A safari in Kenya is more than just an adventure; it’s an immersion into the heart of nature. Whether you’re exploring the expansive Masai Mara, witnessing the majesty of Mount Kilimanjaro from Amboseli, or relaxing on the beaches of Mombasa, each experience is unique. However, the key to a successful safari lies in your preparation, particularly in what you pack.

2. Travel Insurance: Why You Need It

Travel insurance is crucial for any international trip, especially for an activity-filled destination like Kenya. It should cover medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost luggage, and emergency evacuation. The unpredictable nature of safari adventures makes comprehensive coverage a must to handle potential risks like wildlife encounters or health issues due to tropical climates.

3. Applying for an eVisa

Steps to Apply for an eVisa

Kenya requires most travelers to obtain an eVisa before arrival. The application process is straightforward:

  • Online Application: Visit the official Kenya eVisa website.
  • Form and Documents: Fill out the application form and upload necessary documents, including a photo and a copy of your passport.
  • Payment: Pay the application fee online.
  • Approval: Processing typically takes a few days. Once approved, print out the eVisa to present upon arrival.

It’s important to apply for your eVisa at least 72 hours before your travel date to ensure you receive it in time.

Passport Validity Requirements

When planning your trip, ensure that your passport meets the following criteria:

  • Expiry Date: Your passport should have an expiry date at least six months after your arrival date in Kenya.
  • Blank Pages: Ensure your passport has at least two blank pages for stamps upon entry and exit.

Ensuring that all these requirements are met will help facilitate a smooth entry into Kenya, allowing you to focus more on the exciting adventures that await in your safari experience.

4. Avoiding Plastic Bags

Kenya has implemented a strict ban on plastic bags to combat pollution and protect the environment. Tourists are advised to avoid bringing any plastic bags into the country. Opt for reusable shopping bags and packing cubes instead.

5. Weather-Specific Packing Guidelines

Rainy Seasons

Kenya experiences long rains from March to May and short rains from October to December. Packing should include:

  • Lightweight Waterproof Jacket: Essential for sudden downpours.
  • Waterproof Bags: Protect your electronic devices and important documents.

Cold Season

The cold season, particularly from June to August, can be surprisingly chilly, especially in the mornings and evenings. Pack:

  • Jackets and Sweaters: Needed for early morning and late afternoon game drives.
  • Warm Hat and Gloves: Useful for early morning outings.

Typical Temperatures in Key Locations

  • Nairobi: Mild with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 26°C.
  • Masai Mara: Similar to Nairobi, but can be colder in the mornings.
  • Amboseli: Temperatures can drop at night due to proximity to Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Mombasa: Hot and humid, often above 30°C.

6. Essential Safari Clothing

Color and Style Guidelines

  • Neutral Colors: Khaki, green, and beige help blend into the natural environment.
  • Long-Sleeved Shirts and Trousers: Protect against sunburn and insect bites.
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: A must for safaris and any walking tours.
Great boots for women on a South African safari

7. Must-Have Gear and Accessories

To enhance your safari experience in Kenya, it’s essential to pack the right accessories. These not only improve comfort but also prove indispensable under various circumstances.

  • Hats and Sunglasses: A broad-brimmed hat will protect your face and neck from the sun during long game drives. Sunglasses with UV protection are crucial for eye health, especially around highly reflective environments like water bodies and open savannah grasslands.
  • Insulated Mug: An insulated mug is perfect for keeping your drinks hot or cold. Enjoy a hot coffee during chilly early morning game drives or a cold refreshment on the sunny beaches of Mombasa. This reusable mug also helps minimize waste, aligning with eco-friendly practices.
insulated mug
  • Binoculars and Camera Equipment: No safari is complete without the tools to view and capture the stunning wildlife and landscapes. Binoculars enhance your ability to spot distant animals, while a good camera (preferably with a zoom lens) will help preserve your memories.

GIGAPENGUIN 15×52 HD Binoculars

great binocular for wildlife safari

Low-Light Performance

Clear Low-Light Vision

  • Why We Love It: These binoculars excel in low-light conditions, thanks to their large objective lens and high-transmission glass. This is perfect for dawn and dusk, prime times for wildlife activity on a safari.

What to Consider: Make sure to store the binoculars properly to protect the lenses from scratches and dirt, which can affect low-light performance.

  • Sunscreen, Lip Salve, and Moisturizer: Protect your skin from the harsh equatorial sun with a high SPF sunscreen. Lip salve and moisturizer will combat the dry air that can affect exposed skin.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial, especially in the hot and dry climate of Kenya. A durable water bottle reduces reliance on single-use plastics, supporting conservation efforts.
  • Comfortable, Durable Footwear: Given the terrain and activities involved in a safari, sturdy walking shoes or boots are advisable. They should be broken in to avoid discomfort during long walks or hikes.
  • Sandals: For evenings when you are relaxing at the lodge or at the beach if you are heading to Mombasa, lamu or somewhere in the Kenyan coast.

8. Health and Safety Essentials

  • Insect Repellent: Essential for preventing mosquito-borne diseases.
  • Basic Medications: Include remedies for common ailments like headaches, upset stomach, and allergies.
  • First Aid Kit: Prepare for minor injuries and medical needs.


Packing for a Kenya safari involves thoughtful preparation and attention to detail. By following this comprehensive guide, you can ensure that you are well-equipped for the myriad of experiences that await.


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