Beat the Heat

Wild Zambezi travel network partners • 15 November 2021

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It’s November in the Zambezi Valley – the daytime temperatures are soaring, the bush is bare of leaves and parched, the roads are dusty, but, where there is water, the wildlife sightings are spectacular.  This is the harshest time of the year both for wild animals and for the people who come to enjoy them.  But, if everyone keeps their cool, it can also be extremely rewarding.

Our Wild Zambezi Blog theme is seasonally appropriate.  We asked our travel network partners to tell us about all the innovative and creative ways they have to help their guests BEAT THE HEAT while on safari at this time of the year when the temperature can reach 40 degrees Centigrade or more!  

Here's what they came up with !

INDEX (scroll down to read more)

1. Changa Safari Camp - the image says it all
2. Safaris 4 Africa - some tips on how to keep cool while on safari
3. Travel Portfolio - recommendations and comments from happy guests who have braved the heat...
4. Victoria Falls River Lodge - some sensible suggestions for packing essentials to beat the heat
5. Wild Horizons - a delicious cooling welcome drink at the brand new Wallow Lodge
6. Wilderness Safaris - awesome cooling treats along the Zambezi River at Ruckomechi or Chikwenya 
7. Zambezi Cruise & Safaris - thrilling ways to cool down either at their safari lodges or on their cruiseboats


1.  CHANGA SAFARI CAMP - Matusadona National Park, Lake Kariba

The image says it all!


2. SAFARIS 4 AFRICA (Travel and Safari Planners)

Imagine yourself on your dream vacation in the Zambezi Valley . The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and the beautiful surroundings are laid out like a gorgeous panorama. However, if there’s one thing you absolutely need to be prepared for, it’s soaring temperatures.  If you’re planning a trip to the Zambezi Valley here are some tips and tricks to help you beat the heat:-

- Pack wisely. Being prepared is already half the battle. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing in light colours is your safest bet to beat the heat. Make sure to pack garments that cover most of your extremities as well, as this will maximize protection from the harsh sun and its adverse effects. Also, pack products which can cool your skin and/or treat sunburn. 

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 lodge. And while outside, you can occasionally hold the cold water bottle between your wrists, or splash some cold 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. Frequently take cold showers to lower your body temperature.

Contact us at Safaris 4 Africa to plan your summer holidays into the Zambezi Valley.  We would love to give you further tips on any aspect to ensure you get the most out of your safari experience.

3. TRAVEL PORTFOLIO (Travel & Safari Planners) - recommendations and comments from happy guests 

A.  Dewar family visit to Victoria Falls:  We had an excellent time at LokuthuIa Lodges and thoroughly enjoyed all the special elements Travel Portfolio included.  Thank you for the great organisation of everything.  To “beat the heat” we recommend standing in the spray of the Falls

B. Krenzen and Jones party, California, USA :  We beat the heat on Lake Kariba going on an early morning walk looking for dinosaur fossils and petrified wood.

C.  This elephant beat the heat standing in camp at Rhino Safari Lodge under the big mahogany trees.  Thanks to Travel Portfolio for putting together a fabulous circuit safari - we WILL be back

D.  Van der Merwe party:  Just had the most amazing weekend at Kavinga, a special place and incredible game viewing.  Our highlight was the big herd of buffalo drinking at the waterhole while we were in the Hide, as well as the fight we got to find two male lions waiting for us outside!  Thank you so much for organising it for us!  Our recommendation to "beat the heat" at Kavinga is to let the dust settle and go out looking for the predators in the cooler evening and at night!


4. VICTORIA FALLS RIVER LODGE - recommended packing essentials

At Victoria Falls River Lodge, our luxury purpose-built suites have been designed with the discerning traveller in mind. Each suite extends out onto a private deck with its own plunge pool and boasts uninterrupted views of the Zambezi River and natural bush. All rooms have climate control air conditioning to keep guests cool during the hot summer months. Our Luxury Tents have additional ceiling fans and if guests can still not beat the heat, then they can enjoy a swim in our infinity pool. 

While on Safari in Zimbabwe, it is wise to choose clothing in neutral colours – such as brown, khaki, stone, or beige which attract less attention thus enabling one to get closer to the wildlife. It is advisable to layer your clothing as this provides more warmth when necessary and allows you to remove clothing during the hottest period of the day.

•    Neutral-coloured clothing
•    Protective hat or cap
•    Swimwear
•    Comfortable walking shoes
•    Comfortable shorts & T-shirts (day time)
•    Long-sleeved shirts and trousers (night time)
•    Insect repellent
•    Suitable Sunblock (SPF 15+) and after-sun lotion
•    Moisturizer, lip balm
•    UV Protection sunglasses plus protective case
•    Camera, film or memory card and spare batteries

5. WILD HORIZONS - The Wallow Lodge Welcome Drink: "The Masuwe Special"

You’re already familiar with Victoria Falls, but have you heard about the new Wallow Lodge? Nestled on a private wilderness concession in Victoria Falls, The Wallow is the perfect destination for a summer safari. The main area’s high ceilings invite a cool breeze inside, and the wide-open deck lends itself to panoramic views of the Masuwe River and surrounding wilderness. Camp Managers, Tinashe and Gloria, will warmly welcome you to The Wallow with a delicious Masuwe Special Mocktail. The Wallow’s signature drink is a frozen muddle of kiwi, ice and lemon that will put you right into holiday mode. You’ll take your welcome drink down to the sunken lounge area or swimming pool and, if you are lucky, catch a glimpse of the wildlife that come down to the riverbanks to drink. 

1.5 shots of freshly squeezed lemon juice 
1 blitzed kiwi fruit 
1 shot of sugar syrup
5 fresh mint leaves 
1.5 glasses of crushed ice 

Serving size: 2


6. WILDERNESS SAFARIS - Beat the Heat with these Wilderness Treats:-

•    Ice-cold smoothies at the end of a morning walk or game drive – Particularly popular with guests after a long hot walk in the bush is our frozen strawberry and banana smoothie, blended with yoghurt and sprinkled with roasted oats.  Best enjoyed from the tailgate of the vehicle. 

•    Sandbank sundowners (feet in the water) – From our Zambezi Valley camps, Chikwenya, Ruckomechi and Little Ruckomechi, we offer sundowners on a sandbank that is safe and open. From your seat in ankle-deep water, relax while the talented chef cooks delicious chicken wings and cocktail sausages over a fire. Watching the sun go down over the Zambian mountains while dipping your toes in the mighty Zambezi and sipping on a cold beer named for the river – priceless! 

•    Early morning boat cruise – There is arguably nothing better than cruising on the Zambezi River with a cup of hot, freshly brewed coffee, watching the world come alive. Birds chirping and animals coming out of the thickets to drink from the river as you take in the fresh morning air and peace and quiet before the sun is up, set the tone for an unforgettable day ahead. 

•    An ice-cream or ice-lolly – Tasty ice-creams are served in the afternoons after a relaxing siesta, before you head out on your next adventure. Frozen ice lollies, made from freshly squeezed juice with added pieces of fruit, are served at a meeting point just before arriving at camp, or on arrival in camp. These are extremely popular with children – of all ages!


7. ZAMBEZI CRUISE & SAFARIS - thrilling ways to cool down on Lake Kariba or the Zambezi River

African summers can get hot, hot enough to demand some indulgence in a classic Zambezi river experience; taking to the water! Zambezi Cruise and Safaris offers some refreshing and even thrilling ways to beat the heat and enjoy the sunshine at our lodges or on our cruiseboats

While staying with us on the banks of the Zambezi River at Mana Pools Safari Lodge, lucky guests may get to share our refreshing swimming pool with the park’s gentle giants.

In Binga, at Masumu River Lodge, the pool is perfectly positioned for “a dip with vistas of Lake Kariba and its surrounds!” And, the bar is ideally placed next to the pool, allowing you to enjoy the Binga sun, drink in hand.

Swimming pools at both Kariba Safari Lodge and Crowned Eagle Boutique Hotel are perfect “chill” places while swimming cages add some excitement by allowing visitors to cool-off in the crocodile infested waters of the lake!

However, the best way to beat the heat while in the Zambezi basin is to hit the water, it is known! Hitting the water, is going on a lake excursion, for example on our Tikki Catamarans or enjoying a cruise on our luxurious houseboats!

Zambezi Cruise and Safaris goes one further and makes sure your safari on the lake is more than just bearable. Our houseboats on the lake all have fully air-conditioned cabins, lounges, bars and dining areas, making sure time on the boats is spent in comfort.

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