Africa has so much to offer when it comes to tourist attractions. There are the obvious safari adventures but there are also thriving cities. In order to make sure that you have an amazing trip, it’s important that you pack the right items. Here are 7 essential items to take with you on your trip to Africa.
- Reusable Bag
Depending on where you are in Africa, plastic bags may be illegal. Some countries do checks at the border to make sure that you aren’t bringing in plastic bags. Using plastic bags could even result in fines.
Reusable bags are the norm in most African countries. If you don’t already have a reusable bag, consider one from Rareform. These eco-friendly bags are made from repurposed billboards. They’re bright and colorful and each one is unique.
- Power Bank
If you’re like me, you take a million pictures and videos when you travel. That phone battery is going to drain if you’re using it on long trips. Depending on the type of trip you’re planning, you may go for hours without being in a place where you can charge your phone.
A power bank from RAVPower may be the difference between being lost with a dead phone and being able to use your phone for directions on the rest of the trip. Power banks can be recharged and reused. It’s a good idea to throw a fully charged bank in your backpack before you head out on any long trips.
If you’re traveling to a foreign country, it’s almost always a good idea to have an adapter with you. From country to country in Africa, socket types can change.
Before you leave, you should research the countries that you’re visiting and find out what types of sockets they use. Make sure that you pack an adapter that works for each of those places to make sure that you’re prepared if you need a quick charge for any electronics. Consider buying this adapter with interchangeable pieces from POWRUI.
- Sunscreen and SPF Chapstick
Sunblock is an obvious “must” for travel in Africa. Any time that you’re spending extended periods of time in the sun, you really need to prioritize sunscreen with a high SPF so that you can protect yourself from harmful rays. Check out this chart from Banana Boat to find out which of their products is best for you. Then, you can purchase it right on their site.
In some areas of Africa, the air is also incredibly dry. So, a chapstick with SPF is also a great thing to have with you. Banana Boat carries a chapstick with 45 SPF that would be perfect. Not only will it protect your lips from the hot, dry air, but it will protect it from any excess irritation from the sun.
- Refillable Water Bottle
A refillable water bottle is a great way to make sure that you are staying hydrated on long trips through hot areas, especially if you’re taking advantage of safari tours.
Kool8 water bottle is the best option for your trip to Africa. It keeps your water cold for hours and it looks good doing it. It’s a quality water bottle with a modern design, all at a reasonable price. It’s so popular in fact that it was rated the best water bottle of 2019 by Cool Things Chicago.
A reusable bottle will help eliminate waste on your trip and will save you money because you’re not buying plastic water bottles at every opportunity. When you’re traveling in Africa, there may be long trips from one location to the next. Having your water bottle with you will ensure that you stay hydrated on those trips.
- Insect Repellant
Some insects in Africa can pose a serious health risk to you. Mosquitoes carry malaria, tsetse flies carry fatal infectious diseases, and ticks carry various diseases.
If you are planning on spending a lot of time out in the wilderness during your Africa trip, it is essential that you protect yourself with some quality repellant. Natrapel is a brand that comes highly recommended specifically for trips like these.
- Hat or Sunglasses
With the harsh sun in Africa, it’s a good idea to have something to protect your eyes. You can do sunglasses or a hat or both. You could do a wide-brim hat for that authentic safari feel, or just keep it real with a baseball cap. No matter what you prefer, you can find good options from Panama Jack. They carry these accessories for both men and women.
Pro tip: If you want to wear a hat on a tour or something where a group of people are all trying to see the same attractions, wear a baseball cap, not the wide-brim hat. No one wants to spend the tour trying to peak around the brim of your hat.
If you’re traveling to Africa, your packing list needs to reflect the kind of trip that you’re going on. If you’re going to a city and staying in hotels, you can pack some more amenities and have a bigger bag. If you’re going more for a wilderness experience or staying in hostels, it’s a good idea to pack light and keep it all confined to a backpack. While this list is a good starting place, be sure to do your research about where you’re traveling to and try to anticipate what your needs will be.
About the author: Julian Gnantenco is the CEO of JGbilling, a medical outsourcing company in Chicago.