Getting ready to leave on an African Safari is an exiting prospect, but never having been in Africa leaves you wondering what you will need for your adventure. Through my involvement in African hunting Safaris over the past 32 years I have seen many hunting clients come and go. I have met hunters at the airport that had enough kit to provision a small army, while others arrive with a small tote bag. See my list of what to pack for your African Safari for some generally helpful ideas of what you will need. What to pack for your hunt in South Africa may require some thought.
When you are on a hunt in Africa you may be several hours away from a city or town where you could replace items forgotten at home. This can result in some really uncomfortable situations. I have sat in hunting blinds with a hunter sitting opposite me and really struggling to control the chattering of their teeth in the early morning chill. Some items such as a tooth brush and shampoo will be found in even out of the way places, while a good quality hunting jacket will only be found in major cities. The same goes for a good quality pair of binoculars and a range finder. Your Professional Hunter will have a top quality pair of binoculars and will often be willing to share them with you, however he is the person that will do the most good using the said pair of binoculars. You will severely impact your enjoyment of the hunt by leaving your binoculars at home.
During a hunting Safari in Africa you will often use the spot and stalk or glassing method of hunting, by not having a pair of binoculars you will not be able to evaluate the animals that the Professional Hunter and tracker are looking at. In short you will be left in the dark. When thinking about what to pack for your African Safari, do not expect every Professional Hunter to have a good quality range finder. The better equipped P.H. will will have one in his hunting kit, but it is always a good idea to have your own especially if you will be on a bow hunt in South Africa. Bringing your own range finder along has several advantages – the first being that you will gain confidence by verifying distances yourself. The second advantage is that if you use yards and feet you may be given a distance in the locally used meters, which may have an impact on your shot when rifle hunting.
While you may be able to replace a pair of boots or a shirt during your hunt in South Africa, the replacements will never be as comfortable or familiar as those you left at home. If you will be hunting Cape Buffalo or Elephant during your Safari in Africa a badly fitting pair of hunting boots could end in disaster. Blistered feet will limit the amount of walking you are able to do, hunting on foot is how a lot of top trophies are killed.
Do not be the guy at the airport struggling under the weight of several large bags or the guy with a small bag and not enough to get him through the hunt. Below is a basic list of what to pack for your African Safari that should get the job done. Feel free to add any other essential items to your packing list.
The following is a list of clothing and other items that we recommend you pack for your African Safari.
- 1 X Warm down jacket
- 1 X Warm sweater
- 1 X Set of casual clothing
- 2 X Sweatshirts for wearing around camp in the evening
- 1 X Pair of Denim Jeans for wearing around camp
- 1 X Pair of comfortable hunting boots or running shoes
- 1 X pair of light sneakers for wearing around camp
- 4 X Pairs of warm socks
- 4 X Long-sleeved hunting shirts
- 3 X Pairs of hunting trousers
- 1 X Pair of short pants
- 1 X Pair of warm gloves
- 1 X Warm Beanie or warm cap
- 2 X Hunting hat or cap.
- 1 X Sunscreen and lip balm
- 1 X Toothbrush and toothpaste
- 1 X Small bottle of hair shampoo
- 1 X Flashlight
- 1 X Pair of sunglasses
- 1 X Pair of reading glasses (if required)
- 1 X Binoculars
- 1 X Rangefinder
- 1 X Camera
- Batteries, charger and power converter (from 220 volt to 110 volt)
Adrian Anderson first obtained his Professional Hunters license in 1991. He is a Big Five and Dangerous Game licensed Professional Hunter and Hunting Outfitter. He has a tremendous love for wildlife and the African bush and enjoys sharing his knowledge with the hunting clients that he guides. Guiding hunters in Africa’s wild places is a passion and seeing them succeed with their goals brings satisfaction. With knowledge of the Safari industry built up over 32 years he is well qualified to give guidance to his hunting clients.