I thought I would begin my South African series with the most exciting post yet, packing! Okay, maybe it is not the most exciting, but packing is a pretty great topic. And I wish someone told me how to pack for a trip with quickly changing climates and varying activities, so I thought I would make one for you. Oh, and did I mention these packing tips are for 2 weeks of travel using only a small carry on. Good, didn't want to leave that part out.
Packing for South Africa's Winter (our summer)
Everyone says layering is key, which is true during a South African winter as the weather changes from 40-70 degrees within the span of a day; however, I am not a fan of carrying those layers. If I could go back and repack I would change a few things, actually almost everything (that's embarrassing). First, I would bring one of those super thin North Face jackets that roll into a tight ball - The North Face Thermoball. This jacket would have saved me from packing sweaters, more layers, a rain jacket, and a vest. Second, I would pack a pair of thin gloves, scarf, and a warm hat for the early morning safari trips. It does get a bit nippy before the sun comes up and you are speeding along the dirt roads trying to spot a lion.
This section is always a bit tricky, and again I packed all wrong. (Seeing a trend here). I would have brought two fun J.Crew button down shirts, a chambray button down, two plain v-neck t-shirts (white and black), one nice long sleeve dressier top (for the fancier dinners), one shirt for hiking, and a long sleeve zip up, such as this one from LuLu Lemon. Mixing and matching is better :)
This section is easier to master. Pack a nice pair of skinny jeans, black skinny pants, long black yoga pants (to wear on their own or under the jeans during a Safari), and one cute skirt. Such as one of those nice black and white striped skirts that just make any type of top look cute. And we can't forget to pack super warm PJ's. The mornings are freezing, trust me on this, and by the afternoon you are running around in a T-shirt.
I would recommend packing of pair of tall leather walking boots, as you can wear these with tall socks on the safari, walking around the city, looking stylish during the wine tours, or pairing them with your cute skirt and tights. A pair of multipurpose sneakers, such as converses, to use while hiking up Table Mountain or walking around the city when you are tired of your boots. Lastly, pack those flip-flops -- as they are nice to have just encase the weather gets into the high 70's.
I am not the best at accessorizing, but I did learn that bringing a few accessories along can expand your wardrobe ten fold. Such as packing a little number like this one, and bringing a few bracelets to dress up a plain top.
Definitely bring a cross body purse. It makes taking your camera in and out easy as pie, and it's nice to carry in the front when walking through busy markets. I brought one like this one and loved it. And yes, it fit my SLR camera perfectly.
The extra bits to pack in your personal bag would include: Face wipes (for a quick face wash after a dusty safari or 18 hour plane ride), antibacterial lotion, a stocked Ipad (for in-flight entertainment), tons of snacks for the plane, travel socks, your camera, binoculars, an electrical converter, and a straightener. No need to bring a hardcover book, it takes up too much space and when you are on your way to "hunt" for the big five, reading material is not a high priority.
So that is pretty much a wrap! Moral of this first post - don't pack like I did, but pack like I say. And pick a neutral color pallet, add in a few pops of color via your accessories, and go with it. You can get some great guidance tips on using the rule of thirds for dressing by following the savvy fashionista, Caroline.
Next I will be sharing the second most exciting post titled: How to Pack for a South Africa Summer. Once the applause dies down on these posts (and my photos arrive), I will share a few less exciting posts about lions, great white sharks, and other bits ;)
Image: By the lovely Stephanie Sterjovski
- Live simply - intentionally - gratefully - joyfully -
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