Safari Packing Guide

Packing Guide for Aquila Private Game Reserve

Are you planning a trip to Aquila Private Game Reserve, Cape Town’s most popular Big 5 safari destination? Our safari packing guide is here to help you make the most of your day trip or overnight itinerary. Whether you’re visiting in the summer months or in the winter months. the key to an unforgettable experience lies not just in your destination but also in your packing. So pack your bags with confidence, grab your camera, and get ready for a wild adventure of a lifetime!


(December - February)

Aquila's Weather in the Summer

Expect hot and dry conditions.

Summer Packing Essentials:

Light, breathable clothing, high-factor sunscreen, wide-brimmed hat, comfortable walking shoes, and sunglasses. Pack swimwear for poolside relaxation, insect repellent for malaria-free mosquitos which may bite, and keep an eye out for festive events if you’re visiting around Christmas or New Years.


(March - May)

Aquila's Weather in the Autumn

Mild temperatures with rare rainfall.

Autumn Packing Essentials:

Layers for cool evenings, a rain jacket, a warmer jacket for game drives on open vehicles amongst the elements, comfortable walking shoes, and insect repellent for the occasional mosquito.


(June - August)

Aquila'a Weather in the Winter

Cool to cold temperatures, especially at night.

Winter Packing Essentials:

Warm clothing, including jackets, gloves, scarves, and thermal layers. Binoculars for wildlife spotting.


(September - November)

Aquila's Weather in the Spring

Pleasant temperatures with occasional rain.

Spring Packing Essentials:

Light layers, light jacket, a mix of short and long-sleeved shirts, comfortable walking shoes, and a camera to capture the blooming landscape.

What to Wear on Safari

Packing Tips

Dressing for a safari in South Africa depends as much on what your itinerary looks like as it does on the time of year and location you choose. Light and neutral tones (preferably cotton), buildable layers, a windproof jacket and comfortable shoes are always recommended. As you’ll be venturing into the reserve in a 4×4 open air vehicle, sunblock, sunglasses and a hat are also a good idea — even in the winter. 

Aquila Private Game Reserve is located close to Cape Town, and while you’ll be venturing into the Western Cape’s wilderness, Aquila’s facilities and world-class safari lodge offers guests a rustic-luxury version of a traditional safari experience. Guests can wear their favourite outfits, pack their swimming costumes for a dip in one of the pools, and dress similar to how they would back home. 

However, it’s always recommended to check your safari itinerary, take note of the weather forecast, and be prepared for South Africa’s seasonal changes. Be sure to read through our packing guide FAQ for all your packing and clothing questions answered.

  • Sunblock
  • Comfortable shoes (preferably closed toe shoes)
  • Long-sleeve shirt 
  • Cotton t-shirts and breathable clothing
  • Trousers or long pants
  • lightweight jacket (even in the summer)
  • waterproof or windproof jacket
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat

Sturdy, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Please ensure you pack appropriate shoes for every safari itinerary. Horseback safaris and quad bike safaris require closed shoes. 

Although closed-toe shoes are not necessary for traditional 4×4 safari game drives, we always recommend you wear clothing and footwear that you will be most comfortable in. Game drives are usually 2.5 to 3 hours long. You will be venturing out into the heart of the reserve and disembarking from the vehicle at the half-way refreshment stop, so please dress accordingly and be sure to wear shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

Remember your swimwear for the Aquila’s stunning infinity pool and scenic pool bar. For colder months, you can still enjoy our indoor heated pool, sauna, and steam room if you’re looking to book a Tranquila Spa treatment.

Please pack any necessary medications or prescriptions for your trip. We recommend consulting your pharmacy for advice or ordering a standard medical travel kit from your doctor before your trip. Although many medications are available in Cape Town, remember to pack over-the-counter meds (such as headache and nausea relief) before embarking on your South African safari adventure.

Come prepared to spot the Big 5 (no matter the distance) with a pair of binoculars and a camera with a good zoom lens for wildlife photography. Please wear a wide-brim hat and sunscreen, especially in the warmer months, while walking around the reserve or when out on a game drive.  

  • Hat 
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera 
  • Binoculars 
  • Comfortable Shoes

Always bring something warm to wear along with you on game drives. Even in the summer months, a light jacket or wind-breaker is always a good item to have with you on game drives.

Although going on safari in South Africa is considered a casual experience, you will still be venturing out into the middle of the reserve in a traditional open-air safari vehicle, where you will be exposed to the elements for a few hours while searching for wild game.

Packing Guide FAQ

What to wear on safari in Summer? 

  • wide-brimmed hats are recommended.
  • Sunglasses and sunblock.
  • Shorts, dresses, and lightweight clothing (preferably cotton).
  • Trousers, long pants, and jeans (whatever you prefer). 
  • Cotton t-shirts and breathable layers. 
  • Swimming attire and bathing suits. 

What to wear on safari in winter? 

  • Warm jacket or coat.
  • A lightweight waterproof or windproof layer / jacket.
  • Comfortable trainers or sneakers.
  • Long pants or trousers.
  • Warm socks.
  • Beanies or wool hats are advantageous for cold nights.
  • Warm clothes that are easy to layer.
  • hats, sunglasses and sunblock (yes, even in the winter)

Winter is a great time to go on safari in South Africa. As the temperatures cool and the rains sweep over the grasslands, the animals become more active, creating incredible opportunities for wildlife sightings.

Winter is also a great time to visit Cape Town and South Africa. As the crowds disappear and the summer holiday-makers return home, the city transforms into a winter wonderland—with exclusive winter deals and accommodation discounts available from May through October.

Yes! Aquila offers winter discounts for selected overnight safari packages and accommodation options. Check out Aquila Safari’s Winter Specials for all the latest discounts and special rates. 

T&C’s apply.

Yes, you can wear jeans on safari. You can wear any kind of pants, shorts, leggings, and even your favourite pair of blue jeans if you want. It’s good to have a selection of buildable layers and warm clothing items (even in the summer) as the evenings and early mornings can be chilly. 

Jeans are an accessible and durable addition to your South African safari packing list. Many local travellers and tourists wear jeans and denim short when on safari. However, guests are encouraged to please check their safari itinerary and weather forecast before making any packing decisions. 

Yes, you can wear leggings on safari. Aquila Private Game Reserve encourages all guests to wear comfortable clothing and breathable layers — especially during the warmer months. However, as the weather in and around Cape Town varies from season to season, we strongly encourage all guests to check the weather forecast prior to packing for their trip.

A great staple for any safari trip, a good pair of hardy utility trousers in a lightweight fabric such as linen or canvas will see you through any trip. Look for options is khaki green or tan to pair with everything, and with big cargo pockets – always in style, and surprisingly handy.

Sneakers, tekkies, trainers or comfortable walking shoes are a great addition to your South African safari packing list. Sandals, crocs, sneakers, converse, boots—whatever you prefer! However, be careful not to wear your favourite pair of white sneakers or limited edition Nike Air Force trainers when on safari. 

Guests at Aquila Private Game Reserve are free to wear their favourite shoes while exploring our world-class safari lodge facilities and grass lawns, but it’s important to remember that you’re still on safari. Please check your day trip or overnight safari itinerary and pack the necessary shoes for your 4×4 vehicle safari, horseback safari or quad bike safari. 

Yes, you can wear shorts when on safari in South Africa. From cotton shorts to denim shorts to gym shorts to khakis — whatever you’re most comfortable in! However, we only recommend wearing shorts if you plan on going on a vehicle safari game drive. Horseback safaris, quad bike safaris and walking safaris often require long pants and closed shoes.

Remember to always check the weather forecast and your safari travel itinerary before packing!

Guests wearing light cotton clothing and buildable layers as recommended in Aquila's Cape Town Safari Packing Guide.

Weekly Weather Forecast

Weather conditions in Touws River, Cape Town, can vary. We want you to have the best possible experience at Aquila Private Game Reserve, so please remember to check the weather forecast and plan your itinerary before your trip.