It’s finally coming down to the last few days before you jet off to Durban in South African and embark on an amazing experience, a wildlife safari tour to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve, and naturally you need to start thinking about what to take and what to pack. In order to help you out a little, we’ve put together this little guide so that you know what to pack for a safari tour to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve.

Before we get started with our list, it’s obvious that different people will have different needs, so while this list is a guide, it is best to treat it like that, just a guide. So onwards.

What to Pack for a Safari Tour to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve

1 – Documents (all of them)

It must seem obvious to many, but documents should be the first thing to pack on anyone’s list. And what documents am I talking about, everything from passports, to travel insurance, medical instructions and so on. Keep certified copies in a different bag and keep the others on your person.

2 – Medicine and General Meds

South Africa has some of the best medical facilities in the world, so first make sure you have travel insurance. Next up, make sure you carry any medication with you, and very importantly, keep a document with your medication that outlines what you’re taking and how often.

Insect repellent is optional. For the most part you wont need it at all since you will spend most of your time in a vehicle and one the move. In some instances when on game walks or visiting wildlife centers, you may find a few overly-friendly bugs buzzing about you, feel free to spray insect repellent but just consider your fellow travelers when you do!

A word about malaria in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve. The park is located in what is considered to be a low-risk malarial zone – check out this risk map published by KZN Health. This means that you don’t need to take anything. BUT – if you plan to travel to Kruger or other northern areas, you need to consult your GP.

Durban wildlife and safari tours

Durban wildlife and safari tours

Also think about a small medical kit, something along the lines of a “boo-boo” kit. On all of our tours we travel with a medical kit and all of our guides are trained to deliver first aid when needed.

3 – Protective Clothing

This one covers a few bases. You should be thinking about the following…

  • A hat – it’s gets pretty hot in South Africa, even in winter. So bring a hat along for those times when you’re out on a St Lucia cruise, or touring the facilities at Emdoneni or enjoying a nature walk with us.
  • Sunglasses – the glare from the sun can make life a little miserable when trying to spot animals in the game reserve, so stay protected with a pair on sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen – some more common sense here. There’s nothing fun about suffering from a sunburn, so make sure you cover up. And please, use an environmentally friendly sunscreen!
  • Lip balm – this is a bit of a relative one. Personally I cannot go 2 minutes without lip balm, and I can’t be the only one! Use a lip balm that has sun protection and make sure it’s Earth friendly.
4 – General Clothing

So depending on what time of year you travel, the KwaZulu-Natal region where the Hluhlwue Imfolozi Game Reserve is situated, can be hot during the day and at night. In winter the night time temperatures can drop making it cold enough to need a pullover or jacket. In order to make it easy, here’s our suggestions on what to take.

  • Summer (December through March) – Days get really warm, around 30C (85F) though the last few years we’ve had hotter temperatures than that. In the evening the temperature will cool down to around 18C (66F), usually warm enough to stay in a shirt.
  • Winter (June through August) – Days are considerably cooler, 23C (55F) and evenings the temperatures plummet to around 11C (52F).

So if traveling in summer, light long sleeve shirts, and even t-shirts are fine during the day, short pants with open shoes will also be comfortable. At night, light long sleeve shirts and light long pants will be fine with closed shoes. I would also recommend a light jacket for “in case”.

If visiting in winter, thicker long sleeves and pants at night with a warm jacket and during the day, light long sleeves and long pants will work. Also consider warm socks and a beanie especially if enjoying a sunset or night time game drive.

The best advice we can give when it comes to clothing is “layering”. Pack clothing that you can put on and take off during the course of the day when the temperatures change.

A note about color. Safari goers are often advised to wear earthy tones when viewing animals. This is absolutely not necessary at all! Fact is animals see the world very differently to us humans; so what might seem a garish bright color to us, may not stand out to an animal. Just for one second think about the brightly colored birds in the parks, even the different colored motor vehicles; color is not a consideration – the animals are not concerned.

Regardless of what time of year you’re planning to travel, a rain jacket is always a good idea. We carry ponchos in our vehicle for emergencies but you’ll want something a little more substantial.

The Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve also has a pool for those relaxing moments, so don’t forget to bring a swim suit.

Finally, a word of caution. Although camouflage clothing is a popular fashion trend, it’s best not to wear such items. Although I personally have never sen it, I have heard of police questioning visitors quite strongly over their choice of camouflage styles clothing.

5 – Electronic Equipment

You’re coming all the wait out to South Africa to experience the thrill of Africa’s wildlife, we’re pretty sure you going to want to take some pictures! There is nothing more disappointing than realizing you’ve left your charge at home, so make a list of what accessories your camera kit needs and make sure to tick those items off.

When it comes to charging your items, many lodges and some camps now have USB plug point. If that’s not enough you should know that in South Africa you will need an adapter. We do carry charging devices in our vehicles as a last resort.

After years of taking clients on wildlife safari tours and photographic tours, we would also recommend extra SD cards and if possible, a portable backup drive.

6 – Miscellaneous Equipment

Here are a few more items that haven’t been covered up until now.

  • Binoculars – we always have in our vehicles but it’s a good idea to bring your own along as well. We usually use a 8×50 or 10×50 power binocular, but something is better than nothing!
  • Torch – another good idea. Not all the the camps we visit will have electricity throughout the night, so a small torch is a perfect companion (don’t forget to bring the charger).
  • Notepad and pen – we generally see a lot while on tour, so much so that by day 3 you may have already forgotten what you saw or experienced on day1! So bring along a notepad with a pen or pencil to make notes.

So that’s our handy list of what to consider when heading out to a safari tour to the Hluhlwue Imfoloz Game Reserve. If you would like to book one of our tours or simply want more information, just get in touch in one of the following ways.

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