Packing can prove to be the biggest challenge when you are preparing for that much awaited trip to Africa. As you go about your packing process, you must keep in mind all the activities that you may have planned to enjoy in the continent; the cultural attributes and events that you will be visiting and the weather conditions prevailing during your time of travel.
Pack as light as you can, a bag that is comfortable and easy to manage will make navigation on buses, taxis, trains and other means of transportation more convenient for you. Before ticking off item from your list, tuck in a guidebook—one of the most crucial items required for finding your way around in the diverse terrains of Africa. Apart from your shoes, prescription drugs, travel documents, toiletries and regular clothes, you must ensure that you have the following in place too—you will not be disappointed on your trip aboard.
Particularly in your trip to the less-developed countries in Africa, you may find it difficult to procure your preferred painkillers or prescription injections. So, before leaving your domestic boundaries, ensure that they are all packed in their original form or in labeled bottles—to avoid any hassles at airports or border check posts alike. You may like to add a bottle of painkillers to deal with freak headaches, proper lotions or gels for alleviating suntans and a small supply of band-aids/bandages to cover the bruises or blisters formed by walking long hours in the rough. (Image by Tom Benedict)
Most vacations in Africa either include beach time, a safari or hiking opportunities. As your preferred destination may be subject to hot weather conditions for much of the year; remember to take a wide-brimmed hat and lots of sunscreen supply to protect your skin. A pair of sunglasses, anti-tan lotions and other ways of removing the blotches caused by the harsh sun are also important . (Image by Wayde Erickson)
In general, African cultures are very conservative, but then the dressing sense prevailing around depends on the country that you have chosen to visit. Pack in clothes that refrain from showing a lot of skin: loose clothing for men and daily long skirts/ loose shirts/light denims for women are nice to wear and are acceptable too. It’s best to avoid low-cut shirts, spaghetti-strap tank tops and short shorts. The more futuristic African cities like South Africa, Morocco and Egypt are open to western influences and it is quite okay to wear revealing clothing in their larger metropolises or beaches; however, steer clear of this wardrobe choice in rural areas that are likely to be more traditional—you would not like to have unwanted attention coming your way-right?
If you are planning on spending time trekking or on a safari in Africa, then avoid the urgent temptation of packing in a safari suit—it will only make you stand out! In fact it is better to take along clothes that are light, comfortable and in neutral colors. You ma y also consider lugging along a warm jacket for cooler evenings.
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Featured image courtesy by ru_landroverlife