How cold does it really get

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Feb 9th, 2004, 06:34 AM
  #1
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How cold does it really get

We're off to Botswana in June and I keep reading that it gets really cold at night and for the early morning game drives. But how cold does it really get. I'm worried that if we need to take thick coats, scarves, gloves etc there won't be room for much else with the luggage restriction.
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Feb 9th, 2004, 07:16 AM
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Ruthie
We went in June 2001 and loved the time of year enough to ensure that our return trip (this year) was booked for the same month.
So we'll be spending May and early June in South Africa before spending 2.5 weeks in Botswana from the 9th June.
When we were there last time I did find that it was cold enough during the early morning (pre sunrise) and late afternoon (just before sunset) game drives that I regretted not heeding the packing list advice from the tour operator to pack gloves and scarf. I ended up buying a set from the souvenir shop at Mombo - I went for a plain purple fleece set and remember thinking the price was very reasonable and not inflated as I expected it to be.
We weren't cold at night in the tents - they put a hot water bottle for each of us into the bed when we were having after dinner drinks and also the duvets were obviously of a high tog rating. But it was a little chilly getting out of bed in the morning (only because we sleep in the nude). Although there is hot water I found it too cold to shower in the morning (since I didn't have the use of a hairdryer) so we tended to swap our day around from the norm a little and have showers during the break between morning and afternoon game drives.
That was nicer anyway as we could then enjoy the outdoor showers too on occasion.
That said, the days were hot enough for us to use the little pools and want to sit in the shade rather than under the direct sun.
Don't overpack on regular clothes - the free laundry service in the camps is great.
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Feb 9th, 2004, 08:14 AM
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I agree with Kavey - gloves and head cover are necessary. I had a lightly lined canvas jacket and wore a sweatshirt underneath and it worked okay. Also - the camps I've been to all furnished blankets to wrap up in on the game drives and you are around fires in the evening.

It was chilly in the mornings and I also had to alter my shower time to mid-day because of wet hair. I've always lived in Texas with central air/heat and had only heard of hot water bottles - they are wonderful!
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Feb 9th, 2004, 08:18 AM
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Yes on the hat - I had taken a hat so didn't need to buy one of those...

BTW the WS camps we stayed in all provided a huge thick poncho for each of us in the game viewing cars - blanket inside and waterproof taup exterior.
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Feb 9th, 2004, 12:11 PM
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sandi
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That's right - do not forget the gloves, hat and even socks. And also pack a thermal-t (they don't take up much room and weigh practically nothing) to wear close to your body under your shirt or sweater.

Even though you obviously feel the chill (even cold) in both morning and late afternoon - it's the fact that for game drives you're in an open vehicle and the wind picks up with no protection from the elements.

While we weren't in the Delta, rather at Chobe and then at Kruger in Nov/Dec (which is summer in southern Africa) the same holds true at that time of year for morning and late afternoon - it gets uncomfortable in the open vehicles with the wind whipping around you.

Absolutely nobody looked as if they stepped off the pages of Vogue magazine - folks were wearing "a shoe and a boot" (in other words, anything) to keep warm during those hours.
 
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Feb 9th, 2004, 01:57 PM
  #6
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Thanks for the info, it's really helped me convince my husband that we need to take more than a couple of t-shirts and pairs of shorts!
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Feb 9th, 2004, 05:35 PM
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DJE
 
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Ruthie,

You might also want to consider taking along some kind of lightweight goggles for the eyes. I found it difficult to keep the dust out of my eyes on the game drives and even my sunglasses did not help very much. I have quite sensitive eyes and the swirling dust is quite apparent while out in the open vehicles. I will know for next time.

Regarding clothing, everything that has been suggested to you will be necessary at that time of year. We were also there in June. If you don't want to take along big bulky jackets due to luggage restrictions, you might try a lightweight gortex jacket which is good to break the wind and also great for rain. They pack very easily and take up little space. Then you can wear layered clothing underneath that can be easily removed as the temp. warms up after the early morning chill. This worked very well for us. I also had to purchase a pair of warm gloves at Kings Pool because I forgot to bring a pair along so do remember the hat and mits.
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