About as far removed from the busy day-to-day life of the city as you can get, a safari can be a tranquil and magical experience. Of course, it’s also a rather unusual holiday that requires a lot of preparation. To help get your safari holiday off to a smooth start, here is a list of essential kit for you to pack when you’re heading out into the wild – all you have to do is keep an eye out for the animals!
Obviously, part of the attraction of the safari experience is the opportunity to get close to the animals, but it’s a good idea not to overestimate just how close you’ll get. Whilst you may be fortunate enough to have a close encounter with some rare creatures, there’s also the possibility that you will be observing some animals from a distance – this is particularly true of aggressive species such as rhinos, which are prone to charge, so must be approached with caution. Packing good quality binoculars means that you’ll avoid disappointment, and be able to spot some of the animals that you would otherwise miss.
The sun in Africa is famously fierce, and though you might be planning to top up your tan while spotting zebras, a high SPF sunscreen and a sun hat are highly recommended items. It’s wise to bring a good quality pair of sunglasses too, as the light and glare on the open plains can be quite severe, and you wouldn’t want that to hamper your spotting skills.
It might sound implausible at first, but you are likely to need both sun protection and warm clothing while on safari. Many animals are most active in the early morning and at dusk, when it’s cool enough to venture out from the shade. Most safaris take place around this time, and whilst it will heat up very quickly, you may be out in the cold for quite a while. Consider purchasing a base layer which can help keep you warm in the cold but also wicks away the sweat to cool you down when the temperature rises.
Though your safari destination may be somewhere remote (meaning carrying cash is wise) it’s also a good idea to bring a credit card on holiday for emergency purchases. With no pre-set spending limits or interest charges, and comprehensive travel insurance included, the Platinum Card from American Express makes a flexible and useful travel companion.