THINGS NOT TO FORGET ON A SAFARI !
Mis à jour : 6 juin 2020
As I just got back from South Africa, I've been on safari during 6 days and I realized what I needed and it was kind of... too late sometimes. Just a little reminder to say that every safari is different, so I tried to summarize what would be the best to bring. Here is a little list of things you want to have on a safari, and you are going to understand why !
1 - Clothes, how surprising?
Every lodges where you could go on safari strongly recommend to wear clothes that goes with the landscapes (once again, it makes sense) so basically : avoid red, or pink or any bright colors, because animals are not used to those kind of colors and they could be afraid easily (and that's not what we want). If you want to be pretty on your pics, it's time to go buy some green, camel, grey, beige, or black cute clothes, but believe me, when it's raining you can't look cute, and actually it doesn't really matter cause the main purpose of the whole thing is animals (they don't care if you are pretty or not).
2 - Thirsty on the road ?
How useful would be a bottle of water in a desert ? a need. Well, it's similar on a safari. It can get really hot after 9/10am so it's always nice to have some water. When I arrived in the Desert of Kalahari, the lodge offered me a water-bottle with my name on it : I thought it was a really good idea for the marketing but also really good for the environment. In South Africa, there is still a lot of plastic use, so if we can avoid some plastic bottle and replace it by water-bottle that could be awesome.
3 - "Why is the picture blurry on my phone?"
If you want to avoid those kind of moment, bring a camera. I know this one is a need for a lot of you so you won't forget it. The only recommandations I have, is to bring different lens and a protection bag. The reason for that is simple : there can be a lot of wind so dust and sand go everywhere, even in the smallest part of your camera. The different lens are useful because sometimes you are going to be more far than you expected, so a bigger lens will be better.
4 - Who says sun says hat
It's amazing how much hat you can find in shops all around South Africa. There are all different kind of hat, with different colors, different styles and that's pretty awesome.
I decided to buy a typical hat from one of the Reserve I visited named Sabi Sabi reserve (which you can see on the picture).
What I should tell you now is that the "colonial hat" is not a thing to wear on safari. I learned that those hats could have a negative impression on the South African community (it can be seen as a colonisation sign which can be sensitive). Anyway, the main purpose of it is simply to protect yourself from the sun because it can be reaaaally hot.
5 - a jacket (yes a jacket you read it good).
You maybe think that its always hot in South Africa, except that sometimes on mornings it can be really chilly (because we usually go really early (5:30 am ish) on safari to get the chance to see animals) so feel free to take a coupe-vent, a jacket or a sweatshirt with you, and the best motivation you have !
6 - If you want to see Rhino, you need binos
I actually didn't think about this before to be in front of a Rhino (which was far) and I tried to see him closer but couldn't, why ? Because I forgot my binoculars. Sometimes, your rangers will have a pair (thanks to my ranger) but sometimes they won't. So if you want to see animals clearly, don't forget the binoculars.
7 - A scarf, useful&chic
Okay, I have to admit that I forgot this one too. First, I don't have any and I could not see the purpose of it, but now I do. You can't know what you really need before to get in the car for a day. For my first day, there were a lot of wind (which involve dust). Dust goes everywhere. So the foulard would have protect my face from all the dust that I got the all day. On the picture, you can see a foulard that I barrow at the Lodge.
8 - Sunglasses, but not only cause of the sun
I always bring my sunglasses everywhere, but I know people that don't like to wear it. Unfortunately, I recommend you to bring it with you. During the day, you have a lot of sun but this is not the main purpose. Sometimes when you are on a safari, you might get back to the Lodge late (7/8pm ish) so the night will be there and at night : bugs get out. So you'll have hundreds of bugs or weird insects that fly to your eyes or come right at your face, your arms... etc, that 's why the sunglasses would be very useful : not to take bugs in your eyes (I know it's weird but it's true haha).
sunglasses (or even normal glasses cause of the bugs),
9 - This one is a recommandation (a bonus)
Bring long socks ! Sometimes, you can take a break in the bush and your ranger allow you to get out of the car. It depends where you are, but often there are long grass and some of them can be itchy, so if you were long socks you are good !
10 - Let's end with the one that make more sense... Suncream !
I also forget about this one haha... Well, it can be really hot, and even if the car protect you with some shade, the sun will get you anyway. So be careful !
11 - Bonus : mosquitoes repellent !
This will depend on where you are going and the weather but still : there can be a lot of mosquito around, so it is better to prevent biting than to be bitten !