Travel Adapters for South Africa

Posted by Martin Parker on

Travel adapter for South Africa

Travelling to South Africa is a dream for many people, it is such a beautiful country. As with any travel, we all take our now essential electronic devices with us. The problem is, they need regular charging, which takes a little planning! 

Electrical sockets in South Africa

There are 3 types of power socket in general use in South Africa, Type D, Type M and Type N. 

Type D uses 3 round pins, type M is similar, but the pins are larger and type N is compatible with type C plugs used in European countries. 

For type D and type M, an adapter will always be required as the sockets are quite specific to South Africa. Type C plugs have 2 round pins and will fit into the type N sockets used in South Africa. 

Power supply in South Africa

The next thing to consider is the voltage in South Africa. The standard voltage in South Africa is 230V which is also the standard voltage across Europe.

This means, that if you live in a country where the voltage is between 220V and 240V, then your item will work with no problem. As mentioned, this applies to Europe, but also Australia and most of Asia.

Multi-Country adapter

If your country uses a voltage between 100v and 127V, then you may need a power converter. This will depend on your particular item. 

Why? Well some electrical items are designed to work in multiple voltages, from 100V up to 240V with no problem. On the side of your item will be a label, showing something like “INPUT: 100-240V 50/60Hz”. Items with this label can be used all over the world with no problems.

You may encounter problems with the alternating current frequency. In South Africa, the electrical supply has a frequency of 50Hz. Most products designed to work with either 50Hz or 60Hz should be okay, but anything with a built in timer, either mechanical or digital, may not work correctly if the frequency is different. 

Do I need an adapter or power converter for South Africa

This depends on your equipment.

You’ll most certainly need an adapter as the socket arrangement is very particularly to South Africa. There are no multi-country adapters that include South African type D and M plugs, as they are so specific. If you need an adapter for an item that requires an earth connection, you will need a specific adapter.  

Multi-country adapters will cater for the type N sockets, allowing you to charge electronic devices that do not require an earth connection. These types can be charged where they display the double insulated symbol, because they do not require an earth connection. 

Recommended plug adapter

Our recommended adapter for South Africa is the Multi-Country Adapter as it will allow you to plug in up to 4 USB items at once. This will allow you to charge your phone, tablet and camera battery at the same time. It may not be compatible with the earthed type D and type M plugs, but it is possible to buy these locally, that will then allow the Multi-Country adapter to be plugged into any socket. 

This may seem a little cumbersome, but it gives the best solution for connecting many devices to one socket.


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