Preparing for a trip can be quite a daunting experience, especially if it’s a safari deep in the southern African bush. What do you need? Should you bring shorts or pants? What shoes are appropriate? Is it better to bring long-sleeved shirts or t-shirts? Do you need a jacket? What gear should you bring?
The gear and clothing requirements for most safari lodges and camps are similar, but some specifics may change according to the region they are located. This article will focus on what you need when travelling to the mostly untouched and spectacularly beautiful Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve situated in Zimbabwe. This area is home to the magical baobab tree, whose numbers reach into the hundreds. Its bird life is unrivalled, with more than 500 species residing in the area. A visit to this region will grant you numerous opportunities to spot a variety of wildlife. The animals that call this area home include: white rhino, black rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, Lichtenstein hartebeest, sable, klipspringer, nyala and wild dog.
When considering what to pack for the bush you should remember one thing: Bring layers. Summer stretches from October to April. During this time you can expect warm days and cooler morning and evenings. Bring cool, lightweight casual summer clothes (t-shirts and shorts) and a warmer sweater for cooler periods.
May to September is the fall/winter period. Winter days are generally quite mild, with lots of sunshine. The mornings and evenings tend be colder. The colder months require light casual attire and a warm jacket for extremely cold mornings and evenings.
Bring along clothes that are neutral in color in tones of beige, light brown and khaki. Avoid any dark colors, which absorbs heat, and bright colors tend to attract bugs.
Bring a good pair of hiking boots or walking shoes and some light comfortable shoes/sandals for wearing around the lodge. A brimmed hat or cap is great sun protection, but bring one that will stay on your head during game drives. Find out if your lodge has a pool for swimming and pack you swimwear, it’s an amazing way to recoup and relax after a day in the bush. Always pack a light rain jacket or poncho for those sudden showers.
Equipment and accessories
Sun block, insect repellent and lip balm are essential accessories. Pack in your favorites because you might not be able to find them locally. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from the bright African sun and wildlife viewing is just more enjoyable when you are not squinting. If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, it is a good idea to bring along an extra pair just in caseDon’t forget to pack any prescription medication you might need for the duration of the stay.
Essential gear includes a camera/video camera to capture those spectacular wildlife moments. We advise packing extra memory cards back up drives and batteries if you are a keen photographer. A power bank also comes in handy during game drives if your battery is about to die. Binoculars are an excellent investment for your trip as they offer you the best way to see the wildlife up close.
These recommendations will help give you an idea of what to start packing but we advise contacting an expert at the lodge/camp you will be staying at so that they may guide you through what to expect.