A South Africa safari is possible any time of year since extremes in weather are tempered by maritime conditions at southerly latitudes. Each season offers a different game viewing experience. Autumn and winter (March-August) are dry months when the bush is less dense and water is more precious. This is prime season to quietly watch animals gather at the waterholes or along riverbanks. It is always advisable to take a warm jacket, as temperatures can get quite cold at night.
Alternatively spring and summer (September- February) are the rainy season that turns the bush green, lush and thick. Newborn animals are best spotted during this time. The eastern shores of the KwaZulu-Natal coast have a subtropical climate with warm humid weather year round. The winter months of June and July are ideal to visit this region, which is rich in marine and bird life and boasts some fabulous beaches. Along the Garden Route and around Cape Town, the weather is famous for being unpredictable throughout the year.
South Africa has nearly perfect weather in December since it’s their summer and again the bush is thick and verdant. From South Africa you can visit a range of eco-systems, from semi-arid to riverine forest and also head up to Zambia to see Victoria Falls. The best wildlife viewing is in private game reserves, often leased from the tribal land owners or the government, where you can walk in the wilderness and take game drives at night which gives you the chance to see the odd nocturnal creatures like genets, porcupine and of course leopards. The vehicles are open 4WD and you’ll fly between camps, guided by guides who live at the camp so they have specific in-depth knowledge of their area. Instead of a private vehicle, you will go out on activities with other guests from the lodge. The private reserves heavily regulate the number of people in the reserve each night so you are unlikely to see many other vehicles while on safari. Cape Town is beautiful (although very busy) in December and we work with a wonderful private guide there who’ll take you out to explore the Cape including the penguins at Boulders Beach, the Winelands and a community-run township tour.