When traveling to a new city you have never been to before, packing can be confusing and uncertain. It is the unknown that can ruin a travel or vacation quicker than anything else. To avoid surprises your best weapon is careful planning.
To help you on your way we’ve developed a list of things to remember before and during your journey to Cape Town. This travel advice is only a guide; add your own important items to remember to help ensure a successful vacation or business trip.
What to pack
The very first thing you’ll want to pack – a camera to capture the magnificent scenery and surroundings. A paid of binoculars will help you capture places you may not be able to visit on foot.
Comfortable walking shoes are a must; you will be walking often and will want to be able to explore as much as possible. Bring a swimsuit to enjoy the multitude of beaches, sunglasses to protect your eyes from the gorgeous daytime sun and sunscreen to keep your skin from burning.
For documentation, be sure to bring your passport, driver’s license, and any other identifying information from your country. To be on the safe side, make copies of your documents, including credit cards. Keep copies of these items with you. To be completely certain of no mistakes, keep a copy of all your documents with a close friend or relative who could send them to you easily if you ever needed them.
For clothing, be sure to pack a variety of items, including those to cover all climates. The weather in Cape Town can be very unpredictable and what could be warm and calm on moment could turn to cool and breezy the next. Be prepared by packing light clothing for warm summer-like weather, and some heavier items to layer for cooler weather.
Prepare for rainy weather with a light jacket, an umbrella, and a hat or jacket with a hood that can keep you dry.
Finally, a good travel guide can be your best friend. There are many locations in the city that you may want to visit, and a good guide book can help you find the way. Visit the bookstore of your choice for a variety of guides that will help you during your visit.
Tipping during your stay
South Africans appreciate a show of good service just as anywhere. Tipping when you feel someone has gone out of their way to help you during your stay is a nice way to show your gratitude.
Waiters, drivers, hotel staff members, car guards, or anyone you meet during your travels that has provided you with good service can be tipped. An acceptable tip is typically 10% or more of your total bill, but you can feel free to tip any amount that feels comfortable or appropriate.
If you plan to drive while you stay, be sure to keep in mind that our vehicles have steering on the right side of the car. On the road, we drive on the left. Driving this way is no more difficult than in any other country, and will only take a short bit of time to get used to.
As a general safety tip, common sense is always a good rule of thumb. Be careful of expensive jewelry, don’t take all your cash with you at once, and travel in pairs, or groups.
Be sure to keep purses and bags close to you as you move around the city. Don’t display expensive electronics, or leave them in pouches on the outside of bags or in pockets. Don’t make it easy for criminals. Guard your valuables while you travel.
No one ever wants to have need of them, but when they do become necessary, emergency numbers can be indispensible, and may even save your life. Keep these numbers with you at all times, or better yet, add them into your phone list for easy access in the event they ever do become necessary.
For police, phone: 10111
Ambulance number: 10177
To get a taxi cab: 021 434 4444
For roadside assistance: 083 843 22
For more information, feel free to contact us for more personal advice