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Wildlife

When is a great time to spot wildlife? Wild animals can be found in ecosystems like deserts, forests, rain forests, plains or grasslands. Often wildlife is hidden and difficult to spot. Here you will find the right time and areas where the chance for a wildlife sighting is much higher.

Kangaroo Island is a year-round destination, although the seasons are quite different. Summer is beautiful warm therefore, Kangaroo Island is pretty busy and high priced. It's vice versa in the winter. It frequently rains, but the island is not overrun. Expect more precipitation from April to October. Continue reading to figure out which season you may prefer.

Weather and Crowds by Season
  • Spring ( September-November)

    Goanna basking in the sun at Kangaroo Island
    Goanna basking in the sun 

    Day temps in September are on average around 15°C. Rain decreases in October. Temps increase and reach 20°C in November. Camping is still chilly in the night with one digit temps. The wildflower season starts. 
     
  • Summer (December-February) Peak Season

    Boardwalk at the rugged coast in the Flinders Chase National Park

    It's the most popular season with the best weather conditions. The downside almost everything is fully booked and high priced. The temps are on average around 25°C at daytime and 12°C in the night. These are the warmest and driest months of the year.
     
  • Autumn (March-May)

    Kangaroos grazing at dusk on Kangaroo Island

    The crowds thin out except for Easter. The island gets its tranquility back, and wildlife can be observed. The little penguins start nesting. Rain increases already around April, instead, less wind, which causes a calm sea. Day temps in March and April are above 20°C and below in May. Nights are already cool around 10°C.
     
  • Winter (June-August) Low Season

    Seals on Kangaroo Island

    Temps are pleasant for winter around 14°C at daytime and 7°C in the night. It frequently rains, but on the other side, clear and sunny days occur. It's the coldest and wettest time of the year. Echidnas may hibernate at this time of the year, depending on the temps. Besides, those who are visiting KI to see wildlife, winter is the best choice. There are abundant food, and the newborn kangaroos, koalas, and wallabies typically use this season to emerge from their mother's pouches. Whales can be spotted from the shore from May to September. Winter helps keep the sometimes-exorbitant prices of staying on the island much more manageable. Traveling in the off-peak season also leads to lower overall visitor numbers, which adds to the feeling of peace and solitude that can be had at any number of places on KI.
     
Quick Facts When to Spot Wildlife in Their Natural Habitat

Echidna on Kagaroo Island

  • More active at dusk or they are nocturnal like the possums
  • If it's hot koalas and kangaroos, prefer to rest in the shade
  • Koalas are more active during the breeding season from October to March
  • Goannas may be spotted basking in the sun
  • Echidnas can be spotted throughout the year if it's not too cold during winter
     
How to Get to Kangaroo Island

Ferry to Kangaroo Island

You can get here either by plane with Qantas from Adelaide (in 2018 flights were offered from Melbourne during summer) or by ferry from Cape Jervis to Penneshaw in the north-east. The ferry ride takes roughly 45 minutes. If traveling by plane, we recommend renting a car to explore the island independently. 

Top Tip and Accommodations on Kangaroo Island

Usually, Kangaroo Island is an expensive destination to visit, especially when adding the prices for transport to the island and back to the mainland plus your accommodation for your stay. Kangaroo Island is too huge and has too many attractions, hikes, and wildlife. Staying at least two, even three nights is highly recommended. We spent here almost a week. Important is the location; you can either camp in the National Park or stay close to the entrance and visitor centre like at Western KI Caravan Park & Wildlife Reserve. Consider if you stay in Kingscote, it's a 100 km drive one way. Another option next to the Flinders Chase National Park is the Kangaroo Island Wilderness RetreatOne thing is for sure; you will experience wildlife in abundance in this remote accommodations on Kangaroo Island.

AU Australia

The meeting point is outside of Oudtshoorn very early in the morning before sunrise. The starting time mentioned on the website is estimated. It also depends on the weather conditions. You need to contact them the day before to confirm the accurate time for the next early morning. In winter it's chilly early morning. Make sure you take warm clothes and a binocular.

Weather

In general, less precipitation in Oudtshoorn but it occurs throughout the year with peaks in March/April and August/September. Driest and coldest months are June and July, single-digit temps in the night from May to September. Sometimes it snows in the mountains. Hottest season from November until March.with day temps around 30 degrees and more. Expect plenty of sunshine, but thunderstorms can occur.

Crowds

Due to their professionalism, it's not a question how many people take part. Less busy during the winter months; Mai/June until August.

(updated by whentobewhere)

ZA South Africa

Best time to visit Rinca (Komodo National Park) is during dry season.
During the wet season from January to March the paths are really muddy and difficult to walk.

Avoiding Tourist Crowds: :
Crowded in July and August and less busy from September to November.

ID Indonesia

Tangkoko National Park is a year-round destination: Temperatures are usually constant during the year, ranging from 72° to 88°F each month. However, we have some tips for you regarding the best time:

Weather and Tourists

The wet season is usually from October to April/May. The recommended dry season is from June to September. These are also the busiest months with a peak in July / August: Prices are higher and you usually need to book tours in advance. The best combination of dry climate and a little fewer tourists are JUNE and SEPTEMBER. 

Birding and Wildlife

Book an early morning birding and wildlife tour. Most birds and a lot of mammals are more active in the morning! They lose energy by noon and are getting active again in the afternoon. However, the mornings seem to be more fascinating here.

ID Indonesia

Galapagos! A once in a lifetime destination. Pristine nature with endemic flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth. Do you need an expensive cruise to experience this intriguing island? No, we did without a cruise and had an amazing time. Of course, there are plenty of boat and cruise options, but traveling independently from island to island works really great. Scroll down to get answers to all of your questions:

  • Best time to visit
  • How to get to Galapagos
  • How much does it cost! Saving money
  • How long to stay
  • What to do and see on which island
  • Where to stay
  • Which animals to see

 

You almost can’t explore the islands on your own only with a naturalist guide. However, most of the islands offer unlimited access to one or two awesome places for locals and visitors alike. We try to give you all the needed information for your Galapagos Adventure from another perspective. It is possible to plan your trip by yourselves if you are not focused to experience a special kind of wildlife or marine life. To be honest, we came here with high expectations and experienced more than we could dream of. Each day got topped by the next day.

Galapagos Weather - Best Time (Seasons)

Galapagos colourful land iguana

The islands have a cool microclimate although located in the tropics. The annual rainfall is on average around 500 mm depending on the elevation. The weather is influenced by the Humboldt current, different ocean currents, El Nino in the rainy season, and La Nina in the dry season. El Nino occurs every 5 to 7 years and causes a high amount of precipitation, a warmer ocean temp around 30°C / 86°F and even higher. Many marine mammals, reptiles, and birds die when the real El Nino occurs. The last El Nino happened in 2016. La Nina has a strong effect on the temperature; the air and ocean temps are much colder, it causes a drought. Usually, most precipitation occurs during March.

  • Rainy Season (December-May)

    Bartolome Island and Pinnacle Rock - Galapagos


    December through May is the rainy season, however, often sunny and warm expect afternoon showers. The sea is calm with a good visibility, and the sea temperature is between 21°C and 26°C / 70°F and 79°F. Due to the warmer ocean temps, it's a great time for snorkeling. However, we've seen lots of divers as well. Sea lions mate in the rainy season, and you might see the newborn seal pups around March and April. Also, turtles and iguanas mate and nest during this time of the year. Due to the higher amount of precipitation, the islands are in full bloom from February to April. Continue reading to figure out the best snorkel spots and island tours. 
     
  • Dry Season (June-November)

    Faro Punta Carola on San Cristobal Island - Galapagos


    Usually, the sky is overcast in the dry season. Colder temperatures on the islands and in the sea occur due to the Humboldt current. The current  brings cold water to the islands from June to November. The sea is nutrient rich which attracts a huge variety of fish, therefore sharks as well, seabirds like the albatross, and penguins as well. Wales and dolphins arrive when there is enough fish available. It's mostly cloudy with a higher surf. During August and September, the sea is very rough. The sea temperature varies between 18°C and 24°C / 64°F until 75°CF. From September to November the Galapagos Islands are an outstanding place to enjoy marine-life the reason that divers prefer this season. You are able to find schools of hammerhead at Darwin & Wolf Island. Hammerhead sharks occur throughout the year at Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock). It is easy to get to Leon Dormido by guided boat trour from San Cristobal. More penguines can be spotted on rocks and swimming in the colder season. However, although it is the dry season on lower levels and the coast there are rain drizzles in the highlands. The tortoises migrate to higher elevation for a lush vegetation.
Peak Season 

More crowded beach on the Galapagos Islands

The number of visitors is limited to the Galapagos Islands National Park. The islands are very busy around Easter, from May to early September, and again for Christmas holidays from mid-December until mid-January. Booking far in advance is advisable before coming here not to mess up your trip. Tours are fully booked, and the sky is the limit for hotels and guest houses.  

Low Season

San Cristobal during the low season in February

Although, it is always said you have to book far in advance for Galapagos, that's not true! There is a low season where you get last-minute prices for different offered tours and cruises for diving, snorkeling, and on land. These months are November and mid-January to the end of February. Mid-September and October are also not any longer super busy. You don't need to book accommodations and tours far in advance in these specific months. Fly to one of the main islands; Santa Cruz (airport on Isla Baltra) or San Cristobal. The local people are attentive and appreciate having tourists on their islands. Stay in one of the many guest houses or hotels and book your excursions just one or two days before.

Hotel Tips & Tours

Mainao Hotel on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

Besides others, we chose the Mainao Hotel on Santa Cruz as our home base. If that one is not available, use bookig.com (they have a price guarantee!) to look for a nice one on Santa Cruz: Santa Cruz Hotel Deals  - Galapagos (Tip: Bookmark this link to save time and money).The staff was super friendly. The rooms are spacious; also, family rooms are available. We appreciated huge windows could be opened to let fresh air in during the night. Tea and coffee are available 24/7. The Mainao is utterly quietly located within walking distance to the Malecon. There isn't an elevator, but we loved to walk the stairs up, watching the impressive architecture a bit like Gaudi. Next to the hotel is an affordable laundry. We were traveling for quite a long time, and we were glad about it. Also, one of the must-see fish-markets is located close to the Mainao. If you arrive via San Cristobal, browse the hotels with the best reviews here (via booking.com): San Cristobal Hotels. We have more accommodation tips in the main text below for the other Galapagos islands. Make sure to check these! You'll also find many great money-saving tips in the main text below if you'd like to visit Galapagos on a budget! If money is no issue, just check these amazing organized tours via Viator - TripAdvisor Experience: Galapagos Tours

EC Ecuador

Great experience and wild life viewing in Winter.

US United States