What To Pack for Safari

Pack for Safari with Your Skin in Mind

I’ve been thinking a lot about what to pack for Safari. I must have forgotten to mention this, but yeah I’m leaving for a weeklong Safari vacation in South Africa tomorrow. It’s the trip of a lifetime. I fretted over what to pack for weeks because I didn’t know exactly how the weather would behave. I’ve never been to South Africa before so I didn’t know whether to expect Miami style humidity or Las Vegas dryness. I relied on my trusty iPhone weather app for information. Lucky me, the temperatures will range from a high of 86 degrees Fahrenheit to somewhere in the low 50s at night. That’s quite a wide range of temperatures. This makes it that much more difficult to pack.

Fortunately, I had no trouble deciding what to pack to keep my skin picture perfect. You go on safari to photograph the animals, but you want a few memories of yourself too right? Keep reading to see exactly what I packed and couldn’t leave home without.

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Insect Repellant

Bug spray is an absolute must for me. In case you don’t remember, I was absolutely swarmed by mosquitoes last Christmas during an outdoor pig roast. I woke up the next day with at least 5 mosquito bites on my face alone. They looked like huge pimples. I will not be making that mistake again.

I’ve packed 2 bottles of Off for this week. Let’s see how the bugs of Africa stack up. I’ve heard they are gigantic, but a little chemical warfare should keep them at bay. The main ingredient in most insect repellants is DEET. DEET works because insects hate the smell of DEET. They like the smell of you and your human sweat, but they dislike DEET so much that they will leave you alone if you wear it.

Look for the insect repellants that don’t leave you with a sticky feeling after. You won’t want to use this after you’ve showered if you’re left with a bunch of gross residue. I like Off’s Smooth and Dry line.

If you don’t want to spray yourself down with chemicals then there are other options. You can cover your skin with clothing.

Long Sleeved Shirts and Pants

I love that in this case wearing long sleeves doubles as sun protection and insect armor. It’s going to be a chilly 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night during my stay in South Africa. Add on the fact that we’ll be sitting in open air Jeeps for a large portion of the day and you can bet that I’ll be completely bundled up. Us Miami girls weren’t built for cold weather…that is unless I get to wear my ridiculous Uggs.

I’ve packed a healthy number of sweaters, tights, jeans, gloves, and scarves. Trust me, those short shorts will not keep you warm or protected from mosquitoes the size of your hand. Oh and don’t forget the termites.

Anti-Malarial Medications

If you will be traveling to an area where you could contract malaria, you definitely need some malaria prophylaxis. I know this isn’t related to skin care as much, but malaria can make you jaundiced. A yellow tint to your skin from your red blood cells breaking down is not cool.

Anti-malarials come in the form of pills that you must take 2 days before your trip and up to 1 week after the end of your trip. I had to get my shots all lined up before leaving for Africa. I asked my doctor to check whether I would need anti-malarial medications. Surely enough, the Sabi Sands reserve where I will be staying is a malaria hotspot.

You can find more information about areas that are known to have malaria by visiting the CDC’s travel website.

Sturdy Wide-Brimmed Hat

Going on safari means splurging on a new hat. When the sun gets to beating down on the open-air Jeep, I will be so glad I had a stylish, wide-brimmed hat. Get something with a chin strap in case it’s windy.

Plus, safari chic basically dictates that you have to purchase a hat in some shade of beige.


It’s my favorite item of all to pack! You know that I don’t leave the house without it. I would never leave the country without it. I’ve got my favorite Elta MD UV Daily SPF 40  packed since it’s the mainstay of my makeup routine.

I’ll also be bringing another one of my favorites, Tizo Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40 Tinted. I like keeping this one in my backpack at all times.

For the body, I’ve got No-Ad Sport SPF 60. I plan to use this during the day when it gets too hot for long-sleeved everything.

Moisturizer and Any Other Skin Care Products

Most of us wouldn’t leave the house without moisturizer. I often find myself forgetting to pack this on a trip. I always assume the hotel will have some. I’ve found that hotels rarely have the high-quality moisturizers you actually want to put on your face.

If you have sensitive or acne prone skin, bringing your own skin care products is crucial. You never know what the ingredients in those samples are. Avoid breakouts on vacation by keeping your routine the same as you would at home. You can compensate for a dry climate by using a little more moisturizer.

What’s on your list to pack for Safari? Leave your comments below!

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