Merely 3 Sleeps (Packing List)

Wow, wow, wow! Someone pinch me I cannot believe that this epic African adventure begins in just 3 sleeps. There is no way I am sleeping tonight. The excitement is crazy in this house and I am way to energetic to sleep.

I wonder though if it works like Christmas? You know when your parents told you the faster you go to bed the faster Santa will come! I think I will test this theory tonight and hope that my usual dreams of Kilimanjaro do not wake me from a dead sleep wondering if I remembered to pack socks, undies or my water bottle!  But then if I go to sleep and it does come fast, then the faster it comes the faster it will be over and then … STOP Brande! Enjoy, embrace, breathe and take it all in!

Ok well enough with that spiral of excitement with a side of worry, here is what I accomplished today in prep for departure … I packed for the tourist part of the African adventure (the other 4 weeks we are away).

packing for Africa

Everything you need for 4 weeks in a 65 litre pack? No problem!

For anyone doing a 2+ week trip in a warm weather climate, here is the packing list that has treated me so well for so many vacations to date and is exactly what I used for this African vacation as well!


Rules: everything should be plain, solid coloured or an easy print. Think about bringing stuff that you could toss your 1 scarf on with (see below) to change the look technically getting you another outfit without actually changing. Also, everything on top must match everything you bring for bottoms so really think about the fabrics you bring and the colours. BUT DON’T OVER THINK!  Oh and keep the cleavage and the spaghetti straps to a minimum, we don’t want to draw too much attention to the goods.

  • 3 T-Shirts
  • 1 Long Sleeve T-Shirt
  • 1 Sweater
  • 4 Tank tops
  • 1-2 technical shirts (tank, tee or long sleeve – these are good for when you are working out, hiking, jogging, or even to wear under a wet suit)


Rules: everything again should be solid coloured, this is not the time to bring out those stripped crazy pants! Also don’t go too short on the shorts, tourists should dress modestly. We want to see the sights not be the sight to see! 

  • 1-2 Shorts
  • 1 Jean
  • 1 Comfy / Travel Pant
  • 1-2 Sporty Pant or Capri (think of what you want to wear driving for hours, and also good for the plane, and for sight-seeing)

Full Body:

  • 1-2 Summer, Simple Dress (apply the same rules you would for the Upper above – plain, solid coloured or easy print and must match your scarf and your sweater)


  • 1 Bathing suit you like that you could hang out in all day (for any of you who groaned when you read the fact that you need a bathing suite, email me and I will remind you that you are beautiful and amazing!)
  • 1 bathing suit that could work under a wet suit or active water activities (not necessary if you can do it all in the 1 bathing suit you are bringing but I tend to bring a a robust bikini top and little shorts plus my nice bathing suite for just pool and beach time)
  • 1 Bathing suit cover up


  • Scarf or Pashmina (think simple, solid or easy print again – you should be able to put this on with ANYTHING you have brought with you in the Upper, Lower and Full Body sections above)
  • Wind stopper / Water resistant jacket
  • Flip flips or sandals or flat closed toe shoe like Tom’s that can be worn with everything above, get wet, and worn out (no crazy bling, they had better not cause you blisters, and break them in before you go!)
  • Runners or light hikers for when you need to get your sweat on
  • Pajamas (top, bottom, comfy sleep bra)


  • 2 sports bras (hopefully some of your Uppers above allow for this comfort, and for around the hotel in pajamas, etc)
  • 1 nice light coloured bra
  • 1 nice dark coloured bra
  • 10-12 undies (if you have light coloured Lower stuff be sure to bring a mix of light and dark colours)
  • 1 slip if needed for your dresses OR 1 slip shorts (little slim fitting shorts made of slip material so you get the slip and avoid thigh chafe)
  • Socks for those shoes you brought


  • Keep this simple – before you go, one day put everything you use to get ready, in the morning, every medication you take, and what you use to get ready for bed at night in a basket – put all that stuff in a cosmetic bag and voila! (Do NOT even think about packing that face mask or night cream you have been dying to try with you – you will not use it, it will be a waste of room and weight in your bag.)
  • Sunscreen … I should not have to specifically mention this because you should be wearing this everyday but if you do not … start and pack some!
  • Extra, travel specific meds (Think about any possible issues you would like to be able to deal with quickly without the hassle of foreign medical services. Bladder infection, traveler’s tummy, etc)

Might be worth thinking about:

  • Some laundry soap so you can hand wash and dry anything on the list until or in absence of a Laundromat
  • Some little and big zip locks, just a few and just in case
  • A thin bag for your dirty clothes to keep it separate from your clean stuff
  • Hat (something that goes with the Upper and Lower above)
  • Travel towel (for your water activities)
  • Toe nail polish
  • Book(s) to read
  • Journal and pen to document your adventure
  • Handbag / courier bag – small but big enough for camera, snacks, water, etc. but not so big that your hips or shoulder aches from carrying it!
  • Camera, more camera cards than you think, charger
  • Sunglasses

From my backpack to yours!


PS: Did you know 3 sleeps is only 72 hours? eeeeeeek so excited!

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