How to prepare for safari. While we’re busy preparing to provide you with a fantastic experience, you can also prepare so that you can make the most of our time together. Being ready for the physical demands of safari and having all the necessary gear and clothing will help make your trip the best of a lifetime.
The fitness level for our safaris varies significantly. The altitude, terrain, and distances hiked can range from very easy to very challenging. It’s critical that you are honest with yourself and us about your current abilities and that you train, if necessary, to prepare. We are always available for any questions or concerns you may have, and we’ll do our best to help you prepare. But ultimately it is your responsibility to ensure that you are up to the challenges of the trip.
Know your camera
If you are taking a photo safari - the single best way to get more bang for your buck is to know your camera. Time spent in the field struggling with camera settings is time you can’t spend on improving your photography and is a sure-fire way to miss shots. For some of you, this is “basic stuff” and for others it’s wise to run through each item carefully and make sure you can really do all these things. This is not the time to be using your new camera system for the very first time, so be sure to allow time for practice. We’re going to employ all of these skills with you so that you can make great images!
Gear and Packing
- Make sure your laptop operating system software is updated.
- Pack your gear so that your go-to lens is handy and ready to go. Consider storing that lens on the camera body. (if photo safari)
- Check the recommended gear list for your safari, and ask questions so that you don’t over or under pack.
- Pack all of your lithium batteries in your carry-on bag, so that you are complying with flight regulations. Consider using Lipo Safe Bags.
- Pack in soft-sided luggage. It packs into our vehicles better than hard plastic luggage.
Clothing and weather gear
While you don’t want to overpack, it’s always good to assume that it will be colder, windier, and wetter than you expect. Wondering if you should bring your rain pants? Bring them. Extra set of gloves in case the first gets wet? Great idea. Maybe your socks get soaked in a stream or the surf of the ocean. Another layer? Yes. Be prepared for the unexpected.
Make sure your boots are properly fitted and broken in. Waterproof boots are best. For some safaris, a pair of shoes or sandals will be fine, too. Ask us if you have any questions about your footwear.
Be sure to check the information document we send you for updates to these lists, and any additional requirements. Below are some of our common recommendations:
BOOTS/SHOES: Sturdy, broken-in hiking boots or hiking shoes appropriate for the workshop. This is not the time for a brand new pair.
WATER BOTTLE: It is important that we all reduce our use of plastics.
POWER STRIP: Hotel rooms don’t always have enough outlets, so bring a travel power strip. A travel extension cord can be handy, too.
SUNSCREEN, BUG REPELLENT, MOSQUITO HEAD NET: Because you never know.
WIDE BRIM HAT: To ward off the sun, and helps you to see the camera LCD.
HEADLAMP: For night photography. It must have both red and white lights (preferably on separate switches) and be dimmable. We recommend one like this.
RAIN JACKET, BEANIE, NECK GAITER, GLOVES: We don’t travel anywhere without at least a light rain jacket, a beanie, a neck gaiter, and gloves for cold weather (especially cold nights!).
BACKUP ID: For international trips, in case you lose your passport or driver’s license. A photo of your passport is a must, plus another form of ID like a birth certificate or driver’s license. You may also want to bring some printed passport photos.
WATERPROOF BOOTS OR OVERSHOES: Sometimes you want to stand in a stream.
SPIKES FOR YOUR BOOTS: Kahtoola MICROspikes (or similar) for wintry icy trips, we’ll let you know if you need them.
SWIMSUIT: Hot tubs, swimming pools, streams, and lakes!
POCKET KNIFE / LEATHERMAN / RRS MULTI-TOOL: Be sure you don’t carry it on the plane!
TREKKING POLES: For added stability.
TRAVEL COFFEE/TEA MUG: If having your favorite drink nearby is important to you, carry one of these.