Are you headed to Tanzania, but are not quite sure what to wear on safari? I can help you out! When I was researching before my own trip, I had a hard time finding a one-stop resource that included everything I’d realistically need. Let me save you the trouble and lay it all out in one post. Below is everything you will ever need to pack and wear on your Tanzania safari.
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Recently I posted about my Tanzania Camping Safari and how amazing the experience truly was. To see so many animals in the wild that I’d only really watched on television previously was, in a word, breathtaking. And seeing them so close up was unexpected!
However, before taking this trip, I had quite a bit of trouble researching what items I really needed for the safari and what items were a big mistake. There didn’t seem to be a one-stop-shop on how to do this right, and I had to piece together my suitcase based on multiple lists.
I want to help YOU prepare for your Tanzania Safari from the get-go, so that you have it right from Day One. This packing list is written from a woman’s point of view, but almost all of the items below are interchangeable for men.
General Packing Tips for Tanzania Safari
- Comfort Is King.
- Many of us who go on longer trips or camp a lot are no stranger to doing laundry on the go – either in the sink, shower, or anywhere we can, really. For safari, be sure you pack enough to wear for every day of the safari, plus an extra outfit or two. Particularly on a camping safari, there are exactly zero opportunities to properly do your laundry. This is because you are moving campsites almost daily, and the tents come down at the crack of dawn, leaving no drying time for your clothes.
- Many websites will tell you that it is imperative that you were greens and browns and blend in with the landscape, lest you scare the wildlife away. For the most part I followed this, as I have a lot of earth-toned clothes anyway. But again, you are inside of the vehicle most of the time, so the random colored clothing item will not matter so much. However…
- Tsetse flies are attracted to dark colors and bright colors, but in particular to the color blue. I went primarily earth-tones with a bit of color here or there and was totally fine.
- Camouflage clothing is illegal in Tanzania unless you are military personnel; do not pack it.
- Don’t forget that sunscreen and bug spray. Your skin will thank me later!
What to Wear on a Tanzania Safari
Unless you are on a safari that specifically hikes or treks, listen up: You will be in the safari vehicle for the bulk of your days. You’ll move between standing and sitting about one hundred times per day, but you will not be walking much. Comfortable clothes are a must! and your Tanzania packing list should reflect that.
For me that meant:
1. One pair of thick stretch pants. These are your more rugged bottoms for hiking or walking, but in a stretch material for comfort. I bought mine secondhand, so I can’t link the exact pair as they are long out of stock. But you are looking for earth tones like olive greens or tan if possible.
2. Several pairs of basic leggings. You probably already own these but if not, the example linked is a nice option. Mine were either black or grey so that they went with everything – and trust me, these were necessary for comfort in the jeep.
3. An array of tops in both sleeveless and short sleeve. My safari was 6 days long so I packed enough for the trip plus one extra for the first day off to do laundry (for me that’s a total of 7). It worked out well so I suggest you do the same! Some great and affordable shirt options I recommend are:
- basic tank tops (this set of olive green and black is perfect)
- short sleeve tees (this one has a nice knot-detail, making it way more fun than a basic tee)
4. One pair of comfy sweatpants. Besides being great for lazy days in the car, these were nice to have at the Ngorongoro Crater campsite, which is very cold because of the high elevation.
5. One pair jeans. (This is for all of you normal folks out there. I usually hate jeans so I personally never wear them. I know, strange).
6. A pair of basic flip flops, both for the car ride and the campsite showers.
7. A long sleeve sweather or hooded sweatshirt for layering; I brought one of each and was happy I did!
8. A hat and sunglasses. The hat was multipurpose or me; besides just keeping out the sun, it also kept my long hair somewhat in place while we drove in the open-top vehicle.
The first day I didn’t wear it and my hair was a dusty and tangled mess. Did I mention, bring a really good detangling conditioner if you have long hair? Yeah… do that.
9. A puffy winter-like coat. Yep you read that right. Again, Ngorongoro Crater was freezing cold overnight. If you are camping, absolutely pack one! If you have read my packing list for Iceland, then you already know that I’m a huge fan of this jacket, which is warm and folds up very tiny in your bag.
10. One pair of tennis shoes or trekking sandals is a smart investment – my favorite pair has been on almost every continent with me and is still going strong.
Gear To Pack for Your Safari
1. Binoculars. Believe it or not, I didn’t own a pair of binoculars before my safari. It wasn’t an item that I wanted to invest hundreds of dollars on, because it’s not one that I will use super often. But I also didn’t want to cheap-out on them, because I wanted them to work well and I do plan on using them in the future.
So, I did a lot of research (seriously, let me save you days of your life) and ended up buying a pair that had the same prism as the more expensive brands but from a lesser known company, so I wasn’t just paying for the name. In the end, these binos worked well for me. I’m sure a professional would give you plenty of other factors to think about, but these were great.
2. A GoPro. This teeny-tiny camera is always nice for filming as you go. The GoPro Hero 7 and beyond have built in stabilizers that keep your video SHARP even on bumpy terrain. Basically I used to GoPro primarily for filming and then my bigger camera for shooting. Which brings me to….
3. Your camera of choice. We are all particular to a certain brand; for me it’s been Sony for many many years. The Sony Alpha series is absolutely amazing and I have as close to zero complaints as humanly possible. My beloved Sony is hands-down the best camera I’ve ever owned. Pair it with a sharp lens and you are golden.
(If anyone is interested in a full photography gear post, please let me know below! I can totally geek out on camera gear so I’m more than willing to share).
And that will just about do it! If you are on a resort safari, you probably want to add a dress or two, but since you probably already gathered, I was camping. So for me, those were not necessary.
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Hopefully this saves you a ton of time and research! If you follow my packing list above, choosing what to wear on your Tanzania safari will be a breeze.