What to pack for your South Africa Vacation
South Africa is a dream vacation destination. Chances are excellent that you will love every moment of it. But before you get too excited about the prospect, you’ve got to pack! Yes, it’s tedious, but poor packing and preparation can put a serious damper on your vacation. Here’s a simple but clear outline of what you should have on your South Africa packing list.
South Africa packing list - a summary
- Travel documents— passport, driver’s license, visa (if required), birth certificates if traveling with children (not required for everyone);
- Money, credit cards, traveler’s cheques;
- Seasonal clothes and accessories like hat, sunglasses, swimsuit, rain jacket, etc;
- Power adapter;
- Cameras, chargers, batteries, extra memory cards;
- Electronic devices like cell phone, laptop, chargers;
- Safari accessories like insect repellent, a small medical kit.
What you pack will depend on what time of year you are visiting South Africa, and where you are going.
Keep in mind:
- South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere. If you are traveling from North America or Europe, the season will be opposite to what you are experiencing. For example, if it’s winter in the USA, it is summer in South Africa.
- If you are traveling from November through March, pack for summer. The average temperature in the country is between 86-104° F /30-40° C.
- The climate changes from region to region. It may be pleasant in one part of the country, and rainy in another. For example, rain in Cape Town is usually expected during the winter months. In Mpumalanga and Kwazulu Natal, rain is expected during the summer months.
- No matter the season, always pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and comfortable walking shoes.
SEPTEMBER TO MARCH
If you are traveling during South Africa’s spring and summer, pack a few t-shirts, shorts, dresses, swimsuits. September is the beginning of the South African spring, so there may still be a few lingering cold days. Depending on where you go, you may also need a few long sleeve shirts and a light jacket—it may get cold at night.
JUNE TO AUGUST
If you are traveling to South Africa during winter, keep in mind that nighttime temperatures can drop down to the 40’s (Fahrenheit) or single digits (Celcius). People who come from cold climates look at South Africa’s winter temperatures, and say that with temperatures like that, it’s not very cold – my husband being one of them. However, with the wind and rain in Cape Town for example, it does feel cold so pack accordingly.
Whether you have a phone, a camera, a laptop, an iPad, or all of the above, you will need to keep them charged. Chances are excellent that your plugs will not work in South Africa.
One way to solve the problem is to use an adapter that fits in South Africa.
If you have a lot of electronics, you may need more than one.