What to Pack for an African Overland Safari?

April 23, 2013

Packing sensibly is essential for your Africa Overland trip and will provide you with a ‘what to pack’ list relevant to your chosen overland tour. One backpack and one daypack is all you need and cannot weigh more than 25kg combined. The airlines implement a maximum weight limit of 20kg per person (main luggage) and 5kg per person (hand luggage). A good idea is work on a 15kg limit (main luggage) to allow extra space for curios you may purchase to take home.

Pack comfortable, semi-casual clothes which don’t crease that you can wash-and-wear, mix and match and colour co-ordinate.

Cotton pants are ideal for hot summer days and evenings, while a warm fleece jacket is essential for chilly winter evenings (June to October). A great item of clothing is “zippy pants”.  These double-up as shorts or trousers and are useful for when the weather changes. Reversible clothes are also very convenient and will help to reduce space in your bag.

Here is a guideline of what to pack:


– 3-4 short sleeved shirts or T-shirts

– 2-3 pairs of trousers (or 1 pair + 1 skirt – try avoiding jeans, as they take a long time to dry)

– ¾ pants

– 1-2 pairs of shorts

– Tracksuit pants

– Warm fleece jacket / jumper or sweater

– Light jumper or sweatshirt (can also be used as an additional pillow)

– Underwear and socks

– Hat/peak cap/bandana

– Gloves and scarf

– Water/wind-proof jacket

– Hiking boots + trainers + sandals


– Swimsuit

– Sunglasses

– Beach towel and/or sarong

– Sandals or thongs (need to be waterproof if you want to go white-water rafting)


– Personal toiletries (no electric shavers)

– Hand sanitizer / baby wipes

– Pocket tissues

– Moisturiser + Sun screen (factor 30+)


– Pyjamas

– Travel pillow

– Sleeping bag + sleeping mat

– Fleece blanket


– Water bottle

– Head torch + spare batteries

– Zip-lock bags (medium sized for cameras, snacks, trash etc.)

– Extra memory / film for your camera (set on high resolution to enlarge prints)

– Book (you can swap with the rest of the group)

– Various sizes of ziplock bags great for wet items, toiletries, cameras etc.

Medication/first aid kit:

– Prescription medication

– Anti-histamine cream or tablets

– Antiseptic cream

– Sunscreen (factor 30+) and lip balm

– Water purifying tablets

– Pain killers

– Diarrhoea medication

– Moisturiser

– Dehydration salts

– Band aids / Elastoplast

– Sterile dressings

– Insect repellent (Malaria is a big problem in Africa, so the more protection the better)

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