Safari Packing and Preparation
Complete Packing List for an African Safari
Packing appropriately for your Tanzanian safari not only keeps you comfortable, but also can help protect you against insects. As a general rule, you should pack lightly and pack with appropriate colors and loose-fitting garments that can be worn in layers. Africa is dusty and you should pack clothing that you do not mind getting soiled. Many safari lodges in Tanzania offer next day laundry services, so you do not need to bring a large quantity of clothing.
Bring neutral colored clothing such as khaki, beige, olive or green. Avoid bright colors, white and dark colors because these colors attract mosquitoes and tsetse flies. To help protect against insects we recommend wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, socks and shoes. Insect repellents are also highly recommended.
Click on the link to download a PDF Version of this Complete Packing List for Safari - Chacha Tours Africa
Clothing Needed – Based on a 7-day Safari
- 1 – Light / medium waterproof jacket. Make sure it is made of breathable material and has a hood.
- 1 – Soft shell jacket, warm fleece, hoodie, or pullover. For warmth on a cold or rainy day, most days will be warm and sunny but this is for just in case.
- It can be cold at the Ngorongoro Crater.
- 3 – Long sleeve shirts that are light-weight and neutral in color. Think Khaki, olive, light brown, or beige.
- 3 – Short sleeve shirts that are light-weight and neutral in color.
- 3 – Pairs of neutral colored long pants. They can be pants or convertible to shorts.
- 2 – Pairs of shorts that are neutral in color.
- 7 – Pairs of underwear / briefs.
- 4 – Sport Bras (women) - The roads can be bouncy and many women have commented that they are more comfortable in a sports bra compared to a standard bra.
- 1 – Swimsuit – Some lodges have a swimming pool and if you are heading to the beach after your safari you will need this.
- 1 – Brimmed hat for sun protection
- 1 – Knit hat / beanie for warmth (optional)
- 1 – Pair of light weight gloves (optional)
- 1 – Pair of quality walking shoes. There are options for walking safaris and for light walking around camp sites, lodges and tented camps.
- 7 – Pairs of socks
- 1 – Pair of sunglasses or goggles with dark lenses.
- 1 – Water bottle - preferably a Nalgene 32 oz (Optional)
- 1 – Pee bottle - to avoid leaving tent at night (Optional -Camping Safari Only)
- 1 – Stuff sack / bag. Various size between 20-40 Liters, this helps separate clean clothes from dirty clothing.
Camping Equipment – For Camping Safari Only
- 1 – Sleeping bag rated at a minimum of 0 degrees Celsius / 32 Degrees Fahrenheit
- We can help you rent a warm sleeping bag for you in Arusha if you do not have a sleeping bag or do not want to travel with a sleeping bag.
- 1- Sleeping pad (Optional – we will supply a sleeping pad if you do not have your own)
- 1 – Lightweight / travel pillow / inflatable pillow
- 1 – Two Person Tent (Optional!)
- Chacha Tours Africa will provide a high quality 3-season tent for you, however, if you have a tent you love and it is high quality, you can bring it for your personal use.
- 1 – Headlamp / Torch, with extra batteries.
- If you are staying at a tented camp or camping it is nice to have an extra headlamp. A torch or flashlight will be provided if you do not have a headlamp.
Misc, Toiletries, Prescriptions, and Power Adapters
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Soap, shampoo, deodorant – The tented camps and lodges provide soap and shampoo but if you prefer your own brand you should bring it.
- Contact solution, extra pair of contacts, glasses (if necessary)
- Earplugs (if you are a light sleeper or your partner snores)
- Sunscreen - At least 30 SPF
- Finding quality sunscreen in Africa is difficult. It is highly recommended that you bring your favorite sunscreen with you from your home country.
- Lip balm
- Insect repellent for mosquitoes
- First aid kit / antibiotic cream, adhesive bandages
- Ibuprofen or pain reliever
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper
- We will provide toilet paper but it is always good to have some on hand with you in your personal bag.
- Wet wipes (Optional)
- Energy bars / snacks
- We can go to the market to buy snacks, beer, wine, etc. in Arusha before you go on safari.
- Tampons / hygienic products
- Camera, with extra batteries (Optional)
- Camera battery charger
- Memory cards
- Binoculars – Each safari vehicle will have a pair of binoculars but if you want to bring your own this will help with sharing.
- Cell phone
- Cell phone charger
- Electrical / Power adapter
- Tanzania has two associated plug types, types D and G. Plug type D is the plug which has three round pins in a triangular pattern and plug type G is the plug which has two flat parallel pins and a grounding pin. Tanzania operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
- Lightweight book or e-reader for leisure (optional)
Visa Requirements for Tanzania
Obtaining a visa on arrival in Tanzania is easy. Follow these steps and you should have no trouble securing a visa upon arrival in Tanzania.
A visa on arrival is available to most nationalities. Make sure to check with your local embassy before arriving in Tanzania. Note there are several seemingly random nationalities that are exempt from obtaining a visa. For example, citizens of Cyprus and Romania do not require a visa. All “western” passport holders are eligible for a visa on arrival.
The cost of a single-entry visa is $50 for citizens of most countries and $100 for Americans. A multiple-entry visa is $100, including for Americans. If you are an American you might as well just ask for a multiple entry visa, even if you do not need a multiple entry, because they are the same cost. Transit visas are $30 and valid for 14 days.
Very Important: You will need to pay for your visa in U.S. Dollars. Make sure to have U.S. Dollars as they will not accept any other form of currency and this includes Tanzanian Schillings, yes you read that correctly. Make sure your US dollars are newer than 2006 and free of tears, because they often reject older bills and damaged bills.
When you arrive at the airport there will be a few “standing desk areas” with immigration paperwork forms. Note: There usually aren’t any pens in this area so bring a pen with you. Fill out the required paperwork and proceed to the area to purchase your visa.
Note: If you are arriving from another African country you will need to provide proof of the yellow fever vaccination. Make sure to have your yellow card available upon arrival. This only applies if your flight arrives from another African country.
After you have purchased your visa, proceed to the immigration counters where they will take your photo. Through immigration you can pick up your bags, scan your luggage, and a representative with Chacha Tours Africa will be waiting to pick you up outside of the airport. Look for someone holding a sign with your name.
- Passport (Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date with blank pages)
- Take a photo of your passport and store it in your smartphone as a backup / copy
- Bankcards – Visa is the most accepted form, but credit cards are not accepted at many locations.
- Spending cash
- US dollars are preferred - Make sure to bring newer bills especially if they are $100.00 bills – older bills are not accepted by the banks so people will not want to accept them.
- Euros are also accepted but US dollars are preferred.
- ATM / Cash Machines are a good option for withdrawing Tanzanian shillings.
- Make sure to ask your tour safari guide which machines are good because many ATM machines in Tanzania are problematic.
- Immunization Records - Immunization papers will be checked upon arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport if you are arriving from another African country.
- They do require a yellow fever vaccination for travelers that arrive from another African country, they do not require them for travelers that arrive directly from Europe or the Middle East.
- Travel Insurance – Please purchase travel insurance.
- We recommend using World Nomads and if you are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro you need to purchase the Explorer Plan.
- An African Safari is no place for expensive jewelry, and wearing these items only invites trouble. Leave sentimental and expensive jewelry at home where you know it is safe!
Tipping of Your Safari Guides
Tipping of guides is not included in the cost of the trip. You will see how hard your guides work and how much knowledge they have about the flora and fauna. Tipping is not compulsory, but if you feel like your guide did an exceptional job, tips will be greatly appreciated.
Many people ask what is an appropriate amount for tipping and there is no exact figure; however, most guests offer tips around USD $10.00 - $20.00 per person per day. If you only have a few people per vehicle the dollar amount per person might be on the higher side, if you have a full vehicle the dollar amount per person might be lower.
This might seem like a lot of money at first, but after you see how hard your guides work, you might feel like that number is low and feel free to offer a little more out of your appreciation. You will be very tired at the end of a day on safari and you did not have to drive! As always, tipping is a gesture of your appreciation and never is obligatory.
Safari Luggage Guidance Small Airline Flights in Tanzania
Your safari baggage weight restriction on most local safari flights is 33 pounds or 15 kilograms, per person. If your bag exceeds this limit, you will be charged an additional fee for excess baggage. Most safari flights in Tanzania can be fully booked and even if you want to pay for the additional weight your bag will not be allowed. Soft-sided or sturdy duffel bags should be used and not hard-sided luggage as your baggage will need to be easily maneuvered in the small luggage compartments of the small airplanes during your air travel.
If your Tanzania safari portion does not include any air portion which is not normally the case, you are free to bring in additional luggage up to 44 pounds or 20 kilograms. Soft-sided bags are much easier to store and load, so this is preferred over hard-sided luggage.
Additional Luggage Storage
We understand you might be coming from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or another part of Africa and will have additional baggage with you. All extra luggage items that you do not need for your climb, such as safari clothing, Zanzibar gear and equipment will be securely kept at the hotel in Arusha. If you do not have an accommodation in Arusha we can arrange for storage of your additional baggage.
You are expected to come prepared and bring everything you need; however, we do have options to buy items if you forgot them.
We recommend packing essential items like cameras and lenses in your carryon baggage. Unfortunately checked luggage on airplanes can get lost or delayed on the way to Tanzania. You should prepare for this possibility by wearing or carrying on the items that are most essential to your safari.
Due to past problems with litter, cheap plastic water bottles are not allowed in the park. Please bring quality plastic bottles like Nalgene bottle. We will purchase larger drinking water and we can refill your smaller water bottles with clean drinking water. This helps reduce pollution and the use of plastic bottles.
Alcohol, Wine, and Beer
You may purchase alcohol, beer, and wine at the lodges or tented camps. If you would like to have some additional beverages while on safari it is possible to purchase these items at the market, before we leave for safari.
You Have Hired the Best Safari Company in Tanzania!
Chacha Tours Africa is the very best safari company in Tanzania. We have professional guides that are extremely knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of Tanzania. You can sleep easy knowing that you have selected Chacha Tours Africa and we will be ready and excited to share this amazing adventure with you!
Download a PDF Version
"We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment."