We realise someone going on safari is not likely to be a first time traveller, but even regular travellers sometimes need a helping hand with what to pack!
Now that you know what to wear, decide on what to pack along with your clothes. Like most things, the best place to start is the beginning. Your destination plays an important role in just how prepared you have to be. If you are doing a self-drive tour through Kruger, there are shops at most restcamps with all your basics, and supermarkets just outside the park. However, if you are heading for Namibia's Skeleton Coast, there really is no such option. Knowing what to pack becomes much more important.
Once you have chosen your destination, understanding how much luggage you can take with you, if the next step.
Generally, if you will be travelling overland, the luggage weight is not an issue. However, size can be a problem and we always recommend soft bags if possible.
If you are going on a fly-in safari, then weight and size become a major factor in your planning. Most flights to lodges and camps in remoter areas of Africa are by small aircraft. See the picture on the right for a typical aircraft used. Strict luggage restrictions are in place, always in soft bags. Weight restrictions are usually between 15-20kg (33lbs - 44lbs), but sometimes as low as 10kg (22lbs). This means you really need to prioritise what is important for you to pack.
The above is not meant as a definitive list, but in our years of working in Africa, it helps clients make sense of what to pack.