The Rules of Packing for a Serengeti Safari

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My next week is a particularly big one and, as a result, a particularly tricky one for packing. It’s a beach and safari holiday to Zanzibar and The Serengeti. Zanzibar will be three nights of an exotic beach vacation (with a tour of the spice market in Stone Town). Tanzania will be 10 nights exploring the Serengeti: taking charter planes to different lodges every few nights, private game drives and walks, and, of course, the watching the largest migration in the world. It’s a dream. It’s a luxurious adventure that I am so grateful to be doing. It’s a packing nightmare challenge…

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There are a lot of rules for packing for a safari and that’s really the bulk of the trip so that’s where I need to focus my energy. Here are some of the guidelines:Screen Shot 2019-07-24 at 7.39.31 AM

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  1. For game drives, walks, and general days in the African bush – do not wear black, any bright colors, or any patterns. This will attract unwanted attention from the Tsetse fly as well as catch the attention and possibly scare off the wildlife we will be viewing. Turns out there’s a reason that all safari gear is khaki and olive. Here’s the challenge: how to not look like a park ranger.Screen Shot 2019-07-24 at 7.37.04 AM
  2. It will be chilly at night and hot during the day. And there will be a lot of exposure to the elements. Sun protection is a must even on cloudy days – the sun is no joke in Africa, especially this close to the equator. Screen Shot 2019-07-24 at 7.39.01 AM
  3. No hard case suitcases. This is a new one for me. I can’t remember ever traveling with a duffle. But, alas, I will be (thank goodness for Patagoina). The reason is that the charter planes that will be flying us to our camps don’t allow hard cases. Which leads us to rule number 4…Screen Shot 2019-07-24 at 7.37.38 AM
  4. Strict weight limits on baggage – those little cessnas’ won’t get off the ground if they’re too heavy. Literally.Screen Shot 2019-07-24 at 7.38.33 AM
  5. No plastic at all is allowed in Tanzania. This is a really great initiative the country has taken. I don’t rely heavily on ziplocks when I travel so it hasn’t been difficult for me to get my head around this – but if you’re someone who does, you’ll need a different strategy before traveling to Tanzania. And really, it’s a good strategy to apply to every trip to cut back on waste.Screen Shot 2019-07-24 at 7.38.07 AM
  6. In the evening mosquitoes are a big concern so it’s important to keep ankles and feet covered (no romantic sundress in the bush then I guess).Screen Shot 2019-07-24 at 7.38.43 AM

Stay tuned for what I packed and how successful/unsuccessful it was.

*photo credits: Lankester White, The Highlands Serengeti, Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge, and Legendary Serengeti Camp





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