Six treasures for any safari suitcase

Six treasures to include in your suitcase that will make safari more enjoyable.

1. Extra toothbrushes. The water’s bad – really bad – even just a drop can create havoc. It’s easy to lapse into that unconscious habit of rinsing your toothbrush under the faucet even with bottled water perched on the sink. No telling what kind of bug is hidden in those bristles or how long it wants to stay, so cut out the guess work, save your gut, and bring as many extra brushes as you want since there’s no guarantee replacements will be available in the bush.

2. Wipes of any kind are a blessing, be it Lysol wipes, baby wipes, Neutrogena’s makeup wipes or Cottonelle. They’re great for cleaning toilet seats – if you find one, or washing sunglasses specked with mud from mud flinging baby elephants or wiping dust off everything you brought.                                                                      

3. Whatever I pack, I bag it. If it’s not rainy season, dust will sift through suitcases in no time, so zip lock plastic bags in a variety of sizes work wonderfully. They’re also great for encasing dung encrusted shoes courtesy of any village visit, damp laundry, snacks and camera gear.                                                               

4. Collapsible, small duffel bag of the inexpensive, nylon kind. Mega-suitcases or too many bags don’t belong on safari, which took me forever to figure out. Whatever the mode of transportation, weight and size limits apply, which means shuffling bags around in Nairobi.

My modus operandi: I put contents of my carryon that I will need on safari in the duffel bag, clothes I choose to take on safari go in the carryon, then I store the big suitcase in hotel storage. The duffel and carryon are within size and weight limits.

5. Flip flops. There’s nothing worse stepping on some mysterious object during the night and wondering if your tetanus booster is current, or stepping onto a shower floor that appears – well questionable.

6. Snacks. For me it’s all about Pringles, Mother’s iced oatmeal raisin cookies and sugar wafers. By the time we are midway through safari I start to crave salt and fat, and these are the only snacks that satisfy those cravings. Some snacks are available at the local grocery but don’t count on it plus they may taste different. So, whatever your preference make sure you pack it!

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