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African Safari 2007




You need sturdy luggage. They will be tightly packed at the back of the vehicle or on top of the car.

9/17--A duffle bag works best and it's best to have luggage without wheels. Wheels add bulk and weight. See below about how to pack a duffle.

9/17 As of today, British Air allows us to bring a carry -on that is only 17.7X13.7X 6.2. Hopefully it will change again.


Pac Safe has products to protect your valuables.


Another site for travel clothes and other items:

9/17-When using a duffle, I would suggest putting like items in packing cubes to make things easier to find during your trip. The duffle is one big "hole" unless you have some way of keeping items together. I used ziploc bags, but would have had an easier time with packing cubes. Also be careful about snacks that you bring on safari. Ants will get into zip lock bags. Here's what happened to one person. "

My luggage was totally infested with ants one day because of my nuts and kashi bars even though they were in zip lock bags. It was my major melt-down experience for the trip. You might want to re-think it. I ended up not even needing them anyway." Also, " dont want baboons or vervets to invade your tent and rip everything out..."

9/17--Toss into this duffle a soft folded bag (have a lock or cable ties to secure) for souvenirs and check as a 2nd piece of luggage on your homebound trip.

We are allowed 33 pounds each because we will be flying on a small plane while we are in Africa and they limit us to 33 pounds. This is supposed to include carry-on luggage. However many people who have traveled on these small planes say the don't weigh you carry-ons. So, use your own judgement. We will be on the plane that travels from Serona to Arusha. (See red printing below).

"Our luggage was weighed each time on the short flights, but our carry-ons were never weighed".

"I just got back and had two internal flights. None weighed our baggage, and we were WAY over the 33 pound limit. The first one was from Seronera in Serengeti to Arusha. They just threw it on the plane. There aren't even any scales at some of the air strips. Our guide said they never weigh from the airstrips."

7/28-JUST AS A BACK-UP TO THE ABOVE POST I AM ADDING THIS INFORMATION FROM SOMEONE WHO TRAVELED IN JULY/06. IT looks like we don't need to worry about having only 33 pounds for this flight. So our suitcases can weigh more. Here is the message: "About local flights; on our Air Excel tickets (Seronera airstrip -> Arusha -> Zanzibar) was written; "luggage weight (including hand luggage): max 15kg". Woops. Well... The let us stow away our bags ourselves, and no questions were asked or remarks were made. Not that I could spot any balance @ Seronera airstrip".


I do whatever I can to avoid delayed luggage. If that means wearing several layers, my binoculars, and filling pockets, then so be it. I've had lost luggage a few times in the past en route to my destination and would rather endure what it takes to keep my bags with me. That is especially true for Africa, where most people usually don't hang around in the arrival city long enough to buy all new gear or to have the bags delvered a few days later.

NEW-3/15-In addition to your regular packing list, make a seperate one to use for your departure day. Make a list of everything you need to do or put in your carry-on before you leave. For example, if you need to use your hairbrush, etc on the last day and then pack it to take with you, put it on your "last day" list. List your tickets, passports, money, itinerary etc. By having this list (made out beforehand) it takes a little of the stress out of actually leaving the house and wondering if you have forgotten anything.

Suggested Packing List (per person)

---- Backpack or daypack

---- Socks x4

---- Underwear x4

---- Pants (zip-off) x2

---- Pants casual

- shorts 1 or 2

---- T-shirt x4

---- Long sleeve shirts x2

---- Sweater

---- Fleece jacket X2

---- Scarf/bandana x2

  • - casual dinner shirts/blouses x2

---- Hat A wide brimmed hat that breathes is a must

---- Sunglasses x2 Wrap-around sunglasses provide the best protection from dust and other eye irritants.

---- Neck strap for sun glasses

---- Sneakers

---- Sandals such as Teva's

---- Sandals (casual dress for women)

  • - casual dinner shirts x2

---- Bathing Suit --- cover-up is optional

---- Belt (if needed)

---- PJs

---- Stocking cap for early morning drives

---- Gloves (above reasons)


---- Jacket light weight water resistant x2

  • --- Malaria meds.
  • --- After-Bite or anti itch cream

---------Lip balm
-------- Repellant

-------- Small tube of Ultrathon cream (see information on repellents) for your feet and ankles at sundown (African skeeters -attack me most in the ankles!)

------ Eye drops (to wash out grit) and perhaps doctor prescribed antibiotic eye drops in case you get scratched before you wash out grit...especially important for contact lens wearers.

----- Ear plugs

----- Sleeping pills

------ Small selection of Band-Aids

-----do think about bringing eyewash and saline nose spray for dust etc. removal -used mine everyday.

------ Antibiotic cream (e.g. polysporin or Neosporin)

-----Hydrocortisone cream for bug bites. I would also have some Benadryl pills/capsules to take if the itch was maddening - but would only take that at night since it would make you sleepy.

------ Individual hand wash packets were also great to have

------ Aspirin (also good to take on flight to avoid thrombosis)

------ Bottled sanitizing lotion

------ Broad-spectrum cold medication

--------- Allergy/antihistamine medication tablets (just in case an allergy or a cold shows up!)


-------Pre-moistened make- up pads

--------- Vitamins and medications

--------- Tooth paste and tooth brush

--------- Odor free antiperspirant

--------- Comb and/or brush

-------- Other toiletries

-------Pillow for plane and comfort on safari drives

------ Eye cover to aid sleep on plane

----- Extra batteries

------- Plug converters/adapters - bring a universal adapter kit.

----- Lots of one dollar bills

----- Alarm Clock

------- Cameras plus extra memory & batteries
------- Swiss army knife

------- Fold up tote bag to bring home souvenirs

------- Have extra locks with you if you leave items in your luggage in the room/tent - as a precaution and some peace of mind

------- Flashlight – light and small size
- ------Kleenex travel packs
lots of Baggies and plastic bags

--------Binoculars- One pair per person


-----"SPRAY AND WASH" stain STICK.

------Travel size sewing kit.

------If you wear glasses, take one of those very small glass repair kits.

------ Extra pair glasses and extra sun glasses


------Clothes line

------Small scissors

------Books for plane and when relaxing between safari drives



------Travel information

------ Proof of required immunizations for Tanzania (see health)

------ A photocopy of your passport in case original is lost, or otherwise

-------Photocopies of credit cards and number to call if lost or stolen.

------ Small notebook to keep a journal.

------ Pens

------ Addresses and e-mail addresses

----- Scotch tape and/ or duct tape


-----Bring some envelopes to put your tips in.

---- Put a bottle of bubbly in the fridge to welcome yourself home after the trip!

This list is probably not complete. Do you have any suggestions?

Well, here it is – the comprehensive packing list that I said I would post for calliec and others. I have gathered, laid out, weighed, cried, re-weighed, culled, cut and re-weighed again, cheered, and I think I HAVE DONE IT! Or, rather I am close – a couple of pounds over only. If someone sees something I absolutely won’t need – please tell me – this is my 1st safari. Oh, other than the very teeny tiny drip coffee maker that weighs ONLY 1 lb 2 oz – we just can’t do without that very first cup of coffee before we get dressed! Or, if I am missing something, please let me know!
CLOTHES (for me – DH doesn’t believe in pre-planning – but his will be similar):
- 4 t-shirts
- 2 short sleeved shirts
- 1 long sleeved shirt
- 1 Tilley safari vest – very light weight only about 6 pockets
- 1 fleece hoodie – very warm
- 1 pack-in-pocket pouch rain/wind jacket
- 1 pr convertible pants
- 1 pr capris
- 1 pr shorts
- 1 pr slippers
- 1 pr Rockport closed-in shoes
- 1 pr pyjamas – one top, one drawstring long pants, 1 shorts
- 2 pr socks
- 4 pr quick dry underwear
- 2 pr throw-a-way undies for travel days there & back
- 1 bathing suit
- 1 cover up
- 1 pr gloves for balloon ride
- 1 Tilley hat

All of the above weighs 13 lbs – added to the 8 lbs that the empty bags weighs makes 21 lbs.
All of the t-shirts, pants, capris convertibles, vest & shorts are khaki, olive green, or that awful ‘cappuccino colour’ which is between an olive and a brown.

I will wear on the plane something nicer for our two days in London – comfy black pants, nice blazer, Coolmax t-shirt, Mephisto sandals.

Now here’s the complicated part – ‘THINGS’:
PERSONAL TOILETRIES: only basic stuff, all in travel size containers in a very SMALL toiletries bag that can hang in case of no room in bathroom! Includes a very small washcloth and small soaps just in case.
OTC DRUG STUFF: Band-Aids, Gravol, Visine, Chapstick, Imodium, Contact C, throat lozenges, Halls, Advil, Benadryl, Neosporin, and non-drowsy anthistamine.
SUN & BUG STUFF: Muskol (a walloping 95% deet), OFF wipes, face nets, Afterbite, anti-itch cream, SPF30, Aloe ice for burns, small ‘sweat’ towel, cortate cream in case Afterbite doesn’t work on African bugs
BUSH LOO STUFF: 2 travel TP rolls, 'waste' baggies, wet naps, antiseptic wipes, Purell waterless stuff
LAUNDRY STUFF: tube of sink wash, rubber stopper, braided clothes line (needs no clothespegs), laundry sack, 3 TIDE TO GO pens (I'm a slop), swimsuit wash and travel size Wrinkle Free.
BOOKS & WRITING STUFF: animal field guide, 2 paperback books, crossword puzzle book, small clipboard, journal, field notebook, small notebook, pencil case kit (with small tape, small travel stapler, highlighter, glue, 3 pens, pen refills, pencil & refills, eraser refills, ruler, white out, paper clips & elastics), small note cards with envelopes for tips for drivers & guides (rest of tips are prepaid by Micato), very small FX/regular calculator, cheap dollar store plastic file pouch for any papers I may need to take or get while there.
SECURITY: colourful zap straps for luggage on the airplanes, small clippers to clip zap straps, under the shirt waist money pouch, small zippable document/money holder to put in the front desk safes where available, travel purse for London and flights there & back, luggage locks for the camps/lodges.
COMFORT: 2 airline neck pillows, eye shades for the flights, 2 Magellan’s inflatable cushions for those very bumpy roads, ear plugs and throw away airline socks in case we go into any mosques in Zanzibar that have ‘outside courtyards’ (bad memories of pigeons in the courtyard of the Jamid Mosque in India).
GIFTS: Vancouver baseball hats for the drivers/guides, nail polish and a ‘Made-In-Canada’ leather purses (they are very light – very flat, not big) for the woman in their lives, Canada pencils, pins and fun glitzy stickers for the kids in their lives. An organizer for Kennedy (independent Nairobi guide/driver), bath stuff for his wife and a goody bag filled with a teddy bear, chocolates, nail art, small bath stuff, pens & pencils & pencil crayons and candy for each of his 2 daughters.
CAMERAS: Nikon D70S, 18-70 lens, 70-300 lens, SB 800 flash, small Manfroto tripod, bean bag, polarizing filters, UV haze filters, flash cards (3 I think), Epsom wallet for storing the photos, extra batteries, and my trusty Olympus 140 (film) zoom point & shoot. Oh, and 42 rolls of film for that camera – I still love the idea of film!
-4 small pkgs of Kleenex
-backpack that folds up into one of its pockets
-2 water bottle holder straps
-2 lexan coffee cups with a pound of Starbucks coffee, VERY tiny small drip coffee maker, a small pouch with creamer, sugar & some tea bags
-converter with the two adaptors for the area and a very small multi-plug outlet (3 outlets on it)
-2 binoculars
-travel alarm clock
-small travel umbrella
-ziplock bags of all sizes
-bubble wrap for small ‘fragile’ purchases
-extra batteries of anything we have with batteries
-suede shoe brush and small shoe sponge of the hotel variety
-extra glasses & sunglasses, and sunglass cords
-2 travel fans for Zanzibar
-small travel-size spray sanitizer (you never know)
-travel lint roller
-really small basic sewing kit
-travel roll of duct tape (no hole in middle – it’s ALL tape!)
-Micato issued flashlights/reading light
-that really cool ‘owl’ card magnifying reader with the light you see on TV
-and, last but not least, 2 lbs of Maynard’s wine gums (candy).-

All of the above items together that will go into our duffle bags weighs 25 lbs – split between our two bags at 13 lbs each (give or take) will put our duffles at about 34-35 lbs. Will anyone sue me for 2 lb?
Jim will carry the 10 - 12 lb of digital camera stuff as his carryon, I will carry a small shoulder bag with our prescription meds, my films, the wine gums , my journal book and notebook, paperback book for the plane and the ticket pouch, my camera, as well as my travel purse.

Not counting in our weight will be a dark blue duffle bag supplied by Micato for their America Shares program. They have built an orphanage somewhere in Kenya that has, at any one given time, 200 kids in it. The send us the empty bag – we fill it full of stuff for the kids – school supplies, toiletries, drawing stuff, sewing stuff like needles, thread, buttons, zippers, clothes (used is great) for the kids, medicines, etc. I had a blast filling it – shopped at Value Village thrift store for the clothes and the dollar store for the school and art supplies, raided our sewing factory (one of my bookkeeping jobs is at a clothing manufacturer) and gave up some of my ‘bear’ collection. It weighs 45 lbs – but will not go any further than Nairobi, so we don’t have to worry about it except for international weight.

I showed this to my friend, and we agree: more socks! Just thin cotton ones, but you're going to want to keep your ankles covered in the evenings.

Pepto or something else milder than Immodium in case you have minor stomach upset.

And by the way, my friend is enamored of all your laundry pack stuff. I'm of the "Oh, I'd just bring more socks and underwear and wouldn't bother with the soap, clothesline, etc." camp. So different strokes on that one.
I showed this to my friend, and we agree: more socks! Just thin cotton ones, but you're going to want to keep your ankles covered in the evenings.

Pepto or something else milder than Immodium in case you have minor stomach upset.

And by the way, my friend is enamored of all your laundry pack stuff. I'm of the "Oh, I'd just bring more socks and underwear and wouldn't bother with the soap, clothesline, etc." camp. So different strokes on that one.
I showed this to my friend, and we agree: more socks! Just thin cotton ones, but you're going to want to keep your ankles covered in the evenings.

Pepto or something else milder than Immodium in case you have minor stomach upset.


do you really need a stapler, ruler, white out, glue, calculator and paper clips while on safari? I'd leave all that out and free up a pound or two. just your books, a few pens and pencils should do it. Be careful with the 95% Deet, especially around your face. Get some Airborne to take before/during flying to prevent catching a cold. I agree with Leely-more socks! Even with soaking, the African soil doesn't seem to come out. do you really need a stapler, ruler, white out, glue, calculator and paper clips while on safari? I'd leave all that out and free up a pound or two. just your books, a few pens and pencils should do it. Be careful with the 95% Deet, especially around your face. Get some Airborne to take before/during flying to prevent catching a cold. I agree with Leely-more socks! Even with soaking, the African soil doesn't seem to come out.


I was looking at my own packing list recently and decided to only take 2 t-shirts based on the reasoning that I always buy t-shirts when I'm on vacation, so I'll just buy a couple while in Tanzania and wear them.

Also, I tend to shop for used paperbacks before any long trip. That way, when I'm done, I just leave them behind without having worried about spending a lot.


For laundry, I just took one type only of travel wash liquid - most camps had some available for us anyway so I didn't use it often and it was only for underwear/ swimsuit - the rest of our clothes we put into camp's laundry system. Unless you're intending to wash all your clothes and not just undies, do you need wrinkle free stuff, special swimsuit wash etc? I didn't even take a clothes line - we just hung our undies around the tent on the towel rails and backs of chairs outside on the verandah if need be! As for a laundry bag, I just took a few plastic carrier bags - take up next to no space at all...
In terms of tips, I just took a pack of envelopes, though note cards are a nice touch.

 Most camps seem to have soaps. Rather than toilet paper we just used all purpose facial wipes but really only used the back of the land cruiser loo, once.

Ditch the antihistimine if also bringing benadryl - you can purchase a non drowsy benadryl. Don't think you'll need a face net. Cortisone cream .1% will surfice for all burns, stings and itchy owies etc. I do believe, but check that most of the vehicles do have first aid kits.

Sorry to be a slasher but do save room for all those souveniers - less is more when shlepping.


Unlike many others, I take enough "wears" for an entire trip. I'm not on vacation to do laundry of any kind. And, as to the quick dry, I've tested these with my regular Jockey or Vic Secrets cottons - they both dry in the same amount of time... and that's saying something in a hot and humid NYC summer bathroom.


 but what we were really happy to have brought along: enough of that stuff to disenfect your hands without water, enough of deet, a hat that will stick to your head even when there is some wind (i brought one 'decorative' hat, and wearing it at the pool it flew right away :-) typically me i guess :-), paper handkerchiefs, washing powder to do your undies and socks and very very important a pen to write and a spare one in case it gets lost...


Outdoor summer clothing in neutral tones and natural fibres - 4 sets

Light-weight cotton type long pants/long-sleeved shirt -1 set (for cool evenings or to use as sun-screen)

Tracksuit or pyjamas - 1 set

Windbreaker, sleeveless jacket or sweater - (for game drives and boat trips)

Smart-casual outfit (for lodges, hotels and international travel ) - 1 set

Comfortable walking shoes / sandals - 1 pair each

Thick socks - 4 pairs

Underwear - 4 sets


Sarong or multi-purpose cotton wrap-around - (useful also as sun screen or dust cover for cameras)


Hat in neutral tones


Sunscreen lotion / sunblock / lip-aid

Toiletries / moisturising creams

7/25--This was our whole list for 2 people and fit within our weight limit for small plane.

Min weight by using non wheeled luggage (light weight duffle and backpacks). Most wheeled luggage will weigh 6-8 without anything in it. The duffle bag/backpack I used weighed 1.5 lb each.

Packing List:
Tour Emergency Contacts
Passport & copies
Immunization Card & copies
Noise cancelling headphones (plane)
Sunglasses (2)
Sunglasses string
Contacts (5 pairs)
Safari Vest
Hat/Rainhat (2)
Buff Tube Bandannas (2)
Lite Gloves
Wind/rain Jacket
Safari/Buzz off shirts (4)
Safari/Buzz off pants (3)
Resort/Dinner Top (1)
Resort/Dinner Pants (1)
Quick Dry Tech Long Sleeve Tee (1)
Quick Dry Tech short Sleeve Tee (2)
Light Quick Dry Sport Bras (3)
Casual Bra (1)
Lightweight PJs
Underwear/Old to throw away along trip (6)
Socks (5)
Lite Breatheable Trailrunners
Shower Slippers

Cocoon Silk Sleepsacks
Thermarest Inflatable Seat Cushion
Thermarest Packable Travel Pillow
inflatable neck pillow (for camera)
Cocoon/Eagle Creek Travel blanket
Package lite extra totebag/backpack
Hanisack disposable packable shopping bags

Animal guidebook
Swahili dictionary
Africa Travel Journal, Animal Guide/Check list
Southern Sky Star map
Cash (Total $25/person/day in small bills)
Guide Tip ($100 bills)
ipod, headphone & charger
tape deck converter for ipod
Voltage converter
Converter plugs
Diamond Headlamps w/spotlight (2)
Mini flashlights (2)
Extra battery for flashlights (AAA & AA)
Nikon Digital SLR w/Zoom Lens
Sony small camera
Extra Batteries (3)
Battery Charger
Nikon Memory (9G)
Sony Memory (2G)
Polarizing Filter
Lens pen
Hurricane jumbo blower
Lens Filter
Memory Card (2G)
Extra Batteries (2)
Battery Charger
Purell (pocket bottles) (2)
Purell Wipes (3 boxes)
Small Washcloth (3)
No bath Bodywipes
Huggies wet toilet paper wipes
Quick Facewipes
Q tips and Cotton pad
Shower cap
Kleenex packs
Woolite packs
Ricola sugarfree hard candy (dry mouth)
Cliffbar Mojo Foodbar
Ziplock freezer bags (assorted quartz & 0.5G)
Large Ziplocks for camera & clothes (1.5G & 2G)
Bug juice (nat'l & deet)
Lipbalm/SPF lips (4)
Travel Body Lotion
Travel Shamp & conditioner
Comb & brush
Dr. Bonner's Peppermint bodywash
Dove Facial washcloth/face wash
Face lotion

Med Kit:
Malaria meds
Allergy meds
Bonine (car sickness med)
Lactobacillus Pearls
Patanol/Napcon A Allery eye drops (2)
Renu eye drops
Contact lens drops (3)
Contact lens solution (2)
Contact lens case (2)
Vitamin C
Pink Stuff tablet
Benadryl lotion
Calamin lotion
Hair scrunchy

AT one or two camps in Tanzania there was no tip box, so the envelopes we brought with us for just this purpose actually came in handy. Good for tipping your guide, too.