What to Pack for a Kenyan Safari

It’s a little embarrassing but on my first camping safari, I forgot several items on my safari packing list that were essential for the trip. I ended up having to borrow items and it was not ideal. After that, I decided to make a packing list for each camping trip and it has saved me time and money. In this guide, I will provide a comprehensive Kenyan Camping Safari Packing List.

Table of Contents

What is a Packing List?

A packing list is an itemized list of items that you should bring when you are going on a camping safari. It helps you to remember the important items and ensures that nothing gets forgotten.

You can expect your Kenyan Safari packing list to have about 10 to 15 items some of them being normal items such as your underwear, sandals, and sleeping bag but some of them may be more specific, such as mosquito repellent and binoculars.

Factors that influence what to pack on a Kenyan safari trip:


One factor that has an important influence on the items you should pack is the weather. The temperature and humidity can change drastically depending on where you are in Kenya so make sure to check the weather forecast before making your safari packing list.

The days here are warm, usually around 75° F / 24° C, so dress accordingly. However, it can get chilly in the evening, typically dipping to 62°F / 17°C. Depending on the time of year you visit, it may be even colder at night.

Length of trip:

Another important factor is the length of your trip. If you’re only staying a few days, you won’t need to bring as much gear or clothing as if you were staying for a month.


Think about what activities you want to do on your trip and make sure to pack accordingly. If you plan on going hiking or trekking, be sure to bring the right type of shoes and clothing. If you are going to be doing a lot of wildlife viewing, make sure you pack binoculars.

Where you’ll sleep:

If you book to sleep at a lodge instead of camping, you’ll have some relief with what to pack as you’ll need fewer items compared to if you were preparing for a camping safari. Most accommodation establishments at most Parks in Kenya offer blankets, washclothes and towels. You won’t need to pack this if you will exclusively spend your time in hotels, lodges and resorts.

Packing your Dressing Gear for a Safari in Kenya:

It is important to bring appropriate clothing for a Kenyan Camping Safari. You should wear;

  1. Lightweight and neutral-colored clothing: It is important to wear light-colored and neutral-colored clothing when going on a camping safari. Dark colors attract more heat which can make it uncomfortable in the hot climate. Also, lighter colors help to blend in with the surroundings and make you less visible to animals.
  2. Comfortable shoes: It is important to wear comfortable shoes when camping in Kenya, as you will likely be doing lots of walking. Investing in a pair of comfortable but sturdy shoes that can grip rocks and sand would be ideal.
  3. Hat: A wide-brimmed hat is a must when camping in Kenya, as it helps to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.

Below is a list of some clothing items to have;

  • Trainers / Walking shoes/safari boots
  • Comfortable shoes: loafers/moccasins/deck shoes
  • Hat
  • Jacket / Windbreaker / Fleece for the very chilly early morning and evening game drives
  • Waterproof light rain jacket
  • Warm sweater / Fleece jacket
  • 2 pairs of safari trousers/chinos
  • 2 pairs of safari shorts
  • 4 pairs sports socks
  • 3 short sleeve shirts
  • 1 long-sleeve shirt
  • 2 t-shirts
  • Nightwear
  • Swimwear
  • 1 pair of casual trousers (men) and evening outfit (women) – for an evening in the city

Meds and Toiletries to Pack on a Camping Safari Trip:

  • Malaria prophylaxis: It is important to take malaria prophylaxis when camping in Kenya, as the risk of malaria is high.
  • Prescription drugs (also bring the generic names for these drugs, good idea to pack 2 separate lots)
  • Motion sickness pills
  • Insect repellent (containing DEET for mosquitos)
  • Sun Screen (SPF 15 or higher)
  • Lip Balm
  • Shampoo / Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste / Toothbrush
  • Hair Brush / Comb
  • Electric / Hand Razor
  • Emery Boards / Tweezers
  • Hand Lotion
  • Feminine Hygiene Supplies

Essential Safari Camping Gear to Bring:

Insect repellent:

Mosquitos and other insects can be quite bothersome while camping in Kenya. Make sure to bring some insect repellent with you to keep them away. You can opt for mosquito wipe repellent or a spray-on repellent; whichever you find more convenient. I have found the mosquito wipe repellents to be effective. To apply the repellant, simply wipe the affected area with a moistened cloth.

First-aid kit:

You should have a small first-aid kit with you in case of any minor injuries or illnesses. This should include basic items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and medication for headaches or fevers. If you rent our vans, they come with a first-aid kit.


Don’t forget to bring a camera! It is a great way to capture those special moments and memories from your Kenyan camping safari that you can look back on for years to come. Make sure to bring lots of extra batteries and memory cards so you don’t run out during your trip.


Bringing a flashlight with you is essential for a Kenyan camping safari. You may not always have access to electricity, so having a reliable source of illumination will help make your trip much more enjoyable. Here is one of my favorite flashlight brands on Amazon.


It is important to bring a lighter on your camping safari in Kenya as it can be used to start a campfire or to light your way in the dark. Make sure to carry a waterproof lighter, as it will be exposed to water and moisture.


It is important to have some snacks handy while on a camping safari. Nuts and dried fruits are great options, as they provide essential nutrients and energy. You can also bring along some sandwiches or crackers for extra sustenance.

Water bottle:

It is extremely important to stay hydrated during your camping safari, so make sure to bring a water bottle with you. A reusable water bottle is preferred as it is more sustainable and environmentally friendly than disposable plastic bottles.


It is important to bring sunscreen on your camping safari in Kenya as the sun can be very strong and damaging. Make sure to bring one with SPF 30 or higher so you can stay safe from the sun’s harmful rays.

Packing list for a camping safari in Kenya:

Your packing list should include all the essentials for a successful Kenyan camping safari. Here is a checklist to help you make sure you have everything you need:

• Warm clothing

• Safari trousers/shorts

• Sport socks

• Shirts (short and long sleeve)

• T-shirts

• Nightwear

• Raincoat

• Hat/cap

• Sunglasses

• Sunscreen (SPF 30+)

• Insect repellent (containing DEET)

• Flashlight/torch

• Lighter

• First-aid kit

• Medications & toiletries (including malaria prophylaxis)

• Camera and extra batteries/memory cards

• Snacks

• Water bottle

• Binoculars (optional)

Finally, don’t forget to bring lots of enthusiasm and energy for your Kenyan camping safari!


Bringing a tent is essential for camping in Kenya, as it provides shelter from the elements. Make sure to bring one that is waterproof and durable so it can withstand any weather conditions you may encounter.

Ground cover/mattress:

You will need some kind of ground cover or sleeping pad when camping in Kenya. This will provide extra cushioning and insulation from the cold ground.

Sleeping bag:

You should bring a sleeping bag as it provides warmth and comfort while sleeping outdoors. It is important to get one that is appropriate for the temperatures you are likely to encounter during your camping safari.

Camping stove/cookware:

A camping stove is an essential item to have if you plan on cooking while on a Kenyan camping safari. Make sure to bring the proper cookware so you can prepare meals easily and safely.


You will need firewood in order to build a campfire during your camping safari. Make sure to bring enough to last the duration of your trip.


You will need matches or a lighter in order to light your campfire. Make sure these items are kept away from children and stored safely when not in use.


Bringing binoculars with you on your camping safari can be fun and educational. It is a great way to get a closer look at the wildlife and scenery that you encounter while out in the bush.


Having a map of the area you are camping in is essential so that you don’t get lost during your safari. Make sure to bring one that is detailed and covers all the areas that you plan on visiting.


A guidebook is a great way to learn more about the wildlife and culture of Kenya. It can also provide helpful tips for things like where to find food, medical care, and transportation. Make sure to bring one with you so you are well-informed during your trip.

First aid kit:

It is important to bring a first aid kit on any camping safari in Kenya. This will help you address any minor medical issues that may arise during your trip. Make sure to pack items such as pain relievers, bandages, antiseptic ointments, and tweezers.


Bringing a flashlight is essential for any camping safari in Kenya. This will give you the ability to navigate the dark when exploring after sunset, or during storms and power outages. Flashlights can also be used as a defensive tool against animals if necessary, so make sure to bring one that is reliable and powerful.

Insect repellent:

Mosquitoes and other insects can spread diseases such as malaria, so make sure to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from these pests.

What to know when packing for a safari in Kenya:

Plastic bags are banned in Kenya:

In 2017, the Parliament of Kenya passed a law that banned the use of carriers and flat bags in the Kenyan market entirely.

You stand a chance of getting fined if found in possession of these. It is best to opt for reusable, eco-friendly bags instead.

Packing for in-Kenya local flights:

It is better to use soft, lockable bags instead of large rectangular suitcases because there is limited space for luggage storage on the small aircraft often used for flights into parks. For example, on Safarilink and Airkenya light aircraft flights, passengers are restricted to checked luggage weighing no more than 15kgs total, which includes carry-on baggage.

If you have to take a short trip to a destination in Kenya and only want to have your carry-on luggage, there is a storage space at Wilson Airport that you can use. This can be a great alternative if you are looking to travel light.


When you book your stay, be sure to ask our Sales team about laundry service. At most camps and lodges, a limited amount of laundry (usually one or two items per day per person) can be done for you. Often, this only includes larger items such as shirts and pants–not smaller personal belongings like underwear. If staying at one of these places, don’t forget to pack some extra detergent so that you can wash those items by hand in your tent using the supplied guests’ amenities.


You’ll need these documents when traveling;

  • Passports (with visa entries)
  • Health cards (vaccination certificate)
  • Airline tickets / E-tickets
  • Cash & Travellers’ Cheques
  • A separate record of Travellers’ Cheque numbers
  • Credit Cards (VISA, Mastercard and / or American Express)
  • Photocopy of passport/visas / insurance papers

Digital SLR Camera

Camera Lens


Point-and-Shoot Digital Camera Deals

Camera and Photo Accessories

Camera Cases

and Bags

Binoculars and

Optics Deals

Men’s Safari


Women’s Safari


Travel Toiletries




How do I pack for my Kenyan Safari:

  1. Have your documents on your carry-on luggage:Your passport, visa, and other important documents should be easy to access. Keep them in a handy and secure place such as your wallet or purse.
  2. Pack light: You don’t need to overpack for your African safari. Just bring the essentials like clothing, toiletries, camera equipment and medication.
  3. Don’t forget to bring insect repellent: Mosquitoes and other insects can be a nuisance during your safari. Make sure to bring plenty of insect repellent.
  4. Bring layers:The temperature in Kenya can vary greatly depending on the time of day, so it’s best to pack for all eventualities by bringing multiple layers of clothing.
  5. Pack a hat and sunglasses:A hat will keep the sun off your face and neck, while sunglasses will protect your eyes from the intense African sun.
  6. Bring a portable battery charger: Your phone or camera may not always have access to power outlets during your safari, so it’s best to bring along a portable battery charger.
  7. Pack sunscreen: Kenyan sun can be intense Bring a bathing suit: If you are planning to take a dip in the pool or any other natural body of water, don’t forget your swimsuit!
  8. Pack comfortable shoes and sandals: You will do plenty of walking during your safari so make sure to pack a pair of comfortable shoes and sandals. Pack a good book: You will have plenty of downtime on your safari, so it’s best to bring along a good book or two to pass the time.

Tips to arrange your safari luggage:

Arrange your belongings in advance: Group all the items you will need for your trip and make sure they are easy to access when needed.

Carry an extra bag: If you plan on shopping during your safari, it’s a good idea to carry an extra bag so that you don’t have to worry about packing it all into your carry-on.

Carry a daypack: A daypack can be useful for carrying items you need on the go such as your camera, water bottle, sunscreen and other personal items.

Keep valuables in a secure place: Make sure to keep all valuable items like money, jewelry and electronics in a safe place when not in use.

Pack light: Try to pack as lightly as possible so that you can make the most of your safari experience without being weighed down by a heavy load.

Pack smart: Make sure you arrange your items in separate layers according to their purpose. This will help you access what you need quickly and easily when needed.

Keep all important documents in one place: Make sure to keep all important documents such as passports, visas and health cards in one place so that they are easy to find.

Bring a first aid kit: A small first aid kit is essential for any camping safari. It should contain basic items such as bandages, antiseptic ointment and painkillers.

Bring a map: If you are heading into unfamiliar territory, it’s best to bring along a map or GPS device so that you can find your way back if necessary.

Women’s Safari Packing List:

  1. Lightweight safari clothing
  2. Sunglasses
  3. Hat
  4. Sunscreen
  5. Insect repellent
  6. Camera and accessories
  7. Portable battery charger
  8. Binoculars or optics
  9. Comfortable shoes and sandals

What to Pack for a Kenyan Safari During November to May Period:

November to May in Kenya experiences a relatively dry season with some short rains in April. It is essential to have a packing list that will keep you ready for all the activities that come with this season.

Nov-May is generally referred to as the wet period due to increased rainfall; particularly long rains are experienced during April. The Wet season brings higher daytime temperatures of between 24-27°C/75-81°F in higher altitudes and around 30°C/86°F at lower levels.

Here is what to pack for your Kenyan Safari during this period;

  • Raincoat
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera and accessories
  • Portable battery charger
  • Binoculars or optics
  • Comfortable shoes and sandals
  • Swimsuit/bathers for poolside dips.

What to Pack for a Kenyan Safari During June to October Period:

The period between June and October is the best time to come for a camping safari in Kenya as there is virtually no rain and is considered dry and hot. Daytime temperatures in higher areas, like the Masai Mara, are usually 23°C/73°F. Similarly, daytime temperatures in lower-altitude locations, such as coastal areas have 28°C/82 The sky is clear and days are sunny.

Here is what to pack for your Kenyan Safari during this period;

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Lightweight safari clothing
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera and accessories
  • Portable battery charger
  • Binoculars or optics
  • Comfortable shoes and sandals.

Will pack cubes for safari help?

Packing cubes can help you organize and access your belongings easily during a camping safari in Kenya. They are lightweight containers that come in various shapes, sizes and colors. Packing cubes help you compress the contents of your bag so that it takes up less space. This will also help keep your belongings neat and organized while traveling. One of my favorite packing cube brands available on Amazon is called the Paravel Quad Packing Cube which is made from recycled plastic bottles and comes with four cubes in 3 sizes large, medium, and 2 small.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Pack for a Safari:

1. Put your biggest items like tents, sleeping bags, and cooler boxes in the bottom of the suitcase.

2. Place all your clothes neatly on top of them.

3. Have items like a flashlight, camera, knife and binoculars tucked in a safe place that you can easily access. If you have a piece of carry-on luggage, place these valuables and the documents on the carry-on bag.

4. Place any electronic items like a laptop, charger, phone, and tablet on the top of the suitcase.

5. Put your toiletry items into waterproof bags or pouches.

6. Pack your shoes and hats separately from your clothes to avoid getting them dirty.

9. Put all your snacks and food items into separate containers or bags for easy access when you’re on the go.

10. Finally, don’t forget to pack any medications that you might need during your stay at the safari camps!


What should men pack in their packing list during a Safari in Kenya?

  1. Lightweight clothing; t-shirts, shorts, and trousers for day safari trips.
  2. Warmer wear: They should also bring a jacket or sweater to wear during cold nights.
  3. Protection gear: Sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, insect repellent and comfortable shoes are essential items.

What is the best time of year for camping in Kenya?

The dry season between June and October is considered the driest period in Kenya and you need to carry appropriate clothing such as lightweight clothing which includes t-shirts, shorts, and trousers for day safari trips. The June to October period is the peak tourist period in Kenya but if you choose to do your Safari during the low season from November to May, make sure you have some heavier warmer clothes.

While the drier months are considered the ideal to have your regular or camping safari, going on a safari in the low-season-months of November, December, January, February, March, April, and May can also be a great experience. You will get to enjoy the green season and benefit from a few discounts on accommodation and safari activities. During these low-season months, the Parks and Reserves are less crowded and you’ll get more privacy compared to if you were to visit during Peak season from June to October.

What’s the packing list for Kenya vs South Africa Safari?

The packing list for a safari in Kenya is different from what you would pack for a safari in South Africa. For example, the temperature and climate are different so your clothing will differ according to the season. Pack lighter layers of clothing for the Kenyan safari and heavier layers for the South African one, since it gets colder at night.

In Kenya, you should also include a raincoat in your packing list as the country experiences wetter months from March to May. For South Africa, you can pack more accessories such as sun hats, camera and battery chargers for wildlife photography. In both cases, make sure to bring insect repellent, sunscreen, comfortable shoes and a hat to protect you from the heat.

Remember to wear neutral colors like tan, green and beige – as these won’t attract too much attention from wild animals. And always keep in mind that comfort comes first during a safari!

If you were doing a Safari in Botswana, you would need to pack some additional items. These include waterproof clothing, a pair of binoculars, and more sunscreen since the country is usually sunnier and warmer than Kenya or South Africa.

On the other hand, Tanzania is much closer to Kenya in terms of climate and you can pack the same items as for a Kenyan Safari with few adaptations. Remember to take enough water-proof clothing since it is known to rain more often in Tanzania compared to other safari destinations.

What is a Safari?

Safari is a Swahili word that literally translates to “journey”. Today it is widely used to refer to wildlife viewing tours in Africa, especially East Africa. A safari usually involves traveling on foot or via 4×4 vehicles and camping out in the wilderness while viewing wild animals in their natural habitats. There are many different types of safaris to choose from, such as walking safaris, camping safaris, luxury safaris and self-drive safaris.

When on a Safari in Kenya, make sure you’re well equipped with the items mentioned above and be ready for an unforgettable experience!

What should I not pack in my Kenyan Safari?

Here are some items that you should not take on your Kenya Safari:

• Expensive jewelry, watches and other expensive accessories

• Weapons or tools such as hunting knives

• Heavy luggage – try to travel light!

• Too much cash – carry small amounts of money in local currency for easy transactions.

How do I carry my items?

When it comes to carrying your luggage on a Safari, there are several options. For day safaris and short trips, you can use a small backpack or duffel bag. If you’re staying for multiple days in the wilderness, then you should opt for a bigger suitcase with wheels that can be attached to the roof of the 4×4 vehicle.

In some cases, you can also rent a safari-specific bag from your tour operator. This bag is designed to be lightweight and waterproof, and it has several pockets that will help you keep all your items organized.

How much will it cost me to shop for my Kenyan Safari Packing List?

The cost of the items you need to buy for your Kenyan Safari will depend on how long your trip is and what type of safari you’re doing. A basic camping safari will require fewer items than a luxury one and can expect to buy items for as low as $150 for short trips lasting for no more than 4 days. If you have the means and anticipate spending more than a week traveling on your Kenyan safari, your packing list items will set you back by more than $400.

What to Pack in Kenyan Safari in July and Peak Season months of June, August and September;

If you plan on visiting Kenya in July, consider yourself lucky. The weather is lovely this time of year–warm but not too hot, sunny but with the exception of a few mountains (Mount Kenya and Hell’s Gate National Park, etc.), there’s no rain or precipitation.

Below are some key items to have on your packing list for your July Safari;

  • A lightweight jacket or sweater for cool evenings
  • Long trousers and long-sleeved shirts to protect against insects
  • Comfortable walking shoes, sandals and socks
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Binoculars for bird watching and, beige
  • Camera for photography and waterproof camera case.
  • A small first aid kit, including a variety of antibiotics and antiseptics.

What to Pack for a Kenyan Safari from October to May?

October to May is a low-season-tourist month and has two rain seasons; long rains in April and short rains in December. Compared to the June to October period, the October to May period is cooler.

The following items should be included in your packing list;

• A lightweight jacket or sweater

• Long trousers and long-sleeved shirts

• Comfortable walking shoes, sandals, and socks

• Hat and sunglasses

• Rain jacket/ponchs

What should I pack for my Safari trip to Maasai Mara?

When packing for a Safari trip to Maasai Mara in Kenya, you should consider the specific needs of your trip. Although some items are essential regardless of where you’re going, such as sunscreen and insect repellent, other items may be more useful when visiting this particular location:

• A good pair of binoculars – The vast savannah gives animals the opportunity to be as far away from humans as possible and binoculars are essential in order to get close-up wildlife of the Maasai Mara – A good guide will help you identify animals and learn about their behavior

• A safari hat – The sun in Kenya can be quite intense, so a hat is essential to protect your head from UV rays

• Camera with a telephoto lens – In order to capture wildlife shots, it area’s wildlife – Knowing the species that are in the area will help you identify them quickly and make your safari more enjoyable

• Bug spray and mosquito repellent/netting – Insects can be quite prominent, especially during certain times of the year. Hence, it is always a good idea to bring some bug spray area’s wildlife – Knowing the species that are in the area will help you identify them quickly and make your safari more enjoyable

• A pair of sturdy walking shoes – Make sure you have comfortable shoes as you will be doing a lot of walking while exploring Maasai Mara.

• Clothes suited for the climate area’s wildlife – Knowing the species that are in the area will help you identify them quickly and make your safari more enjoyable.

• Small items for donations – If you plan to pass by a local village, it is a nice gesture to bring small gifts such as pens or pencils for the children. It will be greatly area’s wildlife – Knowing the species that are in the area will help you identify them quickly and make your safari more enjoyable.

appreciated by the locals.

What’s the Packing List for Camping Safari vs Regular Kenyan Safari:

The following items should be included in your camping safari packing list but may not necessarily be essential for a regular Kenyan Safari:

• Camping gear (tent, sleeping bags, etc.)

• Camp cooking equipment/stove

• Insect nets to protect from mosquitos or other bugs at night

• Camp chairs

• Extra fuel for your vehicle in case of breakdowns

• Refillable water bottles and purification tablets, a water filter

• Small trowel for digging latrines in wilderness areas

• A hatchet and small saw to deal with firewood

• Flashlight, extra batteries and waterproof matches

• Binoculars for bird watching, beige clothing and a camera with a telephoto lens for photography.

• A small first aid kit, including a variety of antibiotics and antiseptics.