Summer safaris are one of the most popular ways to spend the festive season. Getting out into the wild, far from the stresses and worries of the city, can be the rejuvenating end-of-year trip many of us need. Here are few tips to make sure you avoid any mishaps while you relax and enjoy yourself.
Summer in most parts of Africa means that it’s the rainy season. More water sources means more mosquitoes, therefore remember to pack anti-malaria pills if you’re in a high risk area and to use mosquito repellent to guard against bites. If you’re staying at a game reserve with lodge or chalet accommodation, there are usually mosquito nets provided.
On an African safari, you will spend most of your time outdoors. Some of it will be spent on a game drive while the rest of the time you may want to hike or embark on a walking safari. High-quality hiking boots are an essential for traipsing through the veld, bush or plains. Hiking boots protect your feet and ensure nothing like rocks or bugs get in. In addition, thick socks need to be worn to protect your ankles and calves from vegetation and other insects. If you’re not going on a walking safari, a pair of durable trainers is suitable.
Next to sunscreen, this is your most important item during summer. A wide brimmed hat needs to be worn any time you’re in the sun. If you’re visiting Africa for the first time, the rumours are true –the sun can be unforgiving if you’re not used to it. Try to apply sunscreen every hour, especially between 10 am and 2 pm when the sun is at its most potent.
Heat and humidity during an African summer only leaves you with one soothing option: cotton. Light coloured clothes in cotton or muslin are the best fabrics for hot climates while neutral tones discourage animals. Bright, bold colours can confuse or frighten animals and troublesome Tsetse flies are attracted to blue and black – you have been warned.
Where to travel to
Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia experience their summer rains during this period, which results in a lush and fertile wilderness to explore. A safari during summer in these countries is a ticket to a new world that thrives with animal and plant life. The Central Kalahari is famed for its increase in herbivore population as they flock to renewed watering holes and munch on fresh greenery. You can spot many interesting mammals while on a summer safari here, including the honey badger and the brown hyena.
Thanks to Africa’s diverse landscape, there is a safari trip for any kind of budget and sensibility. A holiday safari is a wonderful way to end off the year as you surround yourself with wilderness and natural wonder.