One of the most frequent questions we are asked is what safari clothing should we pack. So I attempt to address this question with a blog post at the beginning of each season. As this does vary by season.

Download our Insider Guide to What to Wear on Safari for the ‘full monty’ & useful packing lists…

In the meantime here are some essential pointers for people travelling in the African winter months from June to mid August…

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Safari clothing in South Africa – Winter

I have lived in South Africa for nearly 20 years and have noticed that South Africans tend to ignore the fact that they have a winter. However our guests, used to wall to wall central heating, certainly feel it.

During winter, you will need to pack a range of clothing as the African winter varies from place to place.

In the Cape, where the winters are Mediteranean (think Spain or Italy or Southern California), the hotels and lodges are reasonably well-equipped with underfloor heating and roaring fireplaces. You might have some rain in the Cape so come prepared with a rainproof jacket.


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The rest of the country (and the rest of Southern & East Africa) has a DRY winter season with pleasant sunny days. It is not uncommon for the daytime temperatures to be a pleasant 25°C (77°F) so bring some lightweight shirts and t-shirts as well.

However it’s the daily temperature range in winter which throws safari visitors. As the sun sets the warm day usually turns into a cool evening. If you are dining outside in a boma or on a safari deck, in an open game vehicle and sleeping in a tent you will feel the cooler temperatures.

So if you are someone who feels the cold, come prepared.

What to wear on safari in South Africa – winter packing list

• Warm jackets and sweaters for the start & end of the day
• Lighter shirts, including short sleeves for the day
• On safari – scarf, hat plus warm jacket if you usually feel the cold
• Many larger hotels have heated or ‘all-weather’ swimming pools so always bring swimgear. (‘All weather’ means that the pool is heated just enough to be bearable, but is not really warm!)
• Comfortable walking shoes
• Long trousers for evening
• Neutral colours if you intend to do a walking safari

Click on our Insider Guide to What to Wear on Safari  at the top of this page for a more comprehensive full packing list including non-clothing safari essentials.

Extra tip

I also throw in a hot water bottle (easily purchased at any chemist in South Africa) just in case. These are very handy for early morning game drives and alfresco Boma dinners (though many of the more switched-on game lodges now provide them as well).

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