You have your safari to Zambia booked, so
what’s next? Deciding what to pack is a daunting task! But don’t worry,
Voyagers® Zambia is here to guide you. With 35
years of experiencing the Zambian bush, we are confident that we know what
essentials to pack!
Here are 10 things to bring with you on your Zambian safari:
1. Sturdy walking shoes – but also comfortable ones!
The last thing you want on your safari is blisters from uncomfortable shoes! Getting yourself a good quality pair of hiking boots is a great idea before you head to our tough terrain – but also be prepared for them to get dirty. Remember to wear-in your new shoes before your trip so that you’re not suffering with sore feet on day one!
Not only are sturdy and comfortable shoes important for walking safaris, but they’re also useful around camp to protect your feet from the creepy-crawlies. Keep an eye out in the morning before jumping back into your boots as you may find that one of our little scorpion friends has found a home in them for the night!
2. Good quality sun hat – you’ll never take it off!
Zambia gets extremely hot, especially in October where our temperatures can reach above 40°C (104°F). Even during the cooler months where the weather is overcast, the sun can still do tremendous damage! It’s important to have a good quality sun hat that covers your face, ear and the back of your neck. It’s also advised that you get a hat that has a drawstring for those windy game drives – you can’t just jump out of the vehicle to grab your hat if it blows off, there are wild animals around!
The colour of your hat is also important. You want to have the most natural experience and blend in with nature. A bright pink hat will make you stand out like a sore thumb!
3. Camera – you don’t want to miss a thing!
From a smartphone to an enormous DSLR camera, as long as it does the job then you’ll be okay. You’ll be having the time of your life on safari in Zambia and you’ll want to take photographs to take the memories back home!
Even though a smartphone will still give you loads of pictures to put in the photo album when you get back home, a standard DSLR camera is recommended. A good quality camera that you’re able to zoom in with is what we’d suggest since we aren’t always able to get up close and personal to all of the animals.
4. Binoculars – zoom in and see all the details!
The safari guides try to get as close as possible to animals but sometimes this isn’t always possible. We don’t want to scare the animals away! Binoculars are a wonderful way to see extra details that you can’t see with the naked eye, whether it’s the leathery texture of a rhinoceros’ skin or the sandpaper spines on a lion’s tongue.
Binoculars are also essential to bring on safari if you enjoy birding. Obviously it’s difficult to get up close and personal to birds in the wild because of their height in the trees and their skittishness, so to be able to identify them and view their beautiful colours, your binoculars will be your best friend!
5. Appropriate clothing – you don’t want to scare the animals away!
What you wear on safari can really make a difference in your experience. You want to wear earth-toned colours so that you blend in with nature, as opposed to wearing bright colours that make you stand out. On the one hand, standing out can chase away the animals but on the other hand, it can be a danger hazard and the animals might see you as a threat.
It is also imperative to wear clothes that are comfortable and breathable, especially for sitting in game drive vehicles and for walking safaris. We would suggest getting your hands on clothes made out of sun protected (UPF) fabric with a 30+ UPF rating. Garments made of this material are light, airy and, more importantly, protective against harsh UV rays.
6. Warm jacket/rain jacket – believe it or not, Zambia does get cold!
An early 5am game drive can be chilly before the sun comes up so a warm jacket will be necessary. Be sure to keep this a neutral colour too! Also night time game drives can get quite cold, especially when you’re on the move in an open vehicle.
Some game viewing vehicles have a roof but some don’t so it’s important to bring a rain jacket in case there is a downpour on your game drive - it definitely makes a fun adventure that you’ll never forget! Rather be safe than sorry and bring a rain jacket so that you don’t get absolutely soaked when you get back to camp. What’s great about most rain jackets is that they dry fairly quickly, especially in Zambia’s heat!
7. Torch/flashlight – no one wants to step on a snake in the night!
It’s essential to bring a torch/flashlight with you when you come on safari. A lot of the camps in Zambia have their rooms a bit of a walk away from the main area, so you want to be sure that you don’t run into any animal on your way to your room – but don’t worry, there will be a guide that will walk with you just in case you stumble upon any danger.
Also make sure that your torch/flashlight is rechargeable or bring extra batteries if need be, you’ll be surprised how much you’ll use it. It can also be used to view bush babies, owls, or any other nocturnal creature around camp. You don’t have to worry about take your torch/flashlight when you go for game drives; your guide will have a big spotlight in the vehicle.
8. Backpack – you need those snacks on your walk!
If you’re heading out on a full-day walking safari, you’ll want to take some snacks, water, sunscreen, etc. and carrying all that can be a difficult task if you don’t have a backpack with you. Even if you’re heading out on a game drive, there’s no harm in taking a backpack to carry a jacket, hat and sunglasses. You’ll definitely get a lot of use out of it!
Make sure that your backpack is comfortable to wear as you don’t want to be carrying around a bag that gives you a sore back. Also ensure that your backpack isn’t a bright red one – you want to blend into nature.
9. Mosquito repellent – Malaria is not fun!
Malaria is a common illness in Zambia, especially in the bush. However, if you put on mosquito repellent when it gets dark then you’ll be just fine. Some of the mosquito repellents that are used in Zambia are Peaceful Sleep and Tabard, but any repellent spray should do the job.
At most safari lodges or camps the staff will spray your room a few hours before you go to bed just to ensure that there are no mosquitos inside when you head to bed. Most accommodation options in Zambia have a standard procedure of providing you with a mosquito net to cover your bed – you can choose whether you want to use it or not, but we suggest you do!
10. Sunscreen – don’t underestimate the African sun!
Zambia has a tropical climate with the sun shining throughout the year. If you are on safari in Zambia’s summer season (September-March) then it’s even more important to apply sunscreen several times a day as the temperature in some parts of the country can reach close to 50°C (122°F). But even in winter when it’s overcast you can still get severely sunburnt!
Always make sure to apply at least a 30 factor sunscreen but a 50 factor is recommended. Especially if you’re swimming in camp, applying a sunscreen that is waterproof is so important. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation is at its maximum in Zambia so it’s not something to underestimate.
If you have any questions or concerns about what to bring with you on your Zambian safari, do not hesitate to contact us on email@example.com