Sun Protection Must-Haves for a Trip to South Africa

Sun protection essentials for a South African adventure © Unsplash

It’s hard to beat South Africa when it comes to the great outdoors and adventure activities. As the Cradle of Humankind, this tourist gem boasts some of the oldest mountains on Earth, unspoiled beaches, and life-changing wildlife safari packages. However, with its vast expanses of wilderness and diverse climates, South Africa demands a careful approach to safeguarding against the sun’s potent rays. 

From the savannas of Kruger National Park to the vibrant streets of Cape Town, equipping yourself with the essential sun protection items is paramount for a safe and memorable journey in this captivating country.

Sun protection essentials for a South African adventure


Sun protection essentials for a South African adventure © Unsplash

Sunscreen is a must for anyone embarking on a trip to South Africa. As a place abundant with sunshine and diverse outdoor activities, the country exposes travelers to the risk of sunburn, skin damage, and even skin cancer. The UV rays in South Africa can be intense, especially in the summer months from November to March, when daytime temperatures reach 40°C. Applying sunscreen with a high SPF rating helps to shield the skin from harmful UV radiation, reducing the risk of sunburn and long-term skin damage. If you have pale skin, you are at higher risk of developing skin cancer, so make sure that you pack a tube with at least an SPF of 50, like the Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen by Paula’s Choice, reapplied every two hours. 


Sun protection essentials for a South African adventure © Unsplash

Just as sunlight poses a risk to your skin, the same goes for your eyes. Exposure to UV rays can lead to a range of eye conditions, including cataracts, macular degeneration, and cancer of the eyelids. By wearing sunglasses, your eyes are protected from the sun’s rays, reducing the risk of eye strain, discomfort, and long-term vision problems. Sunglasses are ideal for safari adventures in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, where tourists will encounter red sand dunes that reflect sunlight and can make it difficult to appreciate the wildlife. For this, opt for sunglasses like the Flak 2.0 XL from Oakely, which are lightweight and have a wraparound design to protect your eyes from all angles. These sunglasses can also be customized to be fitted with polarized lenses that enhance color and contrast so you don’t miss a single detail of your trip. 

UPF clothing

Sun protection essentials for a South African adventure © Unsplash

Unlike regular clothing, ultraviolet protective factor (UPF) clothing is specially designed to block UV radiation, providing a higher level of defense against the sun’s harmful effects. When exploring South Africa’s wonders, from safaris to hiking trails like the Lion’s Head Hike in Cape Town, wearing UPF clothing can help tourists stay comfortable, cool, and protected throughout their journey. If you’re in the market for UPF clothing, check out Solbari’s hats, clothing, and accessories rated with a UPF of 50+, the maximum rating achievable for fabrics.

UV index monitoring app

Considering how intense UV radiation can get in South Africa, it’s best to stay informed by downloading UV index monitoring apps such as the SunSmart Global UV app. Available on the Apple App Store and Google Play, this free app provides real-time updates on UV levels in specific locations, allowing users to adjust their sun protection measures accordingly. The app also offers valuable insights into UV-related health risks and precautions, empowering users to make informed decisions about sun exposure. 

With proper sun protection measures in place, travelers can fully immerse themselves in all that South Africa has to offer, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

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