Compass

What to take on your Overland Adventure

Inexperienced travellers often pack unnecessary things and forget to carry essentials items on their overland expeditions. Some things should certainly not be overlooked when packing and we have listed a few items below that will get you started. Please note, however, it is by no means a comprehensive list and should be used as a guide only:

Documentation (what to take):

  • Cash / Debit Card / Visa Card
  • Passport
  • E-visa / Visas (if applicable)
  • Travel Insurance details
  • Day Pack
  • Yellow Fever Certificate and Record of Travel Vaccinations Booklet

Equipment (what to take):

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Self-inflating roll mat or Foam mat for sleeping on
  • Camera and protective case / Lenses (at least two) / Memory Cards / Film / Video Camera / Charging Equipment / Spare Batteries / Polarising Filter and Lens Hood for SLR’s to help minimise the washed out effect caused by very bright sunlight / USB cable or downloading photos
  • Watch & Alarm Clock
  • Travel Adaptor
  • Head Torch / Hand Held Torch (plus spare batteries)
  • Water Bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Binoculars
  • Ipod / MP3 / Mobile Phone / Charging Equipment / Spare Batteries
  • Pocket Knife
  • Journal / Diary / Writing Implements
  • Zip lock bags for dusty / sandy conditions

Cameras are an important part of any expedition and should be used with modesty in populated areas. To ensure you capture the perfect image make sure you bring all the correct accessories, memory cards, chargers, instruction manuals etc., or learn how to use the camera properly before setting off.  Please remember it is advisable not to take photos of border posts, airports and bridges while it is forbidden to take photos of anything military, therefore, proceed with caution as you may have your camera / film confiscated by irate officials. Please also be respectful when taking photos of people. As a general rule of thumb it is always better to ask first.

If you bring a mobile phone to Africa the cheapest way to keep in contact is to buy a local sim card in each country you visit. Remember – have your mobile phone unlocked prior to leaving home so it will accept local sim cards or at least arrange international roaming.

It would be worthwhile bringing 12V in-car chargers in addition to your 230V mains chargers and travel plugs for your electrical equipment. Our safari truck is equipped with various charging points including 12 volt cigarette lighter charger sockets.

Health & Medication:

  • Malaria Tablets
  • Any other medication required
  • Anti diarrhoea  treatment / rehydration salts
  • Insect Repellent – DEET based

First Aid Kit

  • Assorted Plasters
  • Bandages (elasticated & triangular)
  • Antiseptic ointment / Antihistamine cream & tablets
  • Eye drops
  • Stop itch or similar

Clothing

  • Wet Weather Jacket
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Clothes for all climates
  • T-shirts or similar
  • Shorts & Jeans
  • Hat
  • Long Loose Trousers (zip off legs are handy)
  • Long Sleeved Cotton Shirts
  • Smart Clothing for Evenings Out
  • Light Jacket / Jumper for cold nights
  • Sunglasses
  • Swim Wear
  • Towel and / or Sarong
  • Hiking Sandals or Similar Footwear
  • Comfortable Enclosed Walking Shoes or Hiking Boots (recommended for Gorilla Trek)
  • Socks
  • Washing Bag

Long sleeved light coloured loose shirts and trousers are advisable for the evenings. Light cotton clothing dries faster if you get caught in a tropical downpour.  It is advisable to pack sufficient clothes for 5 – 7 days. You can pay to have your washing done by locals at the majority of campsites, or you can do it yourself, however, very few campsites have washing machines so be prepared to hand wash!

Toiletries (most items are available to buy in Africa)

  • Soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, antibacterial hand wash, moisturiser, and lip balm
  • Sanitary items (female travellers)
  • Contraception
  • Sunblock 50+ and after sun

It is recommended that the items above are purchased before your expedition.  Most items can be purchased in Africa, however, the choice is limited and you may not get the brands or quality that you are used to.

Your luggage should be kept to one large soft sided backpack that will be stored in an outside locker on the safari truck and one medium sized day pack that can be kept with you in the truck. No hard-sided suitcases are permitted due to storage space. Keep in mind when packing that most airlines impose a 23 kg baggage limit – please check your airlines baggage allowances before travelling.


If you wear contact lenses, it is advisable to bring solution and a case for them or buy disposable lenses.

We advise that you only wear essential jewellery items, i.e., watch, small earrings etc. Please do not wear expensive jewellery items in Africa as it may draw unnecessary attention.