What to bring with you on a photographic safari in Africa

For some, a safari in Africa is a bucket list item. And you don't want to spoil your photography safari by leaving something behind. Here are a few of our tips on deciding what you must pack for your safari.
Johan Greyling. What to bring with you on a photographic safari in Africa

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  • Normally the African winter days are beautiful and sunny, but it can get chilly early in the morning.
  • Dress warmly for early morning but you might feel the need as the day progresses to get rid of some of your warm clothing so we suggest dressing in layers.
  • Due to changing rain patterns worldwide, predicting if it will rain on your African Safari is not always easy. Be prepared for the possibility of rain at all times. A light foldable raincoat will also help with cold in the early morning and late afternoons.
  • You will need a soft hat and sunscreen at all times.
  • Laundry services are available on request at most lodges sometimes at additional cost to you.


  • Most of the countries in the Africa Region are established malaria areas. Please consult with your medical specialist regarding the vaccinations required for the region you will be visiting.
  • It is advisable to get Yellow Fever injections and carry the certificate with you as this is required in some countries.
  • Make sure that you take your own medication as required and please inform your lodge and safari guide of any medical conditions, also where to find your medication if needed.
  • If you are allergic to bee stings or has asthmatic conditions please ensure that you keep your medicine with you on all safari activities at all times.
  • If there is specific procedures that are needed for applying your medication please inform the lodge and have a letter with the instructions with your medication ready to be find easily.


It is strongly advised that you also pack the following:

  • Basic Medicines to treat stomach ache, headaches, diarrhoea etc.
  • Suntan Lotion
  • Wide brim hat
  • Sneakers or hiking boots
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • Sunglasses, preferably polarised, to eliminate glare.
  • Raincoat and a warm jacket
  • Cash or Credit Cards

Currencies Used

Although you don’t need a lot of Cash with you, it is advised to take note of the currency used in the destination of your choice. It just might be easier to draw local currency at an ATM upon arrival at the airport. There are no ATM’s at lodges.

  • Nairobi / Tanzania ($) – US Dollar
  • Botswana / Victoria Falls (BWP) – Pula
  • Namibia (N$) – Namibian Dollar
  • South Africa (ZAR) – South African Rand
Johan Greyling. What to bring with you on a photographic safari in Africa
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Tips for staff at lodges, drivers & cleaners (suggested guideline)

The Staff at Lodges / Guides and Drivers are always extremely helpful and they are an important link to ensuring your Safari is unforgettable. We do advice that you tip them for their work.

For Guides we suggest;

  • Botswana – BWP 150 per day
  • Kenya – US$ 15 per day
  • Tanzanian – US$ 15 per day
  • South Africa – R 150-00 per day
  • Namibia – R 150-00 per day

For your porter tip him a small amount. For all other staff, our suggestion is to give a tip in the general tip box.
All the people in the lodge is key to make your experience unforgivable, that includes the cleaners, the maintenance staff etc.

Power Connections

It is advisable that you bring your own adaptors with you on the trip to avoid possible complications. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs. You need this to load your camera batteries, laptops and cellphones.

Mobile Data and Wi-fi

Enquire from your lodges if there is Wi-Fi available as well as cellular reception and which network has the strongest signal.
It is advisable to purchase a local sim and data at the main airport for the network that is the strongest at the lodge.

Weight restrictions on regional flights

  • East Africa has severe luggage weight restrictions – therefore we suggest the purchase of a freight seat ticket on the Charter Flights that allows extra 70kg weight. (15 kg normal allowance per guest)
  • Only soft luggage bags, bags with no hard sides are allowed.
  • Long lenses must be packed in soft bags.

Safety of photographic equipment on the aircraft

It is important that no Photographic Equipment is handed in as cargo at the terminals. Instead, you should carry your photography bag with you on the bus that transports you to the aircraft.
So before you board the plane, you may hand your camera bag to the cargo staff at the bottom of the aircraft staircase. Your bag will safely be packed in the cargo hold, and you may retrieve your bag on arrival at your destination at the bottom of the aircraft staircase again on descending. Some Airlines do not allowed fully charged batteries on flights and may also specify that batteries are packed in a specific way – please consult with your airline!

What is regarded as photographic equipment?

  • All types of cameras
  • Lenses and converters, camera batteries, chargers and memory cards
  • Laptops and chargers
  • External backup drives

Customs declaration of photographic equipment

We suggest that you make a complete list of your equipment and serial numbers and get customs at your departure airport to verify and stamp this list. This will prevent possible customs complications on arrival back home.


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