What Adapter Do I Need for Africa?

by Sandy Salle on July 7, 2014

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Image of a South Africa adapter taken from Flight001.com

So, you’ve booked your trip to Africa, now all you need to do is pack! One of the most common questions we get asked by travelers going on an African safari vacation is “what adapter do I need for Africa?” If you plan on bringing your cell phone, iPad, camera, hairdryer, or any other electrical device that needs to be plugged in, you will want to consider purchasing an adapter.

First, it’s important to note that some remote camps do not provide electricity. It’s also important to note that some hotels and lodges have adapters in each room for guests to use at their leisure. Many of these same accommodations also have hairdryers.

Countries throughout Africa do vary in terms of their electrical receptacles. Some have a variety of different types of plugs they use, while others have one standard. So, yes, it can be a bit confusing. This is why we recommend purchasing a universal adapter before embarking on your trip to Africa.

When you purchase a universal adapter, not only are you able to plug in your electronics wherever you go (there might be a handful of exceptions, depending on the universal adapter you choose) in Africa, but you can also use the adapter on your future travels around the world.

Unfortunately, most universal adapters do not contain a South Africa plug (which is also used in areas throughout Botswana and Mozambique)—but they’re very inexpensive to purchase. This plug is called the M plug and has three circular pins. Outlets typically use 220 volts.

So, if you plan on traveling to South Africa and elsewhere around Africa, we recommend purchasing a universal adapter and a South Africa adapter.

Another frequently asked question we get is “Do I need a voltage converter in South Africa?” For those of you who do not know, a converter is a device that is used with an adapter and will CONVERT the electricity to the electrical voltage that your electronic device can handle. Most modern electronic devices can operate on both 110V and 220V (South Africa is 220V while United States’ standard is 120V), so you most likely do not need a converter (just an adapter). Make sure to check your electronics to ensure that they are dual-voltage, though. If they are not, be sure to purchase an electrical converter.

There are a wide variety of universal adapters to choose from on the market. Below are some of our favorite adapters:

We love the JA/C Ready Adapter. This adapter features four different plugs that can be used in more than 150 countries around the world, including most in Africa (except South Africa, so you will need to purchase a separate South Africa adapter). The JA/C Ready Adapter comes with a list of easy to read instructions so that no matter where you go, you’ll be able to use your favorite electronics on the go.

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Image above taken from Flight001.com

Purchase the JA/C Ready Adapter at Flight001.com

We also like universal travel adapter from The Container Store, which can be purchase online at The Container Store website.

If your universal adapter does not have a South Africa plug (which it most likely will NOT), you can purchase the South Africa adapter at Flight001.com.

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