Overlanding Africa.com offers budget safaris, Africa overland tours, camping & backpacking advice for Africa.

Check out our Chilly Bin Surfer Chronicles on our blog.

Contact us
SA: +27 (0)21 422 4644

By Email
On Facebook

You have

Find things you like, add them to your backpack & they'll appear here.

Get the free Overlanding Newsletter!

Backpacking Africa: What do I need to pack?

What to pack in your travel bag?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!

Africa Travel Essentials:

  • A backpack or soft duffel bag. Suitcases are not suitable for Overland travel.
  • A small daypack
  • Sleeping bag (if required).
  • Roll mat or self-inflatable camping mattress (if required). Bring a spare patch and some glue!
  • Sleeping sheet (to use inside your sleeping bag for extra insulation or on top of your sleeping bag in warm conditions)
  • Head torch and spare batteries.
  • Sun glasses
  • 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!
  • Towel


  • Your normal toiletries
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Lip balm
  • Contraceptives
  • 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.

Africa Outdoor Clothes:

  • 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 pants/track suit pants for evenings and cooler days
  • Shorts/light skirt/dress
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Sweater or polar fleece (the nights can be cool)
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • One set of smart clothes for a night out


  • Camera with relevant batteries and chargers
  • Memory cards large enough as you may not be able to get them anywhere else
  • Film for your camera

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
  • Eye drops
  • Tweezers
  • After sun treatment


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
Recent Feedback

Left quoteThe highlight of my trip had to be Gweru in Zimbabwe, it was my idea of paradise. So much to do there with the animals and the location of it was just beautiful!Right quote

Anne B (27) from Ireland

Left quoteThe trip was great! A very relaxed ride in a mokoro, followed by camping in the Okavango Delta and watching the animals on the islands was awesome!Right quote

Michael & Silke from Germany

Left quoteI loved every millisecond of the entire trip... Guess what I did in Swakopmund? I skydived out of a plane - woohoo was that AWESOME :-)Right quote

JoJo E (61) from Switzerland

Left quoteFinally home and had a great time…. I loved the shark diving, Sossusvlei and Himba people. Saw Lions, a Leopard, Elephants, Giraffes, everything really! Thanks for…Right quote

John E from Canada

Left quoteI did not believe in god till i visited Chobe National Park.Right quote

Juca from Uruguay

Go to all feedback Previous Next