A practical guide to your missions trip in Africa

Practical guide

Travel to any country can be exciting, but daunting! To help you prep for your mission trip to Africa, we thought it good to put together a few practical tips to help you prepare for your departure.

Documentation
When you get to the packing stage, your passport and relevant travel documents should already be in your possession. Important things to remember include your passport, a copy of your passport (certified if possible) and any inoculation documents. Do not pack your birth certificate or similar documents as this is unnecessary and a risk should you lose them. A good way to make sure you have back-up for your documents is to place them in your carry-on luggage (separate from your originals), give copies to your group leader or email it to your travel consultant.


Clothes and luggage

The kinds of clothes you pack are area and season specific. But long-sleeved, loose clothes are always a good idea when you travel in Africa. It prevents mosquito bites and can adjust to both warmer and colder temperatures. Of course a warm jacket is a good idea too! Make sure to do research into the local cultures and assess if your clothes are culturally acceptable. Remember you’re only allowed 20 – 25 kgs (around 44 pounds) depending on the airline. Rule of thumb is to pack the essentials!

It is a good idea to pack some overnight clothes and toiletries (less than 100mls per item) in your carry-on, just in case your luggage arrives a little late – or gets lost. Don’t worry, this doesn’t happen often, but no matter where you travel this could be one of those inconvenient hiccups!

Medications
Take care beforehand to find out whether you need any form of medication for the country you are visiting (like Malaria prevention tablets), as well as inoculations. Take some basic medicines, like nausea and pain tablets etc.
Your hosts should have medi-kits though.

Cameras and equipment
Yes, you would need some form of camera to capture your moments. There are a few things to keep in mind though – have a practical bag in which you can carry your camera; make sure you bring the right adapters and chargers, as well as extra batteries and be aware of where your camera is at all times. Another good point to remember is that once you are here, always be sensitive to the rules of a project regarding photos (if you are working within a project) and also be sensitive to the community you work with. This would mean asking permission to take a photo of someone and not making a huge fuss about it. On a side note – when you return home, be sensitive about where you post any photos taken.

If you plan to bring your cellphone, make sure to remember an adapter and charger. You may have access to Wi-Fi (depending where your travels take you) and could therefore be in touch with family through various internet-based platforms. Once again, keep your cell phone safe at all times.

Journal and Bible
Last, but by no means the least – pack your Bible! Your foundation for your mission trip should always be planted in God and reading your Bible daily will keep you focused. A travel journal would help for writing down special moments, experiences and prayers. It is a good way to document your spiritual experience and the perfect souvenir to a life-changing experience in Africa.

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