What I Packed: South Africa (April-May/Fall)

When packing for 10 days (plus 2 days travel) in South Africa, I knew I wanted to pack fairly lightly, but it was also a little tricky to figure out what to bring based on the varied weather we were expecting.  Late April to early May is fall in South Africa, and although temperatures in South Africa don’t typically get very cold at any point of the year, my sister had warned us that they could vary from rather hot (definite shorts weather) to fairly chilly (between 45 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit- typical fall weather in the northeastern United States).

I took two backpacks for my luggage- a smaller daypack and a large hiking pack.  I was just able to fit everything in the two.  The smaller daypack was my carry-on bag, and I checked the larger pack.

Packing for South Africa


I’ve had my Osprey Sirrus 24 Day pack for about two years, and it is perfect for taking on the plane, as well as for walking around while traveling.  It is also perfect for hiking!  It has excellent support and distributes weight well.

Checked Bag:

As I mentioned, I used my new larger hiking pack as my checked bag.  I have the Osprey Aura AG 65.  This was my first time really using it, and I was pretty surprised by how much the pack held!  It was easy to transport through airports and from place to place in-country.  The biggest con of using a backpack like this is that it is only accessible from top and bottom, which makes finding the clothes you’re looking for a bit difficult.  There are some pretty large pockets on the top, which I found very useful and easy to access.  I kept my toiletries and other stuff I wanted to be able to find easily and quickly in them.



Packing for South Africa

2 pairs shorts | 1 pair black dressier jeans | 1 pair blue jeans


Packing for South Africa

Red flowing tank | Black cowl neck tank | Chambray peplum tank | Floral button-up tank | Heather gray casual tank

Packing for South Africa

Black-and-white striped tee | Navy embroidered tee | Geometric tee

Packing for South Africa

Other Clothes:

Packing for South Africa

Black knit dress

Packing for South Africa

Black flowing sweater | Beige sweater

Packing for South Africa

Brightly patterned infinity scarf | Large green patterned scarf

Packing for South Africa

Reversible black/brown belt | Gray sweatpants | Sports tee for sleeping | Black leggings | Black cami


Packing for South Africa

Nike sneakers | Black flats | Comfortable flip-flops | Black sandals


Packing for South Africa

Rain jacket | Towel | Washcloth | Swimsuit | Umbrella | Snacks | The Last Lecture | Katie Daisy lightweight journal | Fire tablet | Pocket Moleskine notebook | Passport | Sunglasses | Small Pouch (cash, debit card, license) | Shower flip-flops | Cross-body bag | Camera (and chargers, not pictured) | Watch | Luggage Scale

Important Notes:

*The weather was mostly mildly warm/hot.  I only wore 1 pair of shorts a couple of times.  I had just the right amount of tank-tops and short-sleeved shirts.

*I wore the long-sleeved shirt several times.  I wish I had brought at least one more long-sleeved shirt.

*I debated bringing hiking boots.  I ultimately decided not to bring them.  For most of the trip, I didn’t need them.  However, I really wished I had brought them when we were in Hogsback.  This was the only real hiking we did, and it was very muddy.  Sneakers were not quite sufficient.  I’d definitely recommend bringing hiking boots if Hogsback is part of your plan.