South Africa is unique in that the weather it receives means that it’s traditional “Low Season” for safari in the winter months are actually the driest months (June to August) so, whilst this may not be the most desirable time to visit other tourist hot spots such as Cape Town and The Garden Route (although these are good to visit all year round!) it is a superb time to be on safari, especially in the region around the Kruger National Park. It is also a great location for family safaris, with many lodges offering family suites and private villas where you can relax and tailor the safari around your own needs.
One of my very first trips to South Africa was during their winter months many years ago and the experience has lived with me ever since. I started off in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and a stay at Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp, which to this day remains one of my favourite places for a safari. Whilst the early mornings and late evenings (nothing a warm fleece and cup of coffee can’t solve!) as soon as the sun comes up, the bush becomes bathed in a lovely warm sunshine, often warm enough to enjoy the pools at the lodge and a lovely al-fresco lunch. The beauty of being in this area in the winter months is that the lack of rains means the bush things out very quickly, meaning animals are much easier to spot and track. The cooler temperatures also mean they stay out in the open much longer and congregate around the water sources, meaning you get the opportunity some to fantastic game viewing and photography opportunities. Other fantastic properties in the Sabi Sabi portfolio are Earth Lodge, Bush Lodge and Selati Camp, all offering very different but equally luxurious and well-run styles of accommodation. You could also consider places such as Simbambili Game Lodge, or its sister properties Serondella and Thornybush Game Lodge, in the Thornybush Game further to the North.
Nestled in the North West you will find the Madikwe Game Reserve, a true gem of a reserve and one of the leading family safari spots in South Africa. The deep red soils make for some stunning sunrises and sunsets and the site of an Elephant covered in red mud as it leaves a water hole is a memorable one. There is abundant birdlife here as well and its location in one of the malaria-free parts of South Africa helps it to stand out from other reserves when planning a family safari. Lodges such as Madikwe Hills and Tuningi have long been popular with visitors and the fact they have their own private villas (Little Madikwe Hills and Little Tuningi) which are taken on an exclusive basis by family groups. This gives you access to your own private villa, pool and dining area, where your chef and butlers will look after you to your heart’s content. This will also mean you have your own private game viewing vehicle and guide so will be able to plan your days and enjoy this wonderful reserve at your own pace. Despite being well established, Madikwe is still only known by very few visitors to South Africa, meaning availability of the lodges, as well as the price, is still very favourable compared to some other areas, especially when taking family villas. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a visit to Madikwe at any time of year, but the cooler temperatures of winter make for particularly good game viewing and there are some superb special offers to take advantage of.
Make the most of your winter months by coming on a safari. Africa Travel specialises in creating tailor packages in South Africa to suit your exact needs, ensuring that you have the holiday of a lifetime. Call us today on 020 7843 3500, get in touch via our online chat or drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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