Packing – Notes for our Africa Trip

I discussed the clothes I am taking to Africa, but I haven’t mentioned any of the miscellaneous stuff one has to take. Here are a few random thoughts.

Murray and I each have a soft sided carry on bag for our clothes etc. I wear mine as a backpack, whereas Murray mostly carries his as a shoulder bag. We also each have a “purse”. Mine is a courier bag, and for this trip, Murray is taking a day pack. The camera he is taking is beefier than normal and it does not fit into his courier bag easily, so a day pack it is. I wear my courier bag as a cross body bag, and if necessary, put it on and then put on my backpack. Cumbersome but works in unfamiliar crowds and places.

We carry a first aid kit with us. This one is a bit more robust than one for the Caribbean. It is mostly over the counter meds for colds, allergies, fever and aches, plus items for small injuries. There are a number of prescription drugs in our kit – Malarone (required for malaria), upper respiratory, gastro and urinary tract infections. We are very careful about using the prescriptions and try real hard not to.

We both take small headlamps for flashlights. In areas where there is no street lighting, a small flashlight is a great help. It can also be used for emergencies if the power goes out in a hotel.

We take a Ziplock bag full of an assortment of Ziplock bags, two green garbage bags and two kitchen catcher size bags. Ziplock bags come in very handy for carrying receipts, snacks, cameras, all sorts of items. I read on someone’s blog that the sand gets in everything, even in a vehicle, in Namibia, so the green garbage bags are for putting our bags in to keep them sand free.

A few items that are specific to this trip are Binoculars (animal viewing), Sink Stopper, Toilet Paper (one small roll in a ziplock) and a Clothesline (for hand washing clothes).

We take a small bottle of Tide liquid detergent for hand washing clothes. The best way to wash, say two pairs of pants and two shirts, is to throw them in the bottom of the shower, dribble some detergent over the clothes, get into the shower and shower – letting the shampoo and then soap run over the clothes. Stomping on them is good too. Then rinse the clothes in the running water and wring them out. Once everyone has showered, lay the damp towel on the floor, lay the wet clothes on the towel, roll up the towel and stomp on it up and down the length of the roll. This gets out most of the excess moisture. Hang to dry! We also wash smaller loads in the bathroom sink but always roll in a towel and stomp.

The Packing List we print off for each trip is a compilation of a number of specific lists from the blog list. I have compiled them on one excel spreadsheet. The specific lists are:


Important Travel Documents

First Aid


Other Stuff

I hope these comments help with your packing to a far off destination. This is not a complete accounting of what is in my bag. If you have questions, send me a Reply to this post or use the Contact page. Happy packing!

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