List of MUST BRING WITH ME!
Luggage and bags: Bring a lock to lock your bags when you leave the hotel and always lock your baggage when you are checking in your bag!! go and get one of the locks from Bed Bath and Beyond that has the combination reader or get the brass locks with the keys! I will say this bring a small notebook with you for writing down thoughts as you travel throughout SA because the country really is amazing. Also remember that you need a special electrical outlet because you won't be able to plug in anything without it I believe it's a type M which you can purchase on Amazon for cheap.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: To my surprise I didn't have to worry so much about bug bites but still bring bug repellant and sunscreen above 30 SPF, the sun in Cape Town will bake you even with a cap on your head. Also bring your used clothing don't go overboard shopping for new clothing, unless there is one or two things you must have. You will find it easier to leave stuff behind as you travel and end up repeating some outfits because they are so pratical. Bring one or two long sleeve shirts cotton, if you have long cargo pants bring those with the pockets you will love these and again bring your old jeans that afterwards you can leave behind. Bring good, comfortable sneakers again they don't have to be new because they will get dirty at times, also sandals but not smooth bottoms. Bring one thin jacket or sweater and of course a cap to keep that sun from beating down on you.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: First Aid Kit, Bug repellant, Aloe, Aspirin (you want to take one when flying over to SA), lotion with no scent (don't want to attract mosquitos), cortozone for itch (just in case), sun protection and lip balm with sun protection. If you need batteries bring enough so you won't have to buy any there, bring vitamin C, and will say bring some Advil Cold and Sinus (this helps when you are dealing with sinus issues like I had) and eye drops for when your eyes get dry or bothered.
Photo Equipment: I brought two cameras with me one water proof and the other regular. Do not walk around with your expensive camera on a wrist or on your neck it will be noticed and it calls more attention to you than you want.
- Budget Travel
one for the mind
Miscellaneous: need to compare with the street maps, know what's where ;
look at Space iMAGINGS SUPER MAP,
NOTE TO THE STRONG SOUTH aFRICAN SUN GIVING A BLEACHED VIEW OF THE COLOURS
note the foreshore, malay quarters and the Castle
aloe vera gel
Miscellaneous: Even with sun screen on, my shoulders were a little sun dried after a 2-hour hike around the top of table mountain. I couldn't find any aloe vera gel in South Africa except for this one kind pictured, and it's very expensive!
Miscellaneous: Duh! The sun is hot in Africa. I usually don't burn much, but down here it's definitely possible. My shoulders were a little red after a couple hours hiking around Table Mountain. The South Africans recommend at least SPF 30.
Miscellaneous: This one pictured I bought in Botswana. It's a good one because I can plug American stuff and European stuff into it. Don't worry if you can't find one where you live. They sell them at the Johannesburg airport.
Unaccompanied luggage - the cheaper option
Luggage and bags: A cheaper way of getting your purchases home from Cape Town is to use the Luggage Shop at Cape Town international airport. The rates quoted were 1/3 of the excess baggage charge from the airline! They are situated in the international terminal of the airport opposite ABSA bank. It takes about 10 days for the package to arrive at the destination.
- Work Abroad
- Study Abroad
- Road Trip
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
Most things you can purchase here
Luggage and bags: A daypack is useful for trips to the beach or walks. Be aware that if you go to any supermarkets you will be charged for a plastic bag so best to carry your own
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A sun hat & sunglasses are a must in summer. Good walking shoes are advisable as is a pair of sandals or thongs (slops). In summer it can be windy depending which time you visit so a windbreaker & a light jersey to layer clothes. The closer you get to the mountain the colder the nights will be.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Moisquito repellent, suncream, headache pills etc can be bought at any pharmacy. Some B&B's provide toiletries but its best to check first.
Photo Equipment: SA plugs are std 3 pin round although many places will have adapters for 2 plug round (ie shavers, electric toothbrush) UK can take over Europe adapter & plug into SA adapter & Europe plugs will fit SA 2 plug adapter. Bring your charger, there are places to develop digital prints instantly.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Hotels will mostly not supply beach towels although you could buy them for your trip in Cape Town cheaply & leave them behind afterwards.
Miscellaneous: Do not take your expensive jewellery with you on holiday it could attract the wrong attention. You can purchase great jewellery in SA at the craft markets beaded jewellery is very fashionable & reasonable
For maximum sleeping comfort
Miscellaneous: Summer in Cape Town unfortunately includes mosquitos or other small biting insects, and many guest houses do not have screens. Insect repellant is vital for a comfortable night. I also brought a linen sheet, which was both light and absorbant -- it saved the day.
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
- Work Abroad
South African Plug
Miscellaneous: South Africa has a very unique plug system as you can see on the picture. Adapters are available in many shops including some supermarkets. My recommendation is that you by your adapters when you are in the country.
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Pack a Cellphone!
Miscellaneous: If you're from North, Central, or South America, you'll need a tri-band phone because South Africa uses the GSM system. However, if possible, make sure you bring one because they're invaluable for calling taxis and the like. Quite unexpectedly, the cost is incredibly reasonable: I paid 10 rands for a Vodacom SIMM card. Top-up cards to keep it running are not that expensive. Incidentally, if your phone is locked into a particular provider's system, they'll be happy to unlock it for you for a very modest fee!
Four Seansons in one day
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Hey Guys , all I can say is always keep a jacket handy. Cape Towns weather is influenced by the warm Indian Ocean and the very cold Atlantic Ocean.
The wind can just start blowing all of the sudden and trust me , it can be how hot sometimes you`ll get this this cold breeze blowing.
You can be on signal hill checking out the view and all of the sudden you covered in mist. Sometimes you find its storming in Cape Town and it might be dry with clear skies in Simons Town.
Miscellaneous: A word of advise , try not to visit Cape Town in winter because it`s their rainy seanson and it can become very miserable in Winter. Watch the wind as well because that South-Easter can really get blowing sometimes.
The sun is harsh
Luggage and bags: I suggest you bring an empty suitcase as you will find the clothing here very cheap
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you are going to do some walking or hiking in the mountains, please bring some decent shoes.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: If you are going to Mapumalanga or Kwazulu Natal then check before departure if you need malaria medication.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Do not forget to pack your sunfactors 6 - 30 especially for the faces and also do not forget your sunhat
Photographers take note
Photo Equipment: Not necessarily in this order, I would make sure I had the following with me:
1. A polarizing filter
2. A telephoto -- as long as possible for wildlife (I wished I had had a 500 mm mirror lens along)
3. High-speed color film for game drives (400+)
4. Three or four sets of rechargeable batteries + charger.
Regarding chargers, North Americans please note:
I'd recommend buying one there that has the correct plug on it. It'll also be 240v, too.
Digital camera users:
Fortunately, most camera shops can deal with media cards, media sticks, etc. They'll happily download your images and burn them onto a CD-ROM and won't charge you a fortune, either.
Miscellaneous: If you're a news-a-holic like me, you're going to have a problem because very few B&Bs or guest houses appear to provide satellite TV channels to their guests. There is almost no international news on South African TV stations and not much more on the radio. There isn't even a whole lot in the newspapers. My suggestion is to bring a digital, portable, shortwave radio along. I neglected to pack mine this trip and deeply regretted it.