Ultimate Packing List for Africa with Kids
The last couple of months have all been about where we are going to stay in Rwanda. Having decided to go (and here are my 5 reasons why) I have spent a lot of time sorting out the detail of the hotels and the lodges and the travel. It has occupied a lot of time and has not been straightforward. I have had a lot of help from the wonderful Kat at World Fusion Tours but ultimately I have had to decide where we should go, what injections we should all have and how long we should stay.
However now we only have 1 week to go I am into my least favourite stage – the stage that is Packing Hell. I mean I hate it. I will do anything to avoid actually doing it – including write this post. I can at least do that in the sunshine outside though.
The quest is made that little bit harder by the fact that we are taking with us 50kg of education supplies for the local schools and another 30kg of Rugby Kit for the rugby project we are going on with Friends of Rwandan Rugby. Leaving approximately two 30kg bags for our clothes and other stuff!
Hubby says this is plenty. Pack in hand luggage he says! – Hand Luggage?!? Has he seen the bag of toiletries and first aid type stuff I’ve bought! But honestly, a family of 5 does not travel to Africa with hand luggage only when this is their very first trip as a family. We need some virtual security blankets with us – don’t we!
Anyway I have consulted various/multiple/too many packing lists and have decided that I need to create my own. So there is a downloadable checklist attached to this post here:
But there is also a slightly more detailed list of what we are taking, and in some circumstances the reasons why. This is to help me if we go again, to help you if you are about to go, and to hopefully not put you off if you have ever thought about a trip, although I think the number of items on this list might scare some people off!
We are travelling for 13 nights, spending 5 nights on a charity project in schools and teaching Rugby so that reflects some of the clothing items, and we (hubby and I) are also gorilla trekking but I have hopefully highlighted the items just for that.
Disclosure: I am not able to pack this light so this is my minimum packing list not my actual packing!
Clothing & Accessories
Dresses – one casual dress and one nicer one (This will translate into about 5 each for the girls!)
Trousers – probably a loose pair fir travel and a pair of cargo trousers for Gorilla Trekking
Shorts – Probably around 5 for the girls!
T-shirts – 4/5 for us probably More for the girls
Long sleeved shirt – Specifically for trekking, I have this one by Regatta.
Fleece – Rainy season nights can get a bit chilly in more mountainous regions. It’s all about the layers.
Windbreaker/rain jacket/rain poncho
Underwear and Socks
Swimsuit/Swim shorts – Just in case for us on this trip as not many of the places we are staying at have a pool.
Light Scarf – dual purpose – warmth and if you need to cover up.
Hat – A more practical one than I would normally take, like this Spindle Hat by Regatta!
Gardening Gloves – Not on every list but we need these for Gorilla Trekking as there can be quite a lot of nettles.
Sturdy Sandals – Teva are my sandal of choice but the girls have sandals from Keen that they really like.
Trainers – Useful if you need to protect your feet from unsafe environments, we will also need for the Rugby! I wrote a post last year about comfy shoes for Disney and we will be taking the same ones!
Walking Shoes/Boots – We need these for trekking to see the gorillas.
Sandals – For the evening and in town.
Shower Gel/Face wash
Body Wipes – in case of lack of water
Toothbrush/ToothPaste – Including a Steripod for each of us, a toothbrush cover to protect from germs.
Brush/Tangle Teezer – We never leave home without the Tangle Teezer as other hairbrushes cause too many tears!
Hair Bobbles/Hair Bands/ – Necessary to keep the hair off your neck on those hot days.
Towel – Ideally a small light microfiber towel that absorbs water quickly and dries fast, such as this one from Theye.
Hand Sanitiser – I’ve bought an excessive amount of small bottles so we can all carry them, all the time.
Glasses & Case
Tweezers & Nail Clippers
Malarial Medication – We have Malarone for both us and the girls. In the UK many pharmacists in Asda for example can sell it to adults without a doctors prescription. You’ll need a prescription for the children though. We found Asda the cheapest for the tablets too.
Ibuprofen/Paracetamol – tablets and medicine versions for the kids
Mosquito Repellant Bands – I’m using these ones by Jungle Formula as well as DEET not instead, when we travel in Europe I may use instead.
Sun Cream – We are taking some Incognito Second Skin Suncream which is a sunscreen, moisturiser and insect repellent in one. Whilst it is DEET free so we won’t be making use of it instead of a insect repellant there are no conflicting scents that could help attract mosquitoes or other biting insects. You can buy it here.
First Aid Kit including Savlon/bandages/scissors
Plasters & Blister Plasters
Rehydration Solution We use Dioralyte as both adults and children can use it.
Clarityn and Piriton
Probiotics Kit We have one from Just for Tummies which contains live bacteria, digestive enzymes, garlic and tummy tea which both us and the kids can use.
Mobile Phone and Phone Charger
Extra Memory Cards
iPads – for the Kids
iPad Headphones for Kids – We have some new Cozyphones which look super cool! Will be really useful for car journeys too I think.
Headlamps/Torches – I’ve actually packed us one each.
Laptop – I’m a travel blogger, many of you can probably cope without!
Camera – To capture everything. We will have two cameras including the Canon 5D, a Go Pro and a new Kodak Pixpro S-1.
Chargers and adapters – Funny story my husband tries to buy a new one every time we go to the airport. We have a LOT.
Travel Document Essentials
Visa – Check if you need to purchase in advance/and how far in advance.
Cash – Check currency that is used and how best to use this.
Credit Card/s – What is accepted where you are travelling to – Visa/Mastercard/American Express
Hire Car Information
Maps / Guidebooks
Medical Insurance Info
Pens / Notebook
Money for Tipping
Mosquito Nets and Mosquito Net Repair Kit – We are carrying with us three additional ones by Lifeventure for the girls in case the rooms only have one over the main bed.
Books / Magazines
Games – Card games and light to pack games such as Uno and Dobble.
Travel Snug – To use on the plane and to assist with sleep on the international flights! We love them you can see our review.
I really hope you found this long list helpful. The list does contain some products we’ve been sent but also some we have just bought and some we’ve had for years.
If you have any questions about anything we are taking, or think we’ve missed something please do let me know!
NB: This list does contain some products I have been sent to review but it also contains significantly more that I haven’t.
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