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THE secret to packing for an African overland trip is to keep it light.

Even if it means sacrificing a favourite pair of shorts or that extra pair of shoes, it pays to leave room in your pack for the myriad of art pieces, board games and other souvenirs that you’ll pick up on the way.

Acacia Africa’s packing guide is a great indication of what’ll you need, and there are plenty of supermarkets on the way where you can pick up items you’ve forgotten.  But there are always small things that you might not think of before leaving home, but will make your trip a lot easier.

Here is a quick look at some of the items that made my trip allot smoother…

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A torch with a clip: Some of the tents have a handy hook inside where you can clip a torch to the roof of the tent. It makes it much easier to find your way around your belongings in the evening without relying on a headlamp

Moisteriser or aloe vera gel: You will get sunburnt. Its a foregone element of the trip. You and your fellow travellers will appreciate this by the end of the trip.  You should also pack plenty of spare sunscreen as it is both difficult to find and expensive in African supermarkets.

Leave-in conditioner: A small slice of luxury for the ladies with long hair. You’ll spend a lot of days in the wind and the sun and a good conditioner will help work out the serious knots.

Cards and dice: On our trip, a fellow Aussie had the foresight to bring along both. It gave the whole group plenty of entertainment on long driving days and afternoons by the bar.

Pens and paper: You’ll often need these at the border crossings and they’ll come in handy for games or keeping notes.

Blog by: Hannah Busch