Packing in a couple of wildlife shirts for your safari not only makes practical sense but if you buy them from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) you are making a contribution to preserving the very animals and habitats you will experience on your African trip.
African safari reserves and the amazing endangered animals that inhabit them, like the rhino, elephant, gorilla and chimpanzee are coming under increased pressure from human encroachment all around them.
The only way to save them is through sound conservation practises, the kind that the WWF has been supporting for many years. The very fact that there are still areas in Africa to go on safari in is testament to efforts of conservationists in those countries to preserve the habitats and wildlife in them.
If it wasn't for them, there wouldn't be anything left to see on safari, all swallowed up by human settlement and cultivation.
We owe the past protectors of these areas an eternal debt of gratitude because they made it possible for us to still experience these animals in their own habitat, and not only in zoo's and reference books.
But the present conservationists also need a lot of help and support and you can do your bit by buying your wildlife shirts from WWF and wearing them with pride on your safari, knowing that your contribution will go towards saving the very animals you are seeing on your trip.
WWF pledge that 85 cents on the dollar of everything that you spend on the wildlife shirts goes towards conservation so you can be assured that your money is being used constructively.
The wildlife shirts are handy to have on your safari as you can use them as your first layer of clothing on cold mornings and chilly evenings. Also useful for casual wear around the camp when you get back from your morning or afternoon drive.
Once you are in Africa you can also make contributions which will impact the people directly in that area. Schools always welcome pens and paper and the added advantage is that they are light for you to transport in your luggage. Another idea is to donate a deflated soccer ball (football) with a small hand pump to inflate it.
Whatever you decide to give, please don't give it directly to the people in the area as that creates a culture of dependence and entitlement. Rather work through the safari operator, school or church in the area as they know what and where the needs are and can distribute your contribution accordingly.