Packing List East Africa: You Have To Take This With You.

You're going on an adventure in East Africa, and what should absolutely not be missing from your luggage? Your tourist-proof khaki safari hat, a handy pair of binoculars, and of course, your malaria pills? Yes, yes, and yes! But that's certainly not all. To make sure you don't forget anything important, we've put together a handy and complete packing list for you. Check off and pack, and you're ready for the big adventure!

A deck of cards! It can still rain sometimes, and in East Africa you can’t get a pack of cards on every corner like in the Netherlands.

The absolute essentials

  • Your passport (but you can think of that yourself)
  • Your visa approval letter from your destination, or 50$ cash to purchase it on arrival.
  • Your yellow book with the necessary stamps in it!
  • Passport photos when you plan to cross borders (2 or 3 is enough)
  • Your debit card (don’t forget to set it to ‘World’) and your credit card (you can almost always pay with it everywhere)
  • Insurance card… You never know!
  • Your phone. (well, in case you forget)
  • Small pouch/herb bag to store these important things in
    DEET! It’s also important. Preferably two bottles.


  • A few nice summer sets (for the ladies: the hotpants are better kept for your holiday in Spain)
  • Lightweight pants! It can get quite cool at certain altitudes, and it’s an extra obstacle for thirsty mosquitoes to attack your legs.
  • One sweater. For the plane or bus where the air conditioning is always blasting, and for when the evening falls during your trip.
  • A light jacket for the in the evening
  • A thin raincoat
  • About five pairs of underwear (which you can happily wash yourself in the shower)
  • Three pairs of socks
  • Flip-flops & sandals
  • Sneakers (which you can also hike on)
  • Your bikini, swimsuit or trunks
  • A head covering like a cap or a tourist-proof safari hat to prevent sunstroke


  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Face cleansing wipes: also for men! The unpaved roads can be dusty, and the bigger cities can leave a layer of pancake on your face.
  • For the ladies: some make-up (but not too much, please, you’re on a trip. Lipstick is nice when you go out!)
  • A comb or a brush, whatever you like.
  • SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN! Bring one with factor 30 and one with factor 50.
  • Aftersun for those who turn into tomatoes
  • Soap and shampoo, preferably in a small bottle
  • A piece of soap to wash clothes with (or underpants)
  • Deodorant (for the sake of your fellow travelers)

First Aid

  • Betadine/sterilon or another disinfectant
  • Band-aids, a piece of bandage, blister plasters, and sports tape (to tape heels to prevent blisters, or basically to tape anything)
  • Paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Imodium / ORS, for when things are running south
  • A pair of needles (buy at the pharmacy for 50 cents each)
  • Malaria pills


  • AUX cable (especially if you’re going to drive yourself!)
  • Portable speaker (and the downloaded Charlie’s Travels Spotify list)
  • Your phone charger (what would you do without us!)
  • Earphones
  • Power bank (really very handy)
  • A world plug or just an adapter for English sockets because they have them here too.
  • Photo camera!
  • Flashlight!

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Other essentials

  • Sleeping bag liner! And pillowcase. Very essential if you’re staying in a hotel and you’re not sure when the bedding was last washed.
  • Possibly a (impregnated) mosquito net.
  • Sarong (really handy, can be used as a towel, but also as a dress or skirt)
  • Binoculars
  • A small quick-drying towel (Beaver!)
  • Driver’s license (if you’ve got one, and if you’re gonna drive)
  • Earplugs (for when you’re trying to sleep on the bus while the African soap opera is playing on the TV screens at full volume)
  • A padlock with code
  • Possibly a pocket knife
  • Handkerchiefs: multifunctional! Whether you need them in a restroom without toilet paper or just have a runny nose.
  • A pack of cards! It can still rain sometimes, and in East Africa you can’t get a pack of cards on every corner like in the Netherlands).
  • A book. One is enough, when you’ve finished it you can easily find others.
  • An E-reader can also be used instead of a book.
  • A small notebook and a pen to write down special experiences.
  • Possibly a very thin little bag for under your clothes to keep money in. Handy but not necessary.


Do you have questions for our Africa experts?

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