What to Pack on a Rural Trip …

South Africa – the land of the ‘Big Five’ where people head off for safaris and a new cultural experience. 

Although I have not been to South Africa yet, I have been to Tanzania for a month, so that coupled with extensive research and correspondence with the company I am going with and with someone who has done what I am going to do, I have compiled a list of things to bring when heading off to the rural country of South Africa. This list can also be applied to other countries like Tanzania or Zimbabwe.

In your main pack:

  • Sleeping bag! – Even if you’re staying in a hotel, I recommend bringing one as places aren’t always the most sanitary.
  • Mozzy net – you don’t want to get bitten by those pesky things!
  • Sewing kit – sounds a little random but can be so useful when you’re at your last pair of clean trousers before wash day and they’re torn at the crotch!
  • Wash leaves – leading on to wash day, unfortunately there’s no washing machines! If you’re only staying for a week then wash leaves aren’t necessary but if longer then that, I highly recommend! You definitely want clean clothes.
  • Tablets – I particularly get travel sick when I’m on a coach so I have got lots of travel sickness tablets! I also have diarrhoea tablets as the change in diet is very likely to mess with your system, also the water is likely to contribute to this as well. You should also bring vitamins to help maintain a balanced diet, and painkillers.
  • Shampoo bars – the company, Lush, have made shampoo bars that can last up to 40 washes! They’re small and come in a little tin so they’re a lot better then a bottle.
  • Soap bars – this is the same as the shampoo bars, this is just for your body instead.
  • Bite soother – this is a great soother for those itchy mosquito bites
  • After sun – the sun in these parts of the world are scalding so to save your skin from drying out, you should really bring a bottle of after sun.
  • Swimming costume – no matter where you are going, there can always be a chance of swimming! Trust me, I went swimming in a disgustingly green pond while in Spain that isn’t meant to be used as a pool!
  • Towel – depending on what type of trip you are going on, you can get a microfibre towel which is great for hiking trips when you cannot leave your main pack behind.

In your day pack:

  • Water bottle – get one with a covered cap as this stops you from drinking dust.
  • Insect Repellent – make sure you bring enough! And don’t forget to cover your feet and ankles.
  • First Aid Kit – you can get travel ones from Amazon which I highly recommend
  • Suncream – Ultrasun is the best brand you can get as you only need to apply it once a day and provides ultimate protection. Pack spares in your main pack too!
  • Sun balm – for your lips! Vaseline is useful for dry lips so bring some of that too but you don’t want sun burn!
  • Whistle – sounds a little ridiculous but this is a good safety procedure. Have a whistle attached to your bag so if anyone attempt to mug or hurt you then you can at least scare them away with the whistle.
  • Torch – in addition to the one on your phone, you don’t want your phone dying! Tourches can also be good for SOS signals should the situation arise, and also when you are wondering around the campsite in the dark, you don’t want to step on a snake!
  • Playing cards – for when the sun is high and you’re chilling in the shade, this is a great way of passing time and having fun.
  • Binoculars – even if you aren’t in South Africa, the rural parts of any country have plenty of wildlife in so you want to be able to see them
  • Lonely Planet Guide – they are great way of getting the basics of the language and learning about the culture of the place you are visiting.
  • Camera – I have bought a new lens for my Canon EOS 6D camera (I do photoshoots on the side for people and their animals) and I cannot wait to use it on my trip!

I hope that you find this useful! If you have any other suggestion then leave them in the comments!

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