Preparing for a trip to Africa

Preparing for a trip to Africa

This is a guest post aimed at non-Africans.

Most people have a preconceived notion of what Africa is like. Africa is the second largest continent and the second most populated continent in the world (second only to Asia.) Africa has issues like all other continents but Africa has beauty, technology, and commerce too. In this continent, you can enjoy pristine beaches, mountain regions, and desert plains. It showcases all that the planet has to offer.

The beautiful cities in Africa are modern, and can stand their ground against any modern city in the world. Industries are thriving, and the educational systems ensure the prosperity of future generations.

Do your research

Africa is a diverse continent with 54 countries, each with its own unique culture, customs, and attractions. Before you go, research your specific destination(s), understanding the political climate, safety concerns, and must-see sights.

Pack carefully

When you decide to embark on the trip of a lifetime to Africa, prepare your baggage carefully. Carry what you must, and prepare to buy some necessities locally. It is convenient to send your main luggage ahead. Shipping luggage ensures that your necessities will be waiting for you at your hotel. Use your carry-on for a change of clothes, medications you must take, identification, and enough supplies to last you for a day or two.

Never be without (Keep these three items in your pocket)

  • Keep a personal water filter, one in your pocket and one in your luggage.
  • Keep a small backup cellular phone charger with you at all times. They are not expensive and you should have more than one.
  • A universal power adapter. This should have different types of access. You may not know what power sources are used in the countries you are travelling to.


Every country has its own laws and rules so our advice is to be prepared. It is much better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Proof of travel
  • Photo identification
  • Immunization records
  • A list from your doctor of all medications you take
  • Emergency traveler’s cheques
    • It is rare to use these in recent years, but it is a good idea to have at least $200 on a traveler cheque tucked away just in case.

To be safe, make copies of all of these documents. Also, make copies of everything in your wallet; front and back. If you are robbed or you lose a credit card, bank card, or identification, it is much easier to stop someone from using them if you have a copy. The copy will show the card numbers, expiration dates, and the telephone numbers to call to stop them and have them reissued.

Make a list of family and/or friends along with their phone numbers and keep it in your wallet and an extra copy in your luggage. If you are in an accident abroad, they will have no way to let anyone know if you are not in a condition to tell them.preparing for a trip to Africa


Only take items that you actually wear. Make sure you use quality durable luggage.

Minimize what you take. Only take what you will actually wear. Think in terms of layers. If you need to put on an extra sweater, it is easier than lugging a heavy coat across the globe.

Other necessities

  • Electronics
  • Laptop
  • Tablets
  • Cell phone
  • Hair-dryer

Tip: Find out what the primary language is where you are going and download a free app for it, if available. This will make your life easier and your trip much more enjoyable.

This is a guest post by Wendy Dessler.

Heading to Africa? Find accommodation here.

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