SafariCare Bags


SafariCare Bags

Helpful Tips and Suggested Lists

The following tips and lists have been developed to help SCI members get started with the delivery of healthcare and other humanitarian supplies when on safari in remote areas of the world.

Sources for this information include: first-hand reports and photos from SCI members who have already delivered humanitarian aid to people in remote regions of the world, staff and committee interviews with a pharmacist from Africa, Professional Hunters (PH’s) from Africa and South America (at the annual SCI convention) and medical professionals (SCI members) on safari who have observed the lack of healthcare goods and services in remote areas. Please visit and click on Humanitarian Services, then “HS Projects”, and select “SafariCare” to get ideas and see where others have been before you; you can select a particular country or all countries.

Helpful Tips

Discussions with your PH will alert you as to what items are “most appropriate” for the people in the area you will be visiting, supplies available for purchase “in country” and supplies you may have to bring, and update you on any current customs issues. Most PH’s will also be aware of and able to direct you to needy schools, clinics, villages or orphanages in their area.

Chapter and individual SCI members travel to common places for safaris. An ongoing list of targeted needs can be updated. Members can communicate experiences and pass along the information to the next chapter member(s) taking a SafariCare bag. Supplies can be stockpiled or located for future trips. Chapter systems tend to be creative, unique, and effective.

At present, airlines may charge significant fees for “extra” luggage. Most chapters “pass the hat” to cover the baggage costs. Some members are not affected by the additional costs. Other members creatively condense gear or cut back on “nice but not necessary items” and stay within the allowable luggage guidelines. Others convince airline representatives beforehand (with the help of a letter on SCIF stationery which I will provide upon request) of the humanitarian nature of part of the trip, and have the extra fee waived. Better yet, ask your travel agent to intercede with the airlines, as they are usually on a first-name basis with airline employees. And finally, some members pack the empty SafariCare bag in their luggage and purchase supplies upon arrival, and are thus able to provide familiar, reasonably-priced local items. The bag is then filled and taken on safari for distribution. All these methods work. Find what works best for you or your chapter and do it. Just do it!

Recognition: All SCI members are encouraged to take high-resolution photos and keep notes of their SafariCare experiences. Articles can then be developed for news stories in your local community and for publication in the quarterly Humanitarian Services newsletter, Safari Times, Safari magazine and for web posting. Hunters help save hunting when recognized for compassionate deeds – the present day application of our humanitarian heritage.

Please take care when transporting medical supplies on SafariCare missions. Most countries today require them to bear expiration dates no less than one year from date of entry, and many of the medications, ointments and various supplies sent are usually within six months of expiration. If medical supplies or any items with expiration dates must be carried, they should be segregated into one bag so that it may, in fact, be retained in customs and in some cases a duty on the items will be extorted from the hunter. This is a good reason why purchasing items such as medical supplies/ointments, etc., locally once you’re in country can be done safely and cost effectively, and you’ll be helping the local economy.

Remember that you are going to a place where there may or may not be trained medical people, and they may or may not be able to read or understand instruction labels. Some items (non-outdated medicinal supplies) should be dispensed under supervision through established clinics or trained medical people in the village. For example, toothpaste may appear harmless, but some children may think it is candy and become ill from improper use. If misused, the medicines become dangerous.

School supplies and other non-perishable items have no problem going through customs, whether they are in your personal bags, Blue Bags, duffle bags or boxes. They can be considered as gifts, personal items or humanitarian relief supplies. Educational, recreational and basic quality of life items are also welcomed and appreciated.

Please be sure to notify me of any SafariCare mission you or your chapter undertake so that it can be counted in our annual records. It is also important to have an itemized list of every item in each Blue Bag. A copy should be kept by the Chapter and sent to me, and another should be carried by the travelers. If customs happens to call the HS department, I can verify the list with them. This is to protect SCIF-HS from anyone trying to smuggle illegal items in the bag.

SafariCare Bags: Suggested Working Lists of Items

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  • Ibuprofen
  • First Aid Kits/Creams
  • Fungus Infection Creams
  • Eye/Ear Ointments/Cleansers
  • Upset Stomach Medicines
  • Diarrhea Medicines
  • Vitamins
  • Anti-itch Creams
  • Skin Rash Creams (cortisone)
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • Burn Ointments 
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointments
  • Dehydration (salt) Tablets
  • Hydrogen peroxide*/Cotton
  • Toothpaste

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  • Eyeglasses/Reading Glasses
  • Shoes/Socks/Sandals
  • Hats/Caps
  • Shirts/Jackets/T-Shirts
  • Toothbrushes/Floss
  • Trash Bags
  • Water Filters/Purification Straws
  • Needles and Thread
  • Rope/Twine/String
  • Fish Hooks and Line
  • Antibacterial Soaps
  • Adhesive Bandages/Gauze
  • Plastic Bottles/Bowls/Cups
  • Disinfectants
  • Shampoo/Body Wash

[su_column size=”1/3″]

  • School Supplies
  • Maps/Atlases/Dictionaries
  • Pens/Pencils/Paper
  • Sports Equipment 
  • Soccer Balls & Pumps/Needles
  • Mosquito Netting/Repellent
  • Chalk/Small Chalkboards
  • Cloth/Fabric
  • Crayons/Colored Pencils/Markers
  • Coloring/Activity Books
  • Scissors/Rulers 
  • Pins: Straight/Safety
  • Toys/Stuffed Animals 
  • Candy
  • Bandanas


Gathering items has become a rewarding chapter, individual, school or family function with both members and non-members (ask about our “Sponsor a Blue Bag for SCI” program for non-members) rallying to test their networking talents and connections in the community. Before long one bag is filled, then another and another, and so on. Based upon the success of the initial deliveries, more members take more supplies to more places, helping more people.

When on safari in a remote area, you are the only ambassador representing the hunting community. You arrive to hunt native wildlife. The image you leave is dependent upon the impression you make while visiting. SafariCare is one way to leave a wonderful lasting impression. If you have a good experience, you and/or your friends will be returning. The people will remember your generosity.

To borrow or purchase one or more SCIF blue bags, please contact SCI Foundation Humanitarian Services, Karen Crehan, 520/620-1220, Ext. 231;