South Africa enjoys long hot summers and generally mild winters. For the summer months (October to April), pack lightweight garments and a hat but include a jacket or jersey for the cooler, and occasionally chilly, nights. Most of the country is in the summer-rainfall zone, so bring an umbrella or raincoat. For the winter months, pack warm clothing.
People dress informally, though ‘smart casual’ wear is often required after dark at theatres and other art / entertainment venues, and by the more sophisticated hotels and restaurants. Beach wear is acceptable only on the beach, casual clothing is customary at holiday resorts and in the game areas.
There is a great deal of poverty in our country and as in other countries there are a few basic precautions that you should take to ensure that your stay is as pleasant and safe as possible.
At your hotel:
- Never leave your luggage unattended.
- Store valuables in the hotel’s safety deposit box.
- Keep your room locked, whether you are in it or out.
- Check who is at your door before opening it.
- Hand your keys into reception whenever leaving the hotel.
In the street:
- Avoid displaying expensive jewelry, cameras and valuables.
- Do not carry large sums of money.
- Keep away from dark, isolated areas at night.
- It is better to be in groups and stick to busy well lit streets.
- Plan your route.
- Call a taxi from your hotel.
In your car:
- Plan your route in advance.
- Lock the doors and close the windows.
- Lock valuable items in the boot (trunk).
- Park in well lit areas at night.
- Never pick up strangers.
- If in doubt about your safety phone the police or drive to the nearest police station.