Rwanda safari tips: what to pack for a successful trip

Rwanda safariRwanda safari
Rwanda safariRwanda safari

Rwanda safari tips: what to pack for a successful trip

Going on safari in Rwanda is an adventure of a lifetime. You will experience highlights such as seeing the stunning Lake Kivu, visiting the bustling city of Kigali and spending time in the Volcanoes National Park, gorilla trekking. With all the excitement, it can be confusing to know what exactly to pack for a successful trip. Below are some tips on how to pack for your Rwandan adventure.


Start with mobile luggage

Having easy-to-carry luggage is key when visiting Rwanda for a safari, especially if you are going gorilla trekking or hiking. Choose a duffel bag made from strong materials such as canvas or khaki.

Suitcases with wheels are difficult to store while you are hiking, especially if you are going to be stopping off to camp. A waterproof day pack is vital for daytime safaris, as you can store necessities such as insect repellants, water bottles, sunscreen and snacks. Be sure it is made from durable material so it will not be easily damaged during the safari.


Appropriate dress

Rwanda is known for having muggy and humid weather, but in one day you may experience, heat, humidity, cold and rainy conditions so be prepared for every eventuality. This means packing a water-resistant jacket for those times when rain has been predicted.

It is best to wear light layers of clothing, including long sleeve jackets and trousers made from light materials such as linen or cotton, so you do not become overheated or too cold. It is important to keep as much skin covered as possible to avoid insect bites, mosquito bites and ticks, so avoid wearing shorts and short sleeved shirts. Remember to wear a hat and sunglasses too for extra sun protection.


Feet first

Another important item to pack for your Rwandan safari is the correct footwear. The jungle is an unforgiving place for walking in, and so you will need to pack durable hiking boots in order to traverse the often tricky terrain.

Instead of taking a comfortable pair of sneakers with you, look for boots that have been designed for hiking in harsh landscapes, with plenty of grips and a high comfort level. Always remember to bring with you a spare pair of socks or two to change when your feet get wet. Not changing your socks regularly if you are going on a long hike can lead to serious infections if your wet socks are left on for too long.


Binoculars and a camera

These may not be absolutely essential items, but having binoculars will help immensely when looking for animals on a game drive or while trekking through the national park. You should look for a pair that offers good magnification, good quality lens coating and a large field of view capability.

Bringing a camera with you will allow you to capture special moments and unique sights that you may not be able to revisit for some time. Remember to turn off your flash if you are going to be photographing animals, especially gorillas, as they may become agitated or scared by the unnatural light. Use a waterproof bag to carry your camera in so that it is not damaged during your adventures.


Backpack essentials

When packing for an African safari, the number one essential item to bring is mosquito repellent. This will keep mosquitoes at bay both night and day, making for a safer trip overall. Look for one that is suitable for children and for pregnant women, if you will be travelling while pregnant.

Other important items to include are sealed bottles of water for a fresh drinking source while hiking, hand sanitiser or wet wipes for those times when you need to wipe sticky fingers, a high SPF sunscreen and sunglasses. These items will be able to fit into your backpack so you have them to hand when you need them. Always be sure that you have malaria medicine with you when travelling to Rwanda or other African countries considered ‘malaria areas’.


Remember your medical kit

An African safari can take place in a game park, where you are driven around to view the animals or they can be more intensive and include hiking and trekking. In Rwanda, you will most likely want to go gorilla trekking, which is a more intense form of safari. This means you will need to pack a medical kit with essential items.

Your medical kit should include antibiotics for intestinal problems and for upper respiratory ailments, pain relievers, antiseptic creams, antihistamines for stings and plasters. It may seem like a lot but it is best to be prepared rather than reach an emergency and not have anything in the way of supplies.


Remember to have fun

Going on an African safari is a family adventure, so it is important to involve everyone in the packing process. Let your children pick out their hiking or trekking outfits, and show them maps of where you will be going and photographs of what you will be seeing. Always remember to consult your doctor about what malaria medicine you and your family should take for your trip. Remember to pack chargers for all cameras, as you will not want to miss out on capturing memories of an unforgettable trip.

Rwanda safari