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What to Pack

Packing for your African adventure can be both an exciting and challenging endeavor. Here’s a bit of advice … check your airline baggage restrictions, start packing early, and whittle down your selections to avoid excess baggage fees, or the time and cost of storing excess baggage for severely restricted safari flights.

Inter-African commuter planes have limited cargo and carry-on space, and in some cases will refuse any luggage exceeding their published weight policies. For that reason, Wild Life Wine Safaris limits luggage to one soft-sided bag weighing no more than 44 pounds, and a small carry-on of no more than 7 pounds on all flights it purchases as part of your itinerary.

The good news is that most hotels have irons, hairdryers and adapters, either in their rooms or on request from reception. As for the rest of your belongings, it not unusual to experience all four seasons in a day in South Africa, so pack accordingly. Below are some suggestions to consider:

A light wind/waterproof shell will be your best friend – layers are always best
Polar fleece jacket or warm sweater, cap and gloves are a must for game drives, as the veld can be chilly on early morning and evening game drives
Brimmed hat for sun protection
Khaki? Sure, but not necessary – animals are colorblind
Shorts, jeans, t-shirts and other light, comfortable clothing
A good pair of walking shoes that are already broken in
Nice, casual pair or shoes or sandals, and a dress, skirt or stylish pants with shirt for women, and button-down or polo shirt with casual, non-sneaker shoes for men will suffice. Cape Town is a trendy city, so fun, casual, but crisp attire works well for smarter occasions. Coats and ties are not the norm, unless specified in your itinerary
Small bag or light daypack to carry anything that won’t fit in your pocket
Sunscreen – at least SPF 30 or higher
Insect repellent
Mini-flashlight and batteries
Compact first aid kit
Anti-malarial drugs, if required
Camera equipment and charger
Binoculars (the smaller and lighter the weight, the better)
A converter or adapter for South Africa’s 220 volt power supply. While most hotels and lodges will have some electrical adapters in rooms or at the desk, you may wish to have extra charging capacity for your camera or other electronic equipment.
A corkscrew for wine lovers (leave in luggage during flights)

What to carry with you:
As is always the case with international travel, it is best not to place valuables in your suitcase.
Jewelry – but always try and limit valuables, and how much you bring
Cameras, binoculars and electronics
Passport and drivers license – make copies of both and place in a separate pouch for emergencies. Passport carriers, particularly ones that hang around the neck or in zip-up belly packs are often useful.
Airline ticket/reservations, your itinerary and emergency contact information
Credit and debit cards
US Dollars – if you anticipate travelling to Zimbabwe or Zambia, and find yourself in a spot where you need to pay an official, they will not accept any currency other than US$ and will not have change. Around $200 in small notes (1,5,10 and 20’s) should see you through an unexpected expense. With that said, it is essential to obtain visas and inoculations for those countries before departure.
Last but not least – your spirit of adventure!

This list of items may not fit the unique needs of each traveler, and should be adapted to your specific circumstances and itinerary. Consider it a useful guide, in concert with this advice: use common sense, and remember the three enemies of the world traveler – weight, bulk and power requirements.

We Are

a boutique firm specializing in South African travel. From our flagship food and wine safaris, to tours tailored to you or your small group’s interests and timeline, to excursions in Southern Africa, we offer the ultimate in South African experiences.


Wild Life Wine Safaris
Phone: 1(888) 558-5221
700 Pennsylvania Avenue SE,
2nd floor,
Washington, DC 20003

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