Packing all the right essentials for your safari involves choosing lightweight clothing that will compactly fit inside a carry-on bag, preferably a duffle bag. Less is more when packing, but you may be worried that you’re not taking enough clothing with you to last the whole trip if you’re only bringing enough to fit inside a carry-on bag.
But what should you do about laundry during your safari adventure?
Rest assured that dirty clothing shouldn’t be an issue because laundry facilities are available at most game reserves and parks throughout southern and eastern Africa.
With this is mind, you should check in beforehand with your particular camp or lodge to inquire about whether or not they offer laundry services so you can plan ahead accordingly. Some camps and lodges may even provide complimentary laundry services to guests. Know ahead of time where you can plan on washing your clothing so you can streamline the whole packing process.
Camps and lodges will usually supply a mesh laundry bag in each room where you can leave your clothes to be washed while you’re out game viewing. These washing and folding services are generally completed within a span of 24 hours, so make sure you time it properly to avoid having to depart from that camp or lodge with wet clothing.
Be advised that the staff may not wash underwear at certain camps and lodges because it goes against local cultural traditions. If such is the case or if your camp doesn’t provide laundry services, you can simply arrange to hand-wash your items in a sink or tub and them hang them to dry where convenient. It wouldn’t hurt to purchase a small package of washing detergent to take with you in case of an emergency.
You should also remember to specify which items of clothing come with a “no iron” or “permanent press” label since some camps use irons heated with hot coals. Certain delicate fabrics can’t handle the high temperatures from these old fashioned irons, so mention this to the staff ahead of time to avoid any problems.