A useful guide on how and what to pack for your safari experience
The below safari essentials list is supplied as a general guide on what to take on your safari. Where possible luggage should be kept to a minimum due to the weight / space restrictions of 15kg total weight allowance per person (including carry-on bags) on light aircraft, but we are able to store excess baggage at our head office in Nairobi (ask our Sales Team for more information).

No Plastic Bags

Since August 2017 plastic bags have been banned in Kenya. Being in possession of a plastic bag is now against the law (although the government has indicated that any penalties will initially apply to retail outlets and manufacturing companies in Kenya rather than individuals). Visitors are advised to avoid packing any plastic bags in their suitcases or in carry-on hand luggage…

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Kenyan Safari Essentials Packing List:

Soft bags (that are lockable) are preferable to large rectangular suitcases, owing to the limited space for luggage storage on the small aircraft used for flights into the parks. On the Safarilink and Airkenya light aircraft flights the weight of luggage that can be checked in is limited to 15kgs and this is inclusive of carry-on luggage.

Further information from Safarilink:

Is there anywhere I can store any excess baggage?

Yes, there is a complimentary secure store at our Wilson Airport Office. please inquire at the Checkin counter.

Is the 15kg baggage allowance inclusive of hand luggage?

Yes. If passengers have significant excess baggage on ‘safari’ and International routes, it is recommended they book a ‘freight’ seat at child rate (applicable on Y class fares), which permits confirmed carriage of an extra 75 kgs.

What happens if my baggage is over the weight limit?

In most circumstances our Check-in staff will use their discretion and allow a leeway of up to 2 kgs. However additional excess baggage will only be carried, at the sole discretion of the captain of the aircraft, if the payload of the aircraft and/or space permits and will be charged at the prevailing rate for carriage of freight (currently $ 2 + VAT per kg).

Why do you ask that my luggage is in a soft bag?

Most of our flights are operated by aircraft whose luggage compartments have limited volume and are of an irregular shape. It is thus more difficult for us to stow large rigid suitcases, which in an extreme situation, might have to be carried on the next available flight.

At many camps and lodges a small amount of laundry may be done for you (e.g. one or two items per day per person). This is washed by hand and generally doesn’t include personal items such as underwear for which a supply of detergent is provided in the tents for use of guests. Ask our Sales team for more information when you book.

  • Passports (with visa entries)
  • Health cards (vaccination certificate)
  • Airline tickets / E-tickets
  • Cash & Travellers’ Cheques
  • Separate record of Travellers’ Cheque numbers
  • Credit Cards (VISA, Mastercard and / or American Express)
  • Photo-copy of passport / visas / insurance papers

The suggested safari items list given below is a basic indication of what you should bring. On safari, khaki and green coloured clothing are recommended and bright colours are best avoided (fine for the coast and Nairobi). You can now own our quality merchandise worn by our guides in the field. This merchandise is inspired by the adventure-seeking style of an African Safari. Click here to view and for more details.

Please note that camouflage-patterned clothes are illegal because they are worn by local soldiers. In the highland areas north of Nairobi it may get extremely chilly at night or in the early mornings, especially June, July, August when temperatures can be very much colder, so it is recommended that you pack some items of warm clothing.

  • Trainers / Walking shoes / safari boots
  • Comfortable shoes:  loafers / moccasins / deck shoes
  • Hat
  • Jacket / Windbreaker / Fleece for the very chilly early morning and evening game drives
  • Waterproof light rainjacket
  • Warm sweater / Fleece jacket
  • 2 pairs safari trousers / chinos
  • 2 pairs safari shorts
  • 4 pairs sport socks
  • 3 short sleeve shirts
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 2 t-shirts
  • Nightwear
  • Swimwear
  • 1 pair casual trousers (men) evening outfit (women) – for evening in the city
  • Malaria prophylaxis
  • Prescription drugs (also bring the generic names for these drugs, good idea to pack 2 separate lots)
  • Motion sickness pills
  • Insect repellent (containing DEET for mosquitos)
  • Sun Screen (SPF 15 or higher)
  • Lip Balm
  • Shampoo / Conditioner (if you have a preferred brand otherwise shampoo provided by most hotels, camps)
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste / Toothbrush
  • Hair Brush / Comb
  • Electric / Hand Razor
  • Emery Boards / Tweezers
  • Hand Lotion
  • Feminine Hygiene Supplies

Wear sunscreens and cover up during the hottest time of day – between 11am and 3pm.

  • Sunglasses / Case
  • Prescription glasses (and a spare pair)
  • Flashlight (small with extra batteries, or headlamp)
  • Batteries (for electronic equipment)
  • Converter plug set if needed (the electricity supply is 240 Volt, 50 Hz). Sockets are usually 3 pin and are of the square variety.
  • Alarm clock
  • Money pouch or moneybelt
  • Binoculars (very important, one pair per person. For most people magnification of 8x or 10x  is ideal)
  • Small Day backpack
  • Favourite road snacks
  • Books / Magazines / Journal
  • Pen / notepad
  • Tube of Travel Wash (for small items of laundry)
  • Earplugs


For recommended safari books and guides see our Recommended Reading List.

Our recommended safari books and guides

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Our Recommended Safari Travel Essentials:

Our clients often ask us for advice on what safari essentials to pack for their safari adventure. Here are the key items that we recommend, with links to Amazon for the latest deals. NB as an “Amazon Associate” we earn commission from these paid links, and the profits are put towards the cost of running the wildlife conservancies.

Concerned about the security of your booking and your own safety while on safari?

We fully appreciate your concerns when it comes to booking a safari in Africa and you can rest assured that your financial security when booking and your own personal safety when on safari is our highest priority. Gamewatchers Safaris is a member of the Kenya Association of Tour Operators bonding scheme, backed by a leading insurance company, to ensure your payments are fully protected if a bonded KATO member ceases trading.