What to Pack for a Masai Mara or Kenya Safari

Packing for a trip to Africa can be a daunting experience even for an experienced traveler, let alone a first time Safari tourist. Packing for a Kenya Safari or for the matter packing for a Masai Mara trip is rightly so more than a simple affair, with careful consideration required for the weather, comfort, local culture and alot more.See our Kenya Safari packing check list below

What to Pack

This packing check list is a general guide on what to take on your Kenya safari. Please ensure you pack minimal and use layers, as all local airlines have luggage restrictions of 15kg total weight allowance per person (including carry-on bags). Soft sided bags or folding duffel bags are recommended.
While we break everything down below for you with explanations, your packing list should include the following essentials; clothes, shoes, hats and sun protection,insect repellant,medication and cameras and photography equipment among other stuffs.
Prior to start of your safari prepare your documents such as passport, health cards (vacination certificates), airline tickets,credit cards and insurance papers. Ensure all the documents are inorder and up-to-date.

Please Note: Kenya is a free polythene bag country, for environmental reasons plastic bags are illegal and have been banned.

Clothes

The best clothes to pack for your safari should be casual wear, loose fitting and lightweight, so as to keep you cool and dry. When it comes to colours pick neutral shades over brighter colours for optimum camouflage in the bush. Khaki and green colours are safari favourite and most recommended.
Please note that camouflaged patterned clothes are illegal as they are worn by the local soldiers. Make sure to bring one good fleece or jacket for the very chilly early morning game drives.
When packing keep in mind that most lodges and camps will provide laundry services (some at a nominal fee).Below is a basic packing list of the essential clothings you should bring;
Waterproof light rainjacket Warm sweater / Fleece jacket
2 pairs safari trousers / chinos
2 pairs safari shorts
4 pairs sport socks
3 short sleeve shirts
1 long sleeve shirt
2 t-shirts
Nightwear
Swimwear
Sports bra
1 pair casual trousers (men) evening outfit (women) – for evening in the city

Shoes

For the shoes ensure you bring with you closed, lightweight and comfortable walking shoes like trail runners or fashion sneakers with good traction or hiking boots
Flip flops or sandals for pool or in-room use, or even in safari vehicle.

Hats and Sun Protection

For sun protection especially during the hot season, we recommend you pack sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher), sun hat the wide brim will help keep the sun off your face and neck,a pair of sunglasses and prescription glasses for those that wear contact lenses (it's often too dusty to wear them comfortably).

Insect Repellant

Some of the lodges and camps provides insect repellent but we still encourage you to pack your own, though.
One containing deet is the best since there are several diseases that biting insects can carry. All-natural citronella repellant can also get the job done if you are concerned about the deet effects.

Medication

Remember you will be in the bush and the nearest town or village might be hours away. Be sure to pack yourself a first aid kit with medications such as Malaria tablets, motion sickness pills, Pepto-Bismol and antacids, Cough drops, earache drops and a basic medical kit (aspirin, band-aids, Imodium, antiseptic /anti-histamine cream).

Cameras and photography equipment

As for the cameras and photography equipment ensure that you pack yourself a camera (this can be a basic point and shoot or an SLR with detachable lenses and a tripod), spare memory cards, spare camera battery, binoculars, spare AA and AAA batteries, small flashlight to be used at night and an electrical adaptor.

Other stuff

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, tooothpaste and toothbrush), sanitary products for ladies, wet wipes and hand sanitizers, small sewing kit, small scissors and pocket knife (not in carry on bag) alarm clock, money pouch or money belt, reading materials, pen and a notebook.

Pro & Cons of Flying to Masai Mara

Some of the pros of flying to Masai Mara includes; Its quick and comfortable as you can get to your destination in fraction of time you would take to drive there. Therefore you can save a lot of time especially if you are short of time or planning to only stay for 2 or 3 nights and wants a comfortable journery.
Its exciting; the planes are small designed for use on the small airstrips. Some planes may have upto 38 seats, but most have 4-16 seaters with your pilot sitting with you. Also during your game drives camp/lodge vehicles are used, meaning your guides are specialists to that area and know all the latest sightings.
Its scenic; you will get magnificent views of the countryside, often seeing game as you travel and a birds-eye view of the escarpments, parks and forests.

Some of the cons of flying to Masai Mara includes; Its a bit costly compare to driving there.
All the local airlines have a luggage restriction of 15kg per person (including carry on bags).
During peak season its always difficult to get flights available flying to/from Masai Mara.
Flights get cancelled, due to low cloud. Note that these are small planes flying to small airstrips and good visibility is a must.
Please note that depending on the traffic it can take about 1 hour from JKIA to Wilson, therefore in cases of late connection you might miss your flight.
Camp/lodge safari vehicles are shared with other guests and rarely private to you.