Bring fancy quick-dry clothes made of rip-stop nylon (because the cruelest thorns in the world are found in Africa). The type of clothes that cost a lot of money in Patagonia catalogs. Preferably the pants that have legs that zip off and become shorts. Because you never know when you might have to zip down and run from a hungry hyena. Because Africa is an adventure.
You will need a backpack. One with lots of pouches and zippers and an assortment of loops and fasteners. To carry all of your Swiss army knives and sunscreen and bird/mammal/reptile/tree/ethnic person ID guides. Because you must be prepared to overhaul a Land Rover engine in the shade of an acacia using a Leatherman and a pack of chewing gum while a herd of nervous zebra and a wizened old Maasai man standing on one leg watch indifferently. It’s part of the authentic African adventure. If you don’t have a broken-down Land Rover and a wizened Maasai elder, they can be provided for you at the concierge desk for a nominal fee and a non-refundable deposit.
A water bottle is a must. To carry a constant supply of filtered/boiled/purified water. The water that over 1 billion Africans drink cannot be trusted. Preferably a Nalgene bottle, but not the type made from the alphabet-soup of chemicals that someone said causes cancer. Or better yet, an aluminum bottle fastened to one of the many loops of your backpack with an ornamental non-functional carabiner. Because nothing says you’re ready for the African adventure like a replica carabiner. You never know when you might have to rappel down Vic Falls to escape a charging rhino, or a mercenary army intent on conducting a coup d’etat.
You will need a fanny pack and/or one of those concealed money belt things to carry your thousands of Euros and Dollars safely hidden within the rolls of your fleshy midsection. Because adventurous African thieves never think to check there. Even though you would never wander aimlessly around New York City or London or Berlin with wads of cash, the adventurous allure of Africa compels you to do so in Kampala or Nairobi or Johannesburg. Being robbed is all part of the adventure, you know, part of the authentic African experience. The authentic theft experience can also be arranged at the concierge desk for an additional fee. Armed robbery is extra.
You must wear socks with your sandals and shorts, to help prevent scorpion or black mamba bites in the wild and adventurous African bush. When you are not wearing your sock/sandal combo you will of course be wearing expensive hiking boots capable of conquering Africa’s highest peaks. You must bring a pair of running shoes, because you never know when you might train with Kenyan marathoners. It’s part of the African adventure. No one wears ordinary shoes in Africa. You must purchase a pair of sandals made from discarded tires, and wear them back home to show everyone how African you have become, but you must tell everyone, “Can you imagine? They make shoes from tires! Industrious buggers.”
Above all else, you must carry a camera strapped around your neck everywhere you go. A large and expensive one with a bazooka-like lens to capture the far-away African wildlife. Even better if it also records high definition video which you could sell to National Geographic. Photograph everything and everyone. Especially the exotic people. The more naked the better. Extra points if she’s suckling a baby or has one strapped to her back. That’s the only authentic way to show people back home how adventurous Africa is.