Your Ultimate Packing List For Any Travel Destination

Are you packing for a trip to Africa, North America, South America, Europe, or Asia? Then you are in the right place. The unique thing about a packing list is it is mostly universal, especially if you are traveling to a region with a similar climate.

Packing List for Africa and beyond

Although this site focuses on travel resources for Africa, you’ll discover resources and packing lists to help you prepare for almost any trip 😉

As you might already know, Africa is a vast continent. Depending on where you intend to visit and what you plan to do, your packing list can include just about anything. 

One thing to keep in mind is that there are many items you can buy in the country you are visiting, often at lower prices than in the United States or your home country. 

It is a good idea that you research the country you are visiting well ahead of time. As it may make sense to purchase some items at your African destination, especially if you are staying for an extended time in one of the major cities or more developed towns.

The Ultimate Packing List for Your Next Vacation

For those traveling to multiple countries with similar climates or cultures, you’ll find these packing lists helpful as the guides are not targeted towards one single country. These vacation packing guides include:

  • International Travel Packing List / International Packing List
  • Vacation Packing List
  • Travel Packing List / Trip Packing List
  • Africa Packing List
  • Safari Packing List / African Safari Packing List
  • Carry-on Only Packing List
  • Ultimate Cruise Packing List
  • Female Packing List
  • Packing List Template

Vacation Packing List for Southern Africa

For many people, Southern Africa, especially the country of South Africa and the tourist hotspot Cape Town is the more “civilized” part of Africa. Packing for this region is relatively straightforward, with minor deviations in what to pack between seasons.

Sunscreen, tanning lotion, and aloe vera creams are essential. The sun in Southern Africa is harsh even with cloud cover in the winter months. It is well known that Cities in Southern Africa – Johannesburg, Cape Town, Gaborone, and even Harare – can all experience four seasons in one day. So, make sure you pack a lightweight rain jacket

Winter mornings and evenings from late May to late August can be quite cold, and a warm sweater, long-sleeved shirt, and even a jacket are a necessity. 

Fly and mosquito repellent are handy to have, and while the risk of malaria is quite low, as is yellow fever, mosquitoes and flies can lead to a restless night’s sleep or an uncomfortable picnic or day on the beach.

Drinking non-bottled water in much of Southern Africa, especially in metropolitan areas, is generally safe. For safety, use one of these water filter bottles.

Safaris in Southern Africa are popular, and while many safaris start in a major city or hub, you might not have enough time to shop for safari gears on arrival. For an African safari, you will need a pair of sturdy, comfortable walking shoes, a sun hat, and a selection of long and short-sleeved shirts. 

Plan to have long pants and shorts as you cannot always tell what the weather will do and which will be most comfortable while out on safari.

For country-specific information, you will find these country-specific guides helpful. Click for details:

Angola Africa Travel
Botswana, one of the top destinations in Africa
Lesotho, Africa vacation destinations
Malawi, an African Country
Namibia, one of the best destinations in Africa
South Africa, the top African travel destinations
South Africa
Zambia Africa

East Africa Travel Packing List

Packing tips for East Africa are similar to Southern Africa, and generally, include remembering to pack light. Very often, when visiting East Africa, tourists will be going on safari. For an African safari, sturdy walking shoes are essential. 

A useful item to pack is a wide-brimmed hat with an under-chin strap or visor hat for wearing on open-top vehicles in breezy or windy conditions. 

In major cities, most accommodation has comfortable bedding. But when traveling on safari, a travel pillow is a good idea, since often, the road journey inland to the popular safari destinations are quite long. 

When visiting this region during summer months, a sun hat and a selection of short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts are a plus because summer evenings can get cold. 

Comfortable shorts and long pants are recommended.

Sunscreen and insect repellent are almost always essential things to pack. 

A water bottle and a travel first aid kit with some basics in it, especially useful when out on safari or hiking ar wise things to pack as part of your safari essentials.

Yellow fever is prevalent in East Africa, and a yellow fever vaccination certificate is a necessity.

For country-specific information, you will find these country-specific guides helpful. Click for details:

Burundi Africa Travel
Comoros Africa
Djibouti Africa travel
Eritrea, an African Country
Ethiopia Africa travel
Kenya, one of the top destinations in Africa
Madagascar Africa
Mauritius, one of the best destinations in Africa
Rwanda, one of the safest countries in Africa
Seychelles, Africa destinations
Somalia Africa travel
South Sudan Africa
South Sudan
Sudan, an Africa Country
Tanzania Africa travel
Uganda, an African Country

North Africa Trip Packing List

Essential packing tips for North Africa are a little different from those for Southern Africa. 

As always, sunscreen and mosquito and fly repellent are crucial, as well as are a good pair of sunglasses. If you wear prescription glasses ordering a pair of prescription sunglasses before traveling to Africa will surely pay off. 

Credit cards are accepted widely throughout Africa, however as you get into remote areas, a money belt with local currency and US Dollars is useful. 

As a female traveling to the Northern part of the region, your Africa packing list should include a scarf or something similar to cover the head as Islam is prevalent. In some areas drinking water may not be safe, and water purifying tablets may be needed. Wet wipes are also a useful thing to carry with you in North Africa.

North African days can be scorching hot in the day time, significantly cold in the evenings/nights. It is advisable to have a warm jersey or sweater packed.

For country-specific information, you will find these country-specific guides helpful. Click for details:

Egypt, one of the best destinations in Africa
Libya Africa travel
Tunisia, one of the top destinations in Africa
Algeria, one of the top African travel destinations
Morocco, one of the top African travel destinations

International Travel Packing List for West Africa

Your West African packing checklist should include a selection of long-sleeved and short-sleeved shirts as well as long pants and shorts. Comfortable shoes are essential, as well as a pair of smart shoes for any high-end restaurants you may dine at. 

Sunglasses are a must as well as sunscreen and insect repellent. A hat another essential item for West Africa as well as a light raincoat or jacket. While credit cards and debit cards are accepted in many cities when visiting remote areas or local markets, having some cash handy is vital. You should keep your dollars or euros safely in a money belt when exploring the town.

Be aware of drinking tap water in some areas, especially in rural areas and packing some water purification tablets, is a sensible idea. Request bottled water whenever possible. West African countries require you to have a yellow fever vaccination certificate, and while more countries are becoming malaria-free, it is worthwhile taking precautions.

For country-specific information, you will find these country-specific guides helpful. Click for details:

Benin, Africa Country
Burkina Faso Africa
Burkina Faso
Cameroon Mountain destination Africa
Cape Verde Africa
Cape Verde
Chad Africa Travel
The Gambia, an Africa country
The Gambia
Ghana, Africa destinations
Guinea Africa travel
Guinea-Bissau Africa
Ivory Coast, Africa vacation destinations
Ivory Coast
Liberia, an Africa Country
Mali Africa travel
Mauritania Africa
Niger, an Africa Country
Nigeria, one of the top African travel destinations
Senegal Africa
Sierra Leone, an African Country
Sierra Leone
Togo Africa

Packing List Template for Central Africa

Central Africa is becoming a more frequently visited part of the world. Packing for Central Africa is similar to packing for West or East Africa. A selection of long-sleeved and short-sleeved clothing should be considered as important. 

You should pack durable and comfortable shoes as well as a hat and a raincoat or jacket. Sunblock, mosquito, and insect repellent are essential to remember when traveling to Central Africa. 

Water purification tablets and a basic first aid kit will prove very useful as will yellow fever and other vaccination certificates. 

A well-stocked toiletry bag is a must as obtaining simple things such as soap and toothpaste may not be easily accessible in more rural or remote areas. 

Pack some US Dollars or Euros to make shopping or dining out easier on you for places that do not accept cards.

For country-specific information, you will find these country-specific guides helpful. Click for details:

Central African Republic (CAR), an African Country
Central Africa Republic
Congo, Brazzaville, an Africa Country
Congo, Brazzaville
Congo, Democratic Republic (DRC), an Africa Country
Congo, Democratic Republic (DRC)
Equatorial Guinea Africa
Equatorial Guinea
Gabon Africa
Sao Tome and Principe Africa Travel
Sao Tome and Principe

Travel Essentials: What to Pack for Vacation

No matter where you travel in Africa, there are a few items that are essential to pack. You want to consider your day to day bag/purse, checked bag, carry-on bag and/or packing cubes. It is worthwhile investing in durable and lightweight travel bags. The last thing you want is for your bag to start falling apart while away from home.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of sunscreen and insect repellent.

Of course, you should always pack your camera, binoculars, and mobile phone. Make sure you pack extra batteries and memory cards for your devices. A travel power adaptor will be needed to charge electrical items in nearly every African country.

Personal items such as swimsuit, swimsuit cover, and flip-flops are vital to pack, whether you are visiting the coast, inland, or even on safari. There are frequent and often scenic places bathe, but hotels in Africa often have swimming pools for guests to use.

Africa has a broad mix of weather all year round, and you should pack for warm, hot, cold, dry, and wet weather. 

Most of Africa accepts debit and credit cards; however, a ready supply of Dollars, Euros, and local currency kept in a money belt is necessary.

What Not to Pack

When traveling in Africa and especially when visiting camps on safari, you probably should not pack a hairdryer. The electrical systems in your accommodation usually cannot take the drain of a hairdryer or even portable electric kettle.

Here is another packing tip. Do not wear camouflage or military-inspired clothing. Much of Africa has a robust military presence, and in Zimbabwe and Nigeria, for example, such clothing is prohibited.

For environmental reasons, many nature reserves and parks are becoming polythene-free, Kenya and Rwanda are polythene-free countries. So make sure you do not have any plastic bags with you when entering the country.

Do not pack non-essential heavy items such as books, pieces of jewelry, or valuables.

Also, do not bring too much cash – ATMs are available, and money should be kept to a minimum.


When visiting Africa or most international destinations, national parks or to see some of the natural wonders of the world, be cognizant of the culture, weather, and your personal needs. These packing lists recommendations should serve as guidance for you. You can also refer to the travel guides on the top navigation bar for more location-specific tips.

A quick visit to the embassy website for the country you are visiting will often have useful information about what to pack with tips to help you get the most of your time in Africa.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to travel to Africa?

Generally, it is safe to travel to Africa. However, there are some countries you should avoid. Check with the US Department of State website for updated travel information.

Is it safe for women to travel to Africa?

Women are generally safe in Africa, although it is advised not to wear revealing clothing.

How can I stay healthy in Africa?

It is essential to ensure your vaccination records are up to date. Most government health websites have a guide with a list of the required vaccinations for each African country. Most regions have safe food and drink, but it is often best to avoid raw foods.

What is the weather like?

The weather varies from North Africa to South Africa, and it is worthwhile researching your particular country for the time of year you are visiting. Be prepared for four seasons in one day.

How much does it cost to travel to Africa?

Getting to Africa is often the highest cost. Once on the continent, prices are relatively low in most countries.

How can I access cash or pay for things in Africa?

Most points of sales Credit cards are widely accepted in Africa, but cash is always king. Make sure you have local currency as well as Dollars or Euros.

What kind of adapter will work in Africa?

You will need a universal adaptor in Africa as it will make your life easier to charge your devices. Having enough juice on essential electronics like your camera and cell phone is vital so you can capture that special moment.

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If you need a packing list for Africa for an overland safari, mission trip, or just traveling around, here is the ultimate Africa packing list. Our page is arranged by the different regions in Africa, and you will find specific, actionable packing lists for each African Country so you're prepared for anything and everything you may encounter along your trip. #africatraveloutfit #packingtips #packingguide #africatravel #africadestinations #african #africansafari #africasafari #africa #southafrica
If you need a packing list for Africa for an overland safari, mission trip, or just traveling around, here is the ultimate Africa packing list. Our page is arranged by the different regions in Africa, and you will find specific, actionable packing lists for each African Country so you're prepared for anything and everything you may encounter along your trip. #africatraveloutfit #packingtips #packingguide #africatravel #africadestinations #african #africansafari #africasafari #africa #southafrica

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