South Africa’s moderate climate makes it a great holiday destination for resting on the beach or seeing wildlife on a game drive, even in the winter. Take a look at our packing list for a winter vacation in South Africa if you are visiting between June and August.
Winters in South Africa are generally mild, however, morning and night temperatures can drop to single digits (about 6°C/ 44°F). In the winter, coastal areas receive the most rain, but inland places are drier and colder. Long-sleeve shirts, sweaters, thick socks, a jacket, and a raincoat are all essential items to bring for a winter trip. Scarves and woollen beanies will also come in handy, especially if you plan to hike in the beautiful surroundings or go up Table Mountain, where temperatures can dip to below zero.
We recommend bringing plenty of long-sleeved shirts and sweaters, as well as track pants or a few pairs of decent jeans because South African winters are not to be taken lightly. Snow is possible, particularly in the Western Cape and the Drakensberg, so layering is essential! In case you forget to bring yours, thermal vests and leggings are widely available in South African apparel stores during the winter months.
Scarves and beanies
While our northern hemisphere friends have mastered the art of dressing stylishly and comfortably in the winter, we must remind you that, despite being south of the equator, our winters can be harsh, which is why we recommend bringing scarves and beanies, especially for those icy windy days in Cape Town!
When visiting South Africa, you’ll almost certainly be doing a lot of walking, so bring some durable, comfortable and warm walking shoes. For those sunny days, if and when visiting the beach, bring along flip flops or sandals, plus a pair of heels or boots for a night out. In South Africa, most upscale nightclubs and bars have a strict footwear policy prohibiting the wearing of flip flops or sneakers.
To avoid a terrible case of sunburn, bring sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. The African sun is really strong, and if you’re from a colder European nation, your skin is far more vulnerable to sunburn. If possible, stay out of the sun between 12 and 3 p.m, when it is the warmest of the day. Sunscreens are widely available in South African pharmacies and supermarkets, so don’t panic if you forget to bring yours or your supply runs out.
Sunglasses and hats
Even though it’s cold, the winter sun is still damaging. To keep the sun off your face and protect your eyes from damaging UV rays, hats and sunglasses are a requirement. They’re also a great fashionable addition to your outfit.
We hope that this blog helps you with your packing for your South African winter vacation!