I Guess I'll Need More Than A Carry-On
Packing for South Africa can be more intimidating than the flight, jetlag, hunt, or anything else for that matter. In order to save you some time and energy, I'm going to list what I bring on a 3 week journey and you can adjust accordingly. I'm getting pretty good at this since I've been to South Africa and more specifically, Rufus' ranch 11 times in the last few years.
The ranch can be fairly cool at night and sweaty as all get out during the day. You'll need to pack some great gear in order to really enjoy your stay. You don't have to spend a ton of money; however, the more technically sound the gear, the more you'll be ready to take on the elements.
I think you are going to need a medium weight jacket for starters along with some zip-off pants. Those are my go to items for my travel. They are lightweight and I can get rid of 10 degrees or more in just a manner of seconds.
South Africa is a pretty moderate, warm climate. Since the seasons are the exact opposite of the northern hemisphere, you will be hunting sometime from early fall (March) to late spring (October). You won't want to try the South African summer as it is too hot for man or beast!
Fall and Spring temps fluctuate from 50's in the morning to 70-80 in the afternoon. Winter time weather is much cooler with lows sometimes in mid 30's to highs in the 50-60 range. It can rain throughout the year, but most days are clear and sunny with a breeze. You don't want to overpack as your laundry will be done each night after your hunt.
So, here is a brief list of what I pack:
2 long sleeve shirts. I wear an olive colored cotton shirt, but camo is acceptable.
4 pair medium weight socks.
1 pair WELL-BROKEN IN Hiking boots (terrain is rocky)
2 pairs - medium to heavy pants (to resist thorny bushes). I like camo denim as it is quiet in the bush.
1 pair leather gloves (again a big help with thorns while you hunt).
Medium jacket or hoody for cool days and evenings
Lightweight jacket (rain resistant- but, you won't hunt on rainy days, the animals hate rain!)
Zip off pants
Binoculars and range finder
Throw in a casual outfit or two for the flight, safari parks and tourism and you are good to go!
Of course, you'll want to be prepared for the evenings because South African sunsets are a sight to behold. Get ready to relax by a campfire and watch the burning sun retire for the day. It never gets old!
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