Tanzania Safari Packing List guide for Women

After you book your African safari holiday, you will have to know what to Pack for your Safari. In this article, Tanzania Safari Packing list for women will enlight you on what to pack. It is suitable article for men too because most of items are similar, though we get into more requirments for women.

Planning for a safari in Tanzania is an exciting adventure, but packing appropriately is essential to ensure comfort and readiness for the diverse conditions you’ll encounter.

Before we delve into our Tanzania packing list in detail and look at all the items we recommend bringing, we want to provide some general Tanzania packing tips to bear in mind.

  • Pack light and soft. We can’t stress this enough. The aircraft we will use from the Serengeti to Zanzibar is a small propeller plane and there is a weight limitation.Both guests and luggage need to be weighted to stabilise the plane and carry enough fuel. You are allowed no more than 15kg as luggage (including hand and check in luggage) and ideally, in a soft duffel bag that can be easily fit inside a plane, as opposed to a hard case that is hard to stack. Grab an electronic hand luggage scale which you clip onto the handle of your bag and simply pull upward to reveal the weight to make sure your bags are never overweight again!Overpacking puts the pilot in a difficult situation and on a full flight, it may mean your luggage gets brought in on a later flight. Paying for extra weight is possible but dependent on how full the flight is. Lodges offer laundry service for a nominal fee or complimentary at luxury lodges and you can get your clothes washed, dried and folded overnight, use this service and bring only what you need.

Tanzania Safari Packing List guide for Women


Note: The staff do not wash underwear but can provide detergent for you to do so yourself. We recommend using a wheeled duffel bag so you can more easily carry it around and check the weight of the bag empty, some of these can be really heavy and eat into your allowance.

Below some options.

  • Layer up. The best way to pack for the days on safari is by wearing a few layers of comfortable clothing including short sleeve tshirts, and long sleeve shirts with a collar and a light fleece jacket; even better if it is windproof.Since early morning game drives will be chilly, you can dress warmer as we depart from the lodge and remove layers as the day progresses and the temperatures rise, only to put them back on when the sun sets.Collars are key to keep your neck from sunburn. It’s normal for the weather to increase / decrease by 10C in just a couple of hours so you might get into the car wearing long sleeves, jacket and scarf only to return in a tshirt. Most visitors to Tanzania get caught by surprise by the change in temperatures during the day.
  • There is no “real” dress code on a Tanzania safari. You can pretty much wear anything so there is no need to purchase new clothing. However, a suitable and comfortable outfit is made of three layers: a tank top or short sleeves tshirt, a long sleeve shirt that you can roll up or a thin hoodie tshirt and a zip-up jacket.This is what I always wear in the bush and is a practical combo to stay warm and protected. I then throw on a light scarf for the early mornings and evenings, which can also be useful to cover the side of our faces in case the sun is shinning right on our cheeks while on game drives, and I have the perfect outfit. Comfort should trump style and fancy clothes should be left at home as they’ll be ruined by the sun, repellent, dust combination.
  • Cover up. I recommend wearing long sleeves and long trousers to protect from both the sun and the insects, in particular mosquitoes and tse tse flies whose bites can be extremely painful and go through layers of clothing and even shoes and socks. This is particularly important because you will be in areas where malaria is endemic. Fabrics that protect from the sun (offer SPF protection) are useful since the sun rays are extra strong on the Equator. This way you don’t have to put on any sunscreen.
  • Blend in. I prefer neutral colors which hide the dust and mud and blend in with the surroundings. Avoid the color black, because it attracts mosquitoes. The more you can camouflage, the better.
  • Go natural. Quick dry material, especially that which repels water, is best for clothing in case of rain showers or if you want to do your own laundry. This is useful though not essential. I find that natural fibers such as cotton, denim or linen, are good but will end up quite creased or take long to dry.
  • Be sustainable and environmentally conscious. You will most likely stay in non-permanent lodges in the middle of conservation areas and national parks, and these are fragile eco-systems that need our protection.They are not connected to the electricity grid or to urban centers where waste disposal is handled, so please help out by being extra conscious and avoiding single use plastic, favor chemical-free products and toiletries and be mindful of wasting water when you brush your teeth or take a shower.
  • Close up. Dust gets everywhere while on safari, and I mean it. You’ll be in an open top vehicle for several hours a day and the dust of the bush will get into your bag, your camera lenses, your sunglasses, etc.I recommend packing dusting cloths for items that may need cleaning (glasses, lenses) and bringing a bag that can be zipped closed for valuables that could be damaged by dust and keeping them zipped inside while on safari.
  • Pack valuables and important items in your hand luggage. This is extremely important, especially for those with connecting flights as is the case for most travelers to Tanzania.Make sure that anything of value or that is fragile such as money, all cameras and valuable electronic equipment and batteries (which most airlines require you to pack in your hand luggage anyway), are with you. It is also wise to include a change of clothes, or at least an extra tshirt, underwear, and basic toiletries in your hand luggage in case your bag gets delayed in transit, which happens more often than you think.

What to wear on safari in Tanzania

Tanzania Safari Packing List guide for WomenThe below list have included tips for what to wear, there is no dress code on a Tanzania safari, you can literally wear whatever makes you comfortable enough to sit in a bumpy car for 8 hours a day under the sun, dust and wind.

Your tops on Tanzania safari

As mentioned, we recommend layering up with 3 pieces of clothing: a base layer made of a tank top, a long sleeve shirt or tshirt, and an outer layer light jacket. Remember that most of your day will be spent either in a 4WD open top car or the lodge.

We recommend having 2 or maximum 3 items of clothing for each safari layer and getting them washed at the lodge, plus an additional evening outfit you can wear around the lodge. This should ensure you always have clean clothes to wear and minimize packing.

2-3 x base layer tshirts or tank top

Your base layer is the one closest to your skin and should be comfortable and soft. Bring more of these and fewer of the top layers so you always have fresh base layers even if your top layers get dirty.

Any tshirt or tank top will do, but we particularly love those from Uniqlo. Sports tops are also a good idea. If you are worried about perspiration, it’s good to bring short sleeves.

2-3 x top layer shirts or long sleeve tshirts

This is the most important layer because it is the one you will be wearing most of the day and it is the one which will protect you from the sun and insects. If you splurge on any piece of clothing for this trip, I would suggest you do so on this top layer.

We prefer to wear collared shirts for this layer because they protect my neck from the sun and I can roll the sleeves up if it becomes too hot. Outdoor brands like Colombia, The North Face and Patagonia have specifically designed non-crease, quick dry, cooling shirts that are light and just what you need.

If you don’t like to wear shirts, long sleeve hoodie tshirts are also a good idea. Bonus points for the ones which cover all the way to the back of your hand and maximize your protection from the sun; I wear these in Singapore when I go out running or cycling.

If you prefer not to buy clothing you won’t wear back at home, any long sleeve blouse or tshirt will do, but avoid those in black or white, which will attract mosquitoes or end up pretty dirty.

2 x outer layer fleece jackets

You should bring a light jacket or fleece jacket to wear in the early morning and late evenings. As mentioned, temperatures really do drop quite a bit at night in the parks because of the high altitude above sea level.

I like the loose fitting, fluffy and furry, zip up fleece jackets that also keep my lower back warm when sitting down in the fold up safari chairs by the camp fire.

Zip-up jackets are easier to open when the weather gets hot and many of them come with interior pockets that come in handy to carry lip balm, sunglasses, sun screen and to keep my camera lens cover when taking photographs.

I like the feeling of a soft fleece jacket instead of a proper structured jacket and it is also a much easier item to pack which can easily fit in your day pack or in your luggage, plus it can be the same jacket you wear in the plane, we all know how cold it gets in some cabins!

Pro tip: Pick a jacket that has a collar so that your neck is protected form the sun. Even in the early hours when the sun is coming up, you can get sun burnt without noticing.


Besides your top layers and jackets, we recommend wearing long trousers on safari. Any kind of comfortable pair will work, but the zip up trousers that can be converted from long to short are a good idea because they will be useful to keep you warm in the morning and cool during the day.

As mentioned, you will be sitting in a 4WD car for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours every day, so it is important that you wear comfy pants. If you are comfortable in jeans, they can be a good idea, but the tough fabric can make sitting in a car for an extended period of time quite uncomfortable and they will take longer to dry after washing.

If you already have hiking pants at home, bring them over as they are always useful. Alternatively, yoga leggingscargo pants or any exercise pants are fine, but remember to avoid black and bear in mind that, the thinner the material, the more likely it will be for mosquitoes and tse tse flies to bite through it, and trust me, they will!


We strongly recommend wearing closed-toe, rubber sole shoes such as sneakers with socks so you don’t get bitten by insects (tse tse flies love biting your feet even through sneakers and socks) or end up covered in mud / dust and can easily walk to and from the car and around the lodge.

Contrary to what you may think, there is no need to wear heavy hiking boots or alike because there is no walking involved in the safaris we will be doing in the Serengeti and at Ngorongoro Crater. The safari outfits you see in movies are more for the historical big game hunters who did indeed cross through the jungles and savannah of foot, but we won’t be doing any of that.

Any closed toe comfortable rubber sole shoes that follow the principles of protection and layering will be best. If you have heavy duty hiking boots and want to bring them, we advise that you reconsider; they will be unnecessary, will they take up a lot of space and will eat up a lot of your weight allowance.

You may bring sandals or flip flops for the pool area at the lodges and a pair of casual shoes for when you are at the lodge if you wish to change into clean shoes after rain or mud (though the same shoes you wear on safari are perfectly fine at the lodge).

We love Timberland and Columbia as they are great outdoor brands and their products just last forever. I have a pair of 12 year old Timberland hiking boots I always bring on safari and the brand has been making the same model for at least 2 decades.

Like with clothing, you’ll be better off avoiding black colored shoes, mosquitoes and tse tse flies love bitting your feet and it is not pretty to end up with 20 bites.

What to wear in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is all about beachwear at the resort and conservative, flowy and loose clothing in Stone Town.

On our first day on the island, we will go on an architecture tour of Stone Town. That is, we will walk around the maze-like narrow streets of the town center. We recommend you wear long trousers or a long skirt and cover your shoulders for this part.

While locals are used to visitors wearing shorts, we find it is more respectful to wear long bottoms and a tshirt, instead of a tank top. There is no need to cover your head or dress any more conservatively than this.

While at the beach resort, you are free to wear your bikini or swim suit, shorts, skirts, dresses, cover ups and other beachwear as you would elsewhere. Resort pools are private areas but beaches in Tanzania are public, despite the stretch in front of each resort being primarily used by resort guests.

Resorts provide towels so you don’t have to pack that, but a sarong is always a good idea and can come in pretty handy in various situations, from going down to the pool or beach from your room to getting up from your lounger to order food or drinks. We always have one handy whenever we are traveling to the beach.

In terms of footwear, a pair of flip flops or sandals will come in handy, both at the resort as well as when touring Stone Town. We like Havaianas slim flip flops.

If you plan to book any additional water sports such as windsurfing or snorkelling, you may want to pack a rash guard or rash guard swim suit which will not only protect you from the sun but also keep you safe from scratches from corals or surf boards. I always have a couple of them from O’Neill and Roxy handy.

Don’t forget to bring a tote bag that you can use to go down to the resort pool or beach and a straw hat to protect from the sun. You can of course also use your safari hat.

If you plan to book any water sports, you may want to consider bringing a waterproof dry bag. They can hold your sunscreen, your room key and even your phone if you are, for example, going kayaking.


Tanzania Safari Packing List guide for Women – Other Items

  • Sunscreen: High SPF for strong African sun.
  • Insect Repellent: With DEET to ward off mosquitoes and other insects.
  • Lip Balm: With SPF.
  • Basic Toiletries: Shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
  • Moisturizer: For dry skin due to sun and wind exposure.
  • Feminine Hygiene Products: Pack more than you think you’ll need.
  • Hand Sanitizer and Wet Wipes: For hygiene in the bush.

5. Medications and Health

  • Prescription Medications: Enough for the entire trip, plus a little extra.
  • First Aid Kit: Including band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any personal medical items.
  • Anti-malarial Medication: Consult your doctor for recommendations.
  • Motion Sickness Tablets: If you are prone to car sickness.


6. Travel Documents

  • Passport and Visa: Ensure they are valid and up-to-date.
  • Travel Insurance: Including coverage for medical emergencies.
  • Copies of Important Documents: Passport, insurance, tickets, and itinerary.

7. Money and Electronics

  • Cash and Credit Cards: USD is widely accepted, and credit cards for emergencies.
  • Camera and Extra Batteries/Memory Cards: For capturing wildlife moments.
  • Binoculars: To spot distant animals.
  • Universal Power Adapter: For charging electronics.
  • Portable Charger: For keeping devices powered up during long game drives.


8. Bags and Luggage

  • Duffel Bag or Soft-sided Luggage: Easier to transport in safari vehicles.
  • Daypack: For daily essentials during game drives.
  • Dry Bag: To protect electronics from dust and water.

9. Extras

  • Journal and Pen: To document your safari experiences.
  • Books or E-reader: For leisure time.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: To stay hydrated.
  • Snacks: Protein bars or trail mix for quick energy.

Final Tips

  • Pack Light: Safari vehicles have limited space, and lightweight packing will make your travels easier.
  • Layer Up: The temperature can vary significantly between morning and evening, so layering is key.
  • Neutral Colors: Stick to earth tones to blend in with the environment and avoid attracting insects.

With this packing list, you’ll be well-prepared for your Tanzanian safari, ready to enjoy the breathtaking landscapes and incredible wildlife in comfort and style. Safe travels With Smile With Us Tours in Africa!