Southern Africa Travel Advice:
What to Pack
Generally, Southern Africa's
climate allows for a sunny holiday at any time of the
year. However, your dress requirements may vary
according to your particular destination.
It you intend spending a lot of time outdoors and
definitely in summer, bring a hat for protection against
the rather scorching sun. In the summer, lightweight
cotton clothing is advised because daytime temperatures
generally hover around 30 degrees Celsius. For the brief
period of January until Mid-March, temperatures
sometimes reach 35 degrees. During this period, the
nights might be just as hot.
Sunglasses are a must when travelling this region, and
especially in areas where the surroundings reflect
sunlight, such as beaches.
Clothing is by far the most effective defense against
the African sun. Use long-sleeved baggy clothing which
will keep you just as cool while avoiding sunburn. The
back of your neck is especially prone to sunburn, so get
a shirt with a collar and wear the collar upwards (or
wear a cotton scarf).
In the winter months (May to October) the sun shines
almost every day. The evenings can get very cold.
Temperatures have been known to plummet to below zero in
Johannesburg and areas in Botswana and Namibia. Early
morning and late afternoon temperatures are rather
chilly too. Generally, on most sunny winter days,
trousers and a jersey are all that you may require.
In the Mediterranean stretch along the south-western
Cape in South Africa, winters are very wet.
Because winter temperatures do not justify having
central heating in buildings and homes, Europeans
tourists might find the winters harsher than locals do.
On safari wear neutral colours; khaki, olive-green,
grey, brown so as to blend in with the environment. And
bring binoculars - one pair per person.
Also bring sufficient film (if required) and spare
batteries for your camera. Some camps have 220/240V
electrical supplies for recharging video and digital
camera batteries, but others do not. Either bring a good
supply of batteries to keep you going at the camps where
you canít charge, or better, obtain a 12 volt charger
which can be used from vehicles.
The region uses a standard large 13amp round pin plugs
and the voltage is 220 volts.