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What to remember when packing for South Africa

Updated on October 29, 2010

First time coming to South Africa you can’t know what to pack but if you have been there before, you know what things you have to consider when planning to go to South Africa.

Obviously a passport should be always the first thing you should think of.  A bus or plane ticket to start your journey is another mandatory item to have. It is always exiting to know that you are going to an unseen land and the items you need may surprise you.

When you are planning for a journey you have to think how you are going to survive during the time that you are away. If you are going to South Africa to look for work then you are going to need to plan your accommodation and transport a well as your consumption such as food and drink. You need to plan where you will purchase these things and make sure they are in a close vicinity of your accommodating. So if you are a shopper don’t forget to pack you credit card. South Africa accepts most credit cards such as Visa and Master Card.

The people in South Africa speak many languages so you will need some sort of translation book for language like Afrikaans and Zulu. This way you won’t have to struggle to communicate with the locals where you visit. You will find that South African people are very friendly and are always willing to help foreigners.

You should be aware of your allergies and reactions to different climates. South Africa has a variation of weather patterns and it has been known to affect people’s allergies. For example, hay fever. Make sure if you have a sneezing problem you should bring your anti histamine. South Africa can have very dry and dusty conditions as well as wet and cold. It depends on what time of the year you visit.

If you are going to Mpumalanga, Nelspruit or Tzaneen you should pack a light long sleeve shirt and long pants to keep the mosquitoes from biting you. If you have never been to South Africa you should be warned that the mosquitoes can be very irritating. South Africa stores can sell you all the top range repellants and even exterminators. Before you come to South Africa you must take malaria prevention medication for at least 4 weeks before you arrive so your body can build up a sufficient immune to Malaria. Be warned that malaria is known to kill people in severe cases.

A first aid kit is a good consideration if you are site seeing. Many of the beautiful sites in South Africa are in remote areas and do not have immediate response from medical facilities. Be sure that when you leave for South Africa your medical insurance is valid. If you do not have a medical aid scheme supported in South Africa the chances that you will receive good medical care or any is very slim.

Lastly don’t forget to bring your camera. You will need to have both a video recorder and a picture taker. It is always a good thing to remember your travel.


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    • Adam Sherman profile image

      Adam Sherman 7 years ago

      Passport, plane ticket and mosquito net! Thanks for the tips!