What time of the year is best to take an African Safari?


Country: South Africa


it depends in the Western Cape rainfall is in winter the rest of South Africa its in the summer a safari in the Western Cape is best down in Autumn March through may. Th kruger is probably April through november when the grass is not so long
The best time to go on a safari is just after the winter season when the cold nights are disaapearing (august - october), the grass is low and the trees dont have any leaves ,As most of the safari areas are summer rainfall areas more animals can be spotted in the sparce vegetation and animals also have to move around a lot due to scarcity of water
The parks are not very green and beautiful at this stage but magnificent sightings of animals is possible

Kruger national Park is the best
I agree Kruger is one of the best and between August and into November is a really good time of year. Enjoy!!
I am a Cape based guide, licensed for the whole Western Cape region so the main game parks such as Kruger are out of my area. But what I can advise is rather visit these game parks in winter, spring and autumn. Summer is too hot and rainy as provinces like Gauteng and Mpumalanga get their rain in summer as opposed to the Cape with its winter rainfall. So April - November is best although I had clients who were disappointed that it rained during their November visit.
I, myself, went in winter June/July which was magic. Days were wonderful and cool, crisp nights.Game viewing superb.
The Eastern Cape has lovely game reserves, which can be visited in summer. I think that winter June- August is often a great time to visit RSA. Even the Cape has warm weather and as it is a tourist off-season, prices and service are better and one can get great specials with hotels and restaurants, which cater more for locals during that time.
Of course an African safari could include Natal, which feels like summer in winter as it is the tropical area of our beautiful country.
Hi Geordiejohn,
Game viewing is at its best from late July through to end September. This after the rainy season when animals tend to congregate near available water. Our guides are all ecologists and they love the Kruger Park in August because of the game viewing, opportunities for walking and the fact that it is not yet too hot.
We would be happy to put a programme together for you.


African Outposts.
As you can see from the previous advice it will greatly depend on where you are based and how far you are willing to travel. Western and Eastern Cape is better in spring/Autumn which would cover the months of Sept,Oct, Nov & Mar,Apr,May. The Kruger and other bushveld safaris are better done during the SA winter of June to August. The days are sunny and clear, but the nights can be cold so remember to take some warm clothes in winter season.
Hope that little bit helps..
Kevin- Afruka Eco Tours
Hi there,

I would have to say it depends on what you would like to see. If you want to see Lion cubs, then you'd have to travel around March.

The weather shouldn't be your concern. No matter how hot, cold, windy, rainy or how long the grass is, you are almost always guaranteed to see something spectacular.

That is the joy of Africa!

Happy travelling!

Angela of Panthera Tours
The best time to take an African Safari is from April – August. This is our winter months and we don’t received rain during that time of the year except for the Cape . Our winter is very milt with sunny skies during the day time, at night can be a bit cold and sometimes under -0˚C. It is also a better time for game viewing. For more info contact me at
Your best bet would probably be in the winter months. That is June, July and August.
If you want to see beautiful plant life, then from October until February (summer time, everything`s green). In the winter, April to August, all the grass is brown and dead, but game viewing is at its best, because of the lack of vegetation (animals have nowhere to hide)
Sorry to burst everyone's bubble but your question is like asking how long a piece of rope is! LOL
South Africa is such a large country and as a result of it's topagraphy the weather conditions are vastly different from one "pole" to the other. Then to ask this about the entire African continent....
Let me explain; the southern part of South Africa for instance is a winter rainfall area so you can expect almost European-like weather conditions (March - August).
Then the northern part of the country; the Kruger Park, Sun City, Pilansberg and Madikwe areas are summer rainfall regions with dry winters. BUT, then the north is also devided in the Highveldt and Lowveld areas. The Highveldt has cold winters and the Lowveld milder winters with average temperatures at round about 21 degrees Celsius!
If you want to come for the best animal viewing I would recommend the winter months in the Kruger Park area (May - August) but then you'll miss out on the magnificent birds this area see in the summer, not to mention the arrival of most of the babies of most antelope species.

Hope I confused you totally! For first time visitors I would recommend the winter as people from the Northern Hemisphere seem to really battle with the African heat in summer.
I would say in South Africa it would be in the Autumn months which are Mar - May, or in the Spring months which are Sep - Nov!
There are of course many vaiations and explanations to the word Safari, especially in the mind of the mind of the international visitor. However, if you are intending to experience the wild attractions of our game parks in South Africa, of which there are so many, it depends on which park you would want to visit?? The timing for Cape (both southern and eastern) and Kwazulu Natal parks are different to those in the northern and central areas. In reality each park has its "best" periods for optimal game viewing. Most of the replies above relate to the Kruger National Park which is our greatest wildlife heritage, but many other parks are as unique in their own special way - not to mention the awesome parks in our neighbouring countries.

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