"Ex Africa semper aliquid novi", quoth Pliny the Elder. There is some debate about what he really meant, but most likely he meant trouble. In this sense has the phrase been used most often since but I hope to reverse the trend and on these pages bring you the exciting, novel and curious out of Africa.

And wherever I am I hope to remain,
Ex Africa Semper Yours,

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

What to take out there

This is what I was schlepping around the lake for three days and I found all these both necessary and sufficient (with three notable exceptions, see below).

  1. Mosquito net
  2. Sleeping mat
  3. Kettle and pot
  4. Cutlery and dish cloth
  5. Cup
  6. Pen knife
  7. Panga (machete)
  8. Torch
  9. Matches


  1. Salt and Pepper
  2. Onions and Garlic (4)
  3. Packet soup and sauce (4)
  4. Rice (1kg)
  5. Dried sausage (biltong, 300g) 
  6. Stock cubes
  7. 6 hard boiled eggs
  8. Earl Gray Tea


  1. Towel
  2. T-shirt, underwear and socks (1 change of)
  3. Sun screen
  4. Soap and sponge, toothbrush and toothpaste
  5. Medicines: plasters, bandages, disinfectant, painkillers, imodium, burn cream, water purification tablets
  6. Cigarettes
  7. 2 Books
  8. Notebook and Pens
  9. GPS
  10. Camera
  11. Hat
  12. Spare batteries (2)
This all fit into a medium size rucksack, with the mozzie net, mat and panga affixed to the outside with bungee ropes, and water bottles sticking out from the outside pockets.

The only thing I wish I had taken and I didn't was a jumper (pictured). Not only because this jumper has been with me for the last 20 years and is like a friend to me but also because it gets surprisingly cold at night and its no fun to shiver all night after a day's march.

And the only two things I did take but probably didn't need to was the extra book (I read 4 pages of one) and the water purification tablets - they taste so vile that I took my chances with the microbes on day two already.

Estimate weight minus water: 12kg

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