janzin

Luangwa Valley mid-Sept: Do I REALLY need a fleece?

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I know that everyone always says "bring a fleece" and on past safaris I have done so, and often was glad that I did, when we'd hit a rain front or chilly morning. But that seems highly unlikely for South Luangwa/Lower Zambezi the first two weeks in September. It looks to me that the lowest temperatures might be in the mid 60's (that's 15-20C I think) which seems way too warm for a fleece.

 

This is the current forecast for Mfuwe and I don't think it will change much in the next couple of weeks (except maybe get hotter!)

 

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Is Lower Zambezi even hotter than South Luangwa, or about the same? Is Victoria Falls much cooler than the Luangwa valley?

 

We've got very light fleeces but while light, they take up space and I just have a feeling they won't get used.

 

Would a long-sleeve t-shirt be sufficient in place of a fleece?

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I would. The first time I went I had six layers on in the mornings, although it was the very end of August not September. I do remember it getting warmer each day. It was noticeably cold deplaning in Lusaka at 6.30am. You also need to factor on the wind chill of an OSV doing 30mph as well...

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A hard question to answer... Are you a person who feels cold easily?

Possibly not for Sept' but I take an old light weight fleece with me anyway. I wear mine whilst travelling, if I take it off I tie it onto my backpack. 

if it is windy and blowing across the rivers (either the Luangwa or Zambezi) then through camp it might feel chilly especially in the early morning or evening.

 

Yeah, a long sleeve T-shirt (say worn under a shirt) would work.  But does a light fleece really take up that much more room than long sleeve T-shirt?

 

I'd expect all those places to have similar temps. 
 

 

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Thanks for the replies @Tdgraves and @Geoff  I do hate the cold, but I am usually over-heated :)

 

The fleece I have actually is much bulkier folded up than a long-sleeve t-shirt, and weighs slightly more. But I guess I'll see what sort of room I have in the bag once I finish packing. If there's ample room I'll take the fleece, if not, just the t-shirt. I'm really trying to keep the weight of my bag down so that they don't notice how overweight my camera bag is ;) 

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9 minutes ago, janzin said:

I'm really trying to keep the weight of my bag down so that they don't notice how overweight my camera bag is ;) 

 

 

So the title of this thread should actually be "How overweight can a camera bag be?" :)

 

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3 hours ago, janzin said:

I'm really trying to keep the weight of my bag down so that they don't notice how overweight my camera bag is ;) 

 

I'm not the only one who works on that theory then!!

I sometimes wear a photographers waistcoat just in case I need to transfer some bits out of my hand luggage but I must admit, a waistcoat with bulging pockets isn't a look you want to have around an airport. It would though also offer an extra layer for chilly mornings and have plenty of pockets for spare batteries etc. 

Even if the sun isn't yet out wear a hat, amazing how much heat escapes through your head.

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You may find that the Luangwa Valley is mild enough to go without the fleece... early morning game drives will be chilly, though blankets are often provided, so it all depends on how you feel the cold.

 

Lower Zambezi however will be cooler - I spent several years living in the Lower Zambezi and was always amazed at the difference in temperature between LZ and SL during the colder months... you will definitely appreciate a fleece while on and around the river in the early mornings!  

 

Enjoy the trip - it's a fabulous time of year to be in Zambia!

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In an open vehicle at 40km/hr at 20 degrees centigrade you have a wind chill induced temperature of about 13 degrees.  That for me is most certainly fleece time!  

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What about a windbreaker that folds up into a pocket? Put that on over a long-sleeved t in the morning.  It's another layer, breaks the wind, etc.  LL Bean usually has stuff like that, or REI I'm sure.  I have one I wore gorilla trekking that was also waterproof, but not handy, can't remember where I got it.

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okay, okay, everyone convinced me--I'll take the fleece! How much you wanna bet I don't wear it?

 

@amybatt I do have such a windbreaker (although not as small as one that folds into a pocket). But unfortunately its black (its really, really hard to find a windbreaker in a birding/safari color!) So I think it would be very hot. I also have another one in hot pink, but that's definitely not right for safari ;)

 

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@Dave Williams my husband and I both have photographers/safari vests which we will have at the top of our duffels so that on arrival in Lusaka we can get them out and put them on for the Proflight flights :) If necessary I can stuff the pockets!

 

and yes, I always wear a hat in the safari vehicle...mainly to keep my hair from blowing in my eyes, even if we are shaded.

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On 23/08/2017 at 2:10 PM, janzin said:

okay, okay, everyone convinced me--I'll take the fleece! How much you wanna bet I don't wear it?

 

@amybatt I do have such a windbreaker (although not as small as one that folds into a pocket). But unfortunately its black (its really, really hard to find a windbreaker in a birding/safari color!) So I think it would be very hot. I also have another one in hot pink, but that's definitely not right for safari ;)

 

@janzin Try looking in hiking shops for soft shell layers - thin and light, windproof and shower proof. I have one by Haglofs which is a lovely shade of dull green!

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@janzin...okay another comment.  Two years ago we were in SLNP the end of August/early September and it was very, very hot.  More years ago we were in South Zambezi and had one very cold evening.  I wore my long underwear and we had hot water bottles in bed.  I no longer take long underwear but I always have a couple of long sleeve tees and a lightweight fleece top as well as a fleece vest.  The weather..... who knows?!  I bet you do not wear your fleece.:mellow:

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lightweight thermal  tops  are another option to keep warm

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@janzin  Did you wear your fleece?

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haha NO! At least, not once in South Luangwa. We did wear them briefly in the mornings in Lower Zambezi, it was slightly cooler there. But I think we would have been fine without them because I don't think we wore them for more than 1/2 an hour in the morning.

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