Preparing for your Safari


Living as we do now in the age of technology we tend to overpack for everything we do, be it a weekend away, an over night business trip or even just a simple camping trip. Over packing on a safari is no exception, a well packed vehicle will make you a “happy camper” so to speak.

We have tried to make life easier for you, by creating an essential list of items to pack for an overland safari with us in Africa. This is by no means an absolute but more a guideline. Often overlooked is your vehicles weight carrying capabilities, please check these before deciding on what to pack and make sure you remain within these legal limits.

So is it really necessary to pack the kitchen sink??? Probably not, thats why after years of experience we have broken it all down for you.

Not all that often but it does happen that things break on safari and will need to be repaired in (as Murphy would have it) the remotest of remote locations. Being prepared for the inevitable only makes it that much easier and far less catastrophic if you are prepared to resolve the issue yourself without needing to wait to be rescued. Below is a list of items we carry at all times, the items in red are “NICE TO HAVE” items:

 

– SELF-DRIVE SAFARI PACK LIST – 

Vehicle:

  • A full service kit (filters, oil, belts etc etc)
  • Fully equipped toolbox (fuses, spanners of all sizes, bolts of various sizes, bulbs, electrical tape)
  • Spare tyre & Jack & Wheel Spanner (depending on where you are going you may require a second spare)
  • 12v Air Compressor & Tyre Gauge
  • Tyre puncture repair kit
  • High-Lift Jack and/or Blow up Jack
  • Sand/Mud Trax
  • Bow shackles and Tow rope (must be rated in accordance with your vehicles weight)
  • Heavy duty gloves (always handy, whether it be to change a tyre or simply collect thorny firewood)
  • Jump Leads
  • Shovel

 

Fuel:

Self-Drive safari’s often mean your vehicle will be carrying far more in weight than it would on it’s normal day to day commute. Understanding that your vehicle will be heavier goes hand in hand with understanding that it will use a lot more fuel than you’d imagined. You will want to over-estimated your fuel usage, we always tell our clients to aim for a distance of 1000km range once everything is full. Never assume that the next garage/fueling station will have fuel, fill up at every opportunity. We generally recommend at least 2 Jerry Cans for our trips.

 

Water:

The amount of water you carry is a personal choice, however it is always a good idea to have backup water and always carry more water than you anticipate using. Too much water is never a bad thing. we recommend carry a minimum of 1ltr of water per person per day for the duration of the safari.

 

Climate:

  • Summer: On safari with us you will experience an array of weather conditions, extremely hot days and evenings. The thunderstorms we may encounter in the afternoons have a chilling effect on the weather and it’s always good to be prepared for this. There is nothing worse than being caught out in the rain and not being able to keep dry, a decent raincoat is essential.
  • Winter: With warm winter days turning into bitterly cold evenings/mornings we suggest brining those beanies and ski jackets on a winter safari, Africa is colder in the mornings and evenings than you think it can be therefore warm clothing is essential.

 

Camping Gear:

  •  Tent
  • Sleeping bag (many people find blankets/ duvets and sheets more comfortable)
  • Extra blankets  (for winter)
  • Camp-beds / mattresses / bed rolls (sleeping on the cold, hard ground can be very uncomfortable)
  • Folding camping chairs
  • 12v Fridge/Cooler Box (ice is often not readily available on safari’s, plan for this accordingly)
  • Headlamp / Torch (spare batteries if required)
  • Fold-up Table
  • Awning/Gazebo

 

Camp Kitchen:

  • Plate, Bowl, Coffee/Tea Mug
  • Paper plates often work well and can be thrown away instead of the hassle of washing dishes
  • Eating implements – Knife, Fork, Spoon (don’t forget useful gadgets like bottle openers and scissors)
  • Gas Bottle – 5kg minimum
  • Gas Stove (2 plate)
  • Gas Cooker Top (Spare for if your gas stove stops working)
  • Kettle
  • 2 Pots
  • BBQ/Braai grill
  • Chopping Board
  • Wash box/Wash Basin
  • Drying towels, clean cloths, cleaning sponges
  • Dish washing soap/liquid

 

Personal hygiene:

  • Toiletry bag containing:

o    Tooth Brush

o    Tooth Paste

o    Shampoo

o    Soap/Body Wash

o    Bug Spray

  • Toilet Paper (or as we often refer to it “WHITE GOLD“)
  • 2 x Towels
  • Hand wash/wet wipes