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The Ultimate African Safari Packing List, For Botswana And Beyond

Written By Chloe Berge

For nature and wildlife lovers, there are few adventures more spellbinding than an African safari. From tracking lions as they stalk prey through grassy plains to watching graceful kudu sashay across rivers, it’s an epic outdoor experience. Since warm days on safari can turn into cooler nights—not to mention the sweltering sun, wind, dust and pesky insects that come up in between—it’s important to carefully plan your African safari packing list to prepare for it all.

As a journalist who has embarked on multiple safaris, including a trek through the Okavango Delta in Botswana most recently, I’ve learned firsthand the importance of having the right packing list for safari destinations across the continent. You’ll want to bring versatile items that are comfortable and protect you from the elements. Durable yet lightweight activewear and a sturdy pair of hiking boots are key for daytime excursions; you’ll also need lighter tennis shoes or sandals for the evenings in addition to key gear like a headlamp. Most importantly, be aware that many bush flights between tour destinations only allow for softside luggage that meets specific size and weight limits once packed—so depending on where you’re going, you may need to leave that hardshell suitcase at home.

Ahead, here’s what to prioritize on your African safari packing list so you can make the most of those morning game drives and active bush walks.

Here, our experts share their top picks for the gear that’ll make your trip comfortable and memorable, plus everything else you’ll need for a perfect safari.


April 9, 2024

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Chloe Berge

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