What to Pack for a Maasai Mara or Kenya Safari : Packing for a Kenya safari can be a very tricky experience most especially for the first time traveler, even to an experienced traveler it can take a toll on you. Packing for a Maasai Mara or Kenya safari is quiet simple as the focus is more on the weather, comfort, local culture among others which should be the factors to consider.
Packing list for a Kenya safari or Masai Mara safari
What to pack
This packing checklist for a Kenya safari is a general guide to what to take on your travels or Kenya safari
Note: Please ensure you pack minimally and use layers, most of the local airlines flying to various parks (safari destinations in Kenya) and within Kenya have a typical luggage restriction of 15 kilos allowance per person, including carry on-bags.
Soft sided bags or folding duffel bags are strongly recommended.
Your packing list to Kenya safari or Masai Mara should include the following essentials that is clothing suitable for safaris, shoes, Hats, Sun Protection, Insect repellant, vital Medication and Cameras or Photography equipment among other items.
Most important, do not forget your Travel documents including Passport, Health Cards (vaccination Certificates required), Airline tickets, Credit cards and insurance papers. Ensure that all your travel documents are in order and up – to – date, your passport must have at least 2 blank pages and 6 months of validity from the proposed date you exit from Kenya.
Note: Kenya as a country aims at eliminating plastic bag usage for environment reasons and they have been banned and their use is illegal.
Clothes ideal for a Kenya safari are casual in nature, loose fitting and light weight, this is so as to keep you cool and dry. For colours, neutral pastel shades over bright colours are recommended for optimum suitability for the wilderness.
Khaki and Forest Green colours are the most recommended for a safari, note that camouflaged, military – pattern clothes may be considered unlawful in East Africa countries including Kenya as they are worn by the local army forces.
When packing, make sure to put a fleece, cardigan or light jacket for the cool early mornings during game drives. Also keep in mind that most lodges and camps provide laundry services.
Packing list of the essential clothing you may want to bring for your Kenya safari include
- 01 short sleeve casual shirt
- 02 khaki long sleeve shirts
- 01 Wind cheater or light jacket or Fleece jacket
- 01 Safari Multi Pocket Safari Vest (especially useful for Photographers)
- 02 pairs khaki smart casual trousers or Chinos
- 02 pairs safari shorts
03 pairs sport socks
- 02 T-shirts
- 01 pair Nightwear
- 01 pair Swimwear
- Sports bra
If you are staying at a 5 star safari lodge or camp, remember to carry a single set of smart but basic dinner war useful for nights in Nairobi City or along the coast in Mombasa.
For most of the safaris which do not involve trekking or bush walking, fully closed lightweight and comfortable walking shoes such as sneakers with good grips are recommended.
Classic safari boots and Chukka boots are always great shoe option, hiking boots are also useful mostly if you are intending to do hiking during your trip. If you are planning to swim or staying at a safari lodge with a swimming pool, flip flops or sandals are useful.
Hats and Sun Protection
Including Sun screen in your packing list is really important for a Kenya safari, the most recommend sun screen is a sunscreen with a high enough SPF. A wide brim safari hat will help keep the sun off your face and neck. A pair of sunglass and prescription glasses for tourists that wear contact lenses.
Insect repellent is something you shouldn’t forget as you pack for a Kenya safari, though some of the safari lodges and camps provide the insect repellent, you are encouraged to pack your own preferred brand.
Insect repellents containing Deet are said to be more effective against most insects and bugs, if you are concerned about the Deet effects, all natural citronella repellant can be the best option. If you are unaware of the right insect repellant to pack, please consult with your doctor.
It is best to remember that during a safari in Kenya and Maasai Mara, you will be in the busy and away from the city life. Be sure to pack your most essential personal medications especially brands or medicines that may not be available locally in Kenya.
Pharmacies in Nairobi City, the capital of Kenya stock a wide variety of medicines for basic requirements such as pain relief, anti-malaria pills or antacids and one can purchase them.
Note: all keep in mind to carry along any prescriptions when your bring along medication in Kenya, this is in case it is required at the airport.
Cameras, Binoculars, Travel Adaptors & Laptop
For travelers in love with photography or are on a photography safari, cameras and photography equipments are a must carry in your luggage. Masai Mara national reserve and Kenya offer amazing photo opportunities so please remember to carry a decent camera for your trip.
Binoculars are also important during a Kenya safari, though these are offered by some safari operators you can bring your own of your prefer.
For serious photographers, you may want to carry your laptop which will be useful when processing your images after a day of safari and also make most of your camera storage cards as you keep moving images to your laptop or hard disk at each of the say.
As a photographer, spare AA and AAA batteries which are available for sale at certain lodges in Masai Mara and also include standard and rechargeable batteries.
Note: please carry a couple of Travel Socket adaptors, in Kenya electrical sockets associated with plug type G which is the plug that has 3 rectangular pins in a triangle pattern. Kenya operates on a 24oV supply voltage and 50 Hz.
Other stuff to park on a Kenya safari
Other important items to include in your packing list include
- personal toiletries such as travel size shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, moisturizer, hair brush, toothpaste and toothbrush
- sanitary products for ladies, wet wipes and hand sanitizers
- small sewing kit, small scissors and pocket knife (not in carry on bag)
- alarm clock
- money pouch or money belt
- reading materials
- Pen and a notebook.