The Ultimate Guide on How to Survive a Long Flight on the way to Africa

How to survive a long-haul flight - aircraft in flight

Image by Johannes Kirchherr from Pixabay 


Travelling to Africa is an exciting adventure that can offer some of the most breathtaking landscapes, fascinating wildlife, and diverse cultures on the planet. However, for many travellers, the long flight to Africa can be a daunting prospect. With flights lasting anywhere from 8 to 20 hours, sitting in a cramped space for such a long time can be challenging both physically and mentally. In this ultimate guide, we will provide you with tips and tricks on how to survive a long flight on the way to Africa, from packing smart to staying comfortable and entertained during the journey.

Pre-flight preparation

Before embarking on your long flight to Africa, there are several things you can do to prepare yourself for the journey:

  • Research and choose your seat: If possible, choose a seat with extra legroom or near the aisle so that you can stretch your legs and move around more easily. Check out for seat maps and advice from other flyers
  • Pack light: Only bring the essentials and avoid overpacking. This will save you the hassle of lugging heavy bags around the airport and on and off the plane.
  • Get plenty of rest: Try to get a good night’s sleep before your flight, so you are well-rested and energized for the journey

How to survive a long-haul flight - onboard the aircraft

On-board essentials

Once you’re on the plane, there are several things you can do to make the flight more comfortable and enjoyable:

  • Dress comfortably: Wear loose, breathable clothing and comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off.
  • Bring a neck pillow and earplugs: These can help you get more comfortable and block out noise while sleeping.
  • Pack snacks: Bring along some healthy snacks such as nuts, granola bars, or dried fruit to keep you energized and satisfied during the flight.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and – I know it’s difficult but try – avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate you.


One of the biggest challenges of a long flight is staying entertained for hours on end. Here are some ideas to keep you occupied:

  • Load up on movies, TV shows, and music: Download your favourite movies, TV shows, and music onto your phone or tablet to keep you entertained during the flight.
  • Bring a good book: Reading a good book is a great way to pass the time and escape into another world.
  • Play games: Bring along some games, such as a deck of cards or a travel-sized board game, to play with your travel companions.

Staying healthy

Sitting in a cramped space for an extended period can take a toll on your body. Here are some tips to stay healthy during the flight:

  • Exercise: Take regular walks up and down the aisle or do some simple stretches in your seat to get your blood flowing.
  • Practice good hygiene: Use hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to clean your hands and tray table, and avoid touching your face.
  • Adjust to the time zone: Try to adjust your sleep schedule before your flight to help your body adapt to the time zone at your destination.


Travelling to Africa can be an unforgettable experience, but getting there can be a challenge. With the right preparation, mindset, and on-board essentials, you can make the most of your long flight and arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready for the adventure ahead. Remember to pack light, dress comfortably, stay hydrated, and stay entertained during the flight. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to surviving a long flight to Africa. I wrote a much longer article on this topic on my travel blog Grown-up Travel Guide which will give you more tips than I can fit in here.


Q. How can I avoid jet lag when flying to Africa?

A. Try to adjust your sleep schedule before your flight to help your body adapt to the time zone at your destination. Also, avoid alcohol and caffeine during the flight, and try to stay hydrated.

Q. What should I wear on a long flight to Africa?

A. Wear loose, comfortable clothing made of breathable fabrics, and choose comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off.

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