Some people say that going on safari in the winter is the best time you can do it and I tend to agree. Months May through to September are perfect for overseas travellers, as the cooler climate over this time offers bountiful animal activity to be seen as long as one is prepared for the “fresh” mornings. Although you will have a deliciously warm hot water bottle and blanket provided to keep you snug on the vehicle, there are a few more items I would suggest packing. Here are my top 4 clothing essentials to pack on safari in the winter so that you don’t miss out on the adventure.
1. A warm beanie and gloves
The early morning game drives are where you will experience the colder chill in the air as the sun is just beginning to rise. The early start coupled with the breeze blowing as the vehicle moves through the bush makes for an unpleasant start only if one is not properly prepared. Covering your ears is essential in order to warm up your entire body. A beanie may not be everyone’s first pick when it comes to fashion, however it will help a great deal in order to protect you from the sharp cold air, and there are some beautiful ones on the market.
2. A windbreaker
This is a great purchase to help the breeze from getting the best of you. They are essential to shield you from the wind and a lot of them you will find are also waterproof, although rain is not predicted in the winter time it is a nice bonus. Windbreakers however are not the warmest items of clothing you will find and that is why layering your clothing is so important. By wearing various long sleeve shirts underneath your windbreaker you will be sure to keep warm and be protected from the wind. The great thing about layering is that you can always take off items of clothing as the day starts to warm up. Any sporting clothing brand will sell great quality windbreakers, such as Puma and Adidas. Speaking of layering, that brings me to my next point.
3. Thermal underwear
This is something that not many people, other than our guides, think to wear but it is a game changer. It gives you that first layer of protection and actually traps your body heat keeping you as warm as possible. Thermal underwear under your many other layers and windbreaker will put you in great stead to face the cold weather.
4. Summery Items
My last point may seem a bit off course but stay with me. Although it is winter time and the mornings and evenings are chilly, the afternoons often warm up making for a beautiful sunny day. So don’t fall short and forget to pack your swimming costume, sun hat and sunscreen as you may be brave enough to take a dip in the pool. If you are staying at one of the Relais & Châteaux camps, Tree, Granite or Pioneer, the plunge pool in every room can be heated to take the cool edge off making for a pleasant afternoon in the pool under the African sun.
In a nutshell:
What To Pack For Safari in Winter
Winter at Londolozi is our dry season. One can expect little to no rain, chilly mornings and evenings (9°C) and warmer conditions during midday (25°C). Here is what you should pack for safari in winter…
- A sun hat or two (preferably wide brimmed)
- High SPF suncream
- Binoculars (if you have, otherwise rent here)
- Camera Gear (see specifics below)
- A warm down jacket
- Wind breaker / light jacket
- A beanie and scarf for morning drives
- A pair of warm gloves for morning drives
- A few long-sleeve shirts
- Long pants
- Cotton shirts or vests
- One or two warm jumpers
- Thermal undergarments (for those that feel the cold)
- Walking shoes, sandals and boots
- Warm socks for morning drives
- Bathing suit
- Winter evening wear
- Active wear (if wanting to use our gym)
Winter in the bush is completely magical and not something that should be overlooked as it holds so much beauty to be seen and fun to be had. Animals tend to be more active due to the cooler weather, cold mornings (which you are now prepared for) melt into warmer afternoons and then back into crisp evenings sitting around the fire defrosting with a glass of red in your hand back in camp. Winter is a wonderful time for safari as long as you are ready for it.
So, are you ready?