What to Pack for a Road Trip in South Africa

January 19, 2018   /   bynatalie  / Categories :  Personal, Travel
road tripping Karoo

With thousands of kilometres of (relatively) well-maintained roads, beautiful landscapes, diverse scenery and idyllic towns, South Africa is the road tripper’s dream destination. It’s hard to decide which part of South Africa is best for road trips, and that depends on what experiences you’re after and what kind of landscape you love. I love mixing up beach days with a bit of adventure and for that, the Wild Coast is perfect. We spent three weeks driving over 3500km from Cape Town, up to Coffee Bay and back through the arid Karoo. The route took us through tropical forests, beaches and desert landscapes, which is typical for South Africa. Here’s my guide for what to pack for a road trip in South Africa.

What to Pack for a Road Trip in South Africa

what to pack for a south african road trip

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Tips for packing for a South African road trip

natures valley forest South Africa

This little Doughnut backpack is one of my favourite bags ever

river Morgan bay

This magic river is in the Yellowwood Forest in Morgan Bay

coffee bay beach

The water in Coffee Bay is so warm and gorgeous – we spent most of the day walking or swimming

valley of desolation South Africa

This dress is the absolute best to travel with! It never creases and it dries in seconds!

what to pack for a South African road trip

The Madonna and Child Waterfall is so beautiful! You can hike to it from Away With The Fairies backpackers in Hogsback

  1. Road tripping means lots of packing and unpacking, so I recommend keeping it light. You don’t want to be lugging around a huge suitcase and digging through mounds of clothes that you’ll just need to pack up again in less than 24 hours
  2. My top tip is to pack items that you can easily mix and match, so that you can create different looks. Sticking to a colour palette is helpful too, since it makes mixing and matching even easier. Denim, blues, greys, white and black are great to work with.
  3. Pack fabrics that don’t crease easily and dry quickly so that you can wash them on the road if you need to. Items that can be dressed up or down are essential, since you might want to go out for a meal now and then. We camped most of the way and stayed in hotels a few times, so I wanted to pack items that were easy to move in (for setting up the campsite or walking long distances) but I also needed at least one look that I could wear in polite society.
  4. Bring along a little bio-degradable detergent, in case you need to wash a couple of things along the way.
  5. Make sure to pack some activewear. We found some beautiful hikes along the way. Leggings, a few t-shirts – and don’t forget a water bottle!

I hope this guide on what to pack for a road trip in South Africa was helpful! If you have any questions, you can just pop them in the comments below.

*This post is sponsored by Duesouth.


  • Reply

    Tina / 03 Feb

    I hoped to also find out what ‘practical items’ to pack (although the clothing tips do help 😊)

    When it comes to other items on the road – any tips?

    • Reply

      natalie / 05 Feb

      Hi Tina, I am planning a post on what gear to pack for a South African road trip. It will be up in the next couple of weeks 🙂

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