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Safari in August - what should I bring?

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Safari in August - what should I bring?

I am traveling to South Africa in August - we'll spend three days in Cape Town and then 4 in Kruger/Sabi Sabi (Ulusaba). I'm wondering how I should pack for this type of trip and at this time of year (we'll be traveling on small planes, so our luggage is restricted). Do we need to pack winter hats, gloves, scarves, bathing suits, shorts, sandals, etc.? Everything I've read says that nights are cool and days are warm, but will the days be warm enough for swimming and will the nights be cool enough for coats?

posts: 432
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1. Re: Safari in August - what should I bring?

Its hard to know whether the days will be warm enough for swimming but the nights will be cold enough for coats. Actually its not so much that the nights are cold, however when you are on a land rover moving with the chill factor, it is cold! I had a long jacket, gloves and a scarf last month and I need them all and I like it on the cool side.

I hope this helps.


Cape Town
posts: 9,052
2. Re: Safari in August - what should I bring?

Yes but all of this is only about half of your trip. The Cape has a totally different climate to Kruger - winter rainfall. August, on average, is a mixture of warmish sunny days (maximum 17C min 5C) with days where there can be howling gales and sheeting rain and maximum temperatues below 10C - this is not called the Cape of Storms for nothing!

Unfortunately there is no way that you can predict what the mix will be. So for this part of your trip definitely bring waterproofs. One thing that I can say is that there will definitely be no swimming (except in heated hotel pools) - the ocean is freezing!

Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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3. Re: Safari in August - what should I bring?

I was last at Ulusaba in May '08 - not cold, of course, so I can't say for sure that the safari vehicles will have blankets.. but I cannot imagine that they don't! So what you need are layers. And a hat & gloves. Maybe a scarf. And wear them over and over if you need to.

As mentioned above, you may need these in Cape Town, too. I hope not. I will be in De Kelders all of August myself, straight across the water from, and slightly south of, the Cape of Good Hope.

Dave Patterson - Owner, The Africa Safari

posts: 277
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4. Re: Safari in August - what should I bring?


We went on safari in Exeter last July. You won't need Chicago power winter wear for the trip, but something more along the lines of what you'd wear on an outdoor ride in the late fall or early spring. The temperatures never got below freezing at night while we were there, and we were fine wearing a couple of layers (fleece, sweats, windbreakers). It did get warm enough during the days to wear shorts, but the plunge pools were still cold enough to make me gasp when I dangled my legs in.

Wellington, New...
posts: 49
reviews: 105
5. Re: Safari in August - what should I bring?


We've just come back from both Cape Town and four days in Ulusaba.

At Ulusaba, you will need a hat, scarf and warm jacket. They provide ponchos (like a fleece) and hot water bottles in the mornings (which are the coldest on the game drives). Gloves are good too. If you're staying at Safari Lodge (where the boutique is based), you can always buy something to wear if you're cold.

Some people (incl my husband) swam during the day, but it wasn't hot enough to tempt me. However we did need summer clothes for the few hours during the day that you're not on the game drive.

The key is to have layers, and lots of them - a t-shirt, then a long sleeved top and/or fleece and/or warm jacket and the (supplied) poncho would be fine. A fleece is less important than something that is wind resistant. What is most important is a scarf or hat to ensure that your head and ears are warm, as there is windchill in the open landrover and it can be bitterly cold as the sun rises.

I also found a baseball cap or visor to be useful as the sun is low in the mornings and evenings.

Dress in the evening is not formal, and simply a long sleeved shirt or top (for women) would be fine. It is warm inside at night. (They have electric blankets on your beds too, which they turn on when you're out on your night game drive).

Remember too that laundry is included, so you really don't have to take too many changes of clothing.

In Cape Town it was freezing and stormy the first day, and by our last day it was 25 deg C. A lot of restaurants provide wraps to keep you warm if you're sitting outside at night. You need to be prepared for wind and rain - a windproof waterproof jacket would serve you well both in Cape Town and at Ulusaba.

I hope that helps. I'm really envious you're going.

6. Re: Safari in August - what should I bring?

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