safari 101:
7 Essential items for a game drive

May 18th of 2021

©Photography by Angela Riley

So, you’ve finally decided to take that trip to Africa you've been dreaming of your whole life. Great, but now, what the heck do you take with to the great unknown? Don’t worry about a thing, I’ve got your back. Africa is a beautiful place with so much to offer and a wide variety of things that will blow your mind. But just to make sure your trip goes a whole lot smoother, I've compiled the 7 most important things to take with you on your safari game drives. Trust me, it will be so worth it. Let's get started!

1. A safari hat: I would say that this is the most important item to have on safari. The African sun is definitely not to be messed with. Even during an early morning drive, you can still get burnt. The sun is quite sneaky that way.Make sure to have a wide brimmed hat with you that will cover the whole face. These ones are the best to have. And as a bonus, you get to look like Indiana Jones for the week!

2. Sunblock: Yep.. That sun is a real scorcher! Make sure to use a minimum of SPF 30. If you use anything lower, there’s really no point.

3. Binoculars: These guys will be  your second eyes while out in the bush. When out on a game drive animals can be either very tiny like a blue waxbill (one very beautiful and common bird here at Isambane) or be as big as an elephant but quite far away from the vehicle. This is where the binoculars come in handy. These lovely creations allow for you to still be able to enjoy a sighting of a lion that unfortunately isn’t right next to the vehicle. If you don't have a pair, then not to worry, your guide might be kind enough to allow you to borrow theirs.

4. Warm clothing: Especially for the winter months, it can get quite chilly in the early mornings and after the sun sets. I would recommend a fleece with a windbreaker to wear over, and a cozy beanie to keep your head from freezing. That air can be quite icy when the vehicle is moving.

5. Closed shoes: For a more comfortable bush experience, wearing flat, closed shoes is recommended. It makes life a lot easier when climbing on and off the vehicle... and in case you need to run... I'm just kidding!

6. A zoom lens: Okay, this one is aimed more for the photographers. If you're a keen photographer or you have a camera that can use a zoom lens, then take that along. This is a better option to have to get a great photo of an animal and especially birds!

Lucky number 7, YOUR GUIDE: And finally, please remember to take your field guide along with you. They also like to get out every once in a while. A field guide is what makes whole your safari experience. Sharing knowledge about the natural world and providing you with a safe, once in a lifetime experience of Africa. Your guide is your own personal bush encyclopedia for the duration of your stay, why wouldn't you take them along!?

Angela Riley