SOUTH AFRICA VOLUNTEER TRIPPacking for adventure
PACKING THE ESSENTIALS
I thought I was going to go light, but it seems I need a full case or big bag as there are some things to consider when you are going to be in a tropical country in rain season in the middle of the bush. Part of our tracking will be at night as well.
- First of all, comfortable ‘bush clothing’ in dull colours. Forget your whites, and colourful clothes, think khaki, beige, brown, grey, green. Combat trousers, that you can convert into shorts. I got mine from Decathlon.
- Long sleeved cotton tops or shirts, to keep the mosquitos off. Again Decathlon was the place to be.
- Waterproof jacket and trousers, think tropical rain
- A hat or peak cap, I got a Tilley hat, as they are lightweight, waterproof and ideal for being outdoors all day.
- Thick jacket with a hood, gloves and a scarf in all seasons, as it can get cold at the back of the open 4×4 in the mornings. Bandannas are very versatile.
- Walking/hiking shoes, lightweight, waterproof and comfortable. I did some research and I got Merrell Intercept. They didn’t even need breaking in, very comfortable.
- A small rucksack for during the day to hold the daily necessities; water, sunscreen, snacks, camera, hand-santitiser, etc.
- Sunscreen lotion; factor 40 or higher and a lip balm with SPF
- Sunglasses with UVA protection
- A large water bottle, 2 liters or more
- Mosquito and tick repellent, for South Africa, Tabard is the brand to go with, with Deet 35%
- Lotion to soothe mosquito and insect bites (Anthisan or any mepyramine cream)
- First aid kit ( plasters,painkillers, eye drops, cold capsules, allergy meds, diarrhoea/nausea tablets, epi pen if needed)
- Any chronic/long-term medication
- Plug adaptors/converters for South Africa
- A torch is ESSENTIAL and COMPULSORY
- Binoculars, I have a monocular
- Camera and lots of film or a large memory card and spare batteries
- Shorts and t-shirts as it will be hot during the afternoon
- Sandals/flip-flops for relaxing in camp
- Spare batteries, try to use rechargeable ones, which is more environmentally friendly
- Mobile phone and charger
- Personal toiletries (champoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, dry shampoo, facial cleansing wipes are useful, nail brush, as you will be glad you’ve got it with you)
- If you wear glasses, bring a spare
- Ear plugs if you are a light sleeper
- Swimwear, as in some of the reserves are pools
- A good book or two, or something to keep you occupied during midday relaxing time
- A travel journal, if you want to record your experience
- Mosquito net
- Spending money
- Towels, bed linen are provided normally
- South African SIM card, can be bought at the airport, so you have internet during your stay. Don’t forget to buy AIRTIME, which is for your data.
Most importantly a sense of adventure, flexibility and good spirit are essential.
THIS IS ZULULAND, NOT DISNEYLAND