If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you saw I was in Kenya spending Christmas with my husband’s family and Nigeria with my extended family! I really encourage everyone to consider traveling to Africa at some point in life. The continent is absolutely stunning and the cultures are so rich! Even though each country is different, here’s a general guide for what to pack when traveling to Africa for vacation, based on what I brought with me to Kenya and Nigeria!
When I’m in my village in Nigeria, it’s usually so hot that I shower twice a day. The absolute worst thing is having a top that sticks to your body, so look for light, natural fabrics that will wick moisture away. When paired with loose bottoms, you can get away with simple crop tops or patterned off the shoulder tops. Make sure you avoid polyester!
Modest Length Bottoms
I remember the first time I went back to Nigeria as a kid, my mom instilled in my brain that I couldn’t pack the shorts I normally wore in the states because they were too short. I’m finally adult enough to show my knees without thinking my grandmother will hop out of somewhere and scold me, but I do try to avoid shorts or anything in the mini category. Ruffle skirts are great for Africa, as are casual midi length skirts. Wide legged bottoms are my go to, and I bring along a pair of light wash jeans for cooler nights.
When mixed with humidity, crowded populations, and optional use of deodorant, African heat can be life threatening. Pack light and airy dresses that promote air flow and don’t constrict your movement. I like maxi dresses with slits for ventilation, as well as off the shoulder dresses that make a quick and easy outfit. For a night out, pack a colorfully patterned dress with a tropical theme!
Shoes and Accessories
Bring a pair of simple, well made leather sandals that will be easy to wipe down after a day of walking through dusty roads. You’ll also want a pair of nicer sandals, perhaps a set of ruffle slides. Sunglasses are a must, and these retro styles are regaining popularity. Fringe and tassel earrings are the quickest way to add some excitement into your vacation look. Don’t forget your swimsuit – a chic one piece or a high waisted two piece are both safe bets.
You’ll want to bring along a small crossbody that is sensible for travel anywhere, and woven bags work well for vacation vibes. Of course you’ll need a large suitcase, preferably a hardside that will stand up to being thrown around on the long plane ride. A carry on bag with charging capabilities is also a must!