Plastic water bottles take decades to decompose in landfills and are a leading contributor to excess trash around the world, including Africa.
While it’s pretty easy to avoid buying them when traveling in many locations, Africa presents a different scenario due to sanitation issues.
On a positive note, many hotels, lodges and camps will offer filtered water and gladly fill up your container for you — the water at these places is perfectly safe to drink
So if you can, invest in a reusable water bottle made out of hard plastic or aluminum.
They are ubiquitous these days and plenty of quality brands make them such as REI, Nalgene, Sigg and Rubbermaid (make sure to get one that is BPA free).
From “Hello Kitty” themed bottles to simple clear plastic, there is sure to be one that will fit your travel style.
However, if you find yourself staying somewhere that doesn’t provide filtered, it’s better to go ahead and buy the water instead of worrying about being sick.
Just be sure that the seal is unbroken, some places off the beaten path in Africa will sell re-used bottles and fill up the water themselves. Not cool!
If in doubt, carry some water purification tablets as backup.