GENERAL TIPS:

Before getting into the specifics of what to take on your epic Africa adventure, here are a few packing tips to keep in mind:

  • When it comes to packing your clothes, keep in mind that most African nations are still quite conservative in the way they dress. We absolutely encourage you to be respectful of the local culture and people whose home you’re travelling through, and bring longer bottoms along (girls, generally down to the knee is best), and cover up cleavage. If you’re sticking to major cities you’ll probably find this is slightly more relaxed.
  • Don’t pack your best clothes. The days can be hot, the roads long and dusty, and try as hard as you might, you’ll just always seem to end up covered in sweat and dust that doesn’t seem to budge. Opt for casual, comfortable basics you can afford to part with if need be.
  • That said, always have one ‘nice’, clean outfit ready to pull out of your bag. Locals take a lot of pride in their appearance, and showing up to a restaurant, bar, or someone’s house looking grubby or overly casual is a sign of disrespect.
  • Pack soft, comfortable jeans that will dry quickly. Alternatively, loose-fitting cotton or linen pants (like elephant pants) are the perfect option.
  • Layers upon layers upon layers. Temperatures across Africa fluctuate greatly, even day-to-day. Mornings and evenings can get down to freezing (yes, really), while days can be hot and sunny. Pack, and dress, in a way that you can throw on more layers as the mercury drops and strip off as the heat of the day begins to take over.
  • Less is more. This is one place you don’t want to overpack for. Leave the full wardrobe at home and bring enough lightweight, breathable clothing that packs down small for 4-5 days and just wash them (you’ll always be able to find somewhere to wash your clothes regularly).

THE TRAVEL ESSENTIALS:

  • TRAVEL INSURANCE – Travel insurance is as essential to travel as buying a plane ticket, backpack or accommodation.
  • REUSABLE WATER CANTEEN
  • A HEADLAMP
  • LIP BALM – Always keep one on you to protect against the dry African air, the wind in your face on safari, and the insane amount of dust during dry season. One with SPF is even better!
  • SUNSCREEN – Pack a decent sunscreen (minimum SPF 30, but ideally SPF 50), and keep your skin healthy and burn-free.
  • SUNGLASSES
  • FIRST AID KIT – Either make one up yourself, or us for pharmaceutical advice

THE ESSENTIAL ACCESSORIES:

  • A SUN HAT
  • A BEANIE – Again, this depends on the time of year you’re visiting. Summer trips will absolutely not need these, but in winter you’ll want one for the chilly evenings and mornings in the safari truck.
  • YOUR ‘UNDERCLOTHES’
  • SWIMWEAR
  • TOILETRIES

CAMERA GEAR:

The landscapes are epic, the animals are insanely cool, and there’s plenty you’re going to want to take photos of while you’re travelling through Africa.

Camera, lenses, lots of SD cards, SD Card-holder, spare batteries, lens cleaning kit, dust- waterproof bag to store your camera in.

THE CLOTHES:
When it comes to what clothes to pack for Africa, focus on lightweight, breathable fabrics that are quick-drying and can be washed easily by hand. Also, as tempting as it is to pack your super cute outfits, this is a place where a fine layer of dust seems to eternally cover everything. Except for the key essentials, like a warm down jacket, bring the clothes you don’t care too much about and could happily wear with the intention of destroying them.

  • SHOES – After the essentials above, a sturdy pair of shoes is super important for protecting your feet on your Africa travels, particularly if you’re planning to go hiking, head out on safari (particularly a walking safari!). They’ll keep your feet dust-free and safe against potential nasties, like snakes or scorpions.
  • AROUND THE CAMP SHOES / FLIP FLOPS – These are a godsend when you just want to chill out in your safari camp without having to stomp around in heavy boots. We’d recommend a trusty pair of light sneakers and pair of flip flops.
  • LIGHT COTTON T-SHIRTS – Avoid super bright colours (especially for safaris), blue (it attracts TseTse flies), and also bear in mind that white is likely to become insanely dirty, very quickly. Neutral colours are perfect, and you’ll practically live in these so take 3-4.
  • LONG SLEEVED SHIRT – A long sleeved linen or cotton button up shirt can be the perfect cover up for those times when you need something a little more respectful, or to protect against those pesky mosquitoes (and the cold!) at night.
  • HIKING PANTS AND/OR JEANS – This one comes down to personal preference; lots of people prefer to take light long hiking pants with them and we’ve listed our recommendations for these below.
  • SHORTS – Lightweight, breathable sport shorts are perfect for outdoor activities like rafting or hiking, while a casual pair will see you through the rest of the time.
  • A WOOLEN JUMPER OR FLEECE – This obviously depends on the time of year you’re travelling to Africa, but in winter the nights are honestly bitterly cold. This is particularly true around the desert areas, where the temperature plummets to about 0 degrees as soon as the sun sets. Pack at least one decent woolen jumper or fleece to keep you snug.
  • WARM JACKET – We can’t emphasise the need to have warm clothes with you for evenings enough! We always take our down jackets because they’re super lightweight, very warm, and pack down easily in a little compression sack.
  • RAIN JACKET – If you are traveling during the rainy season, you definitely won’t want to be without a rain jacket. Lightweight and waterproof.