Your South Africa packing list: Top 10 Items

Everyone knows it: the adventure of a trip already starts at home in front of the closet when you ask yourself: what do I need to bring along? To be perfectly prepared for your stay in Southern Africa – whether it’s a safari, a field guide course, or just a tour – we summarised the ten most important things that you shouldn’t forget to put in your suitcase.

1. A flashlight is an essential tool in the African bush. You can make sure that there are no spiders in your bed or that you don’t step on any snakes on your way to the toilet at night. But a flashlight is also useful to chase wild lions away if you have an unwanted encounter. As a cat, the lion is a nocturnal animal that gets chased away by too bright lights.

2. A camera (and enough memory on your SD card!!) is definitely a must. It wouldn’t be unusual if your memory card was already half full on the first day. The unique landscape, the wildlife and the encounters with indigenous people are perfect for impressive photo scenes.

3. We advise you to take gloves and a scarf, since you will often be out and about early in the morning or at night when it can get chilly.

4. It can always unexpectedly start to rain, so you should bring along good rainwear.

5. Sturdy shoes are important, since you will often be walking in rough terrain.

6. Most times you will be exposed to high temperatures and strong sunlight. Bring sunscreen with high UV protection factor and a sunhat to protect you from sunburn and sunstroke.

7. Even if you come to Africa with a suitcase or trolley you should bring a robust backpack. It's not unusual to be in the bush for a whole day, especially if you participate in volunteer work or the NATUCATE Field Guide courses. A backpack should have enough space for water supplies, sun protection, and rainwear.

8. To always have enough space for water reserves, you should carry around a drinking bottle. If you want to save space in your backpack you can use a watering bladder instead of a drinking bottle. If the watering bladder is empty, it can simply be folded so it doesn’t unnecessarily use up space in your backpack.

9. Field glasses allow you to watch animals that you wouldn’t normally be able to see. Furthermore, they are really useful to get an overview of the area and to find the right path on wilderness hikes.

10. Not for your suitcase but for your mental preparation we recommend the Triple P-principle: “Patience, Positive Attitude and Power”. Always remember that you are in wild nature. Unexpected situations can arise and some things might not go the way you had imagined. If you keep cool, you can master most of these situations and grow from these experiences. This is also true for most of situations in life.

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