This packing check list is a general guide on what to take on your Kenya safari. Please ensure you pack minimally and use layers, as local airlines flying to various parks within the country have a typical luggage restriction of 15 kilos allowance per person (including carry-on bags). Soft sided bags or folding duffel bags are recommended. While we list everything down below with descriptions, your packing list ought to include the following essentials: Clothing suitable for Safaris, Shoes, Hat, Sun Protection, Insect repellent, vital Medication and Cameras or Photography equipment among other items.
Not to forget Travel Documents, prior to start of your safari check for your Passport, Health cards (vaccination certificates as required), Airline tickets, Credit cards and Insurance papers. Ensure all the documents are inorder and up-to-date. Your passport must have at least 2 blank pages and six months of validity from the proposed date of exit from Kenya.
The ideal clothes to pack for your safari are casual in nature, loose fitting and lightweight, so as to keep you cool and dry. For colours, pick neutral Pastel shades over brighter colours for optimum suitability for the wilderness. Khaki and Forest Green colours are an all-time safari favourite and most recommended.
Please note that camouflaged, military pattern clothes may be considered unlawful in East Africa as they are worn by the local forces so best to avoid. Make sure to pack a fleece, cardigan or light jacket for the cool early mornings during game drives.
When packing, keep in mind that most lodges and camps provide laundry services. Below is a basic packing list of the essential clothing you may want to bring:
For most safaris which do not involve trekking or "bush walking", fully closed lightweight and comfortable walking shoes such as sneakers with good grip do just fine. The classic Safari boots are always a great all round choice. These are also known as Chukka boots. Hiking boots are also useful but you may find these unnecessarily heavy unless you actually plan on hiking during your trip.
Flip flops or sandals for around the swimming pool or in-room use are ever useful and are cheap to buy in Nairobi as well.
For Sun protection we recommend you pack sunscreen lotion as well as a wide brim Safari hat (pictured) which will help keep the sun off your face and neck. A pair of Sunglasses and prescription glasses for those that wear contact lenses.
Some of the lodges and camps provides insect repellent but we still encourage you to pack your own preferred brand. Repellents containing Deet are said to be more effective against most insects and bugs. All-natural citronella repellent can also get the job done if you are concerned about the deet effects. Please consult your Doctor or Pharmacist.
Remember you will be in the "bush" so to say while on Safari and the nearest town or city may be hours away. Be sure to pack your most essential personal medications especially brands or medicines that may not be available locally in Kenya. Pharmacies in Nairobi stock a wide variety of medicines so for basic requirements such as pain relief, anti-malaria pills or antacids and the like one can purchase once in Nairobi. Keep in mind to carry along any prescriptions when you bring along medication into Kenya in case you are required to show this at the airport.
As for Cameras and Photography equipment we recommend packing thse into your carryon luggage rather than check in for enhanced safety. East Africa offers amazing photo opportunities so bring along a decent camera to make the most of your trip. Binoculars are very useful and though some Safari operators provide a pair in their vehicles, these may be basic in specs so if you can bring a set you are prefer. For serious photographers, you may want to carry your laptop which is so useful for downloading and processing your images after a day on Safari. Also helps you make the most of your camera storage cards as you can keep moving images to your laptop or hard disk at the end of each day. Spare AA and AAA batteries arae available for sale at certain lodges in Masai Mara as well and this includes standard and rechargeable batteries. Regarding Electrical sockets, bring a couple of Travel socket adaptors. In Kenya we use the associated plug type G, which is the plug that has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. Kenya operates on a 240V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Other important items that you must include in your packing list includes 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 carryon bag) alarm clock, money pouch or money belt, reading materials, pen and a notebook.
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Highly recommended! Joseph created a fantastic, customized tour for my family. He listened to our many criteria and put together a wonderful package. He was always available and very responsive. Since we were on a safari that utilized flights within Kenya, there was no opportunity to enjoy Joseph's company (as others have commented). However, he made it a point to come to the airport at the start of our adventure and make sure we were all set. This was a small gesture that epitomized his character (I don't think this would have happened with a large tour provider). March 2023
This was our first safari and such an unforgettable experience. Communication with Joseph, the tour operator, was quick and easy. The proposed itinerary he provided was informative and we were able to easily modify it before finalizing everything. We enjoyed all the places we stayed at and there was something unique about each one. The game drives were just wow (super sawa sawa!). The tour guides/drivers (John in Kenya and Rajam in Tanzania) put in a lot of effort in finding the animals at the top of our list (leopard, rhino, calves, as well as a cheetah hunt and the most awesome selfie with an elephant). Each game drive was unique. There were so many encounters that left us awestruck—we’re still ooh ahhh-ing over our pictures and processing everything we experienced. Joseph was with us for the whole trip; he was quite knowledgeable about birds, which was a bonus. He also assisted with logistics (providing documents quickly for visas needed prior to arrival, getting us through border crossings, and arranging dinner reservations at a restaurant we wanted to go to prior to taking us to the airport). This was one of the best experiences we’ve ever had and we have White Plains Safaris to thank for that. They are reliable, prompt, friendly, and well worth the money. February 2023
Our experience with White Plains Safaris and Joseph was amazing! The service was impeccable since the very beginning: during the reservation process, Joseph was extremely helpful, flexible and very honest. After booking, he supported us in any way he could, including paying for our Visas as we had some issues doing that online by ourselves! He was also very helpful in creating the itinerary, which proved to be amazing as it offered great game drives and diversity of landscape. Things kept being perfect throughout our trip; the accommodations he had reserved were very nice and always positioned perfectly, to avoid extra driving. During the game drives he was very accommodating and always asking for our feedback to make sure we had the best time. He brought us in amazing spots thanks to his unstoppable Land Cruiser and we got to see many animals including 3 leopards from very close! We also enjoyed his company very much and he was always able to answer our questions and providing interesting insights on the animals, the parks and Kenya in general. We always felt safe and well taken care of, so I would (and will) strongly recommend Joseph and White Plains to anyone looking for a good time in Kenya and Tanzania. January 2023
White Plains Safari provided me with an incredible experience, they were really easy people to get to know and it felt like I had made another friend at the end of my trip. Their service was excellent, they were really outgoing and did their ultimate best to show us everything they could, even if it meant going out of their way in order to do so, they were very reliable and I personally had no concerns regarding their reliability. In terms of the tour itself, I would one hundred percent recommend my trip to Kenya to anyone, especially with White Plains Safaris. White Plains Safaris helped make my trip an experience I will never forget. May 2022