Packing For Your Tanzania Migration Safari!
Tanzania is one of the most exciting bucket list destinations for wildlife lovers because it is home to the most variegated collection of terrestrial wildlife on the planet. From the endless plains of the Serengeti to Tarangire National Park, the year-round concentration of big game makes African safari tours to Tanzania an unforgettable experience for adventurous travelers. In fact, Tanzania is one of the greatest safari destinations on any continent, with a third of its land preserved as dedicated game reserves to protect wildlife. African safari tours to Tanzania offer thrill seekers almost limitless game-viewing possibilities!
If you’re planning a trip to Tanzania to see wildlife, Tanzania Great Migration tours should be on your list of must-do expeditions. The good news is that there is no one time of year to see the Great Migration because it is a continuous movement of wildlife from place to place – year in and year out – as they forage for food. The locations you will visit during a Tanzania migration safari simply depend on where the animals are in their natural cycle. However, that offers travelers almost unlimited opportunities to plan a trip during the time of year that suits their schedules best.
The Great Adventure Begins
During the Great Migration, more than 1.5 million wildebeest (a member of the antelope family) migrate in a gigantic loop northwest at the end of Tanzania’s rainy season. Many other herds of big game animals accompany the wildebeest on this dangerous journey in search of food. This phenomenon is recognized as one of the seven wonders of the natural world, which explains why each year so many people go on African safari tours to Tanzania.
But whether you want to see the great herds calving in the south of the country or as they move north in search of greener pastures, packing for a safari can be tricky! Not only do you have to consider climate and comfort, but traveling internationally means you have to consider luggage weight restrictions. Before you start to pack, it’s a good idea to read the tips and tricks we list below to make sure you have everything you need for a Tanzania migration safari and stay within the guidelines set by your tour operator.
What Clothing Will I Need On Safari?
The trick to packing for a safari is to remember that you will be encountering temperatures that can vary quite radically from day to night. The easiest way to cope with these fluctuating temperatures is to pack clothes that you can easily layer. As the day heats up, you can remove a layer or two, but as the cool evening air creeps across the plains you can add layers back on. Here is a good list of items to pack that will keep you comfortable on your safari adventure:
- A T-shirt, for warmer times of the day.
- A long-sleeve T-shirt to protect you from the sun. Consider packing a long-sleeve, collared shirt to protect you from mosquitoes, too!
- A lightweight, but warm jacket – a fleece pullover is a great option.
- A pair of convertible pants that zip off at the knees. (This gives you a two-in-one option and saves room in your travel bag.)
- Comfortable walking shoes or boots.
- Wools socks. (Wool regulates temperature and can keep your feet from rubbing in your shoes.)
- A hat with a brim for sun protection.
- A lightweight rain jacket.
- A bandana.
- A swimsuit and sandals (for unwinding at the lodge after a day of trekking!)
The best way to pack for African safari tours to Tanzania is to remember that comfort is king! It’s a good idea to pack casual clothes in neutral colors. Most tour operators will warn you against bright clothing - loud colors are easier for animals to see and may cause them to run away. Your guide will also suggest not wearing blue. Believe it or not, blue clothing attracts flies! So leave your brightly colored clothes at home, and stick to khakis or other calm colors for your time in the bush.
Getting Your Luggage To Tanzania
It is important to remember that most international airlines restrict check-in luggage to 55 pounds. That being said, you will need to find out if the itinerary for your Tanzania migration safari includes any light aircraft flights. If it does, you may only be allowed to bring a bag that weighs 33 pounds! Before you start packing, ask your travel agent or tour operator for more details. The good news, however, is that many Tanzania Great Migration tours include lodging in camps or hotels that include same-day laundry service. This means that you won’t need to pack an outfit for every day that you are on tour. When in doubt, just ask your tour operator what your options are!
What Else Should I Pack For My Safari?
In addition to clothing, there are a few essentials you’ll want to take with you to Tanzania. The following is a short list of essentials to get you started:
- Anti-malarial pills – The African continent has a temperate climate, which means mosquitoes are everywhere. And where there are mosquitoes, there is disease. This means that you need to take anti-malarial pills on safari with you. Before you leave, you will need to visit your doctor to get a prescription for these pills, as well as any vaccinations needed to enter Tanzania!
- Binoculars – for safety reasons, you will most likely be viewing animals from a distance! Wildebeest are over four feet tall and can weigh 550 pounds, so keeping your distance may be a good idea. Binoculars will help you see the wildlife on their Great Migration from a safe distance.
- Camera – don’t forget to take a good camera with you on your Tanzania Great Migration safari to record the memories and share them with friends and family back home!
- Sun protection – the African sun can be brutal, so it is a good idea to take sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses along with you on safari.
- Flashlight – unlike more crowded cities, the great plains of the Serengeti do not have light pollution. This means you may need a flashlight at night. Why? Well, many safari camps have public bathrooms, and you will need a light to guide you and keep you safe if you need to make an emergency nighttime pit stop!
- Travel documents – since you are traveling to a foreign country, you will want to have all your paperwork with you. That includes your vaccination records as well as the proper authorization needed to visit the country.
Staying Comfortable On Safari
While the best months to go on a Tanzania migration safari will most likely be dry, it is always a good idea to be prepared for unseasonable weather! Most people assume Africa is always warm, but that is not the case. Packing layers is the key to staying comfortable in the bush and will help make sure you are able to focus on the amazing sights in front of you in comfort.