I was very well prepared for this trip and I used every item I brought with me with the exception of various medication, luckily I didn’t get sick. In Ethiopia there was one night I befriended the porcelain throne because of a bad street samosa, and two nights of extreme tissue usage due to a cold, but other than that I was lucky. Here’s a list of things that I found the most useful and another of items I should have brought.






– Head torch – no doubt about it
– Deuce wrist watch – a spontaneous $20 airport purchase, a waterproof rubber watch
– silk liner – used instead of the sleeping bag when it was warm, and as bug protection in hotels
– clothing line
– alarm clock (many early starts)
– ziploc bags – for anything from protecting my passport from water to bagging snacks to preventing soap leakage etc
– travel towel – lightweight, quick dry
– adapters – my shitty camera needed daily charging
– a hat and sun glasses
– baby wipes and hand sanitizer – especially in Ethiopia where you eat with your hands but don’t get napkins (or toilet paper)
– cheap sowing kit – surprise success for more people than just me





– binoculars – I forgot the small pair I have and really needed it for the game drives

– rubber bands – no particular reason, just useful to have
– a coat hanger – maybe if foldable ones exist? For drying individual clothes/towels in the tent overnight
– string – again, just a good thing to have. My zipper pulls broke, and I could have used the string also to tie my mosquito net to ceilings (with tape)
– many more extra batteries – the head torch being the main offender
– pocket knife – for the bottle opener and a tiny screwdriver
– small tupperware container – to keep soft fruit from spoiling on days I carried it in my bag
– tote bag – to only take the items I really needed into the shower/tent/laundromat etc.





– sarong – for the pools, also used as a do-rag in places where I had to cover my hair
– fizzy bottle cleaner
– shampoo & shower gel – I couldn’t bring this for the entire time
– heel balm and pumice stone – skin gets dry out there and my old pumice couldn’t keep up
– a power strip / extension cord that accepts multi plugs – everyone wants to charge all their electronics at the same time and there will ultimately only be one outlet
– felt marker – to identify my water bottle from others
– duct tape – to tape my mosquito net to ceilings with a thin string, to attach adapters to loose outlets, to catch bed bugs in a hotel…
– iodine and band aid – I had run out of medical wipes and I didn’t have my band aids on me when I cut myself in the street once
– happy pants – airy pieces of cotton, perfect for hot weather in non-muslim countries
– a blanket – cause it was cheap and pretty
– more clothing items (tshirts and skirts) at the end of the trip – because I was sick of wearing the same stuff and also because I was no longer overlanding. Clothes and habits change when hotels and public transport are involved rather than tents and a truck



ITEMS NOT USED (-though I would bring most of them again)


– money belt – stuff was safe on the truck and in hotels
– sterilizer pen for water – we had treated water on the truck and elsewhere I bought bottles
– soap/shampoo/laundry soap strips – they didn’t work at all, total BS
– waterproof rain cover for my big bag – we never hiked in the rain etc.
– 99% of my meds – which was a good thing!
– condoms – …sigh…




Germany 2x
Quatar – if you count the airport
South Africa 2x
Mozambique 2x
North Sudan


One response to “SUMMARY / STATISTICS for Africa

  1. Oh yes, the “kit”. Straddling that “have what you need” but “not the whole kitchen sink” dilemma. Rule of thumb is everything should have at least two uses – if possible.Absolutely agree that a head torch is a brilliant (no pun intended!) idea! People scoff, but once you’ve used one, you wonder why you ever held a flash light in your hands!Can’t believe you forgot your binoculars! That’s is a major error in Africa! Obviously you lived to tell the tale….But string – my top tip is shoe laces! Use your shoe laces when you need string. And then you get the two uses thing.Anyhoo, have enjoyed reading the blog and looking forward to seeing you back in NYC soon!!Kate

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