Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Our safari packing list

1. Clothing- For our safari and Zanzibar trip, we each brought 3 light weight long sleeves shirts, 2 pairs of long safari pants,  2 short sleeves tshirts, 2 pairs of pajamas, one light jacket or sweater- useful for early mornings and windy nights, 5 pairs of hi-dri underwears and socks. Hi dri fabric is recommended as they dry overnight after a wash vs regular cotton fabric which after 2 days of line drying still felt damp. This amount of clothing would be enough for most but not for us. None of the camps that we stayed at offered laundry service. So, self laundry it is after 4 days on the road.
2. Insect repellents- We didn't encounter a single mosquito on our safari trip but Zanzibar was another story. The spray on ones were useful to deter the bites. Lots of tse tse flies in Northern Serengeti but insect repellents did not work on them. It hurts when they sting, and itches badly later. Blood splattered when the flies were smacked. A harmless nuisance to put up with for a priceless wildlife experience.
3. Medications- malaria pills a must especially if going to Zanzibar, antidiarheal, antibiotic pills for traveller's diarrhea, acetaminophen for headaches and pain relief, allergy pills, stomach meds for indigestion or heartburn, antibiotic ointment for cuts or insect bites, anti-itch cream like hydrocortisone- useful for tse tse flies and mosquitoes bites, bandaid, chap stick, Pedialyte powder for dehydration.
4. Sun protetion- sunblock, 1 or 2 pairs of sunglasses and a regular hat to keep the dust out of one's hair, safari hat not necessary unless planning to hike.
5. Bandana- works better than disposable masks to keep the dust from getting into one's mouth and nose while sitting in the speeding safari vehicle down dusty dirt roads.
6. Footwear- a pair of sneakers while out on animal sightings and a pair of sandals for walking around the tents.
7. Wipes and a two ounce bottle of hand sanitizer plus one small roll of bathroom tissue- came in handy on the day that we were supposed to see the wildebeests migration- had to do the "bush bathroom" as restroom facilities were nowhere to be found. I must say most of the public restrooms on our trip were clean but soaps were not readily provided.
8. Personal toiletries- travel size hair shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion as some camps do not provide these at all.
9. A medium sized flashlight- useful for walking from our tents to the mess hall and dim lighting condition in the tents- all tents utilise weak solar lighting.
10. Photography gears-5 cameras (dslr, bridge and point and shoot), 5 lenses (telephoto and wide angle), batteries, 7 memory cards and two binoculars- gave the good one to our guide as his was of lesser quality.
11. Book-Wildlife of East Africa, a good reference book to help us identify and remember the flora and fauna that we've encountered on our trip
12. Playing cards and dry snacks-  a box of saltine crackers, rice crackers, chips, cookies, granola bars, chewing gums, menthos and dried fruits to keep boredom at bay on days when animal sightings were slow as well as to tide us over until meal times. Glad that we brought the snacks from home as we didn't get a chance to go shopping at the local supermarkets.

Due to the 33 lbs weight allowance per person imposed on our flight from the Serengeti to Zanzibar, we packed lighter than usual. But with the 4 of us together, we had luggage space left over after packing. If I were to do this over again, I would pack 2 extra sets of clothing and underwears just because laundry takes time to dry plus it's my vacation- time to relax not be the laundry lady.

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