Five Essential Items to Pack for Namibia

Luggage Airport

I pack light. It’s rare that something finds its way into my carry-on suitcase that I don’t use during a trip, but there are some things that I couldn’t live without especially in a country like Namibia where buying options are few and far between. A quality camera with a zoom lens, proper footwear, versatility clothing, memory cards, and the right adapter were all necessities during my Namibia adventure. These are the five essential items that I packed for Namibia.

Number Five: Memory Cards  

Canon Memory Card

For the first time since owning a GoPro, I actually used all of the memory on my 32 G card. When it said, “Full”, I was in shock. Thankfully, I had extra memory cards. Additionally, I may not have run out of space on my Canon camera memory card, but I did forget the card in my computer one evening. I didn’t notice until I was with the Himba tribe the next day. If I hadn’t have had an extra card in my bag, I wouldn’t have any photos from my Himba experience.

Number Four: A Quality Camera with a Zoom Lens 

Rock Art, Namibia

My camera is getting older and there are newer models but I use a Canon T2i with a EFS 55-250mm lens. The important thing to note is that many of the animals are far away. If you truly want to capture them up-close-and-personal, you need a zoom lens. I also brought two other lens, my phone (with camera), and a GoPro Hero3+. You’ll be grateful for lots of camera options!

Number Three: South African Round 3 Pin Adapter 

South Africa Adapter 3 Prong

Many “world” adapters say Africa on them but they are not specific for South Africa or Namibia. The 15 amp grounded adapter plug type “E” is for use in South Africa, Namibia, and India. I can’t imagine much worse in the way of technology than not having an adapter. Some hotels are gracious enough to lend one, but I wouldn’t want to chance it.

 Number Two: Universal Clothing 

Namibia Adventure Clothing

It would be impossible to tell you all of the clothing you’ll need for Namibia but one article of clothing that really stood out for me was my Prana Monarch Convertible pants with zip-off legs and comfortable stretch. It’s winter in Namibia now and the mornings were cold, especially when riding on the back of an open-air jeep. When the temperature warmed up, I just zipped off the legs and wore the shorts. I had shorts and pants and they took up minimal space. After wearing them a few times, I washed them out in the sink and the material is so light-weight that they were dry by morning. There are tons of name brand choices for convertible pants, but prAna seem to be the most travel friendly.

Number One: Proper Footwear

Ferrox-GTX Trail Shoe from LOWA

The right shoes are a must for an African safari or any trekking in Namibia. We spent as much time hiking as me did riding in the jeeps and I wanted my feet protected yet cool. I brought my Ferrox GTX lightweight trail shoe and didn’t need anything else for the entire trip. They are ultra lightweight, comfortable, and have a super stable trail platform. Both waterproof and breathable, they never left my feet until it was time for bed. LOWA have been in the business for more than 90 years and they are the only outdoor boot manufacturer to be granted ISO 9001 status for highest quality construction & process standards. If anyone is going to get hiking shoes right, it’s them.

My trip to Namibia went off without a hitch. I felt prepared and never lacking in travel gear. I always wish that I had ten cameras on the trip, but my Canon and zoom lens were definitely safari worthy. They wouldn’t be much good to me, however, without a large memory card or the proper adapter to charge them. Similarly, if I wasn’t dressed properly during the cold mornings or if my feet weren’t comfortable on the hikes, I would have been focused on other things rather than my surroundings.  During my trip, there were lots of things I used and wanted, but I would have been lost without these essential items.

What makes the cut in your suitcase when traveling?

47 thoughts on “Five Essential Items to Pack for Namibia

    • I only bring a carry-on so I don’t think I could bring an army knife but duct tape is usually in my bag too. I forgot it during this trip and there were two occasions that it would have come in handy. Good point 🙂


      • I have purchased a small inexpensive one more than once for long trips once I’ve reached the destiantion just becuase of this! I hate being without one.

        Loved your safari posts and I will be buying a second SD card AND extra batteries soon!


  1. Hmmmm… More SD (or CF) cards with smaller memory. If a 32 gig card breaks, you’ve lost 32 gigs worth of pictures. And, they do break. Especially if you use one or two all of the time. I don’t know what computers you travel with, but a portable hard drive is essential. Back up everything at least once whether you look at the pictures or not on site. Two, for you this might not matter because you travel frequently, but use every piece of gear you are packing including your shoes well before you travel. Make sure you know how they will act and react. As far as lenses go, less is more. Those all purpose 55-250 or 18-300s are cheaply made and show it in the results. The first time you spend some serious money on a better lens, you’ll see the difference. If I were being a travel photographer, I’d switch to mirror less bodies today. Oh wait. I already did. 🙂 My other side of my life is music. Headphones are essential, not ear buds. They, like my photo gear and certain musical gear goes onboard with us everywhere. I guess we are lazy, we don’t like schlepping bags around the airport so I don’t worry about fitting everything into one bag and as a practical consideration luggage walks away. Better to have important stuff in more than one place.


  2. As a writer, for me it’s a small notepad and smooth flowing pen. The notepad must be spiral bound so I can flip it and the paper lays flat. We can record interviews on our mobile phone these days so that saves on an extra gadget I used to bring. Another must for me ~ and it’s not an indulgence ~ is my own pillow & case or I can’t sleep. I’ve been known to carry my pillow under an arm if it doesn’t fit in my luggage!


  3. Pingback: My Article Read (6-23_2014) | My Daily Musing

  4. I just blogged the other day about my “perfect carry-on”! I feel like I really love scarves just because I get so cold in places but I don’t want to lug around jackets and sweaters! Also, Aquaphor is huge for me! Such a great overall beauty product but it is by far my favorite lip balm!


  5. I’m terrible at packing, in my defence though I don’t travel far enough to guarantee weather. I holiday at a caravan park 2 and a half hours away from home. Wales (my home country) is knows for having wet weather om and off not matter what the season so when I pack I pack for hot, cold and wet weather. Plus when you have a little one like I do you can never have enough clothing!
    However, if I had to pick five things i’d go with;
    1) my phone.
    2) my camera.
    3) all necessary electrical chargers.
    4) pain killers
    5) hairbrush.
    Thinking about it, I’ve probably just listed 90% of my handbag contents. Maybe in the future I’ll just pack my handbag instead of getting worked up worrying if I’ve packed them all!
    Thanks for hitting the like button on some of my blog posts!
    I appriciate you taking the time to read them 🙂


  6. Great advice. Am off to africa for the best part of a year.
    Have to be honest I’m too image conscious to wear zip off pants.
    I have been pontificating about camera lenses. I have a fuji x100 – i.e. fixed lens, fully manual, which is superb especially for street photography. However, in the event that I do go on safari (which is more than likely), I agree with you that a good zoom lens is essential. However, not that keen on lugging around a DSLR. anyone have any views about a hybrid zoom camera that is small, light, cheap but produces decent quality images?


  7. A few Ziploc plastic bags, both qt and gallon (small bag holds a few baby wipes). A corkscrew. A cashmere pashmina (in winter) or rayon blend (in summer) to use as a scarf, sarong and blanket. And a good pair of light hiking shoes that can double as street shoes (I like LOWAs too -they have a supportive feel so long days of walking on cobblestones or hiking don’t kill my feet.)


  8. Great post…been thinking about exploring more of Africa and South America in the future but somewhat concerned (probably misplaced) about hygiene and safety. Very much interested in an African safari for future adventures. Thanks for the suggestions on hiking shoes…been looking at getting a dedicated hiking shoe instead of “settling” for our running shoes for hikes.

    By the way, I am also looking at getting a DSLR and pretty much narrowed my choices to a Canon T4i or T5i and possibly a Nikon D5200…love the articulating/vari-angle screen option. Which lenses do you use for your longest zoom? I like my current Canon SX50 HS (with 50x optical zoom) but would like to step up to a “true” DSLR.

    Oh yeah, for additional items, we always pack Imodium or Pepto just in case. Better to have and not need…than to need and not have.


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