Gate 1 Travel does a great job explaining some of the details a safari traveler might not think of.
Here’s our spin on their advice and ideas that you may find useful.
Visa for Kenya
A visa is required to enter Kenya. It’s not that difficult and can be done online. But many in line to enter Kenya at the airport didn’t have a e-Visa and spent time filling out forms and waiting in another line. And remember, your passport must be valid for six months past your travel dates.
A couple of experienced travelers – one male and one female (not together) were doing eighteen days on safari and got all their stuff in one regular size backpack! Let this be your inspiration.
Gate 1 suggests a small travel alarm. I bought one (cheapo) and never got it out of the bag. You can probably skip this if you have a phone. Wake up calls came in person while on safari! Along with choice of hot chocolate, coffee, tee and cookies.
Clothing: we purchased long pants and some “safari” shirts to protect from sun and bugs. We bought new “walking” shoes. We shouldn’t have bothered. Bugs were non-existent. On game drives we never left the confines of the vehicle. Very little walking. We did wear “subdued” colors, but I wish I would have just packed my shorts and dri-wicking tee shirts. Around camp, we wore game drive clothes. We took jackets, but the one time we needed them (to visit The Ark) we weren’t told of the altitude change and lower temperatures so we left jackets packed in our “left behind” bag. (Only one small bag per couple is allowed. )
Bug Repellant: we bought packed Deet and never used it. We were pleasantly surprised at the lack of any bugs.
Hand sanitizer: this we should have used. It’s easy, small, and common sense. We didn’t use it, but you should!
Wet wipes: I took a couple hundred and used just two to clean the camera lens. Small and cheap, but skip it.
Flashlight: Must – one for each person. Small LED flashlights are a buck from Wal-mart. Worth it walking back to tents at night or around inside the tent at night. (Remember, many camps turn off electricity at night.)
Binoculars: If you own a good pair and are an experienced user, by all means take them, but don’t purchase a pair unless you have other uses for them after the safari. I have a camera with a 300 mm lens. It got me up close. Nancy didn’t want to mess with focusing the binoculars, so they stayed in the bag.
Camera: If you don’t have one with a good zoom lens, borrow or buy one. The small point and shoot cameras with zoom just won’t give you the kind of photos you’ll want. On the other hand, the small point and shoots and phones are fine for around-the-table photos or capturing the sweeping vistas. Don’t use an iPad to shoot photos, too bulky.
Important Papers: make copies of all your important documents and keep in a safe place away from your other paperwork. Jot down your “must have” passwords and account numbers in case of emergency. Or if you use a password manager, jot down your master password. Buy a plastic 9 x 12 envelope to put your papers in to keep them organized an readily available.
Check your devices for compatibility with voltage. Most gadgets are compatible with a variety of voltages, so voltage converters aren’t needed.
My mother used to say “better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it” that’s true with safari packing but within reason. Probably better guideline would be “better to be able to buy or borrow it, if you really need it.”
ATM: it took us two tries at different banks to get local cash. One bank ATM didn’t give access to our checking account. Alert your guide if you are running low on cash, finding an ATM may require stopping when moving from one camp to another.
Book by May 31, 2019 and save $250 per person off our regular price on this Kenya Safari Exploration and applicable extensions. Promotion is not valid on existing reservations or combinable with any other promotions. To redeem the discounted savings, use promotional code MARK250 at the time of booking. Click here to book or call 877-900-9777 to speak with one of our reservation specialists.