Tanzania Packing List
Our quick guide for what we would recommend packing for safari
As a land of mountains, plains, jungles and beaches, Tanzania has a huge variation of temperatures and topographies. It is, therefore, well worth discussing the variations in the areas with your safari consultant for exactly what will suit you…but below are a few of the “must haves” that we pack every time we head out! (also have a look at our “When to travel” guide for the various areas as this will give you a good indication).
The first thing that we pack every time! Heading out to Africa without a camera really is missing out on an opportunity of a lifetime. It is true that there is an argument to say that you don’t want to spend your entire time looking through a lense at the game as it takes away from the experience…but, in our experience, when you start to look at Africa as a photographer, with the different light shades and extraordinary animals, it only adds! For more information on cameras, lenses, and where it is possible to rent equipment for your trip, please ask one of us.
Again, one of the first things that we put into our luggage as, especially when trying to see a leopard, or looking at the markings of an eagle, it is often not possible to see many features with the naked eye. On the whole, we find that the most versatile and most portable are the 10x42 magnitude…but that is only us!
Floppy, broad-rimmed hat
An absolute essential piece of equipment. Great after a couple of hours in the morning when the sun is really starting to kick in! As we discuss in the health section, the sun in the tropics is notorious and, bundling about in vehicles, is very deceptive.
Bit of a no brainer really with heat getting up to 30+ in the heat of the day.
Long Sleeved Tops
Great to wear both at night, as mozzie protection (if you are like us…not big fans of mozzie spray!), and also during the day. If you choose natural fibers then, during the heat of the day, you can roll the arms down to protect from the sun…
On the whole these are best for the evenings, when mosquitos come out and the temperature drops a little. Can also be useful for visiting some of the more strictly Muslim areas of the country, such as Stone Town in Zanzibar where it is advisable to cover up.
Definitely recommended if you are keen to do a couple of walking safaris while out there. It is not necessary to having full walking boots as the walking safaris are conducted at a leisurely pace…but you may want running shoes!
Again, a no brainer. Definitely worth packing some factor 50 as, in the heat of the day, the sun really is strong.
A Few Swahili Phrases
Take a look at our brief guide to Swahili. As avid travelers ourselves, we really believe that the more you can integrate into the local community the more you will get out of it….and there is nothing like the look on a guide’s face when you greet him with a friendly “Jambo”…he will be your best friend!
Basic First Aid Kit
While it is not necessary to pack a long list of lotions and bandages, as most of the lodges have it anyway, here are a few things we travel with that make things a little easier; plasters, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream, electrolytes, mosquito-repellent.
Hair dryers, shampoo, soap?
We are often asked if things like hair dryers and shampoo and other toiletries are needed and, in most cases, the camps and properties provide these things free of charge. It is also worth noting that, as laundry is easily possible and, again, normally free, this can help hugely in keeping the packing list shorter than you might normally.
**please bear in mind that Zanzibar and parts of the mainland are Muslim and, as such, when visiting villages or wandering around Stone Town it is respectful to cover up properly with long sleeved tops and trousers/long skirts for women.**