PACKED LIVES

Henrietta Lloyd co-runs a specialist safari company. This is what she takes to Africa (including a book to deter unwelcome men)
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The Independent Online
A 12g bag is your allowance on safari camp planes. I pack the same things for my two or three annual Africa trips - three pairs of khaki shorts, T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, two pairs of cotton trousers, two sweatshirts.The early morning wind-chill factor in open Land-Rovers is numbing so I add thermals, sweater, warm socks, scarf, gloves and, for the rainy season, a kagool-style raincoat that folds up to nothing.

My rule is never take anything smart, expensive or fitting. Camp laundries tend to rub fabrics to threads. It is impossible to pack things flat in my Kipling bag, even padded by socks and underclothes: but non-crease synthetics are too hot. Cottons washed and well ironed many times seem to travel best.

A couple of Kenyan kikoi sarongs are multi-purpose space savers acting as nighties, beachwear, cover-ups for going to camp loos, and anti-sun turbans. I hate hats and prefer a sun visor. A huge blue spotted hankie is another heat aid - tied round the neck or to mop the brow.

Flip-flops are needed around camp and Docksider leather boat shoes are cool and comfortable plus Timberland ankle-covering lace-ups for walking or riding. Anything non-leather gets too hot.

I travel out in heavier items such as jeans, boots and jacket. Preferring a pack to pockets on the move, I take a rucksack with bulkier items - cameras, notebooks, bird books, phone book, business cards and a novel that acts as my friend when eating alone in restaurants. It can deter unwanted advances.

A small pocket camera for prints is taken, plus a zoom-lensed camera for slides. I don't take my husband on working trips but carry his and family photos everywhere. The panic-if-I-don't-remember-it items are binoculars, two pairs of sunglasses and a big torch. Medicines include Imodium for upset stomach, citronella oils against mosquitoes and insect bite cream.

Shampoo combined with body wash is ideal for bush showers. I wear high factor sun protection and at night lots of moisturiser and apres-sun cream. Safety pins save face when clothes split and buttons go missing; plastic bags to wrap sponge bags - I've had too many burst shampoo bottles on my travels. A dozen biros, pads of paper and sweets for gifts to children; buttermints are throat soothing on long game drives.

I never take an alarm clock. In the camp you are always woken at dawn by the birds and boy bringing tea.

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