Oooh my first ever packing post. I don’t usually write these because I don’t think they’d be of much interest to you… Jumpers for cold weather and bikinis for hot weather doesn’t really make a very exciting or helpful post. But while getting ready for South Africa I had to prepare for safari and alter the kind of things I usually pack. We’ll be travelling on some light aircraft to get into Kruger park where the limit is 20 kg and trust me, this is hard for me! Having said that, if I go over I’m allowed to leave some stuff in storage.
Before we went to Australia my sister gave me this very useful wallet in which to keep all travel documents, pretty isn’t it? Inside we’ll be storing:
- Passports (obvs). For travelling to South Africa your passport must contain a minimum of two blank VISA pages in consecutive order.
- Tickets for internal flights and excursions.
- Currency, the South African Rand – though we have been told not to carry too much cash.
- Of course, my wonderful precious Nikon D750 camera.
- The camera strap for when we’re on tours and safari.
- A zoom lens for the camera; this is a fantastic multipurpose lens that can take great wide shots and close ups.
- My Sony RX100 for when I can’t take out the big camera. Plus I like taking a back up camera out with me.
- My Mac Air laptop both for blogging on the go and for watching films / episodes of Pretty Little Liars on internal flights.
- My stick to upload photos to the laptop and a USB stick. I’m planning on backing up the photos every night to my laptop and then putting them on the USB stick too so I’ve got a double back up.
- My iPhone, um….for makes calls, sending texts, tweeting, insta-ing and as a back up camera.
- All the chargers!
In South Africa Summer is May to April and Winter is May to August. I’ve been religiously checking the weather and it looks like we’re in for sun and fun!! I’ll be taking my usual random array of shorts, skirts and dresses for the daytime plus a couple of cardigans to cover up at night. The white dress is great for nice lunches, swanning around vineyards and early evening cocktails. The bright stripy dress is super comfortable and I often wear it for internal flights and long journeys. I always think it’s really important to have comfortable footwear for exploring during the day so you will find me in flip flops (or rather less attractive fit-flops) and where necessary trainers.
I didn’t think you really needed to see a picture of my old comfy trainers or flips flops, this wouldn’t make a very artful blog post if I did!
I love getting dressed up to the nines but I’ve been told to keep it fairly light and casual. I’ve booked some of the top restaurants and even those don’t have a dress code and just ask that you ‘dress for the experience that you want to have.’ That being said, I’ll be leaving (most) of the skin tight Herve Legers at home, as they’re actually quite heavy anyway. Instead I’m taking some light dresses and smart tops and skirts. In particular, I love this little black dress from Maje which literally works for any occasion and it’s super flattering.
Look at the restraint! Only two pairs of heels, the wedges are really comfy and go with most things and the black slingbacks have a fairly wide heel and are actually quite easy to walk in (for five inch heels).
Beach and Pool
Obligatory bikinis, cover ups, sun dresses, sarong and sun glasses.
I recently purchased the black Tory Burch bag as I thought it would make great hand luggage / camera bag. After reading Jasiminne’s post on how to turn a handbag into a camera bag, I purchased the flexible camera insert which fits snugly inside and protects the camera and spare lens while leaving plenty of room for all my other bits and pieces.
The green mini-Mulberry is a great daytime bag for a few necessities and the shoulder strap means my hands are free. The little back one is perfect for the evening when I just want to take my phone and a bit of make up.
It’s advisable to wear greens and neutral colours while on Safari as patterns and bright colours will call attention to you and potentially scare off wildlife. Colours and shades such as white, blue and black attract flies. Unforch, greens and khakis aren’t exactly my best colours, but nevermind…anyone who wants a selection of khaki t-shirts when I’m home let me know!
- Light weight combat trousers with lots of pockets to store my camera, binoculars, lip gloss etc. These trousers are BugTech, meaning the fabric repels insects, clever, eh?
- A loose long sleeved shirt with a collar to keep the sun of my neck and protect me from mosquitoes.
- A fleece because early mornings on safari can be quite chilly. I bought all of these from the Safari Store which was an excellent one stop shop for all my safari needs.
- As days can be pretty hot I also bought a selection of neutral shorts and vest tops, plus a spangly one for the evening!
- Our hotel provides binoculars for the drive and rain coats and ponchos if necessary. I also need to buy a safari hat while I’m out there.
- Toiletries and makeup – it sounds really vain but after my camera and laptop, my make up case would be the thing I’d be most upset about losing. I think it’s because you spend ages building your perfect make up collection so to lose it would be both annoying and expensive.
- Electricals, converters, chargers, a separate DVD drive for my laptop, extension lead, in-car phone charger for the long road trip.
- Gym stuff and workout DVDs, I always put on a few pounds on holiday so I try and do at least some damage control while I’m there!
- All the obvious things, underwear, sleep wear, contact lenses, glasses.
- Hairdryer and straightening irons…I don’t think I can get a decent blow dry in the wilderness.
- A good book! I’m now half way through my book which I’m really enjoying, there’s no TV and weak wifi on safari so I’ll be going back to basics 😉