Packing for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

It’s under a day now until my departure to Addis Ababa. My goal had been to “frontload” my packing for fear of any unwanted popups. I believe I’ve done a semi-successful time of planning ahead. I have moved some times before – to London (Ontario) or Vienna – but preparing for Addis Ababa has its own set of challenges. Entering a developing African country typically means bringing everything with you that you would miss. With that being said, you can probably find the majority of actual necessities in-country. The issue only arises once we have to answer the question: what is a necessity?

So below you will find an extensive list of what I decided to bring. Perhaps this could be of use to future travelers on work placements in Addis Ababa, or a similar developing city with a high-altitude climate. Here it goes!

Important Documents
– Travel Immunization Record
– Extra different sized passport photos (6)
– Proof of graduation (work permit purposes)
– Photo copies of passport, atm/visa cards, birth certificate, sin card, provincial health card, student card, vaccination record
Passport, Vaccination and Flight Information - Important Documents
– Bank, health insurance & emergency contact information
– Reminder cards. Since I have not earned the habit of eating safely in a developing country, I created reminder cards to store in my purse summarizing some key statements.

Reminder Cards

Reminder Cards

– Flight tickets
– Passport
– Select photos of family and friends
– US$

– Camera, memory card reader, extra memory card
– Computer
– Video camera, DV tapes (5) + cleaning tape
– External Hard drives (3)
– Wristwatch with alarm
– Chargers
Adapters (Europlug 2-prong + India/Asia 3-prong) this was a bit of a headache
Electrical adapters for Ethiopia
– Surge Protector
– eReader
– Ethernet Cord
– Mp3 player & headphones

– Mosquito Net (permethrin soaked nets, advised as extremely effective, are not available in Canada)
– Bed sheet
– Towel
– Microfiber towel
– Umbrella
– Hand sanitizer (2)
– Water purification drops
– Emergency blanket
– Mosquito Repellent 30% DEET
– Flashlight
– Moist wipes
– First Aid Kit (assorted bandaids, blister bandaids, tweezers, alcohol pads, polysporin, waterproof matches, clotrimazole topical cream, surgical gloves, adhesive tape, scissors)
– Diarrhea Kit (chicken & beef bouillon, immodium, pepto bismol, gastrolyte, gravol, cipro)
– Laundry Kit (Woolite detergent travel packs, clothes line, sink plug – I’d recommend Austin House, tide to go, laundry bag)
– Kleenex
– Swimsuit
– Sunglasses
– Sunscreen
– Scissors
– Pencil Case
– Double sided tape
– Bandana (for lengthy dusty travel)
– Paperback books (I brought…Richard Dowden’s Africa, Amharic Phrasebook, a book borrowed from a friend – Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, and a title I sourced in a Veinnese bookshop History of Ethiopia, Paul Henze. And of course, the much-loved Bradt guide on Ethiopia, Philip Briggs)
– Map of Ethiopia
– Blank small notepads
– One checked bag, one 45L carry-on backpack (I love MEC)

Personal Hygiene
– Facial wipes, eye makeup remover pads
– Hairdryer
– Personal medications (advil, caltrate, vitamin D)
– Contacts, solution, eye drops
– Lip balm
– Razors
– Toothpaste
– Preventative blister balm
Favourite shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner
– Face cream, cleanser
– Sanitary napkins

– Parmesan cheese: I’m not sure if this one is allowed but I’m going to claim it and see.
– Peanut butter (750g of Skippy is a true necessity for me!)
Food to pack
– Favourite Teas & Hot chocolate
– Lindt chocolate bars: I read a blog that the chocolate wasn’t very good so just in case I get that craving
– Spices (cumin, mustard, cinnamon, basil, thyme, oregano, salt&pepper)
Sriracha hot sauce – only my staple ingredient in every dinner
– Soy sauce
– Protein bars (Cliff & Luna brand are great)
– Baking powder
– Almonds
– Travel mug: required for my coffee before work every morning

Considering that most Ethiopians dress conservatively, I erred on the side of long-sleeve tops, pants and loose lightweight clothing.
– Variety of work-appropriate collared shirts (preference to long-sleeves)
– Basic tank tops for layering and casual cotton long-sleeve tops
– Slacks (3), capris , long shorts (2) and a pair of jeans
– Long skirt, pencil skirt, knee-length dress
– Cardigans (4), sweaters (4) and blazer (1)
– Footwear: boots, open-toe sandals, black pumps, tan flats, running shoes, walking shoes and flip flops
– Rain jacket, leather jacket
– Scarves (3), tights and leggings
– Gym strip (3)

This list may have been excessively exhaustive in the depth of information I provided. At the very least, it highlights what I perceive I need versus what many other people may require elsewhere.


2 responses to “Packing for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  1. Definitely not an excessive list! It’s interesting to see what others want to bring with them on a big move to a foreign country. Good luck!

  2. mmm sriracha! good choice. 😛

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