20 essentials items for solo travel in AFRICA…

Caribou Sana!!

If you read my recent post with 5 ideas for your bucket list, you would have seen that one of the recommendations was solo travel/volunteering.

I recently travelled to Tanzania on a two week volunteer placement with IVHQ. It was such an incredible experience but I wish I was even more prepared for my African adventures…

If you’re planning on visiting Tanzania/Africa on holiday or as a volunteer, I AM YOUR PLUG! Here is the only list of essentials you’ll ever need to ensure you have a wonderful time exploring the Motherland <3

1. Rucksack  

I bought a bag from Mountain Warehouse to use as hand luggage or for any potential excursions such as a Kilimanjaro hike etc. It’s amazing quality so I know it will last me a while, it’s also waterproof with a water cover for wet weather!!


2. First Aid Kit

Add some Ibuprofen, plasters (band aids), Aloe Vera gel (perfect for sun burns, insect bites + everything), Sun screen - yes even for my brown guys and gals! The sun gets hot especially in dry season so keep your gorgeous skin safe from the rays!

3. Mosquito Repellent and Net

Not all regions have the same malaria risks but I would still recommend a repellent with as high deet as possible to avoid getting bitten. Malaria is real!

4. Filter water bottle or water purification tablets 

If you’re unable to access filtered or bottled water you can drink from a tap trusting that this bottle will filter away 99.9% of the impurities with the micro filter! I used a ‘travel tap’ bottle but there are other brands such as ‘Lifestraw’ that seem to have good customer reviews too.

5. Travel money belt/Bum bag

This will ensure that your valuables can be kept close to your body at all times. Stay smart loves!


6. Travel microfiber towel

This is quite compact therefore easy to travel with, super absorbent and quick drying!


7. Sanitary items - Menstrual Cup

This one is for the girls! It was recommended to me by two travellers I met in Tanzania who could not stop singing it’s praises. Apparently menstrual cups last years, they are reusable so are much better for the environment than tampons and you can keep it in for up to 12 hours depending on your flow. Thank me later x

8. Unlocked mobile phone

You can usually buy a SIM card if you need to be contactable during your time abroad. A SIM card with 10gb data from vodacom cost me 45,000 TZS which is approx the equivalent of £15. LIFE SAVER!

9. Adapter plug

Tanzania has the same plug sockets as the UK which is Type G and they use Type D too. Check before you travel.

10. Entertainment

A book, a journal and stationery, playing cards - whenever you have some downtime it’s always nice to have a good book you can dig into or something to pass the time. Here’s a book on my to read list…

11. A Padlock

I found it a bit fiddly to first set it but I’d recommend just using code 0000 to start with until you know how to set it properly then change your code as you wish. This will keep your valuables safe and secure during airport transit etc.

12. Spare Toilet Roll

This one seems a bit random but you never know when the toilet paper is gonna run out! Be prepared y’all.

13. Loose fitting/light weight clothes

HOT WEATHER ALERT! You’ll be grateful for having loose fitting clothes to let that much needed breeze in!

14. Immodium Tablets

I’ve kept this separate from the first aid kit ‘cos this saved my life. Runny belly is no joke, this will be your best friend.

15. Choice of Footwear

Closed toe solid footwear, flip flops, sandals and trainers. You need options.

16. Good Quality Compact Camera 

You want to be able to take good quality pictures but also be able to keep your items concealed and safe.

17. Head Torch

It gets dark like pitch black dark so having a head torch helps plus it’s hands free!

18. Neck Travel Pillow, Sleep Mask and Ear Plugs

These make flying so much more comfy. Need I say more?

19. Anti Bacterial Hand Gel

To avoid any potential for stomach bugs, keep your hands clean!

20. Waterproof Suitcase Organisers 

These help you to manage exactly the outfits you need, keeps your clothes dry and doubles up to keep your dirty clothes separated from your clean garments.

I hope this helps you when you pack your bags for one of the best adventures of your life. Tanzania is a beautiful place, with wonderful people and so many amazing things to do. You defo won’t regret exploring this part of the world!!

Asante Sana for reading this post. Please like, comment and share :D 

Love and blessings,

Zoë Amara x