What to take to Africa


Apr 2nd, 1999, 07:44 PM
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What to take to Africa

Me and a friend of mine are planning a trip to mostly northern Africa - Morocco and a few places south. Any suggestion on what to take and what not to take? Thanks from a bunch of first timers
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Apr 2nd, 1999, 10:29 PM
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One item that I like to take is a hot water heater. In Africa, finding hot water for tea or a cup of coffee can be a pain. Bring earplugs for sure, moneybelt, sandles etc. Check out www.footloosetravel.com for a nice general article about what to take. Do try to wear light colored clothes due to the heat, but do dress modestly. Good luck
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Apr 3rd, 1999, 05:06 AM
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Pack along a small bottle of Purell (or similar product) waterless hand cleanser. It contains alcohol and kills germs without mess. Just be careful not to put your fingers into your mouth or rub your eyes, either before or after using the product.
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Apr 6th, 1999, 01:28 PM
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After spending two weeks in Morocco last fall, travelling around by ourselves (3 women), these are my suggestions: Al's suggestion on the Purelle is a must; if you can find wetwipes (those little squares they give you in lobster pounds), take them as well. Travel packets of Kleenex (toilet paper in public toilets is in short supply). The hot water heater only works if you have one that works on their current (U.S. current is different from every other in the world, I think, so that's what I go by). closed shoes (the streets in the medinas are really REALLy dirty) subdued clothing; by that I mean, avoid the t-shirts with graphic sayings. Though a very tolerant society, it is Moslem, so keep that in mind. For women, avoid short-shorts and skimpy tops. Mid-thigh to knee length shorts are fine. Again, you'll see Moroccan young women in tight black jeans and black leather jackets, but err on the side of conservative (think of how you'd dress if you went to St Peter's in Rome to wander around). Don't worry about soap, shampoo, etc. The Moroccans are very clean and personal hygiene products are readily available in stores (even show up in hotel room bathrooms). If you are a desert dweller or live in the tropics, the following will be preaching to the choir: TAKE SUNSCREEN, LONG-SLEEVED SHIRTS AND A HAT. Don't argue, don't tell me "I never burn, I tan"...you WILL burn in the desert sun. Take precautions. I am a desert dweller, and I wore a big-brimmed hat and sunscreen and nothing sleeveless while outside during the day. All three of us did this, nobody got burned...why do you think Berbers and Bedouins wrap themselves in yards of cloth? If I sound like I'm nagging, I am; I've seen too many of the winter visitors to our desert in the Southwest U.S. end up with 2nd degree burns not to preach!
This is up to you: individually wrapped candies, small trinkets (like what you get out of a gumball machine), stickers (the kind kids collect). In villages, the children have been given them by other tourists, and expect them (it's not really begging, they just want treats). I guess what made me squeamish was, as we were DRIVING through the mountains, children ran to the side of the road. Apparently, tourists throw candy, etc. from the car windows as they drive by.
Bring a small flashlight (if you're staying with a local family - especially in the outlying villages - you might bring an extra one to give as a gift). If you go into the mountains, bring something warm to wear; ditto if you go into the Sahara.
We want to return to Morocco as we loved it, and the people. Do NOT go into the area called Western Sahara; there's been a war going on for years, and it is unsafe. Algeria has parts that are dangerous, other parts that are very safe. If you want more info, please email me. Oh yeah bring as many rolls of film as you can carry; you'll take more pictures there than anywhere else you've ever been!
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