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Our Ultimate East Africa Packing Guide

Planning your trip to East Africa can be intimidating because there are many unknown elements. Preparing your suitcases and bags is one of the most important things about planning the trip. If you pack right, you will have a stress-free holiday. Packing is quintessential to having a good holiday time without worrying about the essential items you need throughout your trip. Our ultimate East Africa packing guide has got you covered.  

Plan Your Trip

Before we pack, you must plan your trip. It would help if you packed with purpose because you will need many essential items. If you have ideas about what you want to do on your trip (i.e., go on safaris, spend time at the beach, or enjoy your honeymoon with your significant other), you can start packing.  

Baggage Allowance

Once you have a better idea about what you need to do on your trip, the next step is to check your airline’s baggage allowance. Knowing your baggage allowance can save you a lot of money and trouble. You do not want to start your trip with a stressful check-in process where you have to pay for extra weight. Knowing your allowance will also help you pack your bags, keeping in mind the limit. 

Choosing the Right Bags

One of the most common packing mistakes is having the wrong bag. Given that you may travel long distances to reach East Africa, purchasing a versatile yet durable bag is critical. We recommend getting a hard-shell bag with four wheels. These are convenient, easy to manage, and sturdy. They keep your belongings safe as well. However, the only disadvantage is that they weigh slightly more than cloth-based bags.  

Learn About Your Locations

Now that you have your bags sorted, you will need to learn more about the places you will visit. For example, if you want to visit Dar-es-Salaam, you can pack casual clothes. However, if you spend most of your holiday at national parks, you must pack light, comfortable, and breathable clothing. You must wear clothes that sufficiently cover you to avoid mosquitos. 

The Essentials

Regardless of the type of trip you plan, there are essentials you will need for your trip to East Africa. These includes: 

  • Easy-to-carry and comfortable backpack, preferably waterproof
  • Appropriate clothing
    • If you are travelling for your honeymoon, pack plenty of casual clothes and one or two formal clothes for a romantic dinner/dhow cruise
    • For safaris, keep light and comfortable clothes
    • Raincoat 
  • Water bottles
  • Medications and health-related:
    • Pills for malaria, diarrhoea, aspirin, and nose spray
    • DEET Mosquito repellent
    • Sunblock
    • Moisturisers
    • Sanitizers and wet wipes
    • Bed Nets
  • Accessories
    • Chargers 
    • Caps/Hats
    • Binoculars
    • Sunglasses


Make a categorised checklist. You can categorise your items as essentials, good-to-have, and extras. Once you have prepared the checklist, you can start packing. 


The packing technique is essential, and many videos are available to help you learn how to use your bag space more efficiently. Learn these tips and tricks, and then pack your items based on the categories you made on your checklist. 

Travelling to East Africa is easy with all the right tips and information. Tanzania is one of the best countries to visit in the region. You can check out our 15 Things You Must Do in Tanzania to help you plan your trip.