All packed and ready to go. Yup. Never thought it would happen but I can safely say I am finally done. My life for the next few months has been crammed into a 70-litre backpack as my main bag and a small 35-litre backpack for the stuff I need during the day. Quite surprising actually considering all the things I am taking with me.
I am not going to lie, this has been quite a stressful process. The idea of backpacking is that you take what you need but not too much of it either. The idea of traveling light has never been my forte, so as you can imagine trying to fit everything I could possibly need for life on the road into 70 litres was quite a challenge but I think I have done it. Ok ok, the bag weighs a whopping 18 kilos, but I have packed for all eventualities and within the suggested limit. Pretty impressive if you ask me. What have I packed exactly? Well, below is a list of items I advise you to take and a few links from websites that I used as a guideline. I have also added in the list given to me by the company that I am going to work for hopefully.
Things I have taken:
Sleeping bag, small pillow, quick drying trousers (not the zip off kind, not many can pull those off), waterproof jacket, thin but toasty fleece, kikois, shorts, skirts, long and short sleeved shirts, vest tops, underwear including sports bra, socks (thick and thin), bikini, swimming costume, boardies, cardigan, smart outfit for a special occasion, black pumps, 2 pairs of flip flops, some tackies (trainers to everyone else), and sturdy walking shoes. I wasn’t sure whether to take boots or shoes but have gone for shoes for space saving. Yeah, I know, it’s a lot, but I am pretty sure that I will, at some point, be using most of it.
Along with all my clothing, I have taken a well-stocked first aid kit with antibiotics, antiseptic stuff, wound dressing, needles, and syringes, painkillers, antihistamines, anti-acid, antimalarial, stuff to stop diarrhoea, scissors, tweezers, papaya ointment, bandages, safety pins, antiseptic wipes and Sudocream. Hopefully, I won’t be needing any of these but you never know, this is after all Africa and the last thing that I fancy doing is being ill or needing to visit one of those grim local joints to relieve my bowels.
As well as clothes and first aid kits I am taking some gadgets with me like a camera and all that comes with it as well as my iPad and phone. I would take my iPod with me if it weren’t broken. Obviously, take the chargers, etc. for these and make sure that they are covered by your insurance if not then get separate insurance for them. I have added a head torch and pocket knife too and spare batteries just in case.
And lastly my wash bag and toiletries. In there I have shampoo, conditioner, soap, face wash, moisturizer, face cream, deodorant, wet wipes, sponge, razor and blades and a hair brush. I have also taken with me, as a luxury item, some makeup (an eyeliner pencil and an old faithful tube of mascara) and some perfume.
If that wasn’t already enough.
In my day bag, I have some guidebooks because I like highlighting and writing notes in them, my wallet, all my travel documents and photocopies of these. I have also added a few pens for just in case purposes and extra zip lock bags for wet stuff or for waterproofing. Hopefully, they will do the job.
Yes, it seems like a lot, and it probably is, but to be honest, everything I have taken will be useful in one way or another. If not for dressing but for stitching someone up roadside. Yes, the first aid kit was possibly a little on the extreme side but when in Africa, it is better to be safe than sorry.
The following links are what I used as a guideline for my packing. I thought I would add them in for anyone who is planning on traveling to get a better idea of what others are taking too. These are, like I said, only a guideline and my list is my personal choice. Not all of this stuff is necessary therefore feel free to customize and add things or, or take them away for that matter. I’m just trying to be helpful.
Since all packing is now done, I head to Nairobi tomorrow for one last hoorah and for a last-minute chance to pick up anything I need before departing for the Maasai Mara on Sunday. I’ll meet the crew, as well as the others who have decided that over-landing is the way to see Africa and we will all head off on an epic road trip adventure. It’s all exhilarating really, and I can’t wait. The weather is a bit of a worry as the Mara is underwater, but it is all part of the adventure.
I am a bit sad to leave the comforts of my home and the company of familiar faces, but I have wanted to travel Africa for a while, so my level of excitement is masking any effects I may be feeling from all the cons of leaving. I have also been itching to get back to work after three months of being a lazy bum. I am looking forward to having the much-needed income again as well as something to do that doesn’t include watching Honey Boo Boo Child or Total Wipeout on TV.
Until then, I am sorry that this post isn’t much of an exciting thing to read, but packing seemed like a good place to start. As I said, I am not much of a writer, but I promise that at least the content of posts will improve over the coming months. I hope to make you all a little jealous and to ignite some travel interest in some of you. This is my Africa experience; my adventure starts now… and I am excited!