Summer (November to March) is the rainy season
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A folding umbrella is useful for afternoon storms. Thin plastic bags to cover your backpack if you use one. Enterprising street vendors will sell you umbrellas for about R20-R30. I seriously recommend that you buy a folding one, though. I keep an umbrella in my car as well as in my flat and at my office.
Miscellaneous: Generally the rain in Johannesburg tends to be a quick afternoon shower, fairly hard, but over in half an hour or so. Count on every afternoon being wet from 16:00 to 18:00 in summer, with few exceptions. There are also the occasional rainy day, or rainy spells, but these are not as common.
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
Joburg has the best climate in the world
Luggage and bags: A backpack or even a belt bag will make life easier, however, it will make you look like a tourist. Sadly tourists are often seen as easy victims for criminals. Bear this in mind.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In summer in Johannesburg sandals for women double up for every type of wear. A pair of heavier duty shoes for walking might be required and is a necessity for game parks and bush wear. In summer a folding umbrella is useful as the Highveld is a summer rainfall area. A hat for protection against the sun is essential. A light jacket or wrap for late nights and early mornings is valuable.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You should be able to get anything and everything you need here in Johannesburg. You will NOT need to carry your own sterile needles or equipment. All the hospitals and doctors will have these.
Photo Equipment: Again, you should be able to get it here, but electronic equipment tends to be expensive here.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Johannesburg is icy in winter!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: 1. If you're travelling between April and August, bring warm clothing.
2. Bring clothing that you can layer - morning and nights are very cold with temperatures anywhere between 0 degrees celsius to 8 degrees.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: SA has first rate private hospitals and pharmacies.
But always bring your prescription if you are on chronic medication.
Miscellaneous: The forex exchange makes SA a great destination. Food, clothes and jewellery are all much cheaper than Europe. So anything you forget can easily be purchased at the hundreds of malls in Johannesburg.
Winter in June and July
Luggage and bags: While airport luggage security has been massively beefed up generally (and not just for the FIFA World Cup) whenever I travel I put all my valuables of any description in my handluggage. I leave my suitcase (cheap) unlocked and do not travel (in fact don't own) with expensive brand names and designer labels. That way my belongings have always arrived on the otherside the way they left.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: June and July are winter months in the Southern Hemisphere. You WILL need warm clothes. But layer your clothing because it is usually lovely and warm during the day, particularly outdoors. Pack a sun hat, sun glasses and sun screen even for winter.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You will be able to get any toiletries and most medical supplies here.
Photo Equipment: Pack all valuables IN YOUR HANDLUGGAGE.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Have you packed a torch? They always seem to be useful.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
What to bring with?
Luggage and bags: Luggage with wheels is always a good idea, wherever you are travelling.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Some ideas:
Light coloured clothing that doesnt absorb the sun as much as dark clothing.
Long-sleeved shirts and trousers will help protect you against the sun and possible insect bites.
A cap/hat that covers your head and neck.
Comfortable sandals and tackies/trainers/sneakers.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sun screen (at LEAST Factor 35 I would say), headache tablets, and usual little things like some plasters for blisters, cotton wool, germolene etc.
Photo Equipment: Your camera, with charger, and an appropriate plug extension/adaptor.
Miscellaneous: Have a map of the area handy, plus a local bird, flower and tree book. For this you also need a pair of good quality binoculars.
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
In summer pack plenty loose clothing
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Keep clothing light as although buildings, cars etc are air conditioned it is searing outside.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: If travelling to Kruger Park, or to Zimbabwe and surrounding areas take mosquito repellant, and malaria tablets.
Photo Equipment: Loads of film and a good camera, especially for Kruger etc, also binoculars are a must.
- Road Trip
- National/State Park
Breathe in their culture...
Luggage and bags: Pack lightly! You don't want to be so busy worrying about your luggage that you forget to enjoy your surroundings! A back pack is a must! This form of travel is deffiantly better then worrying about lossing your purse or carry-on.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: As far as clothing and footwear are concerned, think multi-weather. Meaning one day it will be 40 degrees and the next 90 degrees. Bring a variety of warm and cool weather outfits.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Toliet Paper! It will be best if you keep it in a back pack with you at all times. Most facilites, markets, etc will not have any.
Photo Equipment: As with all international exploits, bring lots of film!!! You never can be sure when a quite African Sunset is going to go from usual to beautiful!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you are craving something more outdoorsy, be sure to wear comfortable, breathable shoes!
Miscellaneous: Bring a journal! It doesn't need to be anything fancy, maybe just a plain notebook. But that way you will not only be having the time of your life, but actually writing it down for others to read (a task which is deffiantly harder to do once you return home).
Indulge yourself in their culture! Eat there foods, wear their clothing, speak their language!
- Arts and Culture
When to Go
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In the summer time , always keep a umbrella handy as it normally storms in the afternoon in JNB.
In the winter time just keep a jacket with you cause it is generally cold..... It does`nt snow in JNB. The winters is mild compaired to other places
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: No need for any toiletries cause everything is readily available at all shopping malls and shops.
There is no Malaria Mosquito`s in JNB so you`ll be ok. If you suffer from Hay Fever , you can get anti-histamean tablets &
can be bought at chemist because sometimes the pollen count can be quiet high.
Photo Equipment: We have great photo shops here , so no need to worry as they will catter for your every need. They can be found in all shopping malls
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Well when in JNB , you can do alot of hiking , so I guess proper hiking gear would be appropriate.
Miscellaneous: Summer can be uncomfortably hot, especially in the lowveld. Higher-altitude areas are pleasantly warm over summer, but the mountains are prone to rain and mist. The northeastern regions can be annoyingly humid, but swimming on the east coast is a year-round proposition. Spring is the best time for wildflowers in the Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces. Winters are mild everywhere except in the highest country, where there are frosts and occasional snowfalls.
Holiday-makers stream out of the cities from mid-December to late January: resorts and national parks are heavily booked and prices on the coast can more than double. School holidays in April, July and September can clog up beaches and national parks, but you can dodge the outdoors crowd in favour of some of the great arts festivals held September and October.
Luggage and bags: Anything bearable! For the summer/spring season, pack light. It's pretty cool in the morning but the weather heats up as soon as the sun is up.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I can only suggest for summer/spring season. A pair of pants shouldn't be too warm. Do pack up a good pair of sneakers if you are planning to walk around more comfortably.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Shopping complexes in Jo'burg have common shops that sells anything you need. So, you don't have to worry.
Miscellaneous: If you would like to buy souvenirs, i suggest you go to the markets. They have a whole variety of ostrich eggs, wood carvings, etc. ...Bargain.
- Family Travel
Luggage and bags: Get some tough bags, some of these baggage handlers can be rough!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Even at the end of winter I found it warm, this would be shorts and tshirt weather in the UK! I'm told it hardly rains in the winter either. Wierd!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: The usual
Photo Equipment: I used a digital camera, easy to hide away in public places.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: n/a
Miscellaneous: Make sure you have the right plug adaptor. I've been to a few different places, but never have I seen a plug quite like the SA version. It's like a UK plug on steriods, a Rhino plug!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If travelling to remote areas or away from the city, I recommend wearing boots in the bush. Remember that the wildlife inhabiting the bush are not your garter snake variety. Many of us think of Africa as a hot, dry, dusty place which it is in many areas as well as in the summer. But remember that in the winter in southern Africa it can get downright cold! If travelling in the winter, bring a jacket and some warm clothes!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Malaria prevention is important.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Here's one important tip I've learnt from my well-traveled and well-heeled buddies/ colleagues over the years: Always roll all your clothes when packing.... and you'd never have to worry about ironing again when you reach your destination.
How do the clothes stay rolled up?
Here's another trick I've picked up: Just cut off the legs of old panty hose. Put your hand inside one of the cut-off legs, grab that rolled up t-shirt and pull it through. And, Voila! My things stay rolled up like assorted sausages....
Basically, this is my important rule of thumb: DO also try and plan your wardrobe in such a way that you'll have no problem mixing and matching your outfits and it should be able to see you through from day to night. So in this instance, that little black dress WILL come in VERY handy for the night events AND in the day time too! :-))
Photo Equipment: I ALWAYS, ALWAYS bring along at least 2 camaras with me... just in case one breaks down. My friends used to laugh at me.... until their one and only camera broke down. Then when they had to RELY SOLELY on me and my amateurish photographic skills, they stopped laughing. Yes, immediately. Serve them right! :-D
Miscellaneous: If you are going to do lots of walking and sightseeing, do remember to put the following items into your tote bag or backpack:
- Maps and perhaps phrase books.
- Your all-important Guidebook.
- Water bottle.
- Sunglasses.... etc
DON'T forget to bring along your much-treasured ATM card to withdraw cash. Yes, no need to rush to the money-changers to change all your currencies into
South African Rand before your trip. And DON'T use your Visa or Mastercard to withdraw cash. This is considered a CASH ADVANCE and you'd be slapped with a HEFTY fee whereas if you were to use YOUR own ATM card, you will NOT be charged for any fees.
In fact, you WILL benefit and enjoy from the low interbank exchange rates. Trust me (I used to work for an American bank).
Just ensure that you adhere to the following steps:
- Flip to the back of your local ATM card, do you see the logos 'Cirrus', 'Plus', 'The Exchange' etc. on it?
- If the answer is 'yes', then you have absolutely nothing to worry about!
- Why? Because you can withdraw cash from any ATM machines in South Africa, no matter how obscure the
town you're at is.
- If you use this method, you'd also save alot from the interbank exchange rates. Money changers will charge you much, much more compared to a bank.
I've been using this method countless of times before and so far, no ATM machines in this world have failed me.... yet. Yes, even in the remotest village of Africa!
Have a great trip!
Photo Below: That's yours truly at the lobby of the splendid 'Palace of the Lost City Hotel' here in Sun City.
'Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion!' - Leigh Hunt (English Writer); 1784-1859
Miscellaneous: IN SOUTH AFRICA WE USE 220V AC POWER WITH A THREE PIN ROUND PLUG AND ALSO THE TWO PIN PLUG IS AVALIBLE AT ANY STORE..................
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