Travelling Africa: What to Pack

Africa can be a mesmerizing place; its exotic lands and people promise an unparalleled adventure. The African culture is extremely rich, so you will not have a dull moment when exploring the cities or even hiking and going on safari trips. However, like any travel destination, it does not hurt to be prepared. Many think that packing a few light outfits when heading to Africa is the way to go, but you need a lot of other essentials to make sure your trip goes off without a hitch. So, if you want to explore the African continent in all its glory, but do not know what to pack, you have come to the right place. We have compiled a list of all the essentials you might need on your trip.

Suitcase or Tactical Backpack

There is no way around this; you will probably pack copious things to be sure you are well prepared for unseen circumstances. Generally, you need a big suitcase that can carry all your items and have some extra space in case you buy a few things at your destination. Opt for one that does not feel heavy when empty, so you can easily handle it at the airport. Alternatively, experts at point out that you can go for a top-notch tactical backpack, which is mainly used for hiking trips, thanks to its big volume. Nonetheless, they warn against buying any brand without checking its specifications and reviews first to make sure it can handle the trip. As a rule of thumb, you need at least 30L of volume and some MOLLE wrap for quick access to necessities.

Health Essentials 

Even though Africa has a rich heritage, it is still sadly riddled with many illnesses, and its health conditions are arguably not the best. So, to prevent anything from going south, you need to be fully prepared by taking into consideration the next couple of points.

  • Water: Although it can be tempting to drink tap water, you have to know that it does not go through a proper purification process in Africa, which is the reason why many locals drink bottled water instead. Thus, if you are not a fan of non-biodegradable plastic, you can choose a filtered water bottle instead. It will help keep your water clean and is economical compared to bottled water. Moreover, you can buy some water purification tablets for a quick solution that can prevent waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera. 
  • Food: This applies to any travel destination you have in mind, not just Africa. Because the quality of food abroad can be often dubious, you need to be prepared with some medicines that can take the edge off the pain if you ingest any contaminants. Generally, you may need some activated charcoal pills that can eliminate any toxins you ingest. Also, consider taking some anti-diarrhea pills and a laxative in case you suffer from any digestive problems down the road.
  • Insects: Due to the sweltering heat and dry climate in Africa, insects of all kinds, and especially mosquitos, are vicious and thrive on infecting unsuspecting tourists with dangerous diseases like malaria. To fight such unwelcome pests, you need a good insect repellent. You can choose brands that are safe to spray on your body and clothes to ensure maximum protection.


Africa's hot weather can be relentless; therefore, you need to keep that in mind when packing your outfits. Yet, it is easy to bring some essentials on your trip that can help you adapt to any extreme weather conditions. These include the following:

  • Light T-shirts, but avoid black and dark colors in general because they can make you sweat like a pig
  • Light footwear like sandals or crocs
  • A pair of shorts
  • Hiking shoes in case you go on a safari adventure 
  • Swimming suit or trunks
  • A hat to shield your eyes from the sun. Go for a baseball cap, as it will not fall off your head easily 

Additionally, you need to be extra careful about the sun. Slather some high-SPF sunscreen before you head out to prevent any painful sunburns that might sour your mood.

In a nutshell, Africa is a fantastic destination filled with beautiful cities and hidden gems. However, before you get lost in exploring its locations, make sure you are well prepared with some essentials to enjoy your trip to the fullest. Overall, you need a good suitcase or backpack, some medications, and light clothes. Also, travel insurance can go a long way towards guaranteeing that you stay safe in case anything goes wrong during your trip. Finally, just kick back and enjoy the ride; Africa is sure to strike your fancy!

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