Most tourists who have never visited Southern Africa are not aware of the weather conditions and when to visit. The weather will play a big part in game viewing and comfort. Here are some valuable African tourist tips.
In general, the following weather will apply to Southern Africa:
Dry season – May to August
The coolest time of the year, with temperatures 24-28°C during the day, but can drop as low as 7°C at night. This is the best time of year to visit: come early in the dry season for bird watching or to see the Victoria Falls at their peak, or later when the bush has dried up for great game-spotting on safari.
Hot season – September to November
Temperatures can be a scorching 38-42°C and clouds of swirling dust can make driving on dirt roads an asthmatic nightmare. If you can tolerate the heat, though, it’s a good time for safaris as wildlife gathers around the few remaining watering holes.
Wet season – December to April
Temperatures cool down to 32°C or so and, true to the name, there is a lot of rain – sometimes just an hour or two, sometimes for days on end. Unsealed roads can become impassable, and many safari lodges close.
The temperatures do fluctuate based on the altitude, if you are in a valley (such as the Zambezi Valley) it will be hotter.
Southern African Tourist Tips: Sensible Packing
Keep it light and simple.
- Laundry is available in most resorts.
- Shorts and t- shirts in serviceable greens, khaki and creams are best.
- A jersey/jacket for the cool nights.
- A pair of walking shoes and sandals/slops.
- A cap or hat and sun screen for those hot days.
- A rain coat for the wet days.
- Check if anti-malarials are required.
- A camera and binoculars are a must to make the most of the game viewing and sights you are going to see.
- Spare batteries and insect repellent – just in case.
If you follow logic and the advice given out you should have no problems on your holiday. Common sense and awareness of your surroundings is a must.