game drives are a fantastic way to connect with your wild side. We too are wild animals after all. So stay on, stay put, and stay on the course like a man! Most of all, try to enjoy yourself!