We are traveling to Tanzania for a 2 week safari with our extended family. Our two kids are 5 and 7 and we are trying to determine what to pack for the family. For instance, binoculars? One set to share, a pair for everyone?
Any advice on items that may not be absolutely necessary, but will make our trip much better would be greatly appreciated.
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I've been on safari in Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Botswana. There are a few non-essentials that have come in extremely handy for each of these adventures:
Stating the obvious, but don't forget to get your vaccinations and pack a miniature first aid kit. Take wet wipes and/or hand sanitizer as well. Most of all though, take your curiosity, spirit of exploration and a bit of patience for moments in which the wildlife may be elusive. Enjoy!
Binoculars: Yes! Good camera: Yes!
Depending on what style you travel (tent based vs. lodge based) there are of course different things to bring. Wet wipes and hand sanitizer are a good idea anyway.
A few thoughts about malaria are worth to be thought from my experience:
A good mosquito repellend with DEET is important and long shirts and pants+socks are good in the evening to protect against bites and cool nights.
I do not take malaria protection but I do carry a first aid medication to be taken if I do think I have malaria - ask at a local pharmacy, they are true experts.
A good mosquitonet with impregnation (see: http://www.vestergaard.com/our-products/permanet ) is a good idea as sometimes the nets in the accomodations are not of good quality or broken or of poor shape and you touch the net from the inside and get bites anyway.
You can buy the very good Vestergaard mosquito net (WHO-Approved) and the first aid malaria medication at a local pharmacy. That is as common as aspirine and a flue to them. Any doctor in Tanzania will take care of you if you think you might have malaria better then at home because they know exactly what to do.
If you are camping, bring inflatable beds.
If possible, everyone should have their own binoculars. That will keep the kids from fighting over them. Also - check out packforapurpose.org - check your destination to see if any neighboring village schools have any needs or requests. Your lodge will collect them from you and get them into the right hands.