Just because the weather becomes a little chilly doesn’t mean that you have to bundle up and spend our short South African winter avoiding the great outdoors. Hiking in Mpumalanga is always going to be a fantastic way to get a dose of sunshine, even in winter. Upon the escarpment, where Bermanzi is situated, the warm, mild temperatures that permeate the Lowveld below, don’t reach up here. We have cold winters, but we also have warm fireplaces, making us the perfect, cosy self-catering accommodation.
Hiking in Mpumalanga in winter is quite different to getting out there in summer. To ensure that you have the most comfortable hiking experience possible, you can use our list of helpful tips.
Dress in layers
You probably already know that South African winters are a little odd. They go from cold early mornings to chilly mid-morning, to hot afternoons. And the exertion you are going to be experiencing while on the hiking trail is going to make you feel far warmer than you otherwise would. By dressing in layers, you know that you can strip down to something cooler as the day progresses. This way you will always stay comfortable.
Check the weather
Luckily, in our part of the world, there is no chance of a sudden snowstorm. But we do get cloudy, rainy cold fronts that sweep across the area. Weather can change overnight or within hours of you heading out on the trail so it is very important to make sure that you have checked what the weather is going to do on the day. Handy apps such as AccuWeather are great to have as they give you an hour to hour update.
Take a friend or join a group
As with all hikes, chances are good that you will want to head out early and enjoy a proper hike. While in summer, the days start getting light at about 5 am, in winter the sun only starts rising well after 6 am. The darkness is unlikely to keep you back, but you don’t want to head out in the dark on your own. If you should come into trouble in the darkness, having someone with you is a necessity. You can read up about staying safe while on a solo hike by reading this blog.
Bring a warm drink
Every hiker loves their flask. Taking hot tea, coffee, milo or cocoa in a thermos is one way to stay both hydrated as well as warm. Our hiking trails in Mpumalanga have a lot of places to stop along the way, allowing you to put your feet up and indulge in a warm drink while taking a break.
Finally, eat a proper meal
Food is fuel, especially in winter when your body will be burning more energy to keep warm. It is also important to tuck into a good meal after your hike. The food will warm you up quickly and it will provide great satisfaction at the end of your hike.