Kenya is undoubtedly one of the most authentic safari destinations in the world. With spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities, lush mountain ranges and beautiful coastlines, there’s many different activities that you can get up to when visiting Kenya.
The different parts of the country each offer a unique experience and can also wildly vary in climate. Before putting your packing list for Kenya together, you’ll need to know where you’ll be staying and what activities you’ll be getting up to.
Our Kenya packing list will give you everything you need to know for a trip to Kenya.
Packing for the weather in Kenya
One of the most important factors that you must consider before you begin creating your Kenya packing list, is the weather. Kenya is home to several climates that will both surprise and delight you.
Figuring out what to wear on safari in Kenya will, therefore, depend on the time of year that you decide to visit this incredible destination. The dry season usually runs from about mid-December to March. The rainy season typically begins in late April and goes through until early August.
That being said, travellers will often be treated to a pleasant tropical climate throughout most of the year. You can expect sunny days and cooler nights, which are perfect for your Kenyan experience.
What to wear on safari in Kenya
We’ve got a few tips for you below, but also make sure to check out our full guide on what to wear on safari in Southern Africa for more details.
Layering is crucial
The weather in Kenya can change in a matter of minutes. Adding clothing that can be layered to your Kenya packing list will help you adjust to the fluctuating temperatures. As the Kenyan sun peeks out, you can remove a few layers and put them back on as the evenings begin to cool down.
As any smart traveller will tell you, packing light is crucial. Therefore, we suggest adding multipurpose clothing and footwear to your Kenya safari packing list. Adding functional hiking shoes to your luggage will serve you well as they can be worn everywhere you go.
Just make sure that they provide you with adequate ankle support, especially given the fact that the terrain can be rather rocky and uneven.
Don’t forget to wear the shoes a couple of times before you leave for Kenya, to make sure that you break them in properly!
When it comes to figuring out what to pack for Kenya, you will definitely need a raincoat. This will keep you nice and dry whilst you make your way through the beautiful country.
Kenya has been blessed with incredible sunshine, which is why we suggest investing in a good sun hat or cap. Whether you’re out on a Masai Mara safari or heading to the Kenyan beaches, your hat will be a staple item during your trip.
We suggest packing a wide-brimmed hat that will give you the most sun protection. Here are a few options:
- This waterproof and breathable wide brim bucket hat is a sturdy and durable option, great for game drives, hikes or fishing.
- This wide brim hat offers additional neck coverage, also great for game drives, hikes, or fishing.
- You can also opt for a simple baseball cap.
While many people see sunglasses as a fun safari accessory, sunglasses are actually an important part of any Kenya packing list. Opting for UV-ray protective sunglasses will keep you from squinting your way through the day and keep your eyes protected.
Adding a cross bag to your Kenya packing list will help you keep all of your belongings close to you while travelling. They’re great to take with you on safari drives or while walking through the city streets.
Swimming is probably not the first thing that springs to mind when you think about what to pack for Kenya. However, whether you’re lounging by the pool at your lodge, taking a splash in one of the local waterfalls or relaxing on the beach, swimwear is essential.
Packing list for Kenya: Toiletries
Wet wipes and hand sanitizer
When it comes to figuring out what to pack for Kenya you can’t forget about adding wet wipes and sanitizers to your list.
Major cities will definitely sell them but when it comes to more remote parts of the country, you will most likely experience a shortage of stores that supply them. Adding wet wipes and sanitizer to your luggage will help keep you fresh and clean while out in the bush.
When you are thinking of what to wear on safari in Kenya, make sure that it’s not just clothing that you’re wearing. You need to be adequately lathered in sunscreen too. Opt for a high SPF waterproof sunscreen that will protect your skin.
Bug and insect repellent
Kenya is home to exceptional wildlife … and bug life too. The country has been known for its plethora of insects including malaria-causing mosquitoes and tsetse flies. Adding bug and mosquito repellent creams and sprays will help keep the bugs at bay!
Packing list for Kenya: Medication
Your Kenya packing list is incomplete if you do not have a dedicated section for all of your vaccines and medication. Before you even book your seat on the plane, make sure that you get all of the recommended medication beforehand. One of which will be your Yellow Fever vaccination.
You will also need to add anti-malaria medication to your Kenya safari packing list. While the larger cities of Kenya will have the option of purchasing over-the-counter medication, some for the rural areas and game reserves don’t have this option.
We advise stocking up on all the necessary items before you leave for your Kenyan adventure!
First aid kit
Safety first! Adding a well-equipped first aid kit to your luggage is an absolute essential, especially if you plan on taking part in adventurous excursions. However, even if you plan on taking a more leisurely trip, accidents do happen so it’s best to stay prepared.
Packing list for Kenya: Equipment & Electronics
We suggest investing in a high-quality camera that will be able to capture Kenya in all of its beauty whilst still helping you immortalise all of those unforgettable memories. Don’t forget your extra memory cards too!
Make sure to read our blog on the Ultimate Guide to Wildlife Photography!
Adding a universal plug adapter to your Kenya safari packing list is an absolute must, especially if you have any layovers in destinations that use a different type of plug. A universal travel adapter is best.
This is without a doubt one of the most essential gadgets that you will have in your suitcase. No one wants to be in a situation where they have no battery life. Make sure that you can charge your electronics whilst you’re on the move by purchasing a portable charger. A solar-powered one is also a great option.
Spotting the Big Five is a lot easier when you get to see them up close, which is why binoculars definitely deserve a spot on your packing list for Kenya. Not only is it great for safaris, but also for hiking and all of the amazing birdwatching opportunities that Kenya has to offer.
Remember to add a torch to your packing list for Kenya safari! This will ensure that regardless of where you are in the country you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you have your own source of light. Your flashlight will also prove very helpful for evening game drives too!
Kenya is a nature-blessed country that promises to offer you memories that you will savour for a lifetime. All you need to do is make sure that you add our suggestions to your Kenyan packing list, and you are officially ready to embark on one of your greatest adventures yet!