The sun in Southern Africa is severe, especially during the
spring and summer months, and it is advisable to cover up
with loose clothing or high factor sun screen. Good
sunglasses, a wide brimmed hat, insect repellent,
moisturiser, lip salve - are also essential. The African sun
is harsh most of the year.
It's not sunny all the time, especially in the Cape, where
the wind can pick up suddenly, and evenings can be cool.
Comfortable shoes - If you plan to walk through some of
South Africa's National Parks, a good pair of walking boots
is essential, as sometimes the path surfaces are quite
uneven, although the majority have good paths and trails.
220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Three round pronged plugs
are universal. Most hotel rooms have 110 volt outlets for electric
shavers and small appliances. A travel adapter may be required if
you are bringing your own electrical goods.
General Safety Tips
Africa is no more or less safe than any other country in the world.
Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert. Avoid dark areas at
night, and park in well lit public places. Always lock your car when
you leave it and lock valuables in the boot or leave them at your
accommodation for safe keeping.
Don't have lots of jewellery and valuables on show. When you carry
your passport and/or money, keep them in a button-down pocket.
On Safari - game reserves have common sense rules to ensure your
safety. Listen to your guide or ranger and follow his advice. If
self driving, be aware that wild animals are dangerous so stay in
your car, drive slowly and keep a reasonable distance.
Take out a comprehensive travel insurance plan for the duration of
your trip; as you will be refused treatment in some hospitals if you
do not have insurance. For claiming lost/ stolen articles and
luggage, it is advisable that you buy the insurance in your country
of residence - see
travel insurance for indication of costs.
All drivers will need a valid driving licence and in South Africa
are required by law in to carry an identity document (e.g. a
passport) and driving licence at all times.
Health & Medical
You may need some inoculations - Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis A or B
and Typhoid - but it will depend on how up to date you are. If you
are visiting a malarial area, you should take malaria prophylactics,
wear long sleeved clothes and long trousers at dusk and use a
As medical opinion changes fairly frequently, you should speak to
your doctor or contact the British Airways Travel Clinic in
Johannesburg at +27 11 807 3132.
If walking or hiking, wear insect repellent and use Bayticol spray
against ticks. Bayticol is sprayed on the clothing and not on the
skin. If you cannot get Bayticol before you arrive, it is commonly
available at chemists..
If you are taking regular medication, make sure you have enough to
cover the duration of your holiday.
There are banks and ATMs in all the towns, in most villages and in
the larger petrol stations. All large hotels, restaurants and shops
accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards although American Express is
not commonly accepted.
It is best only to swim in designated areas, otherwise you might
come across a hippo or a crocodile! Be careful of strong currents
when swimming in the sea and don't swim too far out.