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Find your packing mojo -- 12 tips for Africa


Pack a pillow. No, not the huge, fluffy one you normally sleep with. I’m talking about a small, portable pillow (I like the Equinox Headrest). The cheaper the accommodation, the less comfortable the pillow, if you get one at all. And let’s face it (pun intended), do you really want to put your head on those hostel pillows anyhow?


Seek out alternative power. If you’re bringing electronics that need to be recharged but wonder whether you’ll have electricity, invest in a small solar recharge system. For an iPod, consider bringing an extra battery. Don’t forget that rechargeable batteries, though environmentally friendly, are useless if you’re staying in a mud hut without an outlet. For this reason, I use a digital camera that runs off good old-fashioned throw-away batteries. And since it’s difficult to find quality batteries in some places, I carry extras of those, too.


Pack as little as possible. Now that I’ve added half a dozen items to your packing list, here’s the hard part: pack light. You’ve heard this a zillion times. You’ve dumped half of what you packed to lighten your load. Now lighten it even more. Can you walk around the block carrying all your stuff, and still have a free hand to shoo away strange men? Now you’re set to go.


Women's words on Africa...

Africa is mystic; it is wild; it is a sweltering inferno;
it is a photographer's paradise, a hunter's Valhalla,
and an escapist's Utopia.
(Beryl Markham, West With the Night, 1942)

We were Black Americans in West Africa, where
for the first time in our lives the color of our skin
was accepted as correct and normal.
(Maya Angelou, All God's Children, 1986)

Africa is a cruel country that will take the heart out of
your breast and grind it into powder, powdered
stone. And no one will mind, that is the worst of it.
No one will mind.
(Elspeth Huxley, The Flame Trees of Thika, 1959)

The breezes of the West African night were intimate
and shy, licking the hair, sweeping through
cotton dresses with unseemly intimacy, then
disappearing into the utter blackness.
(Maya Angelou, All God's Children, 1986)

In Africa people learn to serve each other. They live
on credit balances of little favors that they give and
may, one day, ask to have returned.
(Beryl Markham, West With the Night, 1942)


GirlTalk Africa...

Planning a trip to Africa? These women-centered articles will help to inform and prepare you for your upcoming adventures.
Travel safe, everybody!

What to Wear in Africa
She Tackles A Baboon in South Africa
Africa - Outdoor Bathrooms are Scary Things
Two Women and an African Baby
She and She and Necklaces
Morocco -- Her Tips for Travelling Solo
My Child is Named For an African Man
My Doctor, My Sister -- an encounter with an angel

Yummy Mummy Club

Penguins and the Paparazzi



Back to Guide for Packing



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