Traveling to Africa has been a life-long dream of mine and in about two days (if the stand-by gods are smiling down upon me) I will arrive in Johannesburg. This is a very ambitious trip for flying stand-by—11 hours to Frankfurt with a 5-hour layover, 10.5 hours to Johannesburg with a 3-hour layover and then another hour to Hoedspruit that is somewhere in the Kruger Game Reserve. A good friend remarked, “That is a long time in coach!”– Indeed!
“Airplane travel is nature’s way of making you look like your passport picture.” Al Gore
Traveling on standby requires that I take only one carry-on bag (22”-14”-9”) and one purse. I have made countless trips with just the one carry on and I can testify that taking less makes for a greater traveling experience.
“I travel light. I think the most important thing is to be in a good mood and enjoy life wherever you are.” Diane von Furstenburg
Since I am packing for my two-week journey in a minimalist fashion I did some research. This is what I found out about my destination in Africa;
-May through July is winter in South Africa which means not only cooler temperatures in the evenings but also it marks the beginning of the dry season. Temperatures in the evenings can be in the 40s and the days could reach the low 80s! Layering is essential!
-On safari you want to blend in with the environment so think neutrals with like grey, tan, brown,olive green and khaki. White can invite insect life to feast. Stay away from wearing black during the hot days as black attracts the heat.
-Closed toed athletic shoes with a moisture wicking sock are preferable to your Birkenstocks or Teva’s during your safari. If you’re just hanging out at your lodge almost anything but heels will do.
-No formal wear required! It is just that kind of trip.
-You will most likely be in direct sunlight on your safari. Remember May through September are dry months. This weather is better for spotting game but protect yourself from the sun with glasses, hats and creams that protect against UV rays.
-Pants are better than shorts and long sleeve tops are better than tank tops when traveling on Safari.
-Pockets, pockets, pockets. Make sure you wear clothing with extra pockets to carry bug-spray, sunblock, camera, battery charger, binoculars and lip balm.
-Check your accommodations for your safari before you plan what to pack. Inquire about laundry facilities and whether or not there is a pool since you will want to bring a bathing suit. A lot of safaris provide insect repellent but it is not a bad idea to bring your own!
Eat well, laugh a lot and be chic!