There’s no way around it—if you’re going on a safari in Tanzania, you’re going to have to bring some stuff with you. Some supplies will be given to you when you arrive at your lodge, but this list of what to pack for the Tanzania safari will ensure that nothing is left behind and that you have everything needed to enjoy your stay and see the most of this beautiful country!
A good pair of shoes is essential while traveling. You’ll need to wear these while walking around town and on safari, so comfort is key. A hiking or rugged-outdoor shoe will do just fine. If you think you’ll be doing a lot of walking and standing, look for a shoe with a heel lift or wedge insert—the higher arch support helps ease foot fatigue and plantar fasciitis.
The climate of Tanzania can be unpredictable at times, so it’s best to bring both light and heavy clothing options. You’ll probably want a light raincoat for when it rains in Arusha (and it often does). You should also bring quick-dry clothes since you might find yourself jumping from one place to another and don’t want to arrive soaking wet. We recommend packing multiple pairs of good walking shoes.
Underwear & Socks
Whether you’re taking a cold-weather trek or a tropical excursion, you can never have too many pairs of these. I also like packing wool socks, as they keep your feet warm in chilly weather and cool in warm weather.
The savannah gets very hot in direct sunlight. You’ll want something you can swim in and will help keep you cool while exploring waterfalls or taking a dip in one of many lakes. Men can get away with swimming trunks, but women should go for bikinis. Make sure they have good coverage—you’re in Africa, after all! You can always throw on a sarong or wrap when going out into public.
Most countries have differing guidelines for toiletries, so you’ll want to check what you’re allowed before leaving. If they don’t allow your regular shampoo, buy a travel-sized bottle (you can often find them at duty-free). When packing toiletries, make sure each item is clearly labeled (and in its own Ziploc bag) because you might get pulled over by security. Also be mindful of how much liquid you bring.
Books, Electronics, Technology & Accessories
If you’re going to be in remote areas of Tanzania, it’s a good idea to keep your technology with you at all times—don’t leave it in your safari vehicle. For books, we recommend something light but insightful—like The Alchemist or one of our other favorite travel reads for inspiration and knowledge about different regions. You should also bring a camera and accessories like a tripod, extra batteries and memory cards. Don’t forget about charging cables for all your devices!
As a general rule, pack as lightly as possible. Don’t burden yourself with more than you need; there are plenty of local shops in Arusha, where you can pick up basic necessities or souvenirs. Here are some things that may make your trip easier and more comfortable, though—pack these things if you have room!