Curious about what is a packing list for Tanzania safari, always put comfort and practicality ahead of style. Avoid bright colours and white, which on most safaris, will not stay white for long.
Try to blend into the landscape with animal-friendly greens and khakis. Never dress in camouflage clothing, which is associated with the military.
Black and dark blue should be avoided, as both colours are known to attract tsetse flies. Light, breathable fabrics are most comfortable in tropical Africa.
Bring long-sleeved shirts and long pants to wear during dusk and dawn, when biting insects appear, temperatures can be chilly. You will not need formal attire on the Tanzania safari.
Soft-sided duffel bags are preferred (and sometimes required) on internal flights in Africa. Small planes have limited room
for luggage and weight, limits are typically 33 – 44 pounds, or 15 – 19 kilos per person, with one carry-on weighing 7 pounds, or 3 kilos.
- Related Post: Mount Kilimanjaro Packing List
Travel Insurance for Tanzania
Travel insurance is an absolute must – especially when you’re travelling internationally. Cancellations, lost luggage, accidents, urgent itinerary changes, and other unexpected situations can cost you a fortune out of pocket if you’re not covered. I highly recommend World Nomads for their plans, their affordability, and their service. I found them through recommendations from other experienced travellers, and I’ve used them ever since.
A Good Camera
Technological advances mean that digital cameras deliver the most incredible results in almost anyone’s hands these days. Even beginners can turn out pictures that National Geographic would be pleased with.
Wherever you go, you will find scenery, wildlife, birds, landscapes, and structures that beg to be photographed so, please make sure you bring your good camera and suitable lens(es). We’ve given more details in the camera section below.
Spare Camera Battery
There’s nothing worse than a battery failing out in the bush, and it’s pretty much impossible to find a new one out there. Please remember to take a spare battery with you, as well as a charger to suit it.
Sufficient Spare Camera Memory Cards
Even if you have travelled extensively before, you will be surprised by how many pictures you will take on a safari. You will likely be massively enthusiastic from the word go and fill several cards before you know it, resulting in a possible lack of capacity when you see some amazing sights towards the end of the holiday.
The sun is always strong in Africa, whether you are high up a mountain or beside the sea. You will find that you burn easily whether the sun is in a clear sky or behind a cloud, and it can also get sweltering in some places. It’s a good idea to bring along plenty of high factor sunscreen.
In Tanzania, the roads and sidewalks are often uneven, so carry-on luggage that rolls is a pain to haul around. I use this backpack both as a carry-on bag and as my daypack for the duration of my travels.
VenturePal is a super popular brand among travellers, and this model is both sturdy and comfortable, and has tons of pockets! It also folds up into its own little bag when not in use, so it’s compact and packable. Plus, I discovered while using it that it has a whistle built into the strap buckle, which is a good safety feature to have just in case!
The Right Shoes
Your footwear needs will vary according to what you plan to do; if it’s climbing a mountain or trekking after gorillas, waterproof boots with good ankle support are best, while in most cases on a normal safari, a pair of trainers or deck shoes is fine. Sandals or flip flops are perfect for wearing while in camp.
We strongly advise against taking brand new shoes, so please take time to wear them in before you go.
A Pair Of Binoculars
There might well be several pairs of binoculars in your safari vehicle for all of you to share, but so you don’t have to wait for your turn and to avoid missing the action, we suggest taking your own.
We’ve given more detail in the dedicated section on page 12. Still, as a rule, you get what you pay for, with more costly models definitely offering superior build and image quality. They vary from £30 to over £1,800 for a pair. It’s a good idea to visit a camera retailer or dedicated outdoors pursuit shop and test several makes in your budget range, to give you a chance to choose the ones that work best for you.
You will be provided with some essentials like soap, shampoo, and body lotion in most of the safari camps and hotels we work with. These are usually good
quality local products. It’s a good idea to bring your own toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as any shaving tackle or conditioners you might need.
If you prefer to travel with your own supplies, it’s worth decanting some of each into a smaller container, rather than using most of your luggage allowance for heavy bottles of shampoo and soap.
It depends on where you are travelling, but mostly it’s wise to take malaria prophylaxis. We find that most visitors rarely get ill on holiday since most meals are prepared for western hygiene standards and to recipes that you’ll recognize.
However, the long flight to get there, the change in climate and altitude, and the travel on bouncy bush roads can upset some people’s constitution and cause occasional ‘travellers tummy.’ If you are prone to this, it’s worth taking something to alleviate it.
You should also carry any prescription medicine with you in your hand luggage. It’s wise to take a note from your doctor or your prescription with you, just in case you are asked to show it by a customs officer.
Fleece Vest: Women’s and Men’s
Seasonal temperatures in many regions of Tanzania rise and fall significantly each day, which means you may be chilly in the morning and sweating in the afternoon. Layers are the key to conquering this fluctuation, and a vest is an ideal layer to choose. It’ll keep your core warmer while still allowing free movement and airflow to your limbs.
A Drybag Or Similar
Dust and water are the greatest enemies of modern electronic gadgets, with cameras especially vulnerable to dust ingress and subsequent damage. Should you be spending time on a river or lake and planning to take photos while there, it’s a great idea to protect your valuables with a bag that you can seal against the elements. Don’t forget that rain happens year-round in several parts of Africa and can come without notice.
Soft Safari Hat With A Draw String
Keep the sun off your face and head, and stay dry in the rain. A floppy hat with a large brim is convenient and versatile, as well as fashionable, so we’re told if you have short hair on your neck, it’s wise to protect it from burning with a neck flap.
Travel Documents & Money Guidance For Tanzania
You should always keep copies of your travel documents with you while in Tanzania, at least two of them — one in your checked luggage and one in your hand luggage. You should also keep digital copies of your passport pages and other travel documents on your smartphone or tablet.
The most important document that you should always be prepared to show to immigration and customs officials is your passport, and your stamped visa if applied prior to arrival.
Other documents include your return tickets, trip itinerary, medical insurance papers, next of kin details and personal medical and dental insurance cards. Most major credit cards are accepted in metropolitan Tanzania, and Visa and MasterCard are the most widely-accepted only in urban cities but with a hefty bank transaction fee and high exchange rate.
Very few camps and lodges accept credit card. When carrying cash during your trip, we recommend you bring US dollars. The bills must be the updated design, issued in 2006 or later, perfect and crisp, and completely free of any rip or markings.
Beachwear For Tanzania
With so many gorgeous beachfront accommodations in Tanzania, you should prepare to spend some time on the coastal beaches or exploring the islands. The beaches in East Africa including Tanzania Mainland, Zanzibar, Mafia, Pemba and other Islands do not allow for topless bathing, so you will need to bring appropriate swimwear choices, as well as polo shirts, pants and semi-formal clothing for those romantic evening dinners on the beach.
Summary on Packing List For Tanzania Safari
- Long-sleeved shirts and trousers: temperatures can drop at night and it keeps mosquitoes away and protects you from the sun.
- Rain jacket
- Fleece jacket/ warm sweater
- Hat: to protect your face from the sun
- Nice outfit: for dinners or when you spend time in a city
- Sarong: very useful for women to wrap around if you need to go to the toilet in the bush or after a swim.
- Daypack: a small one that you can take with you on daily tips the best thing is to wear layers of light breathable clothes. Mornings and evenings can be quite cool in Tanzania while during the day it can become pretty hot. Choose neutral colours to keep the bugs away and don’t scare off the wildlife.
- A pair of sneakers or trail runners: hiking shoes are only necessary if you are going to climb a mountain, otherwise, choose lighter shoes.
- Flip-flops or sandals: comfortable when you relax at your accommodation, go swimming or take a shower.
- Pack the usual things like soap, toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner, etc.
- After-sun lotion
- Bug spray/ insect repellent with DEET
- Lip balm with SFP
- Wet wipes: if you have to go to the toilet or clean anything during your safari.
- Antidiarrheal medications
- Anti-malaria medications
- Hand sanitiser
- Painkillers like aspirin
- Nose spray
- Eye-drops: it can be very dusty on the African plains
- Plasters and anti-bacterial medicines
- Charger or/and batteries
- Extra memory card
- Phone: a lot of accommodations offer free WIFI
- Universal plug converters
Note. pack valuable electronics in a waterproof bag to protect it against dust and rains.
- Passport: valid a minimum of 6 months prior to entry.
- Yellow fever health card: they can ask for it upon arrival at the airport.
- Visa: you can buy it upon arrival at the airport in Tanzania for USD 50.
- Credit card
- Cash dollars: note that in Tanzania only US bills newer than 2006 are accepted.