A deck of cards! It can still rain sometimes, and in East Africa you can’t get a pack of cards on every corner like in the Netherlands.
The absolute essentials
- Your passport (but you can think of that yourself)
- Your visa approval letter from your destination, or 50$ cash to purchase it on arrival.
- Your yellow book with the necessary stamps in it!
- Passport photos when you plan to cross borders (2 or 3 is enough)
- Your debit card (don’t forget to set it to ‘World’) and your credit card (you can almost always pay with it everywhere)
- Insurance card… You never know!
- Your phone. (well, in case you forget)
- Small pouch/herb bag to store these important things in
DEET! It’s also important. Preferably two bottles.
- A few nice summer sets (for the ladies: the hotpants are better kept for your holiday in Spain)
- Lightweight pants! It can get quite cool at certain altitudes, and it’s an extra obstacle for thirsty mosquitoes to attack your legs.
- One sweater. For the plane or bus where the air conditioning is always blasting, and for when the evening falls during your trip.
- A light jacket for the in the evening
- A thin raincoat
- About five pairs of underwear (which you can happily wash yourself in the shower)
- Three pairs of socks
- Flip-flops & sandals
- Sneakers (which you can also hike on)
- Your bikini, swimsuit or trunks
- A head covering like a cap or a tourist-proof safari hat to prevent sunstroke
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Face cleansing wipes: also for men! The unpaved roads can be dusty, and the bigger cities can leave a layer of pancake on your face.
- For the ladies: some make-up (but not too much, please, you’re on a trip. Lipstick is nice when you go out!)
- A comb or a brush, whatever you like.
- SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN! Bring one with factor 30 and one with factor 50.
- Aftersun for those who turn into tomatoes
- Soap and shampoo, preferably in a small bottle
- A piece of soap to wash clothes with (or underpants)
- Deodorant (for the sake of your fellow travelers)
- Betadine/sterilon or another disinfectant
- Band-aids, a piece of bandage, blister plasters, and sports tape (to tape heels to prevent blisters, or basically to tape anything)
- Paracetamol and ibuprofen
- Imodium / ORS, for when things are running south
- A pair of needles (buy at the pharmacy for 50 cents each)
- Malaria pills
- AUX cable (especially if you’re going to drive yourself!)
- Portable speaker (and the downloaded Charlie’s Travels Spotify list)
- Your phone charger (what would you do without us!)
- Power bank (really very handy)
- A world plug or just an adapter for English sockets because they have them here too.
- Photo camera!
Curious about Kenya?
- Sleeping bag liner! And pillowcase. Very essential if you’re staying in a hotel and you’re not sure when the bedding was last washed.
- Possibly a (impregnated) mosquito net.
- Sarong (really handy, can be used as a towel, but also as a dress or skirt)
- A small quick-drying towel (Beaver!)
- Driver’s license (if you’ve got one, and if you’re gonna drive)
- Earplugs (for when you’re trying to sleep on the bus while the African soap opera is playing on the TV screens at full volume)
- A padlock with code
- Possibly a pocket knife
- Handkerchiefs: multifunctional! Whether you need them in a restroom without toilet paper or just have a runny nose.
- A pack of cards! It can still rain sometimes, and in East Africa you can’t get a pack of cards on every corner like in the Netherlands).
- A book. One is enough, when you’ve finished it you can easily find others.
- An E-reader can also be used instead of a book.
- A small notebook and a pen to write down special experiences.
- Possibly a very thin little bag for under your clothes to keep money in. Handy but not necessary.