Winter’s Here: It’s Perfect Safari Season

April is coming rapidly to an end, signally the transition from autumn to winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Days get a bit shorter, temperatures get a bit cooler and in most safari regions the summer rains give way to the dry winter, making the bush sparse and animals gather at whatever water is available.

While in the Game Of Thrones clip above the phrase ‘Winter is Coming’ is edged with foreboding and anxiety, in the safari regions of southern Africa, it signals prime game watching time. The reasons for this are multiple and we’ll discuss them here.

Temperature

Summer temperatures in southern Africa easily reach into the high 30°Cs and into the 40°Cs (90 to 100°F). This can make game drives – other than those in the early mornings and evenings – extremely uncomfortable for anybody who is not used to high temperatures.

PanoramasNamibian Sun - Panoramas

While the more southern regions, and the desert regions, may be very cold at night in winter – dropping into the single digits – the closer to the equator, the balmier it is mid-winter. Daytime temperatures average in the mid-20°Cs which is the perfect temperature for warm, comfortable game drives and walks.

Average winter temperatures for some of the more popular safari destinations are:

  • Kruger: 24°C/10°C
  • Sossuvlei: 27°C/6°C
  • Etosha: 27°C/6°C
  • Okavango: 26°C/8°C
  • Chobe: 26°C/8°C
  • Vic Falls: 24°C/10°C
  • Mozambique: 25°C/14°C
  • Uganda: 20°C/11°C
  • Ngorongoro: 17°C/6°C
  • Serengeti: 27°C/14°C
  • Masai Mara: 24°C/14°C
  • Zanzibar: 29°C/19°C

No Rain

Richard TollerSerengeti - Richard Toller

Most safari destinations are summer rainfall regions – especially Kruger – meaning that, during the dry winter, the bush thins out and grass dies down. This allows for much easier, and more plentiful, game spotting as the animals have less to hide behind.

Bernard DUPONTElephant in Kruger - Bernard DUPONT

Many water sources dry up significantly during the winter months which makes the game gather around available sources. Again, this allows for fantastic game viewing.

Lower Malaria Risk

missyMosquito Net - missy

Along with the dryness and cooler temperatures, the malaria risk is lower in some regions (like Kruger). Mosquitoes (who carry malaria) thrive in warm climates and need water to breed in, so in areas that are dry and cold in winter, the risk is lower.  

See our full blog on Malaria to check which areas are risk areas and for all things malaria.


'So while we may dread the approach of the chilly temperatures and short days, in the African bush peak safari season has begun. Speak to one of our ABS consultants and book an experience of a lifetime: an African safari. Now is the perfect time!


If you liked this post, these trips cover similar ground…


Leave a Comment or Ask a Question

comments powered by Disqus

Places Mentioned in this Post

Similar & Related Blog Posts

Below you’ll find further reading and articles related or similar to this post.

When To Go Where On Safari: Best Times to Visit

Barbara EcksteinWe often get asked when the best time is to go on safari. In this blog, we give the best months to visit our top destinations, and explain why. Read on

Winter is Coming…

Kosie Jansen van Rensburg 5 Must Visit South African Winter Festivals. South Africa has a lot to offer this winter. The winter period runs from April to September. What most people don’t know is that our winters are comparatively mild and dry. That means that when winter is coming, the festivals are too! Read on

Malaria Made Simple

CayoboComing on safari to Africa? Worried about malaria? Here's a simple guide to what it is, where it is and, most importantly, what to do to avoid it. Read on

Personal Experience: Greater Kruger vs. Kruger Park

Dave Miller A detailed breakdown explaining the differences between the Greater Kruger National Park and the Kruger National Park. Read on

Harriet’s Trip to Kruger National Park

flowcomm I was fortunate to be invited to join a short safari to the Kruger National Park. So I escaped the wet, winter chills of Cape Town and headed for a quick trip to the bushveld. Read on
Show us some FB Love
Follow @RealAfroSafaris