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September 27, 2021

Safari Hacks for an East African Game Drive

On safari, you’ll move from hot to cold throughout the day, involving a lot of sun, dirt and sweat. Your safari vehicle might also not have lots of room so it is good to pack light.

Daytime Safari Outfit

The symbolism of the light-brown khaki is usually to blend into the animal habitat but this doesn’t always fly since the safari vehicles can be a tad bit noisy. You can switch up your outfits with some colors. The only emphasis would be to wear light and lose clothes as it can get pretty hot and sweaty during the day especially when you’re on walking safaris and/or sitting in the car for long hours during game drives. When you’re not getting out of the vehicle, you can switch up some shorts with some dresses, for the ladies.

Early Morning/Night Game Drive Outfit

Overnight temperatures can dip to 11 degrees Celsius at the Maasai Mara and Serengeti. It is therefore advisable to carry packable jackets/ windbreaker jackets for the early morning game drives. Thermal pants or tops would also come in handy over or under your outfit as it can get quite chilly. A shawl would also come in handy when sitting next to the bonfire at night.


If you won’t be getting out of the vehicle, you can wear some sandals or open flat shoes. This choice will also come in handy in the evening at the camp as you might need to air your feet from the long daytime hours in hiking/gym/running shoes in the event you wore this. The latter is advisable when going for walking safaris or having bush meals.


Depending on the number of days you’ll be on safari, it is good to pack a good number of undies. Some camps will cater for some laundry per day but the terms for undies are different and you will find that camps will offer detergent for this but the guests will have to do it by themselves. It’s good to be prepared. In case you run out of undies after traveling for a while and haven’t washed, use a maxi pad/panty liner as a safari hack (ladies).

Sun Essentials

The equatorial sun can be very unforgiving. A hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and a scarf for your open shoulders, if any, will come in handy shielding you from the scorching sun during your daytime game drives. The scarf additionally doubles up as a dust guard as it can get quite dusty.

Smaller Hacks

Wet wipes when your hands get dusty in the event you want to grab your water bottle, camera or phone will save you a great deal of smearing your equipment with your sweaty dirty hands. An insulated water bottle would be advisable.

Cameras and Accessories

We live in an era where some of our phones are equipped with amazing camera quality, convenient for any amateur photographer.

However, you can never go wrong with a zoomed in shot through a DSLR or mirrorless camera. The captured photos look really amazing. If one has such a camera it would be the best pick for your safari.

Binoculars will also come in handy for viewing animals at a longer distance from your tent porch or from your vehicle on safari.

For action and selfie video footage, you’d probably be in better hands with a GoPro camera.

Packing Essentials

With some camps offering laundry services, it is essential to carry only what you need and wear an outfit more than once. It is good to note that the inter-park flights only allow a baggage allowance of 15 kilograms in soft bags inclusive of the hand luggage. It is therefore advisable not to carry unnecessary items and try keeping your items to essentials.

*What Not To Carry

Plastic Bags. They were banned in Kenya in 2017 and anyone found selling, manufacturing or carrying them could face fines of up to $40,000 or serve prison sentences of up to 4 years. This applies to both citizens and foreigners/tourists.