What to pack for Kenya

  • What to Pack
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  • This is the 100-400mm lens.
    This is the 100-400mm lens.
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Most Viewed What to Pack in Kenya

  • butterfly_girl's Profile Photo

    Bring tons of film!

    by butterfly_girl Written May 11, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Try to travel light, especially if you are going on a safari since you will be driving from one place to the next.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Hat, comfortable shoes, shorts

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring some cipro in case you get sick. Also, some antibacterial handwipes are good to have.

    Photo Equipment: There are so many photo opportunities in Kenya, from animals, to people. You will want to bring lots of film and a panaromic camera is a must (even a throw away type will do).

    Miscellaneous: Bring some pens to give away to the local people. The children really would like pens, hats or t-shirts from your country.

    Samburu Tribe, Kenya
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel

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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Bring a good telephoto lens with you!

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Sep 17, 2006

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    Photo Equipment: If you are going to visit any part of Africa that has good game viewing possibilities, you should invest in a camera with good telephoto lens capability (300 mm or better). Back in those days I had an Olympus OM-1 with a 200 mm lens plus a 2x converter, giving me 400 mm capability. This photo shows a view of three Giraffe that I captured while on maximum zoom (8-times magnification). The same scene in second photo shows those three Giraffes at centre-right, not much better than specks on the horizon!

    Sadly, I did not take good care of my Olympus while living in Papua New Guinea, resulting in moisture and fungus destroying its electronics. As a result, I only had a 105-mm lens camera when we visited South Africa's Kruger National Park in 1995, and it was not up to the game viewing task at all!

    Three giraffe on the horizon Without 8x magnification, now a 'landscape' shot!
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

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  • Suet's Profile Photo

    General tips

    by Suet Updated Mar 10, 2011

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    Luggage and bags: I have a hard lockable case on wheels and a day/camera bag for birdwatching.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I found jeans, trainers and a loose T shirt normal wear.... no smart clothes, you are going to get dusty and sweaty. No shorts, you get bitten at night, long sleeves to protect from the Equatorial sun. Definitely a hat. Roll up plastic poncho if you are planning for the long and short rains.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Mosquito repellant a must for safari. You get nets for the beds at night, but they also bite during the day (different species). There isn't malaria in Nairobi, but at the coast and up country there definitely is. UPDATE: as more malaria infected people travel to Nairobi, the mosquitos become infected and pass it on. Malaria is on the increase in Nairobi. Get Malarone, Larium or whatever your doctor recommends as malaria prevention. Continue taking it when you get home for the prescribed amount of time.

    You can get any medicine you want over the counter without prescription. You pay by tablet, no National Health system here!

    Sunblock is a MUST, the sun bites you!

    Photo Equipment: Video camera, digital camera will do fine.... unless you go to Lake Baringo on a special Birdwatching photo holiday. Most of the birds come right up to you for food and are easy to shoot.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: We camped in the Mara by Sand River. Not recommended for the faint hearted, you are actually surrounded by wild animals...... best stick to the lodges and camps where everything is provided.

    Miscellaneous: Don't take anything you would want to lose...... and make copies of your passport.

    A money belt is essential. Copy and print out the following packing list:

    Packing List For Safari Kenya

    Item PACKED
    Money (Bring Sterling, you can change at Hotel)
    Passport (Make paper copies)
    Credit cards
    Corkscrew/beer opener
    Hep A Hep B Hep C Vaccinations (check NOW with doc) yellow fever
    Small medical kit
    Mobile phones/chargers
    Driving Licence (and copies)
    Books (including bird books)

    Sunglasses and sunscreen HAT
    Medicines and pills including immodium and antibiotics
    Movie camera
    ATM debit card for extra money
    Copy of passport/medical insurance docs
    Wine glass (tough one)
    E111 cards for medical help, copy insurance papers
    Underwear Pref Cotton as very hot there
    Shoes (tough boots or trainers) flip flops closed sandals.
    Long sleeved shirts and jackets (Mara can be chilly)
    LONG trousers or jeans, Mosquito protection
    NO jewellery whatsoever, you can buy local
    No flashy clothing or bags or watches
    Pick old clothes as you can leaves them behind
    Bring any old shoes that you don’t want
    Anything that you were going to give to charity
    Pens, Pencils, Notepads, Knicknacks, Junk, Old towels
    It is important that you remember that you need to dress down, ie old clothes, keep well covered up because of the Equatorial sun (you can easily get VERY burnt) and mosquitos. Sunscreen needs to be applied at ALL times as well as insect repellent. Don’t take anything you can’t afford to lose.

    You need to apply NOW for all your vaccinations at your local GP’s including those above, yellow fever, and anything else he recommends. Have them NOW so that you don’t have any side effects while you are actually on holiday. You need a money belt for each of you to wear under your clothes which will also contain your passport and credits cards.

    Pack enough clothes for a week and pills for three weeks in case there is a problem getting home on time (floods etc) as well as all the stuff you would take to a charity shop including clothes, shoes, books pens pencils, toys, towels, sheets, etc but keep within the weight limit. You can leave all this behind so as to make room for taking home souvenirs. Pack your CARRY ON Bag with all medicines and toiletries and a complete spare set of clothing as well as cameras, phones, sunglasses, hats, jackets in case your luggage is lost and keep your valuables in your money belt. Have only LOCKABLE Luggage. No fancy gadgets.

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Safari

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Natural fabrics only

    by croisbeauty Written Oct 5, 2007

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: It depend on travelling style but make sure it's resistant bag because it wont be handled by care, those guys just throwing it in and out of the plain baggage compartment.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: More or less it should be cotton cloths because it makes us less sweating, esspecially if humid. Something warm, like water resistant jacket or light leather jacket is advisable too, you might need it for evenings or early mornings. Good walking shoes, solid but yet comfortable. Hat or cap might be very useful for both, sunny or rainy days.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take all precauting measures before travelling, might be too late if something happens there.

    Photo Equipment: Do not forget your camera and lots of memory cards or those with huge capacity. I suggest additional lens if going on safari.

    skyline snap by additional lens savannah savannah hippos elephants

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  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    don't leave home without...

    by call_me_rhia Updated Dec 2, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: a real must if you're even remotedly thinking of having a walk on the coral reef at low-tide is a pair of water-shoes. Flip-flops are useless and offer no protection

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: As all Kenya is high risk of malaria, take some malaria tablets with you: Malarone is the one that gives you the lightest side effects, I believe. Most people are led to believe that a profilaxis isn't essential - but you'll change your mind after hearing the tales of some of the locals

    Photo Equipment: If you go on a safari an absolute must is a camera with a decent zoom: some animals are shy and stay kind of far from your van/jeep. On top of that vehicles mustn't leave the dirt roads.
    Bring binoculars, too - for distant animals: I would have never seen the lion - if it hadn't been for binoculars

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: As far as I know, topless swimming/sunbathing is not allowed - and even if it is, it's asking for trouble

    Miscellaneous: Pack some dollars to enter and leave the country: 50 in and 20 out. You can pay in euros - but it's still 50 in and 20 out - hence it's not really that convenient


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  • Acirfa's Profile Photo

    Helpful Hints

    by Acirfa Updated Jun 14, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Hold all type bags are perfect for a Safari holiday. If travelling by light aircraft at any time there is a luggage restriction so bear this in mind. (Aprox 15Kg pp)

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Take something warm for the cooler evenings, a jersey .

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: It is a good idea to take along your own medical needles which are purchasable from travel clinics (I believe it is possible to call the airport to get details of places of purchase). This is a country rife with aids and so the knowledge of clean needles, should they be necessary, is a weight of ones mind.
    Also taking out insurance with the Blood Foundation, found in West Sussex (01293 425485) is great as they guarantee pure blood, always worth an enquiry at least for further details.
    The other great medical accessory is some rehydration powder, it is so easy to become dehydrated and this does the trick rapidly, although drinking plenty of water and preventing it in the first place is of course the preferrable option.

    Photo Equipment: Absolute necessity, plenty of memory cards for the digicam, binoculars for safari and tele lens a bonus.

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  • Myndo's Profile Photo

    What to bring with you on safari

    by Myndo Written Dec 19, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Choose light ones over hardcase. A lot of air carriers (and African Safari Clubs is one of them) will charge you extra for every kilo that it hurts.
    They also have limitations that are very low, for the normal tourist class you can bring 23 kilos with you, that is INCLUSIVE the hand luggage that they will also weight!
    If you go on safari with the small airplanes, the limit you can take per person is normally 10 kilogramms also inclusive handluggage.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Necessary:
    Clothes (see Tip there) with Pullover or Jacket,
    Good shoes (if you go on safari: trekking shoes or sandals),
    floppies for the beach (never get barefoot in Kenya, you may pick up some nasty things)
    Hat !
    Maybe something waterproof

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: A must:
    - Sunglasses
    - Sun creme (with a factor over 20!)
    - Insect repellent (with DEET or Bayrepel, forget the citronella stuff)
    - Malaria Medication (see danger Tipp Malaria), Malarone it is for Kenya
    - Travelmedication: whatever you need to take anyway at home also: something against Pain and Fever, Desinfectant, Antiallergic cream (Fenistil), Pincette, Fever thermometer (important, how else can you say you may have caught malaria or dengue fever?), something against diarrhoe (Imodium), something against getting seasick or airsick (itinerol), If you travel individually it is also a good idea to bring needle and syringe and an Antibiotic (ask your doctor).

    Photo Equipment: of course!
    Don?t rely on buying film down here. The heat, moisture and unproffesional storekeeping do damage a lot of what you get here, so bring enough with you.
    Digital cards: I saw not much places where you could get them. Not in the hotels and certainly not on safari, maybe in Mombasa and Nairobi, but... hmmm, better take a big enough with you.
    Same goes for the batteries: take enough with you, bring your charger for the accu, remember not every safari camp does have electricity all the time.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Flashlight
    Earplugs (some camps are quite loud at night with all the bugs and birds...)
    Desinfectant for the hands

    Miscellaneous: Clock with timer
    Something to wash the clothes on the safari

    campfires are cozy

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  • Myndo's Profile Photo

    Clothing on Safari

    by Myndo Updated Jan 6, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Color of the clothes: not black (this gets too hot in the sun), not white (this gets dirty in seconds), not to bright colors (this will shy away the animals). Use earth colors, shades of green etc.
    Lenght of the clothes: I choose long clothes, because every piece of skin that you leave at the sun will get sunburned even with sun cream. Also long clothes do shade you, so you don?t get too hot (I know this sounds like a contradiction, but so it is), Long sleeves can be rolled up, there are trousers you can shorten with the zippers they have. Also long clothes are good, because it can get cold in the evening or early morning.
    Hat: this is a must.
    Shoes: take good shoes with soles that don?t slip. The thorns of a lot of bushes are so thick, they penetrate even tires.
    Also take a thick pullover or jacket with you. In higher areas as well as deserts temperatures can go to the freezing point in the night, even if it is over 30 degrees during the day.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take with you some toilet paper or like.

    Photo Equipment: come prepared with enough film and batteries to last through your holidays.

    Miscellaneous: the picture shows my husband by the way. he is normally very much the shorts and t-shirt type, but on safaris even he gets serious :-) he wears trekking sandals because of his inflamated toe (that is the white one -lol)

    Related to:
    • Safari
    • Adventure Travel

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  • mauritsh's Profile Photo

    Always see to it you have the right maps.

    by mauritsh Written Jan 20, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Remember you always carry to much.
    If you travel around, take these canvas bags, they can fit in almost everywhere.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Ladies you don't need stiletto's here. Good walking shoes or sportshoes will do

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: This is difficult for most of us. For me toothbrush and paste are a must. Toiletpaper is very handy. Get rid of aftershaves and lotions. In some places they have never heard of it.

    Photo Equipment: All right, around your neck. Don't show of with hughe camera's. Keep them in the bag.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Not too much please, just the necessary stuff.

    Miscellaneous: Insurance papers, phone numbers.
    Take your shots in time, don't forget the tablets. If you get Malaria take Fansidar immediately ( 3 tablets).

    Related to:
    • Backpacking

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  • Ash59's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by Ash59 Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Try not to take too large a suitcase. The tour that we took was organised in small vans and there was not a lot of storage space.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: This type of tour does not call for dress cloths! Shorts, tee shirts and jeans are acceptable. Remember to take a hat and sun glasses.

    Wear sensible low shoes. Most of the time, we were in the vans or at the lodge but one time, it had been raining and van got stuck. We had to get out and push!!.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: The water is not brilliant but safe to drink while in the lodges. Would suggest taking diarrhoea tablets with you, just in case.

    Even though you are in the van a lot of the time, you can still get sunburn through the windows, so take a good factor sunblock.

    Photo Equipment: Most lodges have a shop that can supply extras for photography. For this type of tour, I must recommend that you have a good quanlity camara with a telephoto lense. The guides do their best to get as close as possible, but not all the animals are co-operative!!!

    Miscellaneous: Elephant gun? NO, I AM NOT SERIOUS! LOL

    Related to:
    • Safari

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  • stonefree's Profile Photo

    it's directly under the equator but...

    by stonefree Updated Mar 5, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Carry along with a long sleeve shirt or a thin sweater.
    Although Kenya is directly under the equator, it is in the altitude of about 3500m and the air is dry, you won't feel too hot in the daytime and it is quite cool in the nightime there.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: A bandanna and sunglasses will be helpful. When driving through savanna, you'll get smeared with a cloud of dust.

    Related to:
    • Desert
    • Photography
    • Safari

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  • Homanded's Profile Photo


    by Homanded Updated Sep 5, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Whenever we travel we stick to the: Travel light, have laundry done or purchase what you need.
    We travel with one carry on bag each plus a back pack and a camera bag.

    We would rather be able to check in luggage than have to wait around at a strange aiport trying to claim our bags - not to mention reducing the risks of theft or loss during the flight!

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: 2 Jeans
    7 – 10 Underwear
    Safari Pants/zip off shorts legs
    5 - T-Shirts
    2 Long sleeved cotton shirts
    7 – 10 Pr. Socks
    Safari Hat / Sunglasses
    Hiking Boots
    Semi casual shoes (only if planning on dinner out in a nice restaurant)
    Short Sleeved shirts Swim Suit
    Jacket / Scarves / Bandanas /Rain Parka
    Dress Shirt & Tie
    Dress Pants/Jacket

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Maalox Visine
    Imodium AD
    Lamotil (get from your doctor prior to travel for diarreah)
    Malaria Pills (Doxyclicline was our choice - start 2 days prior to travel and every day after)
    Ambesol (or something to numb any possible toothache)
    (2) Mosquito Repellent w/DEET per person per 10 days period!
    Sunburn Ointment
    Excedrin Migraine Medications
    Gauze & Tape
    Soap & Soap Container
    Hand Sanitizer (2 per person per 1 week period) - WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN!*
    Zip-Lock Bags
    Ace Bandage (good for twisted ankles or minor sprains)
    Chap Stick Thermometer
    Neosporin Antibiotic Ointment
    Band-Aids (assorted sized for cuts/abrasions as well as blisters)
    Tweezers (for splinters)
    Ear Plugs Sleeping Mask
    Downy Fabric Softener (good for mosquito repellent)
    Anti Imflamatory such as Naproxen

    Photo Equipment: Digital camera is the way to go! If you take a digital camera, invest in a higher GB flashcard, such as a 3GB. This will allow you to store up to 3200 pictures w/out the worries that you will run out of space!
    Also to consider are at least 2 good multi purpost lenses: a 28mm-200mm lens which gives you close up, as well as wide angle and basic zoom capabilities and a good 300mm lens, also zoom if possible.
    This should get you through most of your wildlife photography.

    UV lens protector as well as a circular polarizer good for reducing glare when shooting against water and bringing out the blues of the sky - a polarizer filter works similar to your own use of sunglasses when photographing.
    A warming filter or orange filter will be great for capturing the brighteness of the Africa sunrises or sunsets.
    Tripod and a bean bag for stabilizing your gear when shooting from a vehicle.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: SPF 45-65 sun-block
    Swimming Trunks
    Sandals (dual purpose for pool area and shower)

    Miscellaneous: Finally, if you can manage it, a wolverine. This is a hard drive about the size of a palm pilot which allows you to back up and download all your pictures. It is a handy way to always have the capability of backing up and clearing your flash cards. For more information on this product: Wolverine Portable Media Gear

    Passport & 4 Extra Passport pics
    Notebook & Pens
    Extra Batteries & Charger
    Electrical Adaptor
    Electric Shaver
    Guide Books

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  • no1birdlady's Profile Photo

    Survival Food

    by no1birdlady Written Aug 21, 2005

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    Miscellaneous: When you go on a safari to see birds and animals, lunches are usually at places like you see in this photo. In many of the preserves, we had to eat our box lunch in the van for our safety. I got our guide to take this photo for me. I have discussed the box lunches elsewhere under general tips so what I want to say here is that it is helpful to pack lemonaid or other beverage packets that you can pour into bottled water to make it more interesting for lunch. Beverages are always lukewarm so flavorings can help. They usually have sodas but there is something about a hot soda that turns my stomach. I also pack a box of cheese and peanut butter crackers and some peanuts packages. Trail mix is also good but needs to be in sealed packages in your checked baggage.

    Lunch in the shade of a tree.
    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Photography
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • Tallchick80's Profile Photo

    African Weather

    by Tallchick80 Written Feb 27, 2005

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    Luggage and bags: Make sure to take secure luggage, and luggage that you can easily identify. You must make absolute SURE that your bags are locked. Also take care when you arrive, it happens all of the time that people will steal your bags right off the baggage belt.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Wear light clothing that will allow your skin to breathe. White, beige, and khaki clothes are best. Bright clothes are discouraged on safari, as they may startle the animals. Bring sandals, as well as good walking shoes. The heat can be overwhelming, and some parts of Kenya are dry as bone, and others HUMID.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: When in humid areas, be sure to take malarone, or another precautionary anti-malarial medication. Malarone is good, but if you suffer from depression, it can cause side effects. Also, it never hurts to carry around precautionary antibiotics. You can buy most drugs at any pharmacy in Kenya without a prescription. It's more than likely you will suffer from diarrhea, and if so, carry around norfloxacin to help treat bacterial diarrhea. Anti-diarrheal medications like amodium are not IDEAL, as they will only cause constipation and possible further complications. Also, take anti-mosquito repellant that contains DEET.

    Photo Equipment: Invest in a good camera. Do not take a throw away camera or a cheap camera when on safari. You will be very disappointed in your photos. I used a regular sony cybershot for my regular pictures, and a sony DSC-F717 with a Carl Zeiss zoom lense with a polarizing filter for safari photos. Your photos will pay for themselves if you have a good camera.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: You can rent camping equipment in major cities, and some safari companies will provide you with it.

    Miscellaneous: Take a HAT! You will need a hat when out on safari, or spending a lot of time outdoors (which you should be doing while in Kenya), the African sun is powerful, and Kenya is very high up. In fact, it's over 1 mile above sea level. You'll sunburn very easily. Take lots of sunscreen as well with a high enough SPF to protect you. Sunscreen in Kenya is very expensive. Sunglasses are also a MUST.

    I bought my hat there, and yes, it helped!

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  • joolssss's Profile Photo

    Must haves

    by joolssss Updated Jul 2, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: take a rucksack / backpack of some description, if you want to go on safari you will need to take some clothes and you don't want to take a suitcase!

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: take some beach shoes those sea urchins HURT! If you have any old shoes or sandals or any clothes actually, take them with you and give them away, the beach boys are always asking for stuff either for them or their families, Its nice to help them out.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Mosquito repellent, diareze or similar, rehydration sachets, pain killers, antiseptic cream, sting relief, and some anti histemines

    Photo Equipment: As many films or memory cards as you can get especially if going on safari, you will take more photographs than you think !

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: No towels needed, all the hotels i came across supplied them for the Sun loungers.

    Miscellaneous: Pens and paper for the kids, its really in short supply, any old clothes or shoes.

    big momma, my favourite lady- help them out
    Related to:
    • Safari
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Beaches

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Kenya What to Pack

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