Since I literally found the end of the internet when researching how to pack for my recent Kenya safari, I thought I would share what I ended up packing- what worked and what didn’t! Anyone who knows me knows that I died a little inside when instructed to pack minimally and it all must fit inside a soft-sided duffel to be able to fit in the small planes we took. Packing light is not exactly a strong suit of mine, ha. Luckily, I embraced the challenge and think I did pretty well in assessing it after I returned home!
Some quick tips:
- Be comfy!!! Unless doing a walking safari, you will likely do two daily game drives- morning and evening- which require hours of sitting in the car. If it’s not comfy at home, don’t bring it to Africa.
- Be casual. Kenya is not the place for wedges or heels.. although I am a true wedges devotee at home, I left them behind and glad I did- would have felt really out of place here! Not to mention, no room to pack them.
- You will not always dress up for dinner.. many days we went straight from evening game drive into dinner back at the lodge, where we did not change from our t-shirts & pants.
- The lodges will wash your clothes– not washer & dryer, but they hand-wash and hang them to dry.. I probably had my tanks and tees washed several times throughout the 10 days. They do not wash ladies undergarments though- so make sure to bring all of those you need, or prepare to wash them yourself. All lodges had a small cup of detergent in the bathrooms for you to use, as well as clothespins for hanging things dry.
What I packed (and wore my green pants, chambray button-down, utility jacket, blanket scarf on the plane):
- 3 pair pants (Athleta olive green skinny cargos, Columbia Bryce Canyon beige pants, AG tan jeans)
- 3 button-down shirts (white, chambray, khaki)
- 3 t-shirts (white, olive green, beige) J Crew Factory
- 2 super thin lightweight cotton sweaters (white, cream) J Crew Factory
- 2 tanks (white, green) Target
- 5 pair shoes (tennies, Ugg waterproof boots, Dolce Vita sockless booties, Sam Edelman slides sandals, Havianas flip flops)
- 1 bikini, 1 one-piece & coverup (leopard print from Lands End.. J Crew also had a cute one!)
- 1 light khaki sleeveless Maeve jumpsuit (Anthropologie)
- 1 green Prana button-down shirt dress (Zappos.com)
- 2 pair shorts (one denim cutoffs, one Lulu running shorts)
- 1 fluffy warmer scarf-blanket (Ralph Lauren, zappos.com)
- 1 printed silky scarf (Vince Camuto, zappos.com)
- 1 utility jacket (Gap)
- 1 Cuyana hat
- 1 ballcap
And I put it all in a new cute duffel from Barrington Gifts! I got the Belmont Cabin Bag which is really customizable with prints, monograms, etc. I initially found it on a bloggers site! Soo, how did I do??
- I wore every tee, tank, and button-down multiple times- worth it!!
- I tended to wear the button-downs opened up over my tees and tanks in the morning when it was chilly, and took off when the sun rose and became blazing hot. I also tied them around my shoulders to keep the sun off.. African sun at the equator is no joke!!
- LOVED my Cuyana hat.. was sometimes a pain to carry around, but really shielded the sun and also looked cute 🙂 However, riding in the vehicles could be really breezy and windy and I had to hold the hat on.. this is where a ballcap worked well.
- LOVED my bikini/leopard cover-up dress combo.. great to wear all afternoon, from lunch to the pool, to lounging around
- LOVED my pants- the Athleta olive green skinny cargo pair is one I live in all the time at home.. you’ll want breathable, stretchy comfy pants since sitting so much, plus they will dry faster when you get them washed.
- Wore my green dress and beige jumpsuit less than I had hoped, due to going straight from evening game drives to dinner with no time to shower/get ready more than I thought. But I still glad I brought them because I really love those pieces!
- Probably could have done without the sockless booties.. honestly I wore my New Balance tennies almost every day!
- I did not so much wear my utility jacket, and the temps heated up really quickly! I mostly wore my button-downs over tees & tanks in the morning, and if I was extra chilly in the early AM, I just used the blankets provided in every safari vehicle.
- Only wore my denim cutoffs once, and my Lulu shorts not at all!
Where did I shop?
Some things I already owned, but for what I didn’t.. I LOVE zappos.com.. the very best site for anything, not just shoes, as they ship for free in 1-2 days, and have free returns. My beige Columbia pants, Prana green shirtdress, AG tan jeans and scarves are from there. J Crew and J Crew Factory are also faves. And can’t beat Tar-jay for cheap tanks & tees!! Anthropologie for unique and stylish items like my beige jumpsuit, and finally Athleta for stylish affordable athletic wear (I’ve already waxed poetic about their skinny cargo pants that I wear all the time at home!)