Ask any traveler to name the most challenging part of preparing for their trip. Deciding on the location and packing will likely be on top of their lists. Especially for first-time safari-goers, picking the right equipment, gear, and accessories will be the most difficult part.
The lack of sufficient space, the cost, and inconvenience of extra luggage are the usual hurdles. The list of items to bring on a safari differs greatly, especially when you take into account specific locations and personal preferences. Obviously, comfort will be a huge factor when packing the right gear, but you should also make sure that you are ready for any kind of emergencies that might occur during your safari adventure. It is here that safari accessories come in, which will serve you well in all situations, all the while taking minimal space and maximizing your storage capacity.
Here are 10 safari accessories and tools you cannot afford to leave behind:
While this may seem like an obvious choice, you will be surprised at how many people opt for suitcases or trolley bags when setting out on a safari. Even if you will be staying at a hotel and have a place to store your luggage, bringing a backpack for the actual safari trip is very important. Pick a high-quality waterproof backpack with several compartments and well-lined straps, that is designed for the great outdoors and ensures comfort, convenience, and durability.
A safari is all about spending as much time outdoors as you can and admiring the majestic and bountiful sights that nature has to offer. However, some objects and animals will be too far to observe properly. A pair of binoculars will allow you to view, in clear detail, various mountain ranges and have a closer look at the impressive wildlife without any disturbance. Find a set that has durable casing and great zooming ability and you will not miss out on any action unfolding before you.
3. Survival Bracelet
Whether it is creating a hanging line, tying up your luggage or bedding and even setting up your tent or a hammock, it is impossible to understate how useful this accessory is. A survival bracelet is made of a strong material, the same used in making parachutes since the Second World War. Here are some practical uses of a survival bracelet:
- You can use it for repairs.
- You can use it to mark your trail by tying a couple of strands onto trees.
- Unwind it and use it for fishing.
- Use it to create a makeshift shelter from surrounding leaves and branches.
In any adventure, there will always be a need for a rope and, with a survival bracelet, you will have one on your wrist!
As the name suggests, multi-tools have a variety of functions, all combined into one compact and highly durable item. Keep in mind though that some functionalities differ depending on the brand. You can, however, expect the basics, such as scissors, screwdrivers, and knives to be included in all models.
The world-famous example is the Swiss Army Knife, which has remained a favorite among adventure lovers. It includes a corkscrew, blades, screwdrivers, nail files, can openers, scissors, a wooden saw, and tweezers, among others. Simply put, having a multi-tool is essential for any outdoor activity, whether you are on a safari or not.
5. Mini first-aid kit
It can be easy to overlook this essential item and focus mainly on camping and clothing gear when packing for a safari. But you should not forget that simple accidents can occur and that it’s very easy to get an upset stomach when you travel to foreign countries.
Your safari checklist is incomplete without a mini first-aid kit. Simple cuts and bruises can easily get infected, and a well-stocked first-aid kit with all the essentials will serve you well until you get proper medical attention. You can easily create your own custom first-aid kit by getting a small pouch with sizeable compartments and stocking it with all the essential medical and emergency items.
6. Sunscreen & after-sun lotion
The temperatures and the sun exposure in most safari destinations are quite extreme. There is no getting used to it, and to prevent your skin from cracking and increasing the risk of skin complications, applying some sunblock and sun cream is vital. This will keep your skin hydrated and shield you from harmful UV rays.
Just like the sunscreen, shades provide protection from the sun. You can embark on sight-seeing tours without developing sore eyes or harming your eyes from sun exposure. Make sure you wear sunglasses that are comfortable and fit perfectly since you will be wearing them for most of the day.
8. Insect repellant
This is another item that most people tend to forget, either assuming they will find mosquito nets or just never thinking about it. Sure, hotels do provide mosquito nets, but you will be spending much of your time outdoors. Most camping safaris provide mosquito nets provided, but if you plan to camp in Africa’s wilderness on your own, then you need to protect yourself.
With an insect repellant, you have the best protection from mosquitoes and other bugs throughout the evening and the night. It also does not take any considerable space in your backpack.
9. USB Electronic Charger
Your journey will see you carry a number of gadgets, and you will be out for long hours. This increases the likelihood of one of your gadgets shutting down at the most inopportune moments. To make sure you do not limit your use, especially if you are heavily relying on a specific gadget, you will need a portable charger or power bank. There are many options on the market, with different power capacities and added functions. Choose one that delivers the highest mAh (milliamp per hour).
10. Water purifier
While bottled water is widely available in cities, the African wilderness and the various hiking trails you might take on while on a safari will leave you with only tap water, springs, rivers, and lakes as your main drinking sources. To guarantee your safety, you should bring along a water purifier. There are several options and models available, from simple tablets to portable cans which purify water from most sources, giving you clean drinking water from any location you find yourself in.
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Make sure your checklist includes all of the above-mentioned essential accessories and tools, and be on your way to an exciting mountain safari!