Let’s talk South Africa and her temperature differences. South Africa is an amazing country in Africa, you can get a taste of city life, beaches, wineries, and go on a safari all in the same general area. Our packages usually include Cape Town and a safari, and you can add day tours for the wine regions and the coast.
I visited in May, the beginning of their winter (so I guess fall?). I’m from Virginia/North Carolina so hot is around 100 and cold is around 50, anywhere in between is do-able. South Africa gets HOT in their summers, so they suggest going during their winters (which happen to be our summers). We started with a few days in Cape Town. It was rainy in the city–or anywhere one that side of Table Mountain—and cool, mid to upper 60s. Once you left the city area it warmed up and the sun came out. So, if visiting the city during the winter bring an umbrella, a rain jacket, and/or a sweater. Our first night there we went out to dinner at the Victoria and Albert Waterfront, it was chilly enough that they had heaters burning outside and we got blankets!
During our 4 days in Cape Town we only were able to see the top of the mountain on one day and you cannot go up it if you cannot see the top….so if there during the winter/rainy season go up as soon as you see it clear. Our one day was our last day there, only half of us got to go up because we split up to do our own day trips. On top of the mountain it is cold and windy so dress warmly. We went out to Stellenbosch, aka wine country, it was cool all day but sunny so I wore a light sweater and was fine. Absolutely fantastic wine by the way, the Pinotage is a local variety and makes an excellent wine.
The safari was a few hours by car from the Johannesburg airport on a reservation called the Pilanesberg Reserve (we choose this one because it is out of the malaria zone). That area was rather warm during the day; tank top/shorts weather….the locals were all in fleeces, which I found amusing. But at night, as soon as the sun set, it was COLD. Safaris are done in the morning and the later afternoon/evening. So you are in an open air truck before and after the sun and moving. We did not pack appropriately for this. Bring a heavy jacket (depending on your tolerance of cold…I’m not a fan), real shoes, pants, mittens (I used my dad’s socks lol), and a hat. The lodge we were with had blankets in the truck and ponchos….which really helped break the cold wind. Even though we froze (again….I hate the cold!) it was the most amazing adventure. I highly recommend doing a safari to anyone: singles, couples, and families. Seeing animals in their natural habitat is amazing and it’s really fun trying to spot them! Oh and FYI…elephants are very quiet for their size!
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