December 29, 2014

What to Pack for Two Weeks in South Africa + Safari

What to pack for Two weeks in South Africa + Safari

Without a doubt, packing for South Africa was one of the more challenging packing experiences I've had. First there was the issue of luggage. When taking small charter flights to safari camps, there are often very strict restrictions, read: no hard cases, no bags with wheels, and weight/dimension guidelines. Since my regular Tumi carry-on obviously wasn't going to cut it, I needed to purchase a bag. After much deliberation, I went with this one from Everlane and couldn't have been happier with it.

Second problem, what does one wear on safari to not look like they escaped from Out of Africa? (Nothing against the movie, I love it, but fashion wise not something I think I could pull off.) And, third/fourth, what do I then pack for the rest of the trip and how in the world do I fit this all in a carry-on duffle bag?!

I scoured the internet for safari packing guides and came up rather empty handed. So, should you find yourself heading on safari, be it in South Africa or elsewhere, here is a handy packing guide that will hopefully leave you a little less panicked than I!

I focused on packing pieces that could be worn in multiple ways,  in climates and for different acitivies. Nothing we had planned required super dressy clothes, but I did bring one nice dress, and one more casual dress for dinners in Cape Town and the wine region, Franschhoek.

What to Wear on Safari

What to wear on safari

What to wear in Cape Town or Wine Region (sightseeing)

what to wear in Cape Town

What to wear in Cape Town or Wine Region (nice dinner)
What to wear wine tasting in South Africa

What to Pack (for 2 weeks in early summer: 3 nights safari, 5 nights Cape Town, 2 nights wine region [Franschhoek]):

3-4 pants (dark jeans, white jeans, khaki/neutral pants)
1 shorts (I only wore these to the pool, so not an absolute necessity)
1-2 dresses

Field Jacket
1 lightweight sweater
1 medium weight sweater
3-5 long sleeve t-shirts
2-3 short sleeve t-shirts
2-3 button up tops

Sturdy close-toed shoes for safari (I went with these, now on sale!, and they worked great for safari, hiking and some workouts)
Flat sandals
Optional: Sandals with moderate heel (I wore mine a whopping one time, so if you are short on space I'd skip)

1-2 hats (Panama & baseball cap)
Lightweight scarf (for plane and early game drives)
2 swim suits
Swim coverup
2 sets workout clothes
2-3 pairs pjs
2 Longchamp totes, one as a purse/carry-on and the other folded up in my bag and used on the way home for gifts etc.
Plenty of socks + underwear
Note: Most safari lodges provide complimentary laundry service, but double check before you go
Binoculars (optional) 

Anti-Malaria Pills (get a prescription from your doctor well in advance)
Bug spray (Our lodge had some in the villa, but I got this travel size one to have in my bag)
Sun screen (Bring more than you think you need
Regular skin care products
Snacks, I brought some protein bars which were clutch for some of the super long travel days

What I didn't bring:
Jewelry, I just wore the basics: rings, watch and pearl earrings. I didn't bring anything else and I wouldn't recommend it.
Shampoo/Conditioner etc. all of the body products in the hotels were amazing.
Converter. South Africa has its own (very unique) plugs and all the hotels had US/EU plugs and/or adapters.

For your shopping pleasure, here are items the same or similar to what I packed.

Have you been on Safari? What did you pack? 

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