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The best way to enjoy wild animals is to see them in their natural habitat, and when that natural habitat happens to be the gorgeous landscapes of Africa, a safari is really a no-brainer. But a safari is no walk in the park and going well prepared is essential.
For starters, opt out of wearing bright colors—go for neutrals such as beige, olive green, ivory, taupe, and brown. While you could wear shorts and a t-shirt, a long-sleeve shirt and trousers are a much better choice that will protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays, insect bites, and mosquito-borne illnesses. Consider clothes from lightweight, moisture-wicking materials that will keep your body cool. If you have the willpower to wake up for an early safari while you are on vacation (we are talking 5 am early) or are visiting in the wintertime, then bring a waterproof jacket with you as well.
Another essential are binoculars that are compact and lightweight and appropriate for use in rugged environments (think dust- and water-resistant). And of course, don’t forget your camera.
Here, we broke down the most important items to bring with you on a safari.
Nikon Monarch 7
Nikon’s Monarch 7 delivers clear and bright images. The wide-angle lenses are coated with a color- and contrast-enhancing layer for a sharp viewing experience even when the weather conditions are bad. And speaking of conditions, the Nikon Monarch 7 is also water and fog-proof.
To buy: $500, nikonsportoptics.com
Patagonia Men's Long-sleeved Sol Patrol II Shirt
Made from lightweight and fast-drying polyester, this long-sleeved shirt features a stand-up collar, mesh panels at the back, arms and sides for ventilation, and fabric tabs that secure the rolled-up sleeves.
To buy: $79, patagonia.com
Fjallraven Abisko Lite Trekking Trousers
These are the perfect outdoor trousers for hot and humid conditions. They are made from stretchy, lightweight and fast-drying fabric and have ventilation zippers from the hips to the knees. The legs have strap adjustments that will prevent any insects from biting you.
To buy: $170, fjallraven.com
Smart Wool PhD Pro Mountaineer Socks
Protect your legs from mosquitoes and other bugs with these extra high socks. They feature ventilation zones and light cushioning for maximum comfort.
To buy: $36, smartwool.com
Barbour Orel Waterresistant Waxed Cotton Jacket
This utility jacket dons a slightly boxy cut so you can wear layers underneath it. It is water-resistant and features four patch pockets where you can store your essentials.
To buy: $49, nordstrom.com
Samuel Hubbard Mt. Tam Hiking Boot
These lace-up ankle-high hiking boots are made from full-grain leather and feature a memory foam footbed for all-day comfort.
To buy: $295, nordstrom.com
Gucci 56 mm Aviator Sunglasses
Gucci’s aviator sunglasses sport adjustable nose pads and lenses that deliver 100 percent UV protection.
To buy: $520, nordstrom.com
Connor Aztec Boater Recycled Hat
This packable hat is made from approximately five recycled plastic bottles and the fabric delivers 50+ UV protection. It features a ventilation panel and it even has a secret pocket on the inside.
To buy: $52, connerhats.com
Leica M-10 P Limited Edition “Safari” Body
Earlier this year, Leica launched a limited edition (there are only 1,500 units available) M-10 P camera and Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 lens in olive green enamel finish, a sturdy material that the company originally created for military use. With ISO sensitivity range of 100 to 50,000, you will be able to capture beautiful photos even in low-light conditions. The camera allows you to take up to 5 frames per second, which makes it perfect for capturing fast moving wildlife. It also features WiFi so you can easily download the images to your smartphone or control the camera’s shutter via an app.
To buy: $8,450 (body only), bhphotovideo.com
Ultrathon UltraThon Insect Repellent
Formulated with DEET, which the World Health Organization recommends as most effective, this insect repellent lotion provides protection against mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects. The waterproof, time-release formula means you are protected for up to 12 hours per application.
To buy: $11, rei.com