It’s a new year and that means new adventures are on the horizon.  Africa is featuring more and more as a preferred destination for holidaymakers, thrill seekers and honeymooners alike. With so much to think about when planning your vacation, it’s always nice to eliminate some of the guesswork  associated with a first time visit.  We asked our seasoned facebook fans and resident travel experts what they pack and what they don’t, and from their advice we bring you the Top 10 Carry On Luggage ‘Must Packs’ for your African Safari…

Packing made easy

1. Passport – It goes without saying, but a surprisingly high number of people find themselves in the check in line at the airport only to discover that their passport is still on the dresser at home. Pack it first and pack it safe! It is very important to ensure that you have 2 x blank pages in your passport. We have heard horror stories of passengers not being able to board their flight to Africa without the required 2 x blank pages

2. Money & Credit Cards – Whilst most African airports and major cities have currency exchange facilities and ATMs, it’s not always a given as you go more and more remote. Besides your credit card, always carry US dollars for departure taxes/entry visa and emergencies. If possible, it is useful to have some local currency too. Note that some African countries don’t accept new US dollar bills. Notes printed before 2000 are not accepted!

3. Cellphone – Friends and family back home would love to hear your travel updates and know that you have arrived safely. SIM cards are cheap and readily available in most places, but certain countries require documentation that you would be unable to supply.  Stay in touch by ensuring your cellphone has roaming capabilities.

4. Insect Repellent – Africa has insects. And lots of them! Keep them away with some good quality insect repellent. It can be tricky to source whilst you’re ‘in the bush’, so buying enough beforehand is advisable.  When visiting  malaria areas, ensure that you have consulted with your doctor and have the necessary prophylactics. Your African Safari Consultant will advise you as to which areas are malaria hotspots.

5. Camera – No self-respecting safari goer would be caught dead without one! There are infinite photo opportunities in Africa, so plan ahead and make sure you have adequate memory cards and/or film for the duration of your trip.

Say Cheese!

6. Diary / Kindle / iPad / Book – Depending on your level of technological savvy, one or more of these would be essential on your trip. There’ll be plenty of opportunity for some ‘down time’ and there is no better place to read or write than in the tranquil African bush. Ignite your creativity or revel in someone else’s whilst the sun sets over another day in Africa.

7. Change of Shoes and Clothes – a change of shoes and clothes makes the world of difference when travelling. Especiallywhen changing from a Northern Hemisphere winter to the Southern Hemisphere summer. You don’t want to arrive on the beach in Mozambique in long trousers and your city shoes! Also, if your check-in luggage does goes missing, having at least a change of underwear is essential.

8. Sunscreen & Hat  – Africa is hot. It may even be hotter than anywhere you’ve previously experienced. A bad sun burn can ruin a vacation, so it’s best to take adequate, high quality sunscreen with you.  In Africa, an SPF30 would be a good minimum level of protection. Look out for those which block both UVA and UVB rays.

9. Mini Toiletry Case – It’s not necessary (and not possible with current regulations) to travel with your whole dressing table, but just a few essential items are all you need to freshen up after a long flight. These include toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant and hand wipes. With these few things, you’ll leave the airport feeling fresh and ready for your adventure.

10. Medication – If you have any medication (especially chronic medication) you need to take, keep it on you at all times. All too often it is needed and is packed in check in luggage. Don’t let that happen to you.

Keep chronic medication on hand

And there you have it – African Safari Consultant’s top ten must packs for your carry on luggage. With the above on your person, your trip will be as smooth as silk and you’ll be fresh and ready to start making memories as soon as the plane doors open.

Bon voyage!