Packing the right safari gear is almost as important as picking the right safari
The LED Lenser safari flashlight provides more than 500 meters of light
The MCM Small Duke backpack can protect your belongings from heat and sand
Heading off to spot the Big Five?
Sometimes the hunting begins long before the trip, with the search for perfect safari accessories.
To help lay the groundwork, we’ve tracked down some of the most luxurious safari gear around.
Swarovski Optik CL Companion Africa
A pair of Swarovski binoculars might seem like a heavy investment, but they deliver in terms of quality.
The CL Companion Africa binoculars, which went on sale in October, have been designed especially for big game spotters.
They’re lightweight, weighing just 500 grams, have an extremely robust housing designed to provide protection from sand and come in a waxed canvas bag inspired by the colors of Africa.
Swarovski Optik, from $1,605
Valentino Rome safari silk chiffon scarf
Looking for a way to ward off that brutal desert wind or simply on the hunt for a pre-safari gift for a loved one?
This beautiful safari-print scarf can’t fail to impress.
And the best bit?
If the all-important Big Five don’t put in an appearance, you can just admire the wildlife on the scarf.
Smythson Mara Collection travel backgammon set
A safari wouldn’t be a safari without a game of backgammon as the sun goes down – Smythson’s Mara backgammon set has been designed with this in mind.
It rolls up, so it can be stashed inside the smallest of bags, and has a zipped pocked in which the chips are stored.
There’s also a calf leather and luxurious nubuck lining to soften the blow in case of defeat.
MCM Small Duke backpack
This backpack was inspired by Duke Adolf Friedrich, the German explorer who spent years in Africa.
The coated canvas means it’s more than capable of protecting belongings from heat, sand and animal attacks (OK, maybe not the latter) and there are internal pockets designed to hold tablets and laptops.
It comes with its own dust bag, although we’re assuming this isn’t intended to be a permanent fixture.
MORE: Africa’s most luxurious safaris
Tateossian round compass cufflinks
Anyone heading to a swanky safari camp should avoid making the mistake of thinking there won’t be a dress code – those sand-blasted khakis have no place at pre-dinner cocktail hour.
These safari-inspired cufflinks add a splash of style to the proceedings.
Renaissance Art leather sketchbook
This quality sketchbook has a sturdy leather cover and can be fully customized.
The drawstring tie might not be overly practical for protecting scribblings – sorry, masterpieces – from the elements, but the stress of getting sand on sketches might just bring out the tortured artist that many of us secretly yearn to be.
Renaissance Art, $139.95
Sailor African Elephant Maki-e limited edition fountain pen
For penning “wish you were here” postcards to loved ones or ticking off sightings of the Big Five, this elephant-adorned pen should be up to the task.
The hand-decorated writing instruments even come with their own pots of ink for authenticity.
Whether anyone would want to dirty up the 21 karat gold nib and 24 karat gold plating is another matter.
Pen Boutique, $1,596
MORE: 11 amazing African air safaris
J. W. Hulme & Co. rolling duffle bag
Choosing a safari suitcase can be tricky.
Turning up with a hard-sided rolling suitcase will instantly mark out first timers as novices, but a soft-sided weathered leather creation suggests they’re trying too hard.
This bag from J. W. Hulme strikes a reasonable balance – it’s large enough to carry a substantial safari kit and the rugged wheels come in handy when it comes to airport stopovers.
J. W. Hulme & Co., $2,695
Betsey Johnson silver-tone zebra pave flask
A post-safari sundowner is an important aspect of a trip to Africa, and this stylish flask keeps drinks icy cool, although it’s worth bearing in mind that if gets dropped anywhere near a zeal of zebra (that’s the collective noun for these striped beasts), the chances of finding it are slim.
ATN Night Scout VX-WPT binoculars
Not all safari creatures are obliging enough to come out during daylight hours.
For investigating mysterious noises at night, or tracking big beasts as the light begins to fade, a pair of night-vision binoculars come in handy.
ATN Night Scout VC-WPT binocs claim to offer greater depth of field than many night scopes, along with a wide viewing angle and water-resistant housing.
ATN Corp $3,099
LED Lenser X21.2 safari flashlight
For those on the lookout for creepy crawlies or simply on a midnight dash to the toilet without night-vision binoculars in hand, this flashlight shows the way.
It weighs just 1.4 kilograms but provides more than 500 meters (1,649 feet) of extremely bright light.
Those that need further convincing might be interested to know that the Discovery Channel’s Steve Backshall is a fan of the brand.
“This would be a very welcome addition to my filming kit,” says Backshall. “We do loads of night spotlight filming which this would really help with.”
The Safari Store, $399