Guest article by Amy Green, Client Services Director for Hills of Africa Travel

On my recent trip to Zimbabwe I made one of the best purchases in all my travels . . . a pashmina.

I know some of you might be thinking, a “mina” what?  I tell you, this one simple piece of cloth made a huge impact on my trip.

So what exactly IS a pashmina? It’s a wide scarf-like article of clothing that you can purchase at home or abroad in many women’s fashion stores.

Below are 10 great uses of a pashmina and why you need to be sure to pack one on your next trip…or buy one as soon as you arrive:

A pashmina provides . . .

  1. . . . a lovely wrap or scarf to dress up simple jeans and a t-shirt for a more casual dinner. For example, when I was on my Zimbabwe safari vacation, camp life was very casual, but I still wanted to add a little color and flare to my attire – and that’s exactly where my pashmina came in handy!
  1. . . . a bit of warmth at the end of the day as the sun sets and the temperature drops. Days in the African bush would get quite warm, but as the sun slipped beyond the horizon it got chilly. My pashmina was easy for me to just throw over my shoulders and warm up. It’s super easy to slip into a purse or backpack, too and doesn’t take up much room at all.
  1. . . . a great scarf for early mornings to wear under a jacket to keep the cool morning air off your neck. It’s also perfect to pull up over your ears and chin to break the chilly wind.
  1. . . . a great, light layer to cover up your arms or head when the sun gets high during the day. This little trick certainly came in handy for me while I was on my trip to Zimbabwe because I forgot sunscreen! Thank goodness for my pashmina!
  1. . . . great pillow on flights from one stop to another. You can fold it or ball it up and put it between your seat and the window or your seat and your travel companion. Once I arrived in Africa I packed my travel pillow away since I just had short hops from place to place. With my pashmina I was able to catch quick, comfy catnaps before arriving at each destination. I felt fresh and ready to go!
  1. . . . a cozy blanket if the plane is cold . . . even better than using it as a pillow!
  1. . . . a quick picnic blanket for snacks, lunch, or sundowners! You never know when you might decide to have a rest and snack.
  1. . . . an easy and cute wrap to head to the beach or pool. For example, I forgot to take a cover up to wear down to the pool on hot afternoons. Thankfully I could just grab my pashmina and tie it around my waist for a bit of cover while walking through the hotel or camp.
  1. . . . a cute skirt if you need one in a pinch. Throw on a cute t-shirt or cami, wrap and tie the pashmina around your waist, slip on some sandals and you are ready to go!!
  1. . . . an impromptu satchel when you’ve gone to market and are loaded down with treasures! No need for a plastic bag. Lay down your pashmina, place your goodies in the middle and gather & tie the corners! Instant shopping bag!

I saw the ladies of Zimbabwe using fabric in many of these ways, and even as a do-it-yourself baby sling to wrap their baby close and keep hands free!

If you don’t have a pashmina, you need to get one before your next trip! I don’t leave home without mine now.

Happy travels!

– Amy


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