Packing List: Summer in South Africa

So I am off to South Africa for 6 weeks! The first of many African countries I plan to visit in the next few years. So what am I packing in my backpack?

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x 3 maxi skirts – two print and one plain black
x 1  maxi dress
x 1 full length jumpsuit
x 1 black midi dress
x 1 shirt dress
x 1 beach cover up dress
x 5 assorted dresses
x 1 pair or black shorts
x 1 off shoulder top
x 2 plain tank tops
x 2 plain t-shirts
x 2 pairs of leggings
x 6 assorted tops
x 4 bathers (two bikini tops, one black bikini bottom, one one-piece)
x 1 jumper
x 7 pairs of socks
x 14 pairs of undies
x 3 bras
x 1 sports bra
x 1 beach skirt


x 1 pair of Birkenstocks in ‘Arizona’
x 1 pair of sneakers
x 1 pair of flat sandals


x 1 hat
x 2 shoulder bags (one green and one black)
x 1 small backpack (clips on to full size backpack)
x 1 pair of earrings
x 4 assorted rings
x 1 travel wallet (with compartments for boarding passes, passport etc)
x 1 pair of sunglasses

Toiletries & Cosmetics

Shampoo & Conditioner
Medications – prescription and/or over the counter – packing cold and flu tablets as well as OTC pain killers is a smart move – I also always travel with ural, laxatives and gastro stop
Toothpaste & Toothbrush & Floss
Hairbrush & Hair Ties
Make Up – I carry enough for ‘every other day’ usage
Pads & Tampons
Condoms – even if you don’t plan on using them, it’s still a smart idea to pack some
Cotton Tips & Cotton Balls
Deodorant – I carry both roll on and spray versions
Nail File
Face Wipes


Phone & Charger
Camera & Charger & Spare Memory Card
Electrical Adaptor
GoPro & Charger & Attachments

Other Essentials

Travel Journal & Pens
Photocopies of important documents – it is a good idea to have electronic copies in a dropbox too
Microfibre Towel
Foreign Currency
Bank Cards
Student ID
Padlock – for locking hostel lockers
Luggage Locks
Torch – don’t be the person that arrives to the hostel at 3am, turns on all the lights and wakes everybody up, everybody hates that person
Ziplock Bags – these things come in so handy
Travel Pouch – one that you wear under your clothes

It is a bit of a hefty looking list! Anything I should leave home? Anything I am missing?

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20-something year old Australian backpacker writing her way around the world.

24 thoughts on “Packing List: Summer in South Africa

  1. I would re-assess your clothing and toiletries! I have been travelling for 2.5 months and I overpacked even though I tried my best not to. I ended up leaving a big bag of clothes and toiletries behind (things I hadn’t used much in the past month before). My 65L bag weighed 17k and I got it down to 14.5k-15k… I would pack only one or two MAX of each category (i.e. Maxi dress). I’m not sure how you’re travelling but you can always clothing swap or buy cheap things along the way and then ditch something. Please learn from my mistakes because I had to leave behind clothes I loved because I had overpacked. Only bring necessities!!

    1. My 70L backpack only weighs 11.5kg (not sure how I managed that one)
      I wish I could pack less and buy things along the way but I don’t have the budget for it- I will definitely reassess and see if I can find things to cull though 🙂
      Thanks for your tips!

      1. Wow good on you! Just sounded like a lot of clothes… But that might be because you packed light summery stuff and I had to bring wintery/all weather stuff. Sigh. Wishing you a wonderful journey!

      2. It is definitely a lot of clothes- probably too many! I had to be a lot stricter for my wintery Euro trips because everythung was so heavy and bulky!
        And thank you! I look forward to reading about more of your travels 🙂

      1. That’s good thinking, just 3 washes for the trip! I think picking them would be my hardest decision – I’d have to go more pretty than comfortable, shame on me.

  2. Hi

    That’s a lot of dresses to pack and lug around. I think you would be better off with an extra pair of shorts (knee length) as you can get away with wearing them a few times and a wrap that can double as a sarong or head scarf if required.

    Not sure how prolific a reader you are but you may want to consider an ereader/tablet to store books, maps, PDFs, travel info on. I find them lighter to carry and handy.

    Otherwise, just have fun and keep up the blogs.

    Oh, and was glad to read that you got through the midwifery ok.



  3. I occasionally check out the blogs of those that follow me and l LOVE this! I love traveling the world (but have been just doing the US lately since I get paid to do it) and I am dying to go on another trip outside the US! Love all your photos and it just gives me the itch to travel SOON (I’ve already been trying to make it out of the country again!). Amazing! Can’t wait for more updates!

      1. Can I come with you?! Haha! It actually is one of my dreams to meet up with a blogger SOMEWHERE! Whether it be in their foreign hometown or somewhere in the US! Most of my friends works full time or don’t have money to travel, so it seems to make sense to do it that way! Though I haven’t found any yet that I’m dying to travel with, cause you really gotta click with a person to be able to tolerate traveling with them!!!!!!

      2. Haha me too! My friends love to travel too but we always seem to want to go to very different places
        I would love to travel through the US! One day… 🙂

      3. Well if you make it to the US, I’m a wonderful host 🙂 Although it’s huge! Luckily I have one friend who likes to travel with me, but her job doesn’t give her nearly as much flexibility with time off! Same with my husband!

  4. It sounds like so much to pack! I’m going to be spending a month backpacking in North Africa next summer. I plan on bringing very little though – maybe just a full week’s worth of clothes as the shopping is supposed to be amazing (and haggling is quite fun in my experience!). Good luck! Can’t wait to read more about your experiences. 🙂

  5. some people think it’s superfluous but I love packing hats for travel!! (probably because I deal with bad hair days for 90% of my entire trip, haha, but oh well!)

  6. “Photocopies of important documents – it is a good idea to have electronic copies in a dropbox too”. This is the single most important thing to do as things can easily get misplaced and you might be left stranded in foreign lands.

    1. I often use my iPhone for photos! But for adventure activities and anything around bodies of water, a waterproof camera is very nice to have 😊

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