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Asmara (Asmera)
Agordat (Akordat)
Assab (Asseb)
Dahlak islands
Dekemhare (Decemhare)
Ghinda (Ginda)
Keren (Cheren)
Massawa (Massauwa)
Mendefera (Adi Ugri)
Nakfa (Nacfa)
Semenawi Bahri (Filfil)
Tessenei (Teseney)



Useful luggage for Eritrea


There are two simple rules to bear in mind when you decide what to take with you to Eritrea. The first is to bring with you everything that you could possibly need and that might not be readily available when you need it. The second is to carry as little as possible.

Surprisingly, most non personal items are easily available in Eritrea at a very good price. So instead of taking a little extra of everything, think of just taking some extra dollars or euros and just buy some extra clothes in Eritrea if necessary.

Below I copied the check list of my own luggage, adding some typical female items and some general items worth to consider (like condoms).


Documents and paperwork
Passport and visa x All foreign nationals entering Eritrea must have valid passports, good for six months, as well as an entry visa obtained before arriving in Eritrea.
Ticket x Eritrean Airlines allows 40 kilograms of luggage but has a limited flight schedule. Lufthansa has a more extensive flight schedule but allows 20 or 30 kilograms. Confirm your return flight at the Eritrean Airlines or Lufthansa office.
Driver's license [OPTIONAL] x An international driver's license is not valid in Eritrea. Changing it into an Eritrean driver's license is a time consuming proces.
Vaccination passport [OPTIONAL] x Recommended but not obliged. Yellow fever vaccinations are required for all travelers entering Eritrea from infected area. It is also advisable to have vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus, polio (DTP), hepatitis A, typhoid and meningitis. If your stay will be longer than a few weeks and/or in cases of sexual activity vaccination against hepatitis B is advised.
Other documents ( for business trips only) [OPTIONAL] x Remember to bring original certificates, all transcripts, letters of recommendation, papers proving your qualifications and documents required for an official permit or license. Documents should be certified.
Credit card [OPTIONAL]


Credit cards are accepted by banks, Himbol exchange, travel agencies, the major hotels and airlines, but you should not rely on it.
Euros / dollars x Eritrea is a cheap country to visit. Please visit our pages mentioning prices of hotels, restaurants, transport and exchange rates to do your budgeting. Euros and US dollars are the easiest to exchange. You will need dollars or euros to pay the 20 dollar / euro exit airport tax.
Nakfa's x Don't forget the left over's of your last visit to Eritrea. There is an exchange office at Asmara International Airport.
Copy passport - ticket - visa x x x Make a copy of passport / visa / airline ticket and add it to every bag or suitcase you carry for easy identification of your luggage. The original documents are required at the checkpoints!
Map of Eritrea x A good map of Eritrea is the ITMB map of Eritrea. A smaller but useful and printable map is on our Eritrea map page.
Map of Asmara x A map of Asmara is printed in the Bradt travel guide of Eritrea. A more comprehensive map of Asmara is available in some book shops in Asmara.
Maps of other places to visit x Asmara, Massawa and Keren are the absolute musts on any visit to Eritrea. The Bradt travel guide of Eritrea contains orientation maps of these towns as well as of Dekemhare, Mendefera, Agordat, Barentu, Nacfa, Afabet, Senafe, Assab, Adi Quala and Adi Keih
Travel plan x To make a travel plan, please read the Bradt travel guide of Eritrea for tourist opportunities, contact Travel House International in Asmara for further help, itineraries and information and read the English weekly Eritrean Profile, which appears every Wednesday and Saturday. Eri-TV brings news broadcasts in English at 9:30 in the evening..
Address book and pencil x Store useful addresses and telephone numbers in an agenda or notebook and add useful telephone numbers of both friends and organisations when you are in Eritrea.
Insurance documents x Add (copies of) medical or travel insurance documents to your travel documents
Extra passport sized photo's [OPTIONAL] x For visa extensions you will need a photo. A fee must be paid in euros or dollars. The original visa can be renewed twice. Extension of your visa should be arranged before your visa for Eritrea expires.
Travel information x Buy or borrow the Bradt travel guide of Eritrea. If you do not want to harm the book, make copies of selected parts of the book of items that will be relevant during your visit.
Literature for the plane x If possible read the English Eritrean Profile. Download and print information from the internet or study the Bradt travel guide of Eritrea.
Medicine and kind

There are many pharmacies operating in all major Eritrean cities with a basic range of drugs and first aid items. But since a good health is one of the most important preconditions for a pleasant stay in Eritrea, and medication may not always be available, you should bring your own medicine when visiting Eritrea. If you take special medication that needs a prescription, bring this prescription with you, indicating the generic, and not the brand name.


Malaria tablets and schedule x Malaria prophylaxis should be taken if traveling in the lowlands of Eritrea. Contact a doctor or travel clinic for advise / choice of drugs.
Mosquito netting x In addition to anti-malarial drugs (none are 100% effective) one should sleep under an impregnated mosquito netting in highly endemic areas. 
Sheet sleeping bag x A simple sheet sleeping bag (you can easily make it yourself ) will further protect you from both the cold and insects.
Paracetamol 50 Take some extra Paracetamol or other pain-killer with you when traveling to Eritrea. A lot of people cannot afford medicine. It is an excellent gift if you want to surprise friends or want to reward a service.
Loperamide 50 Don't let diarrhoea spoil your trip. Calculate the worst case scenario (an average of three tablets per day in Eritrea)
ORS ? ORS or Oral Rehydration Solutions can be useful in case of diarrhoea. ORS is widely available in Eritrea. Sugary soft drinks, tea and some salt are an easy local alternative.
Vitamins plus minerals 20 Fresh food is widely available in Eritrea. But the climate and circumstances may put great strain on ones body. A daily extra dose of vitamins and minerals helps to keep you in a good condition.
Sun cream factor 30 x A strong sun block is recommended for Eritrea, especially if you are fair skinned.
After sun x To help the skin to recover when sun burned.
Mosquito repellents x Use insect repellents when visiting Eritrea.
After bite x To take care of mosquito bites.
Antiseptic salve x To take care of small wounds.
Talcum powder x To cure the dust & sweat and cloth induced infections.
Plasters and cotton-wool x Since I cannot carry a first aid kit everywhere I go, I use to make a few sets containing a plaster and some de-makeup with some sheets of loo paper in an envelope to carry in my camera bag or travel bag, so it will we available whenever I need it.
Splinter tweezers x To remove thorns from the skin
Condoms [OPTIONAL] ? Use condoms in case of sexual contacts.
Tampons and sanitary napkins Tampons and sanitary napkins are not always available in Eritrea or are of poor quality. It is therefore advisable to bring your own supply.
Extra pair of glasses x Only if you are strongly dependent upon your glasses or lenses.
Cleansing and storing fluids x For those who wear contact lenses.
Sun glasses x Your eyes need protection against the strong sunlight, so keep a pair of sun glasses handy at all times.
Toilet bag
Soap x If available secured in a soap holder.
Baby shampoo x Baby shampoo also is a good product to clean wounds or eyes if necessary.
Handkerchiefs x You will only need one pack. In Eritrea the children will be glad to sell you this product on the streets of Asmara.
Razor for the men x  
Nail clipper x It is best to keep your too nails short if you plan long walks. Manicure your feet before take off to Eritrea.
Comb x
Toothbrush x  
Toothpaste x Usually you will not find your favorite brand in Eritrea.
Plaque removers x
Towel 2 Usually, but not always, available in hotels 
Washing glove x Useful if no shower is available.
Loo paper ? May prove useful if you have to leave the bus in case of diarrhoea. Also available in Asmara.
Photo and video equipment

Personal electronic items such as a video camera and personal computer must be registered at Asmara International Airport upon arrival and cannot be sold. Registration forms should be kept carefully and will have to be returned when leaving Eritrea.

Apart from museums, government, military and military instalations (including the airports), you can photograph virtually everything in Eritrea. It is unacceptable to photograph people without permission.


Camera bag x Keep your equipment in a protective bag. Be prepared for dust and rain.
Digital camera with neck collar x Make sure the camera is tested and ready to use. Test your flash, since fill-in flash is essential if you want to capture facial details of dark-skinned people.
Memory cards x Buy some extra memory cards if necessary and make sure they are formatted and tested.
Rechargeable batteries - charged x Be sure to bring enough batteries if you are not in a position to charge them. Power supply (220v) may be interrupted at night.
Chargers x Charging all batteries before departure will be the proper test for the charger.
User manuals x You will need it if the camera gives problems. The most likely problem is moisture, heat or dust.
Video camera x Make sure the camera is tested and ready to use.
Sufficient tapes / storage media x It may prove useful to unpack, label and number the tapes before you leave, for efficient use in Eritrea.
Cleaning tape x Cleaning your (video) camera is useful in dusty Eritrea. Check the lens every once and a while.
Batteries charged x Charge the batteries to full capacity before you leave.
Charger and wires x Test the charger and do not forget the cables.
Extra camera or smart phone ready to use x If it is important to bring back photo's, add an extra camera to your luggage. Just in case, or to make pictures while you are charging the batteries of the other camera.
Batteries x Be sure the batteries are new or charged.
Small compass [OPTIONAL] x For easy orientation in combination with the maps in the Bradt travel guide of Eritrea.
Binoculars [OPTIONAL] x If you want to observe bird life or nature.
Alarm clock x If you have to wake up to catch the 4 o'clock bus to Assab or Nacfa.

Modern European and American sized clothes and shoes are widely available in Eritrea. Large size in men's and women's shoes and trousers are not available. Some shops have experienced tailors that will copy a design in just a few days. Buying some of your clothes in Eritrea will not only solve restrictions on luggage allowed on the flight to Asmara, but also stimulate the local economy of Eritrea.

Eritrea has a significant Muslim population. You should select your clothing with this in mind.


Jeans and casual cotton trousers, one neat one for receptions plus a pair of belts 1 3 All quantities are based on a three weeks stay and no or little opportunities to have the clothes cleaned (I travel a lot through the country). Make sure your clothes have enough pockets to store your wallet, passport and more.
Lightweight cotton long sleeve shirts 6 Wear clothes that cover most of the body to protect yourself from mosquito bites, the strong ultra-violet rays of the sun and pricking vegetation of Eritrea.
T shirts 6 I use to bring my old, but still good cloth and leave it to the poor in Eritrea.
Cotton underwear 6 Synthetic materials may cause infections when sweat, heat and dust meet in Eritrea's sunny climate.
Socks made of natural fabrics 6 The same applies to socks. They should not hinder long walks.
Pair of extra shoes 1 Be sure you bring shoes that will not melt when walking on the hot streets of Massawa. Take a good pair of leather walking shoes with you.
Pair of sandals 1 Be aware of the risk of thorns when wearing sandals.
Swimming trousers or bathing suit 1 For visits to the Red Sea shore or the Asmara swimming pool.
Snorkel and goggles [OPTIONAL] x If you want to enjoy the underwater sights when visiting Massawa or Dahlak.
Caps or hat 2 Will protect your head from the sun and injuries, when you hit your head.  
Extra Jacket / hoody 1 Temperatures are frequently below zero at night in Asmara.
Miscellaneous items
Gifts for adults x Eritrea is one of the poorest countries in the world. Therefore money is the best gift. For the men: whisky. For the women: perfume, chocolate. For more gifts visit our FAQ page.
Gifts for children x Business gifts & gadgets, pencils, balloons, tennis balls, chewing gum, sweets. The children will love you if you do not forget them.
Business cards x If you have them, don't forget them.
Garbage bags 3 A few garbage bags may be useful to store wet or dirty clothes or souvenirs.
A piece of rope x A piece of rope may prove useful for small repairs, to stabilize luggage, or if you plan to buy a goat or sheep.
Extra luggage belt x An extra belt to repair a broken suitcase or bag, may prove useful
One or more padlocks x If you are sleeping in the open air on the Red Sea beach you may need some equipment to secure your camera bag to your bed or belt.
Compact traveling-bag x If you plan to travel through Eritrea you will need a traveling-bag or rucksack.
Small torch x When electricity is not available or in case of power failure. Power supply (220v) may be interrupted at night.
Plastic tube ? If you plan to bring back posters or paintings a plastic tube may prove handy to protect them.
Photo's ? I use to bring some photo's from Rotterdam, my wife and family to show to anyone interested in Eritrea. And a selection of last times pictures.
Pocket-knife / bottle opener x A small knife will prove useful for small repairs, to remove thorns, or open a bottle. It is not allowed to bring knives into the cabin of the plane.
Collapsible umbrella ? There is little rain in Eritrea, but if it does rain and you are out in the mountains, it may damage your photo or video equipment. A (large enough) plastic bag is a good alternative.


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