You get two kinds of people who go on holiday: those who love packing and start days in advance and then there are those who hate it, procrastinate until the last minute, throw what they think they’ll need into a bag and hope for the best. No matter which kind of packer you are, we have compiled a few tips to help you pack perfectly for your great Botswana safari.
Packing for a safari is not that different to packing for any other holiday, with a few exceptions that you should keep in mind. The first one is your clothing. Botswana’s temperatures can soar in summer and packing light, cool, comfortable clothing will make sure you aren’t uncomfortably hot while on a midday game drive. Try to keep your clothes to wear during the day in neutral colours, stay away from bright colours and white clothes. You want to blend in with your surroundings and not scare any of the wild animals away. Pack one or two formal outfits to wear during the evening so that you have the option of going out for dinner or doing something fancy if you feel like it. Even though it’s hot, try not to show off too much skin. Rather go for light clothes that will cover your skin and prevent sun burn.
That brings us to the next essential item on the list: sunblock. A good sunblock with a high sun protection factor (SPF) and a wide brimmed hat should be non-negotiable and should be among the first items you pack in your suitcase. Much of Botswana is covered by the Kalahari desert, which tells you how hot and dry the country can be. Along with your sun block and hat, it is advisable to pack one or two extra water bottles to keep with you, extra lip balm, and sunglasses to protect your eyes from the searing sun.
Footwear is something that has a big influence on your comfort while on holiday. Flat, comfortable and well-fitting shoes are a must have, trainers or sneakers are our first choice to wear during the day. Walking safaris, hikes and any other walking trails will destroy your feet and put an end to any other walking activities you have planned if you don’t wear the correct footwear. Another good tip to remember is if you have to buy new shoes for your holiday, buy them a good few weeks in advance so that you have time to wear them in. You definitely don’t want blisters while on safari.
Other essentials that you don’t want to forget are your camera to capture the lifelong memories you will be making and binoculars to see the wildlife in the distance. Mosquitoes and other insects can be quite a nuisance during warm summer nights, pack a good bug repellent. Make sure you remember to pack all your chargers and adaptors for all your digital equipment and don’t forget to pack a book or something for when you have some quiet time to yourself.
The best way to be an organised packer is to start a day or two in advance (even if you are one of the procrastinators!) and making a list can help you not leave anything behind. Cross the items off your list as they go into your bag and you can be sure you won’t forget anything important.
The last thing to pack is your sense of adventure. You’re about to embark on a holiday that will create memories to last a lifetime, make sure you make the most of it!