When going on a hunt in Africa, you need to realize that the terrain can be tough and wild. You have to have the correct Protective Clothing and Equipment, not just for safety purposes, but to make your hunt and stay as comfortable as possible.
The most important factors when deciding what you need to pack are based on ‘Where you are hunting?’ and ‘What time of the year you are travelling?’. The luxury level of your accommodation together with the type of hunting terrain and weather, will determine what goes into your travel bag.
Remember each airline has their own baggage dimension and weight limits, so before you pack anything get this information and stick to it, or you’ll be digging deep to pay over-weight. Most lodges offer a laundry service depending on their location and level of luxury. Enquire with your Outfitter which lodges you are staying at offer this service and if it is daily or every 3rd or 4th day.
Be sure you take clothes you feel comfortable in and have worn in before. Hunting locations are not generally close to cities and stores should you need to get a quick change of clothes. The newer quick drying fabrics, shirts with ventilation and trousers that convert into shorts are all worth considering.
Please keep in mind that some fabrics are noisy in the bush and will definitely hinder your hunting during walk and stalk. Cotton, dark brown or dark green colours are essential for hunting in Africa. Camo is an option if you are only staying at hunting lodges. If you have booked post-hunting safari trips to other eco-tourist lodges some guests will be offended by camo outfits, so keep this in mind.
Most lodges that cater specifically towards hunters are very casual in terms of clothing; sneakers and jeans are the order of the day. If you have booked a luxurious lodge then throw in a nice sweater or evening shirt but on the whole this on not essential. As we all know hunters are very relaxed and Outfitters don’t fuss over smart attire.
Ladies we wouldn’t suggest bringing along those high-heels. There may be a short walk from your lodge to the room over grass, and high-heels just don’t work well in this terrain. Climbing up and down guest steps into Safari vehicles will also be awkward with those high shoes.
For the hunters, pack yourself at least two pairs of well-worn and comfortable walking boots with thick soles. The best being waterproof boots that cover your ankles and thick socks. Gators come in handy to keep the bugs at bay but must not create noise while you are walking. A pair of slip on sandals or comfortable shoes for the evenings and day tours.
Packing for an African Hunt, you have to bear in mind that the weather can change at any minute. Africa’s hotter summer months are November to end of February and winter is May to end of July. Rain seasons depends on where you travel in Africa. Cape Town’s rainy season is during the winter months and the more Northern areas of South Africa have rains during the summer months. Make sure if you are hunting in the Northern areas and plan to travel to Cape Town after your hunting days, that you time it well with the rainy seasons. Winter
evenings can become extremely cold and you might just find a scarf, gloves and layered clothing comes in handy, despite the days being fairly mild.
Remember Africa’s accommodations are not catered towards very cold weather, sealed windows and underfloor heating are replaced with a fireplace and blankets. A waterproof raincoat, hat and jacket are suggested sticking to the same dark colours. Ladies – Game drives can be very bumpy and a good (sports) bra would probably not go amiss.
Africa’s winter and summer sun can be potent and we suggest using odourless sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 20.
Bring insect repellent as the summer evening’s call for insect and in certain areas mosquitoes. If you stay in the Northern parts of Africa during winter time, swim gear will also come in handy. Google Weather is a great friend – check this a week before you fly out!