A South African safari taken between May and July is a comfortable and enjoyable one, as long as you come prepared. Because these are the dry months of the year, the bush shakes off its greenery, making the reserve look quite different to the wet summer season. Without the rain to wash them away, dust particles hang in the air in the late afternoon and create intense colours across the sky at sunset. This then usually gives way to a cloudless night sky, perfect for stargazing back at camp.
We don’t believe that any one time of the year is better than another for a safari, as each season offers a different experience from the one that came before it. For now, since the cooler months are here, we are sharing some of the reasons we love winter safaris:
Game sightings can get extra wild
The colder months of the year are also the driest, which is ideal for spotting wildlife. The scarce rainfall means the bush thins out so animals are easier to track and spot. The cooler temperatures also mean they can stay in the open longer into the day and congregate around the few water sources available.
But taking a drink from a waterhole or river puts animals in an incredibly vulnerable position and leaves them open to attack. Crocodiles lurk in the water below and big cats wait in the surrounding bushes for the perfect moment to strike.
Indulgent food enjoyed in snug places
One of our favourite parts of every safari is the food. There is something though about winter that gives us all a good excuse to indulge. Chef Dion and his talented team in the kitchen will make you warm from the inside out with hearty stews, rich soups and homemade bread, and warm, seasonal desserts.
After dinner, you’ll fall asleep in your tent with a full, happy stomach, and wake up with all the energy you need for your dawn game drive. These comforting meals are paired with the perfect cosy setting, like dinner around the boma campfire or breakfast from the warmth and privacy of your tent.
Cosy up beside the campfire
The first cup of coffee for the day tastes so much sweeter while getting cosy next to the crackling campfire. It’s what gives you all the warmth and energy to head out into the bush on your dawn game drive to find those sightings that make the early wake-up so worth it!
Then, it’s rusks and coffee with a splash of Amarula when you stop in the bush, perhaps after watching young lions hunt a warthog or elephants drinking from a watering hole. The afternoon game drive ends watching a spectacular winter sunset with a spread of savoury treats and a glass of something delicious – you can’t go wrong with a glass of red wine in winter.
Comfortable weather with warm days and cool nights
It’s all about layers when you’re in the bush during winter. Early mornings and late afternoons can be chilly, so we recommend packing winter jackets, gloves, scarves and a beanie, which you can gradually peel off or cover up with during game drives. To make sure you are completely warm and comfortable, we provide you with blankets and hot water bottles on our vehicles.
Bring fleece pajamas and warm slippers to stay cosy in your tent, and electric blankets on your bed will keep you snug throughout the night. Once the sun comes up, the bush becomes bathed in lovely warm sunshine, perfect for landscape and wildlife photography. By midday it warms up nicely and is the perfect time to relax with a good book on the sun lounger by your private pool.
Our team of camp staff and rangers are looking forward to showing you the best of the reserve, no matter what time of the year you decide to make your South African safari. Please contact us or enquire and book using our easy to use online form.