Imagine yourself on your dream vacation in South Africa (SA). The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and the sights of the beautiful country are laid out like a gorgeous panorama. However, if there’s one thing you absolutely need to be prepared for, it’s the heat.
The country’s summer months – December to February – can have average temperatures of around 95°F (35°C), which might be made worse by hot dry winds. On the other hand, the winter months – June to August – are a lot cooler, with temperatures dropping to around 45°F (7°C). As a whole, SA usually gets 300 sunny days in a year, which are tempered by cool nights.
The best time to see the glory of SA’s natural resources is during the warm, dry season, as like we’ve mentioned in a previous MZT blog post. So those wishing to explore the safari must come prepared for the high temperatures.
If you’re planning a trip to Africa’s southernmost nation, here are some tips and tricks to help you beat the heat.
Being prepared is already half the battle. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing in light colours are your safest bet to beat the South African heat. Make sure to pack garments that cover your skin, as these can protect you from the harsh sun and its adverse effects.
Also, pack products which can cool your skin and/or treat sunburns. Aloe vera gel is one good example. If you’re traveling with family, make sure to bring extras as suggested in another article here on Mount Zion Tours.
Water is your best friend.
The European Food Safety Authority recommends drinking at least 2.5 litres of water for men and 2.0 litres for women per day. Therefore, always bring a flask with you to be able to rehydrate as often as needed.
A handy trick is to freeze your flask every time you’re at the hotel. And while outside, you can occasionally hold the cold water bottle between your wrists, or splash some water on your head or the back of your neck. These are some of the body’s ‘quick-cooling spots’ which can aid in lowering your body temperature.
Watch what you eat.
Try to avoid eating large meals, as your body will generate more heat and use up the water you drink faster in order to facilitate proper digestion. It’s best to eat small frequent meals throughout the day.
In addition, the Reader’s Digest suggests eating spicy food and chewing minty gum. The former contains capsaicin, which makes you sweat without making your body hotter, while the latter produces a cooling effect as you breathe.
Avoid alcohol and coffee, as both can cause dehydration. Instead, opt for a cold or hot glass of chrysanthemum tea, which can lower your body temperature. Ice cream is always a good treat, too.
Devote time for a nightly cool down.
At the end of the day, take a cold shower to wash all the dirt and oil away, while getting your body refreshed in the process. Consider the ambient temperature in your room as well, as this makes it easier to fall asleep. Leesa identified that 60°F (16°C) to 67°F (19°C) is the ideal range for a good night’s rest. This is important so you feel completely reenergized for more exploring the next day. If the hotel permits, request for cotton sheets to increase breathability and ventilation in case they’re normally using another type of fabric. Did we miss any of your go-to tips for beating the heat? Feel free to let us know in the comments.Please stay connected with Mount Zion Tours & Travel on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, social networks.