What to Take on Expedition - a Kit List | Sense Africa

Kit List

You should consider that whatever you pack, you will have to carry it.  Therefore, be careful not to pack too much.  Ideally you should have a 80 litre rucksack or holdall and a small day sack (30-35 litres).  Here are some suggestions as a guide:

Essential Items

  • Sense Africa Information
  • Photocopies of your passport and cash cards in case the originals are lost or stolen; the copies should be packed separately from the original documents
  • Passport
  • Spending money in Rand


  • Boots – Well worn, comfortable and sturdy walking shoes or boots.  Essential for project work.
  • Socks x 3 walking socks and 3 every day pairs of socks
  • Trousers
  • Shorts – long shorts or cropped trousers
  • Shirts – long sleeved for the evenings
  • Loose-fitting t-shirts
  • Underwear – cotton
  • Swimming costume / bikini / trunks
  • Sun hat – Hat, ideally with wide brim to protect head, face and neck from the sun, and/or bandana
  • Warm hat – for colder mornings when out on a game drive
  • Sunglasses (with high UV protection and wrap around)
  • Sandals
  • Fleeces – for cool evenings and early morning
  • Waterproof top
  • Watch
  • Towel / sarong / lightweight towel
  • Pyjamas/Nightwear
  • 1 pair of heavy duty gardening/work gloves
  • 1-2 nice sets of clothing for going out in the evening or to save for the end of your expedition

Please note that you may be working in areas where the locals expect a certain dress code.   Camouflage/military clothing is also not suitable.


  • Personal washing kit (we recommend bringing biodegradable soaps and shampoos)
  • First aid kit – personal
  • Antimalarials
  • Sun cream – SPF 25 plus
  • After sun
  • Insect repellent
  • Antibacterial hand sanitiser
  • Toothbrush / tooth paste
  • Lipsalve – with UV protection
  • Baby wipes – Not ‘Wet Wipes’ as they tend to sting the parts you really don’t want to sting!
  • Feminine hygiene / Tampons
  • Tissues

General Kit

  • Soft bag – 80 litres
  • Small day sack/rucksack (25 -35 litres).  You will carry this daily, containing water, spare rations, waterproof jacket, fleece or warm layer, camera and personal first aid kit.
  • Sleeping bag – 3 season.
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Sleeping mat.  This is to insulate you from the ground.  A sleeping mat will suffice but an inflatable ‘Thermarest’ will provide more insulation and comfort.
  • Mosquito net – box nets are the best
  • Torch – head torch being the best
  • Earplugs
  • Eye masks if you are a light sleeper
  • Batteries (camera / torches)
  • Camera and charger
  • Adapter
  • Reading books
  • Penknife
  • Water bottles x 2.  You should have enough capacity for 3-4 litres.  A bladder system of 1–2 litres is ideal for drinking as you move with a spare bottle or bladder.
  • Travel wash for clothes and nail brush
  • Padlock
  • Dry bag or plastic sealable bags (good at protecting equipment such as camera from dust, humidity and water)
  • Binoculars (if you have them, 10×40 are best for wildlife viewing; minimum recommended 8×32)
  • Wildlife field guide
  • Diary or journal
  • Games / cards / evening entertainment
  • Photos from home
  • Knife fork and spoon
  • Mug and plate/bowl
  • Tent – shared with others

Administration Stuff

  • Insurance details with emergency numbers
  • Sense Africa information handouts
  • Wallet
  • Money belt
  • Notebook and pens or pencils

Personal First Aid Kit

  • Personal medication e.g. prescription drugs/inhalers
  • Plasters
  • Crepe bandage 7.5cm
  • Painkillers
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Antihistamine cream and tablets
  • Anti-diarrhoeal tablets (e.g. Loperamide, Imodium)
  • Throat sweets
  • Re-hydration sachets X 30 (e.g. Diarolyte)
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Water purification tablets (enough for 40 litres)
  • Malarial tablets

Presents for the Community

Group Kit

Tents make up most of the group kit that needs to be taken out from the UK. Depending on the community projects and the students choice of activities on the expedition a fair bit of time will be spent under canvas. The tents will have been organised by the group and Expedition Sense before departure. It is imperative that the tents are looked after properly and also respected. Each student should be responsible for part of the tent when travelling out to Africa but once in Africa the tents can be packed away properly and allocated as part of the general kit.

Tent groups will be decided at the training weekends.