Planning a trip to Africa? Our guide covers the essentials you will need in your packing list for Africa. This is a massive continent and items aren’t so easily found in many African countries, compared to say travelling in Europe or Southeast Asia. This Africa packing list is light enough to carry, which will make your travels much easier.  

Packing List for Africa girl with red backpack africa

Let’s get to it! The Only Packing List for Africa you need

How to Choose the Right Travel Bag

Ok, some people are backpack travellers and others couldn’t think of anything worse than lugging their lives on their backs, they need a suitcase.

Depending on the type of travel you are doing in Africa, I’d recommend a different travel bag. 

If you are just visiting Africa on an organised safari, staying in lodges and having all logistics taken care of (lucky you), then a suitcase would work for you. 

We’re huge fans of Nomatic suitcases.

If you’re joining an organised small group tour (see trips with G Adventures), an overland expedition or travelling independently, then a backpack is highly recommended.

Choosing a backpack over a suitcase for your packing list for Africa will give you more flexibility in your movements.

You will encounter dirty and dusty vehicles, your baggage will be stuffed under seats or tied to the top of a bus (with livestock) and you may have to nurse your main backpack on your lap for the longest bus journey you’ve ever encountered.

It is a little easier to bear all of this and move more freely if you have a backpack rather than wheeled luggage.

Nowadays, you can buy some awesome travel bags that offer both options, like the Osprey Wheels 36 Bag. You can wear this bag as a backpack and then convert it into a rolling bag too.