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What to pack for Kruger/Cape Town

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Apr 19th, 2016, 09:53 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Apr 2016
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What to pack for Kruger/Cape Town

I'm traveling from May 11-22 in South Africa and I'm concerned on what exactly to pack, based on the time of year, and the two places I'll be staying.

I arrive in Johannesburg and will be driving the panorama route to just outside Kruger and staying for one night. Then I will be on a private game reserve for three nights.

Then flying to Cape Town for 7 night. My big concern is what to pack. I've already taken all the required medical shots, and I've loaded up on the camera/GoPro/memory cards/batteries.

But I am not sure what to bring for clothes. Is it possible to get clothes that can be used in both areas? Do I need proper clothes when in Cape Town? Can hiking boots be used in Kruger, then worn to dinner in Cape Town?

I am hoping for some advice.

Thanks,
Kev
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Apr 19th, 2016, 10:54 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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I'll be in S Africa around the same time. I only take carry on, so it's not that hard.

Unless you plan to do overnight bush walks, hiking boots are unnecessary. I use trail shoes (I have a great pair of grey Sauconys) for bush walks. I have a pair of Skechers Go Walks that I take because they are very comfortable and very light. Almost cute, too and can be worn with all styles of pants. My husband has a pair too. I wear the trail shoes, comfy grey pants and my fleece jacket on the plane to save space and weight. Always take slippers.

I am not a beige girl, so I wear greys and greens. No camo - not appropriate. Everything I take goes with everything - nothing that can't be worn together. Two pairs of pants, three t shirts, two long sleeved shirts (one is a fake suede one to block the wind), cashmere sweater, undies, socks. I use minimizer and/or workout bras for the very rough game drive roads for comfort. I take fleece gloves and earmuffs. Really - that's about it. I plan for hand washing or laundry every three days. Everything I take can take a beating - we hand wash a lot (lodges won't wash underwear and socks) and sometimes the lodges aren't as careful with laundry as I am.

In Cape Town, most places are casual but I would rather be overdressed on safari than underdressed in Cape Town. A lot of people take nice scarves/pasminas to dress things up and maybe fun costume jewelry (there are some beautiful beaded pieces in S Africa!). My fleece jacket is a fitted one, so looks neater. One pair of pants I take can be dressed up - more like trousers than jeans. You'll be in CT for 7 days - if you need something you can buy it. It's a first world city.

Don't forget all feminine products you might need, under 3 oz of your moisturizer, bug spray (most lodges provide - you won't need a lot), travel size unscented antiperspirant. Since you will be driving, anything you forget or don't want to bring can be bought in S Africa. I like PicknPay for most grocery/drug store items. Binoculars are my number one must have - don't leave home without them! My husband takes a gopro, but not that useful. Use a camera with a video setting.

You can search on Fodors for past threads on packing. There are quite a few - I take less than most. I hate to check luggage as we've had bags lost all over the world. Very inconvenient. You might get some excellent tips. (Like the threads with waders and Depends!! They can get pretty funny).

Don't forget to make sure your carry on and personal item fit the airline requirements. So many flights now are totally full so they are very strict with carry on.

Tell your banks you are going to S Africa so your credit cards and ATM/debit cards work. Call again right before you leave. Really inconvenient when they don't work. Get medical insurance if your doesn't work outside your country. Mine doesn't. I use www.insuremytrip.com and plug in $0 for trip insurance (if you don't want to insure your travel). I get as much as I can afford - $250,000 med/$500,000 evac minimum. Cheap if you don't need to insure the travel. If you're under 50 it will be less than $100. Don't travel without medical insurance - anything can happen.

Not sure if Kev is male or female. Sorry if I am wrong. More info is better than less, I guess.

There are no medical shots required for S Africa.

Have fun! Maybe we'll pass each other in the airport! You are going to love it!!
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Apr 20th, 2016, 06:25 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2003
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{Kev is usually short for Kevin}

We wore basically the same things over and over while on either safari or during the day in Capetown. We loved these 2 items and then added in a few other items.

These come in both men and womens:

https://www.rei.com/product/861660/r...mens-32-inseam

https://www.rei.com/product/861363/r...e-shirt-womens

1 of the shirts, which was worn over another shirt if extra warmth was needed and 2 pair of slacks each. Again, since they were convertible, we got double use out of each garment.

Yes, they aren't cheap [I actually got a pair of womens on eBay for $18] but we still wear them at home.
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Apr 20th, 2016, 09:09 AM
  #4
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Thanks to both of you for your responses. Yes, Kev is short for Kevin, so some of the women's attire I will disregard

I will definitely take a look at those REI pants...I like the option of unzipping off the bottom of them to have a pair of shorts.

I will go back and check the flights within South Africa to make sure my luggage is within requirements.

One last question...how cold is it along the Cape Town coast? I will be going on a caged shark dive trip and am wondering I will need any specific clothing for the boat ride.

Thanks again!

Kev(in)
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Apr 20th, 2016, 10:18 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
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We were there in September, so can't help with the apparel for the boat ride. We did the snorkel with seals, which we really enjoyed,

You'll have a grand time, no matter what.
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Apr 20th, 2016, 10:20 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Oh, do you do the dive wearing wets suits?? We used them, so we put them on before we got on boat, so there was no need to concern ourselves with what to wear. It was cold in the water. When we got back on the boat the first they did was to pour hot water down into our wet suits! An odd feeling but most welcome.
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Apr 20th, 2016, 11:48 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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These days, Kev could be anybody. Yep - ignore the lady info.

It'll be colder before dawn and after dusk in an open moving vehicle on safari than in Cape Town. Take lots of layers - it can be very warm during the day and downright cold at night in both places in May.

Cape Town's Atlantic Ocean is always cold. The east coast - in KwaZulu Natal - is the Indian Ocean and much warmer.

Just toss a pair of shorts into your bag. I find those pants uncomfortable with the zipper (and look really goofy). My husband took them on our first trip but hasn't since.

I meant international flights - those SAA flights are always full. Unless you are in biz, they are very strict with carry on.

You're going to love it. You'll be planning your return (with more time on safari) before you leave Cape Town. Don't miss the penguins at Boulder Beach.
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Apr 20th, 2016, 01:16 PM
  #8
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I haven't even started the trip and I already want to book a return adventure. Especially after spending some money on a new camera, clothes, etc.
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