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PPacking for a trip (specifically to South Africa) is without a doubt just as exciting as it is actually being on a holiday. The thrill of knowing you’ll soon reach your destination while deciding what to pack into your luggage.

However, the emotions associated with packing can swiftly change from great anticipation and excitement to indecisiveness and anxiety. But, there’s no need to stress – here’s a brief guide on what to pack on your next adventure to South Africa to ensure that you’re well equipped, informed and ready to experience our country’s warm hospitality.

First thing’s first – what’s on your itinerary? Once you’ve decided on whether you’ll be vacationing along the coast, enjoying a safari at a game reserve or backpacking in the countryside, then you can hone in on what you should pack. Ideally, you want to pack light to avoid paying a hefty amount for your luggage at the airport.

If you’re over the duty-free limit, all goods brought in the country are subject to the payment of customs duty and value added tax (VAT), regardless of whether you arrived via aircraft, ship or vehicle.

So the trick is to pack only the essentials such as camera kit for the perfect photo ops (although most smartphones should do the trick) and international adaptor plugs. The common plug in South Africa is a 15-amp plug, and it has three round prongs that form a triangle. It’s advised that you purchase an international adaptor plug that has a socket to suit American plugs such as the NEMA 1-15 that has two flat 1.5 mm thick blades, measuring 15.9 – 18.3 mm in length.

Specific items of clothing are a must to suit the season that you will be travelling in South Africa. In summer, the average temperature peaks at approximately 96F depending where you are in the country. Winter sees a low of approximately of 28F. For more information on our country’s climate in the various provinces, visit

Pack medication and prescriptions too, should you need them. According to Brand South Africa, “you are allowed to bring in one month’s supply of pharmaceutical drugs or medicines for your personal use. Any other pharmaceutical drugs or medicines must be accompanied by a letter or certified prescription from a registered physician, and have to be declared.”

A safari is always a great way to explore the great outdoors and experience the bush. So best to pack (or purchase once you arrive) toiletries including insect repellent and sunblock for those sunny days at the back of a safari truck venturing through the bush.

A good SPF sunblock will also come in handy if you’re vacationing along the coast and soaking up some sun on one of South Africa’s many pristine beaches. There are 44 Blue Flag beaches along our country’s coast. Blue Flag is an international annual award that focuses on the environmental management of our coastline and coastal waters to help tourism growth and development. This means our beaches are world-renowned for its cleanliness and beauty – these include Camps Bay in the Western Cape, Ushaka Beach in KwaZulu-Natal and Dolphin Beach in the Eastern Cape. So besides sunblock, it’s best you pack in other beach essentials too. Ladies, consider packing in a bikini to enjoy a dip in either the Atlantic or Indian Ocean. To our gentlemen visitors, board shorts will do. Of course, don’t forget a pair of sunglasses to block out the sun’s harmful rays.

Here’s a handy checklist of things you should consider packing:


  • Two pairs of shorts or two skirts
  • Two T–Shirts and one long-sleeved
  • Two pairs of long pants
  • Underwear and socks
  • Sandals
  • Sleepwear
  • Warm sweater and jacket for winter travel (June to August)
  • Toiletries including moisturizer
  • Good walking shoes
  • Light weight jacket (for chilly nights)


  • Insect repellent that contains DEET
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Antimalarial pills
  • Contact lenses and glasses
  • Brimmed hat


  • Bathing suit and cover-up
  • Suntan lotion
  • Good quality sunglasses


  • Documents folder with passport (two full visa pages available)
  • Plane tickets
  • Hotel & car rental information
  • Plane tickets
  • Travellers cheques and credit cards.

So there you have it, a quick rundown on what to pack when you explore South Africa. What are your plans when you visit South Africa? Whatever they are, there’s no doubt you’ll have an amazing time exploring the beauty of this incredible country. Remember to prepare accordingly and ensure you safeguard the contents of your suitcase. Enjoy your stay with us!

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