Tips for traveling in South Africa

Clothing:

When packing for you holiday, coordinate your clothes around one or two basic colours. This cuts down on the number of shoes and accessories you have to bring. Also rather dress in layers, so it is easy to undress as the day grows warmer.

The weather can change rapidly in the Garden Route area and it’s difficult to always be prepared for this. Some of our trips also require various outfits, as it might be a sunny day, but fairly cool when we go out on an open boat trip. A shirt with a collar and a hat are sensible items on a hot day, to help avoid sunburn. A light jacket is mostly required on boat trips.

Sun Protection:

South Africa has a warm, sunny climate, so sunscreen, a wide brim hat and sunglasses are recommended when you’re outdoors – any time from 10:00 until 16:00, even (especially!) if it is cloudy outside. The weather in the Garden Route area can change drastically in a matter of an hour, so don’t leave the house without adequate sun protection, even if it seems like it might be a cool day.

Medicine:

Even if you’re not generally allergic to anything, it’s a good idea to carry an antihistamine with you. The climate and South African flora might give you hay fever, and antihistamine is also great to relieve mosquito bites, stings and rashes.

Spectacles & Contact Lenses:

Bring spare spectacles and a copy of your prescription. If you wear contact lenses, consider using disposables for a short holiday, especially if you’re planning to participate in outdoor activities, like river rafting, diving, etc. Also bring spectacles, even if you normally only wear contacts, as the dry dusty environment of some game farms may irritate your eyes.

Cash:

Do not pull large amounts of cash out of your pocket. This will attract attention – no matter what country you are in! You’ll be able to pay with your credit card at all major tourist attractions and ATMs are widely available, so you only require a relatively small amount of cash for convenience.

Important Documents:

Make two copies of all your important documents, like passport, driver’s licence and even credit cards. Take one copy with you, in a different bag to the original, and leave one at home with a responsible, easily reachable person. Try to memorise all your important numbers. If you lose your bag, this could be an enormous help.

Photography:

There are photo labs in all the towns across South Africa, where you can download and have your photos printed. Take as many photos as possible – the number always seem less when you arrive back home and there’s nothing better to help those memories stay alive! Just take precaution when travelling with your camera and never let it lie around unattended.

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