Most people make the mistake of bringing too much! Clothes should be easy to launder and reasonably hard wearing. Avoid nylon and other synthetics which can be uncomfortable in the hot weather.
However, Africa can also be much colder than you may think, especially at night. Bring a good sleeping bag and liner (or extra clothing you can wear in bed if necessary) and warm clothes and jacket. This applies particularly if travelling in southern Africa in the southern winter months (Jun - Aug).
Open shoes (flip flops/sandals/jandals)
Comfortable walking/hiking shoes.
Bathing suit/swimming shorts
Light cotton tops/t-shirts/sleeveless tops.
Sarong, you will find these very practical as they can be used as a towel, a skirt, a sleep sheet, you name it. Available all over Africa.
Lightweight long-sleeved tops for game drives or safaris (this will protect you from mosquito’s & sunburn)
Cargo (zipp-off) pants/track suit pants for evenings and cooler days
Lightweight waterproof jacket
Sweater or polar fleece (the nights can be cool)
Buff or Beanie
One set of smart clothes for a night out
Small First Aid Kit:
Clients are required to bring their own basic first aid kit which should contain:
Pain killers – ie: paracetamol
Rehydration sachets for diarrhoea
Anti diarrhoea medication
Antihistamine tablets or cream
Antiseptic cream, e.g. Betadine, Savlon
Plasters, sterile dressing pads
After sun treatment
Most general items can be carried and stored in your main bag, but a lockable day pack/bag is essential for those items required during the day.
Try to keep your luggage to a minimum, and remember to keep to your airline's weight restriction (normally 20kg or less). Note some tours have luggage weight limits - check your tour dossier. (Applicable on Truck tours) Your luggage will be dependent on the type of trip you are taking, but a holdall, a soft bag on wheels or a rucksack are ideal for adventure travel when luggage is carried in vehicles.
As a rule, hard cases should only be used on centre based trips (ie. dive tours or city stays). Your tour dossier has advice on luggage type.Toilet bag, towel, small mirror, razors, shampoo, soap, ‘wet wipes’, toothbrush and paste, moisturiser, sun screen lotion, sanitary napkins. Supplies of most things can be replenished en route but not all western brands may be available.
Although it may seem fairly simple to pack for backpacking Africa holiday, you will find that packing is well… not that simple.Spread everything you are planning on taking, out on your bed. Then put half of it back in the cupboard and take the other half with you and you will probably still find at the end of your backpacking Africa trip that there are things you didn’t use. Try and think of it this way… the more space you have, the more awesome souvenirs you can take home from your experience backpacking Africa!The bottom line is to pack clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, that are easy to wash and dry and don’t need to be ironed. Consider leaving it behind after your trip and if you can live without it, it is the right item to take on your Overland adventure!
Travel Essentials for Africa:
A backpack or soft duffel bag.
Suitcases are not suitable for Overland travel.
A small daypack
Camp Pillow (if required, and available to rent)
Sleeping bag (if required, and available to rent).
Roll mat or self-inflatable camping mattress (if required, and available to rent). Bring a spare patch and some glue!
Sleeping sheet/Liner (to use inside your sleeping bag for extra insulation or on top of your sleeping bag in warm conditions)
Head torch and spare batteries
Portable power/charger (Powertraveller)
If you wear contact lenses, bring spares. Also bring glasses as you might find the dusty dry conditions hard on your eyes.
If you wear glasses, bring a spare pair.
Mosquito net if you are planning on sleeping under the stars.
Washing line – look for a pegless one – they are brilliant!
Your normal toiletries
If you use any regular medication, please ensure you have enough to last you for the entire tour plus an extra week, just in case.
Please brouse through our Overland Gear section for any gear you might need. We will make sure it's ready and wating here for you when you arrive in SA. Overland Solutions clients qualify for special rates on all overland gear!