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
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
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
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
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
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.
LOWA is awesome. Great hikers. I’ve had a pair for years. It’s time I look at the newer models.