As an Anchor at Singita Boulders Lodge, Kobus De Kock knows the ins and outs of a typical day on safari – and he has interacted with myriads of travelers who have come from afar to live out their dreams in the African wild. With these valuable insights, Kobus shares some handy tips for preparing and packing for a summer safari in South Africa.
As summer and the rainy season arrive, it is sometimes difficult to know what to pack for safari. The most important rule regarding clothing is that it must be practical and comfortable. Temperatures can fluctuate from 50° F (10°C) to 100° F (38°C) +, in a few hours. Summer mornings are generally cooler and as the day progresses and the sun rises higher in the sky, the temperatures rise. The temperature will gradually diminish as the sun goes down again. Keep in mind that the rainy season is on its way and early morning and afternoon thunder showers can be expected.
Keeping that in mind, we have some suggestions as to what to wear and pack for your trip to Singita Sabi Sand. Packing light layers will help you adjust to any climatic conditions, as you simply remove layers as the temperature rises. All the rooms have fleece ponchos available which are warm and comfortable – just in case you want to cut that morning chill while on early game drives. Safari clothes should be light in colour- both to reflect the sun’s rays, and for blending in with the natural environment. Avoid dark colours such as brown, black and navy as they absorb the heat. Try stick to cotton as this fiber breathes, allowing for cooler air to circulate, thus keeping you cool and comfortable. It is often the case that safari clothing doubles up as dinner wear, so again a few layers and some neutral items that can be mixed and matched will serve you well. A good rain jacket is recommended. However, rain proof ponchos are also provided on the game drive vehicles.
An absolute essential item that you should have with you is a hat for shade from the African sun. Preferably something with a broad rim as to maximise the shade over your neck and face. Sun block is extremely important and should be applied before the morning and afternoon drives. Closed comfortable footwear is recommended for game drives as you might leave the vehicle for a break or go for a short walk away from the vehicle to view something. Closed shoes also protect your feet and ankles from pesky mosquito bites.
Five “must-bring” items that Johan recommends for your trip – an absolute must is sturdy luggage; also cargo pants with lots of pockets; you’ll want to swim so bring a bathing suit; sunglasses; and flip flops or sandals are perfect for lounging around the lodge.
We hope that some of these ideas can assist you with having a more comfortable safari experience. And if you forget something, not to worry, you’ll have lots of fun shopping at Singita’s boutiques. (For a comprehensive packing list, click here.)