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Posts Tagged 'what to pack'

The Backpack Checklist

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
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Backpacking is amongst the most highly recommended activities for school leavers and seasoned travellers alike. The world is filled with hidden treasures and magical places waiting to be explored and discovered by you. Backpacking means embracing adventure, mapping out a route, taking trains, planes and automobiles to get to locations the world over while experiencing life at its very best, on a budget.


Above: Travel with all the essential on our backpack checklist. Photo by LeeA

The question is what is important enough to take up space in your rucksack and what, besides the kitchen sink, needs to be left at home. The backpacking experience does not cater for a selection of luggage enough for your own trailer or private compartment in first class. You will walk long distances and do a lot of sightseeing. As you won’t have a porter, keeping things simple will make your trip more enjoyable. Combing overlanding with a backpacking travel trip through the Dark Continent can only prove to be fun, presenting the best of Africa and nature.

It is ideal to start your backpacking overland adventure in a city. This way, you have the opportunity to stock up and take the time to prepare before meeting up with your party and crew at the truck. Leave prepared and enjoy what is bound to be an exciting, scenic and absolutely awesome journey.

The world is your oyster and you’re ready to go globe trotting from Europe to Africa, meet the world and embrace the unknown, meet new people and have the time of your life, forging memories of what will be some of the best days of your life for as long as you can remember. So let’s presume you’re planning on an extended vacation and the plan is to spend some quality time with Mother Nature overlanding Africa. Here’s what you take:

The Overlanding Africa Backpackers Checklist

The Absolute Essentials

The Overlanding Africa Backpackers Checklist Essentials are the most important backpack items you pack for any backpacking overlanding adventure. It’s the stuff you just don’t leave home without.

  • Sun Protection (sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm, hat)
  • A Ruck Sack. Suitcases are not suitable for overland travel.
  • Decent Flashlight & Head Torch
  • Pocketknife & Leatherman
  • Passport, Visas & Papers
  • Suitable Clothing
  • First Aid Kit
  • Currency

The Bathroom Baggie

The Overlanding Africa Backpackers Checklist makes sure you have it all in your Bathroom Baggie helping to keep your teeth clean, your eyes clear, your hair washed and the bugs off you.

  • Biodegradable Liquid Soap
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Toilet Paper in Plastic
  • Contact Lenses Kit
  • Insect Repellent
  • Antiperspirant
  • Bath Towel
  • Face Cloth
  • Shampoo

Keeping It Casual

The Overlanding Africa Backpackers Checklist ensures you are Keeping It Casual packing the right clothes for your outdoor safari across Africa, preparing you for all the weather and temperatures you might expect along the way.

  • One Set of Smart Clothes (for a night out)
  • Sandals (camp wear, wading streams)
  • Cold Weather Hat (covers ears)
  • Shirts (long & short sleeves)
  • Pants (non-cotton, durable)
  • Lightweight Wool Gloves
  • Waterproof Clothing Bag
  • Changes of Underwear
  • Inner & Outer Socks
  • Swimming Costume
  • Camp Fire Poncho
  • Beach Sarong
  • Classic Jeans
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Hiking Boots
  • Casual Flats
  • Cargo Pants
  • Track Pants
  • Sneakers

The Must Haves

The Overlanding Africa Backpackers Checklist ensures you have all The Must Haves in your back pack making sure you keep it light but don’t forget a thing.

  • Regular Medication (i.e. an asthma pump)
  • Long Life Reading Material
  • Camera, Lenses and Film
  • Pack of Playing Cards
  • Hard Cover Notebook
  • Contraceptives
  • Memory Cards
  • Travel Journal
  • Cell Phone
  • Binoculars
  • Tripod
  • iPod

Keeping It Tidy

The Overlanding Africa Backpackers Checklist ensures you remember that Keeping It Tidy is as important as the journey itself and leaving no trace, or as little as possible, other than your footprints is a prime idea. Try keeping it organic.

  • Multi-Purpose Cleaning Soap
  • Small Hand Wash Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer

The Real Extras

The Overlanding Africa Backpackers Checklist ensures you remember all the Forget Me Not’s in the process of packing for your next big adventure. These are the things you can’t do without on any overlanding Africa journey.

  • Plastic Bags (Grocery Bags, Garbage Bags)
  • Pegs Washing Line (simple thin rope)
  • Spare Contact Lenses & Glasses
  • Nylon Cord & Duct Tape
  • Extra Flashlight Bulbs
  • Swimming Towel
  • Extra Batteries
  • Extra Lighter
  • Extra Pens

The First Aid Kit

The Overlanding Africa Backpackers Checklist has expanded on The Essential First Aid Kit. Accidents happen and making sure you have everything you need in regards to health and safety is highly important.

  • Adhesive Bandages Various Sizes
  • Cold Medicine, Cough Drops
  • Scissors
  • Needle & Tweezers
  • Antiseptic Ointment
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Insect Bite Cream
  • Ibuprofen for Pain
  • Antacid Tablets
  • Anti-Histamine
  • Thermometer
  • Roller Gauze
  • Burn Cream
  • Safety Pins
  • Deep Heat
  • Probiotic


Keep your kits in handy zip up and zip lock bags. It makes organising and keeping things organised easier. Cramming everything straight into your rucksack can cause you a real backpack issue when trying to find anything at all. It’s all good in the beginning but becomes a mess a few miles down the road and a couple of camps later. By compartmentalising you have easier access to your gear and are able to find anything in a rush.

One of the key criteria for backpacking would be packing light, again with the “packing light is packing right” philosophy is something many people struggle with. Lugging your rucksack from place to place can be taxing on the body, especially over long distances or a couple of kilometres. Reducing continually, particularly during extended trips and gifting people along the way keeps your backpack at a manageable weight.

Overlanding Africa and backpacking across the cradle of humankind requires a lot of moving around. Keeping what you carry around to the minimum and keeping space for small gifts to take home means that unneeded articles can take up valuable space. So at most you have your rucksack and a day tripping pack, so space really is limited. A large rucksack does hold a fair amount; it’s all about how you pack it, so pack tight.

Now that you've got your backpack check list sorted, contact Overlanding Africa for details and assistance with planning your next adventure. Overlanding Africa offers over 152 quality tours. Climb on the next overland truck and backpack across Africa on either a camping or accommodated overland trip. Live a little, experience a lot.

About the author


Jacqueline Freer

Jacqueline has a career background consisting of nightlife eventing and entertainment fused with hospitality then blending with branding and business and over the past few years focusing on digital media. Her personal passions include the arts, travel, food, film and photography. Jacky is a social media expert, PR professional, blogger, copywriter, events designer and digital journalist with a passion for music. Jacqueline Freer is the MD and founder of Inrichmint Media Studios & Recordings, both divisions under the same brand name.

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Tags: what-to-pack, what-to-pack-for-overland-tours

Packing list for backpacking in Africa

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
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Need a packing list for backpacking in Africa? Look no further! For those of you planning a trip backpacking in Africa and don't know what to pack, here is a packing list that will ensure you're prepared for your backpacking adventure.


Packing list

Photo by Piotr Ciuchta



☐ Passport

☐ Copies of important documents (passport, credit cards, etc...)

☐ Important phone numbers

☐ Money (credit/debit card, cash, travellers cheques, etc...)

☐ Backpack (not a suitcase)

☐ Day bag

☐ Sleeping bag, sleeping sheet and camping mattress (check with your travel consultant if required)

☐ Head torch and spare batteries

☐ Sunglasses

☐ Washing line

☐ Towel



☐ 1 pair of open shoes

☐ 1 pair of walking shoes

☐ 1 pair lightweight long sleeved shirt

☐ 2 lightweight long pants

☐ 1 bathing suit

☐ 5 light cotton tops

☐ 3 shorts/shirts/boardies

☐ 1 sarong

☐ 1 hat/sunhat/cap

☐ 1 lightweight waterproof jacket

☐ 1 sweaters/polar fleece/jumpers

☐ 3 pairs of socks

☐ 7 pairs of underwear

☐ One set of tidy clothes for a night out



☐ Your normal toiletries

☐ Insect repellent

☐ Sunscreen

☐ Lip balm

☐ Contraceptives

☐ Water purification tablets

☐ Enough of your prescribed medication to sustain needed usage


First Aid Kit

☐ Pain killers

☐ Malaria medication

☐ Rehydration sachets

☐ Anti-diarrhoea medication

☐ Antihistamine tablets or cream

☐ Antiseptic cream or spray

☐ Plasters

☐ Eye drops

☐ Tweezers



☐ Camera with spare batteries and charger

☐ Extra memory card ☐ Camera case



☐ Contact number for your travel consultant

☐ Write a list of your allergies in your vaccination certificate booklet


Do Not Bring

☐ Drugs

☐ Weapons

☐ Camouflaged patterned clothes

☐ Hair dryer/curling iron

☐ Bathrobe

☐ Expensive clothes

☐ Expensive jewellery


Also Bring

☐ Sense of humour

☐ Sense of adventure

☐ Open mind

☐ Patience

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Tags: what-to-pack

How to pack food for a camping safari

Thursday, April 12th, 2012
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When considering how to pack your food for a camping safari, you spent a lot of time planning your menu, and grocery shopping, so it deserves to be packed with a dash of simplistic greatness. You probably got very excited, went a little wild and came back with a mountain of products. When you're travelling between destinations you’ll want to make food and snacks easily accessible. All you really need to do is get organised. Get the gist of this article in a flash by watching this short YouTube video:



The best way to organise for your African safari trip is to use plastic storage boxes or tupperware. Tupperware is a really simply way to store food that is easily accessible and hassle-free when travelling on the road. Perfect for a snack time nibble between destinations.

Ziploc and label

A great way to organise the main meals you’ll be devouring on Africa safari tours is to place the ingredients in small ziploc bags and then group them together in one large ziploc bag, and pop that ziploc bag into one large tupperware. So you’ll take all the food that you’re going to prepare for meal number 1, put it in a large bag and label it, then pop it in the tupperware. Then when your lion sized hunger comes knocking (as it does on an adventurous African safari trip), all you have to do is go to your large tupperware storage and take out bag number 1 and inside is everything that you'll need to easily prepare the meal.

Food for a camping safari

Photo by Michaela Kobyakov

Reduce packaging

If you’re on a camping safari, you’re going to have to carry your food. For this reason you’ll want to get rid of some of the bulky, unnecessary packaging placed around food products. Packaging takes up so much space and you don’t want to be lugging double your load. Also, it's a great way to reduce trash when camping. Solution? Remove the packaging, take what you need, stick it in a ziploc bag, and Hey Presto, problem solved. Ziploc bags are great for organisation, they’re waterproof and great for storage. If you’re keen to take something like macaroni and cheese out of its box, remember to rip the instructions off the packaging and place it in the ziploc bag with the ingredients. Macaroni and cheese can easily become macaroni and glue if you’re not following specific box directions. Everything is now neatly packed, labelled and ready for your camping adventure.

Campfire cooking

Simple, pre-packaged meals are a great idea and simple to cook. For example, a pre-packaged Indian meal would just need you to cook up some minute rice, drop the pre-packed meal into boiling water to heat it up, and in about three minutes you have yourself a delicious meal over the fire. When neighbouring campers see you eating that meal, they’ll think you spent hours slaving over hot coals to prepare such a fragrant dish. All part of clever camping practices. Although, nothing beats a delicious potjie made from scratch. Spend some time doing your research and shopping. You know what you like to eat, but remember that cooking over a stove and cooking over a campfire is very different. Go for simple camping meals with easy camping recipes and no doubt, your culinary campfire experience in the bush will be a lot more enjoyable and a lot less hassle. Trust me.

Food preparation

Now that you’ve organised and labelled the dung out of your food stores, you’ll need to pack the right pots and utensils for campfire cooking. Very important! If you’re going to go the whole hog and make a potjie from scratch, then you’re going to need to remember to pack a good quality potjie pot. Whereas for simple camping fire cooking you’ll simply need a few good pots to boil water, reheat food or mix up the ingredients of your mac and cheese. Utensils, utensils, utensils. That fork isn’t going to get you very far with that delicious tin of soup you’ve got camping in your tupperware. You best pack a can opener too. Half the work is knowing what to pack when camping.

Washing up

The next step is washing up. Make sure you have soap and a bucket if there isn’t a wash up sink available at the spot you’re going to be camping at. Now you're all set to pack food for an organised trip, now that you've learned how to pack food for a camping safari. All you have to do is pick your camping safari in Africa.

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Tags: camping-safari, how-to-pack, what-to-pack

10 Essentials - What to pack for hiking

Thursday, March 29th, 2012
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So you’re going on a hike and want to know what to pack for hiking to ensure you have all the necessary items for a safe, enjoyable hike. Good thinking maestro! These backpacking tips will ensure you’re adequately prepared for the adventure ahead. Watch this YouTube video for a quick rundown on what you'll need to pack for a hike:


What kind of backpack will I need?

The backpack you use when packing for hiking is as important as the essentials you pack in it. Your choice of backpack will be determined by how long you’re going hiking for and what type of environment you’re going to be tackling. If you’re going on a day hike it’s a good idea to take a small camel backpack which has a great spot for water in it, giving you about 2-3 litres of storage space for water. The camel backpack has a special bladder area you fill up with water, making for convenient water storage on your hike.

What to pack for hiking

Backpacking basics for a day hike:

Whether you intend to hike while on a trip from Cape Town to Victoria Falls or from Cape Town to Timbuktu, there are some basic things you’ll always want to carry when you’re going hiking:

First-aid kit

A small first-aid kit is great for day hikes. These kits usually include band-aids, a soap sponge, gauze and other important first aid necessities just in case a first aid issue arises.


Another important item to carry with you is a small headlamp. Your hike may take longer than you expect it to, and you don't want to be hiking at night without light.


A small tube of sunscreen in your backpack will ensure you're protected against sunburn. Just don't forget to use it!

Hand sanitiser

Pack a small bottle of hand sanitiser. This may seem silly to take on a hike, but it is important to clean your hands after you’ve just done a number 1 or number 2 behind a large rock. Also, cleaning your hand before or after you eat is important, not to mention the need for it when you’re tending to an open wound.


Carrying your cellphone will allow you get in contact with help if you end up running into trouble along the way. If there is reception, that is.


Don’t forget to take your map with you so that if an unsuspected fork in the path presents itself, you’ll be able to safely navigate your way along the right route.


When you set off for your hike in the blazing sun, it’s a good idea to wear a hat that protects your face and neck from the sun. Try and fit a wollen beanie hat in your backpack just in case it gets cold.


Pack a sandwich bag full of snack food. Nuts are a great option because they are packed with great nutrients for nourishment and sustenance.


Pack a thin rain jacket. You never know when the rain is going to creep up on you or when a cold wind will bite. In the mountains weather changes very quickly, so be prepared. Camera If your cellphone doesn't already have a built in camera, pack a small durable camera for your journey. When on an African expedition, you may come across a moment you simple want to capture forever. Now you know what to pack for hiking. All you've got to do now is set off on that Cape Town to Victoria Falls adventure. Go for it!

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Tags: hiking, what-to-pack

Top Gadgets to use on a Safari in Africa

Monday, January 9th, 2012
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If you are lucky enough to be going on a safari in Africa, then you will be sure to encounter some exotic animals and create memories that will last a lifetime. With an endless election of modern gadgets available at affordable prices, you can kit yourself out with some useful gizmos before your trip to really get the most out of your time on that safari tour. Here are just a few of the top gadgets to use on a safari in Africa, giving you the edge when it comes to everything from taking photographs to finding your way across the open plains.

Night Vision Binoculars


Because of the intense heat during the day, some of the most interesting beasts come out to play at night, which makes night vision binoculars one of the most essential safari gadgets on the market, thanks to a combination of functional factors. The main benefit is that you can enjoy optical magnification for added visual clarity at a distance, along with the ability to view objects that are just a few feet away, which means you will be able to pick up animals regardless of your relative position to them.

Some night vision binoculars can operate for up to 30 hours from a single charge. They should also let you see in the dark using the light of the moon and the stars, but in particularly pitch conditions, you can utilise built-in infrared emitters which will let you illuminate whatever you target, without alerting the wildlife to your presence.

Long-lasting Camcorder


If you want to capture the safari action in full motion video, then invest in a durable digital camcorder that utilises solid state storage for convenience and longevity. While there are camcorders out there that shoot better quality footage and have more onboard storage for your clips via tape or hard drive, camcorders that use Flash memory are recommendable for safari goers because of the rugged exterior, durable design and water resistant properties that you can find on offer. The memory is also less susceptible to damage from bumps or jolts.

You can drop some digital camcorders into water and they will come out working perfectly, with a resistance to liquids ranging in depth from a few centimetres right up to 10 feet or more. You can also get units that are dustproof and shockproof which is perfect when you're camping in Africa. Dropping them onto the dry ground while on safari will not hamper its ability to record full HD 1080p video clips, which you can share when you return home.

Digital SLR Camera


For photography fans who want to capture the landscape and its animals in detail while on safari, there will be no other choice than a digital SLR camera. However, SLRs can be expensive and you may be wary of buying a budget option in case your snaps do not live up to expectations. That is why you need to find one that combines value for money with performance to ensure that it is a good choice for cash-conscious travellers. In this category you can expect to encounter models with 10 megapixel sensors and memory card ports offering support for SD cards. You will also want an SLR that features a fairly easy to use set of functions so as not confuse novices, or indeed restrict those with experience.

Handheld GPS


When out on safari in Africa, you will be unsurprised to learn that typical GPS sat nav systems are not going to give you the detail you need to help you with navigation. For this reason, it is worth investing in a gadget that is specifically intended for the great outdoors where paved roads and large settlements are few and far between. There are a number of such GPS gadgets on the market that have plenty of useful features to make them perfect for safari tours that go off the beaten path. You can get GPS gadgets for safari that have ample, full colour touch screen displays and a simple set of interface features that let you make the most of the detailed mapping of many areas of the globe. You can plot routes, check your altitude, use it as a compass and examine the topography via downloadable add-ons.

These handheld gadgets are good for the great outdoors on any continent and should be a boon for safari participants and happy campers who want to take the tour under control. Written by the Travel Supermarket cheap holidays team.

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Tags: gadgets, high-tech, tech, what-to-pack

Pro’s and Con’s of Travelling With a Laptop

Friday, October 21st, 2011
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Like someone who has just walked in on their grandma in the shower, you’re not quite sure what to do. To take your laptop with you? Or to leave it at home with your Xbox and electric shaver? Here’s a couple pro’s and con’s to help you decide whether or not to travel with a laptop… and to help you stop thinking about your grandma in the shower:



1. Storage
It’s the first day of your overland trip and you’ve just spent two hours taking photos of a 3200kg rhino birthing its calf. Your camera’s memory card is full and you still have a week left of exploring. If you're travelling with a laptop, you can simply dump your day’s photos onto your laptop, and start fresh in the morning. As Murphy’s Law would have it, if you’re all out of space on your memory car, a Quagga would come waltzing past you while you’re tracking down for kindling for the campfire... no space on your camera.

2. Stay Connected
Home sick and need to see the smile of a loved one? Skype! Need to check what the outcome of the South Africa vs Australia World Cup rugby match was? Twitter! Need to check what the Daily Crossword is? Geek!

3. Internet Banking
If you’re taking a 7 day trip to Victoria Falls, I’m sure you can pay your gardener before you go. But if you’re on a 40 week Trans Africa overland trip, they’re going to repossess your car if you don’t make the payments. Taking a laptop with you on your overland trip means that you can make payments from the safety of your own computer. Using a shared computer, like one you’d use in a local internet café, isn’t recommended. Why? Because it’s dodgy, that’s why.

4. Joe Blogs
Joe Blogs, Mary Blogs, just about everyone blogs nowadays! Taking your laptop with you means you can keep your travel blog up to date. You can also upload your photos on flickr or check if the weather will be okay for your hot air balloon flight over the Serengeti National Park.

5. Sharing is Caring
You know that picture of the 6.5 metre Black Mamba you just took? Share it! If you have your laptop with you and you have wi-fi access, upload it to flickr, twitter, Facebook and National Geographic… after you’ve changed your underwear of course.



1. Lost not found
Remember that expensive thing you bought that got stolen? Yeah, that sucked. Need I say more?

2.  Keep it Clean
Like that just-paid-for soft serve ice-cream  you’ve just dropped in the sand, a laptop is anything but enjoyable when you have to crunch your way around the keyboard. If you’re anywhere near a beach, dune or strong South Easter, don’t take your laptop out. Getting sand in my laptop? I’d rather chew on a jersey.

3.  Waste of Time
It’s not always that easy to connect to an internet café’s connection with your own computer. The time you spend trying to figure it out could be better spent surfing the web on one of their computers, or, you know, going outside and enjoying the overland esc. you’re meant to be on.

4. Extra Weight
When you’re on an overland trip, the only extra weight it’s okay to carry, is on your butt. Backpacking has you lugging your entire life around on your back. When hiking up a 45 degree sand dune, with that backpack strapped to your back, essentials are your friend, luxuries are not.

To Pack or Not To Pack?

If you do decide to travel with a laptop, remember two things: A: Back up your hard drive before you go. B: Take the right plug adapter with you. If you decide not to travel with a laptop: A: Cool. B: Refer to ‘A’.

Traveller opinions on whether or not to travel with a laptop:

I’ve traveled enough with a full-size laptop (for work) to know that I don’t really need all that weight & functionality. But, I can’t imagine traveling without something to write on, upload photos to, etc etc.” – WanderMomIf you bring your laptop along, you can blog, keep up with friends and family by email, you can call home for free (or very cheap) with Skype and you can work. Who says these are pro’s?” – FetzigI migrate around the world, eating, and hanging out. Up until now I have neglected to take a laptop so I could have the least amount of responsibility. However, I recently decided it would be a good idea to begin blogging, and sharing photos and experiences with friends and others. The decision to bring your laptop on your overland travel is obviously completely yours. If you do bring it with you, make sure you make a back-up before you set off!” – Mark Wiens

Images by:  Thiago Felipe Festa, Danny de Bruyne and Rene Asmussen.

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Tags: laptop, tech, what-to-pack

Travel Documents for Africa

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
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When packing your luggage for an overland trip, the rule of thumb is to pack light, however, when it comes to documentation, you can never be too prepared. Without packing the essential travel documents you may find yourself reaching for those emergency contact details because you may have to cancel your trip.

Photo by Ove Tøpfer

What documents to pack on an overland trip to Africa:

1.  Visa
A valid visa grants you permission to enter a country, meaning you’ll need one depending on what country you are from and where you are travelling to. It’s best to check, nay DOUBLE-check, each country’s immigration information to see if you can acquire a visa on arrival or if you need to get one before you leave your home country. Check out the African visa guidelines and be sure to confirm information with your travel consultant in case of industry updates.

2.  Passport
Make sure you are carrying a valid passport with you at all times… one with enough clear pages for all the stamps you’ll be collecting along the journey. No passport, no pass.

3.  Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance is extremely important. Don’t travel without it! When overlanding in Africa you will be visiting remote areas and may be embarking on adventure activities. If something goes wrong and you need to be air lifted, the last thing you want to hear is “You didn’t take travel insurance? Oh dear, you stay here and pray while I go find a tourniquet”. Travel advice of the decade: Insure. Insure. Insure.

4.  Money
Regarding money, most African countries accept USD, EUR, GBP and Namibia and South Africa largely accept South African Rand. Remote areas in Africa only accept cash and do not have credit card facilities so it is a good idea to carry cash with you. If you are worried about carrying cash on you, opt for traveller’s cheques. If traveller’s cheques are lost or stolen they can be replaced if you still have the receipt issued to you when you bought them.

5.  Vaccination Documents
For some areas, vaccinations for malaria and Yellow Fever are essential. Make sure you are aware of any risks and get all required vaccinations before travelling. Once you have received your vaccinations for an area, you will receive a vaccination certificate which you will need to carry with you on your journey through Africa. It’s a good idea to write a list of your allergies in your vaccination certificate booklet so that in the unlikely event of you not being able to speak for yourself, your booklet will offer your medical information and requirements. Read more about health and safety tips for visitors to Africa.

6.  Contact Numbers
When travelling, you should keep the telephone number of your travel consultant with you. This is just a safety net, so that if you get sick, lost or need to make new bookings while in another country, your travel consultant will be able to help you with advice and resources to get you out of a pickle.

7.  Copies
So you’ve packed your visa, passport, travel insurance, traveller’s cheques, vaccination certificate booklet and contact numbers. Now make sure that you have certified copies of these documents made. One set to leave at home and one set to take with you on your journey. Just in case. So now that you know what documentation to pack on a trip to Africa, its time to browse through a selection of African overland trips and pick your adventure.

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Tags: documentation, what-to-pack, yellow-fever-certificate

Pack Like Overland Crew

Thursday, May 19th, 2011
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There are varying opinions as to what is best to pack on an overland trip and throughout the years and after hundreds of overland trips one thing stays the same: everybody brings too much stuff! You will not need all that 'stuff', and you will be pleased to know that your overland truck does come fully stocked, kitchen sink and all... Your best bet would be to follow the example set by more seasoned overlanders and who better than the Crew?

Overlander Backpack

Photo By Dan Haneveer

You will find most crew members agree that there are a few key essentials needed in every overlanders backpack.

Key Essentials:

- No suitcase allowed on the truck! Get a backpack instead. Be sure to have a day bag separate from your main bag.

- Sleeping bag! A must for those travellers wanting to doze off with a semblance of comfort.

- Towel: even the ‘Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ highlights the importance of your towel. Never go anywhere without it! Though the above mentioned are sure to be found in any crew members backpack,

I know you will find the following 'must-haves' included in said backpack as well.

Must-haves: - Comfy shoes: 1x sandals (or any kind of open shoes – for the hot African days), 1x hiking shoes (for guided walks and hikes)

- A ‘scarfy’ (scarf) or sarong: perfect for the heat (when moistened it will keep you cool), perfect for the cold (simply wrap it around you, and be cold no more), perfect for dusty and windy conditions (use to shield eyes, ears and mouth against windy and dusty conditions), perfect when you lose your towel.

- A Sweater: a long sleeved sweater to shield against any cold weather. It will also shield against insects on the prowl for something tasty to bite into...

NB: don’t forget to bring along with you a mini first aid kit, just in case.

In Your Day Bag:

Your day bag should include all things that you will need with you during the day, as you may only have the chance to check your main bag in the mornings and evenings. Your day bag is likely to include the necessary to make your day as pleasant as possible, from sunscreen to sunglasses, a water bottle , and your current read.

What to wear?

When it comes to attire Overlanders need not worry about what they look like, no one will throw you dirty looks if you rock the same tee for the next day or two. Important to bring with you is a thick pair of socks, for those heavy duty walks that are almost guaranteed to crop up.

To prepare for the unpredictability of Africa’s weather it is recommended to pack at least one form of long trousers, and at least one form of short trousers, along with practical and easy to wash clothing. The only 'Cats' you see have nothing to do with the catwalk, so forget fashion and opt for comfort instead.

The basics are really all you need to bring with you on your Overlanding Africa trip. In addition to the above mentioned essentials, don’t forget to pack your lust for adventure, an open mind and the willingness to muck-in. Come prepared, and expect the unexpected – easy hey!

For all your overlanding requirements and advice, contact the team at OverlandingAfrica.com

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