How to charge your mobile phone from a power outlet in South Africa

A step by step guide showing you how to recharge your mobile phone from a South African power outlet by using USB Type B connector and a three pinned Europlug Type C power charger, charging any mobile phone using a Type F Schuko USB charger and charging any mobile phone using a Type M power adapter

South African power outlet

Various combinations of standards and sockets can often be confusing when planning on visiting another country to the first time traveller. With only a handful of different types of plug sockets being used throughout the world this guide shows exactly what you'll need to purchase in advance to power the mobile phone in South Africa. This guide was specifically written to assist visitors wanting to charge the mobile phone when they are staying in South Africa.The following step-by-step guide will show you how to power the mobile phone when you're visiting South Africa using their types M, C, F or N South African 230 volt 50Hz plug outlets, Type M wall outlets will be normally used by most South Africans. When you are visiting South Africa from another country please make sure your mobile phone can be used with a 240 volt supply. If the mobile phone was purchased from a country which uses a lower voltage (for example 110v) check that the mobile phone is dual voltage (indicated by 100-240 volts) else you may need to use an additional voltage converter to prevent the device from over-heating when powering up. If you intend on staying somewhere such as Cape Town or Durban please read the wikipedia page about South Africa [1] for more information prior to the location.

These instructions are for a generic mobile phone and assume the phone has a standard micro USB port, Bluetooth connectivity and a headphone socket. For a specific mobile phone visit the Mobile phones page for a full list of makes and models.

Charging any mobile phone in South Africa

Can the mobile phone be used in South Africa?

You can use any mobile phone in South Africa by using the correct power adaptor.

What is the best power charger for any mobile phone in South Africa?

When you are travelling with more than your mobile phone and visiting more than one country then the best travel charger for South Africa to buy is a multiple USB port charger which includes swappable plugs like a 4 port USB travel charger [11]. There are four different standards of wall outlets that South Africans use (types M, C, F and N) and using a travel charger like this will ensure that you are covered for type C.

As these chargers are supplied with interchangeable plugs and can handle from 100 - 240 volts will mean you can travel to over 100 countries around the world simply by changing the supplied heads. If your mobile phone can support Fast Charge (not all USB devices can) then you'll benefit from much faster charging times with one of these USB travel chargers plus additional compatibility with more power demanding devices.

This will allow you to recharge more than one device at once without needing to pack individual travel adapters for your South African trip. Only packing a single travel charger will also keep the overall weight and size down, making it perfect to fold up and store in hand luggage as well as being convenient for recharging your mobile phone at the airport or on a flight. Because of their space saving flexibility these types of adapters can be used at home so when you're not on holiday they can sit under your bedside table charging multiple phones, tablets and e-readers without needing an additional plug socket.

For those travelling frequently we suggest buying this type of flexible travel adapter at your preferred electronics retailer. The multipurpose travel charger illustrated is the iKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger [11] which has been successfully tested for recharging multiple USB devices in numerous countries on a daily basis.

Alternative travel adapter for South Africa

The 4 port USB travel charger [11] is the most compact option for travellers from any country who only have USB devices such as the mobile phone, however for visitors also wanting to use their domestic plugs these power converters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power converters offer surge protection which is crucial for visitors of counties with unreliable or unstable power grids to prevent damage to any connected devices. These power adapters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs which cover both South Africa and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the most popular compact power converter for travellers originating from North America going to South Africa.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Similarly having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers from America using type B plugs. This offers the same functionality as the BESTEK with only one less AC outlet for almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 2 AC outlets but offers 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it ideal for a wide range of travellers from around the world visiting South Africa.
What is the best power charger for any mobile phone in South Africa?

Powering any mobile phone with a South African power outlet by using a 2 pinned Type C Europlug USB adapter

A step by step guide showing you how to recharge your mobile phone from a South African power outlet by using USB Type B connector and a three pinned Europlug Type C power charger.

  1. In order to power any mobile phone using the South African power outlet you'll need to use a Type C USB power adapter [3] and a USB 2.0 A Male to Micro B cable [4].
  2. Insert the Type C USB power adapter in the South African power outlet. This power outlet is recognised by the 2 holes adjacent to each other where the twin pins sit.
  3. Connect the USB end of the USB 2.0 A Male to Micro B cable into the bottom of the mains power charger and the other end into the USB charging port on any mobile phone. These instructions assume your phone uses a Micro USB type B port. Please refer to the instructions supplied with your mobile to check this is correct and visit the mobile phones page to see if your model is listed (note you can usually connect the cable supplied with your mobile phone to charge with any USB charger).
  4. The USB charging port can typically be found either on along one side or on the bottom of the mobile.
  5. Switch on the South African power outlet.
  6. The battery indicator on your mobile phone should indicate that the device is charging, refer to the phone`s instruction manual to find out how long it will take.
Powering any mobile phone with a South African power outlet by using a 2 pinned Type C Europlug USB adapter

How to use a Type F power charger for recharging your mobile phone from a South African power outlet

A step by step guide showing you how to recharge your mobile phone from a South African power outlet by using USB Type B connector and a three pinned Type F Schuko power charger.

  1. To power the mobile phone from a South African power outlet you will need to buy a Type F USB power adapter [6] and a USB 2.0 A Male to Micro B cable [4].
  2. Start the process by inserting the Type F USB power adapter into the South African power outlet. The recessed round wall supply can be identified by the two large round adjacent holes, plus a pair of grounding clips above and below.
  3. Connect the USB end of the USB 2.0 A Male to Micro B cable into the bottom of the mains power charger and the other end into the USB charging port on any mobile phone. These instructions assume your phone uses a Micro USB type B port. Please refer to the instructions supplied with your mobile to check this is correct and visit the mobile phones page to see if your model is listed (please note you can usually connect the cable supplied with your mobile phone to charge with any USB charger).
  4. The USB charging port is typically located either on along one side or on the bottom of the mobile.
  5. Switch on the South African power outlet.
  6. The battery indicator on your mobile phone should indicate that the device is charging, refer to the phone`s instruction manual to find out how long it will take.
How to use a Type F power charger for recharging your mobile phone from a South African power outlet

Charging any mobile phone from a South African power outlet by using a 3 pinned Type M USB adapter

Using type B USB connector with a Type M power adapter to charge your mobile phone from a South African power outlet.

  1. To supply power to your mobile phone from the South African power outlet you will need a Type M USB power adapter [8] and a USB 2.0 A Male to Micro B cable [4].
  2. Begin the process by inserting the Type M USB power adapter in the power outlet. The plug outlet (technically known as a Type M power outlet [7]) can be identified by the 3 holes forming a triangular shape for live, neutral and ground.
  3. Then connect one end of the micro USB Type B cord into the mains USB charger and the other end into the USB charging port on any mobile phone. These instructions assume your phone uses a Micro USB type B port. Please refer to the instructions supplied with your mobile to check this is correct and visit the mobile phones page to see if your model is listed (please note that you can usually connect the cable supplied with your mobile phone for charging with any USB adapter).
  4. The USB charging port is typically located either on the bottom or side of the mobile.
  5. Switch on the South African power outlet.
  6. The battery indicator on the mobile phone should indicate that the phone is charging, refer to your phone`s instruction manual to find out how long it will take.
Charging any mobile phone from a South African power outlet by using a 3 pinned Type M USB adapter

Powering any mobile phone with a South African power outlet by using a 3 pinned Type N USB adapter

Using type B Micro USB cord and a Type N power charger to charge any mobile phone with a South African power outlet.

  1. If you want to supply power to any mobile phone from the South African power outlet you'll need a Type N USB power adapter [10] and a USB 2.0 A Male to Micro B cable [4].
  2. Begin the process by plugging the Type N USB power adapter in the power outlet. You can identify this squashed hexagon shaped plug supply by three large circular holes in a triangular pattern.
  3. Connect one end of the USB type B cable into the USB mains charger and the other end into the USB charging port on any mobile phone. These instructions assume your phone uses a Micro USB type B port. Please refer to the instructions supplied with your mobile to check this is correct and visit the mobile phones page to see if your model is listed (please note that you can usually connect the cable which came with your mobile phone for charging with any USB adapter).
  4. The USB charging port is normally located either on the bottom or side of the mobile phone.
  5. Switch on the South African power outlet.
  6. The battery indicator on the mobile phone will indicate that the phone is charging, refer to your phone`s instruction manual to find out how long it will typically take.
Powering any mobile phone with a South African power outlet by using a 3 pinned Type N USB adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa - wikipedia page about South Africa
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeC.htm - Type C power outlet
  3. Type C USB power adapter - Provides USB power from a type C mains power outlet
  4. USB 2.0 A Male to Micro B cable - Used to connect USB devices which have a USB Mini-B port to computers, power supplies and other devices
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeF.htm - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F USB power adapter - Provides USB power from a type F mains power outlet
  7. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeM.htm - Type M power outlet
  8. Type M USB power adapter - Provides USB power from a type M mains power outlet
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeN.htm - Type N power outlet
  10. Type N USB power adapter - Provides USB power from a type N mains power outlet
  11. IKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters