Travel to Africa is different than travel to any place else. Needless to say Africa is a BIG continent with different type of Climates in different region. It can be very hot or extremely cold. It can be really sunny or really gloomy. It can be really dry or really wet!!! Depend on the location you travel and the duration of your travel, below are my suggestion on what to prepare and bring:) I tend to split my Belongings into one Check in Luggage and One Carry one Backpack. Why? Because if the stupid Airline company lose my luggage it won’t be everything I have. I will have all the important stuff with me on my backpack:)
Short-Term Travel for Sub-Sahara Region (1 month or less)
(1) Medical Insurance-medical coverage is the most important part while loss of belongings comes the second! I am not saying Africa is Super dangerous. It’s just the medical system there is not as civilized as western countries, so as the technologies. While I was in Kenya and 2 of my friends got really sick and needed to be admit to the hospital! The first thing local hospital needed was money/medical coverage before they would do anything. The cost was very expensive also. If you have never consider medical coverage while you travel, africa is a MUST for anyone.
(2) Sunscreen, insect repellant(must have Deet), First Aid Kit, basic medicine for pain and fever
(3) Anti-Malaria Drug-Not every places have Malaria in Africa-Do check the CDC site online for details
(4) Inoculations– You have to be vaccinated against Yellow Fever and will need an International Vaccination Certificate to prove this when you need to go to certain places in africa. My example are Zanzibar and Nigeria. It is also advisable to be vaccinated against Typhoid; Rabies; Hepatitis A; Hepatitis B; Tetanus; Polio and Meningitis.
(5) Visa-depend on where you want to go in africa, certain country require you to get a visa before you go there. Do check within your own country online. Always do research before you travel, african governments are the most unpredictable organizations!! They change their rules very often.
(6) Spending money-US$ can be use ANYWHERE. Euro mostly on the french zone which is mainly West Africa. Do bring Bills in new notes from year 2000 onwards. The bigger notes US$50 and $100 give you a better rate of exchange. I against people bringing Travelers Check for short term travel because it’s difficult to exchange and they charge a large fee. Better to do is to bring CASH and debit card:)
(8) Clothing-Bring something breathable and dry fast. I against anyone who bring too many clothings there cus YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY THINGS YOU CAN GET IN AFRICA!! You will be amazed that you could get so many colorful dresses and accessories 🙂 Check out this POST– you will see all the dresses we wore are bought from Malawi, Tanzania or Kenya:P
I got a lot of accessories from this “store”:P
(9) Scan your passport(s) plus Visa and send to your own email and family’s email. You will find this very useful if you lost your passports
(10) Scan your credit cards(only the CC# and NOT the back side) send end to your own email and family’s email. You will find this very useful if you lost your credit cards
(11) Bring Locks-just in case you need to lock your luggage
(12) Sleeping Bag and Mat-Yup, I told you you will feel cold in some part of Africa and Yup, I normally will camp for a bit while I travel:P…Check out my Camping Experience in ANTARCTICA and you will know how fun(and cold) it can be:P But I promise, the sky in africa is REALLY SURREAL!!
Long-Term Travel for Sub-Sahara Region
OK, every should know I AM LEAVING TOMORROW!!!! woohooo!! My 2012-2013 Trans-Africa Trip Official Start tomorrow !! AND I am all PREPARED!!! So, Other than preparing all of the above, I need to prepare extra stuff like below-
(1) Plastic Bags-I bought tons of Zip Lock plastic bags with me to divide all my essential items-Make up, Medicines, Hair Products,underwears, Tampons.
A few extra for dirty clothings later.
(2) Bring what you think you cannot get in Africa-to be honest, you can get almost everything in Africa!! YUP, you will be surprise! The first time I touched ground in Africa I was so surprise how the CITIES in Africa were so unlike Africa!! People are all using Iphone and have internet access through their phone in cities like Accra, Nairobi and Dār as-Salām. Sadly I do not have the time to post more of my Travels but I will make sure I will do it after my Africa Trip:) So, I got below:P..ahahha. Do you guys know the “blue torch” all the way to the viewer’s right is a Filter Straw?!!! Yup, it filter up dirty water if necessary!! I hope I do not need to use it:P
(3) Bring at least one beautiful Dress to make sure you feel pretty:P-The first time when I went to Africa, I joined a tour. Without any knowledge of what kind of clothing’s to bring with me, I kind of figure I should dress like this-A Safari Looking Dude:P
I am NOT saying you should dress like you are in Paris or NYC, but you never know when you will bump into a party or two in Africa just like this😛
(4) Other than that, I also bring Extension Cord, Universal Converter, Computer Cable Lock, Small Microfiber Towel, a “Cold” towel which you add water and the tower become very cold!!
(5) Head Torch, A monocular, Travel Army Knives and a Retractable Cable Lock With Alarm!! The Retractable Cable Lock With Alarm is INSANE. I tested it by pulling the cable, and it just beep like crazy! I think when I encounter danger, I can just use the alarm to call for help also:P
(6) Money Belt
And Below:P-Bikini, A Day Pack, A Shade Hat😛
Thank you so much for reading and I hope you all will continue to follow me through out my 2012-2013 Trans-Africa trip. I might delay reply to every single one of you but my Heart is with you ALL:) Also, I know everyone said that I am a Lucky girl but I really need everyone wish me GOOD LUCK:) CHEERS EVERYONE:)