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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 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 riest months of the year.
     
  • Autumn (March-May)

    Kangaroos grazing at dusk on Kangaroo Island

    The crowds thin out except for Easter. The island gets it 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. In addition, those who are visiting KI to see wildlife, winter is the best choice. There is 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
  • 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

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 center 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

The Isalo National Park is accessible throughout the year due to its dry tropical climate. However, the winter time from December to February experiences most of the annual precipitation. The tourist season starts in April, the peak season is during summer in July and August and the best months are September and October. At these months, the end of the dry season, there are only a few mosquitos around, and you may spot newborn baby lemurs.

Baby catta in Isalo - Madagascar

Compared to other parks wildlife is not as numerous due to the higher temperature. However, Isalo is an outstanding park to spot the awesome Verreaux’s Sifakas along the streams in the canyons.

Verreaux Sifaka in Isalo - Madagascar

Another highlight is the elephant’s foot plant (Pachypodium rosulatum) which is in bloom from August to early October.

Elephant's Foot in bloom in Isalo

The most popular spot in Isalo is the "Piscine Naturelle" therefore it can get pretty busy especially during midday to escape the heat.

Weather

The dry season lasts from April to late October, but there is not much precipitation in the south west of Madagascar. Pleasant day temps from April to September ranging between 23°C and 28°C / 74°F and 82°F though nights are chilly between 10°C to 15°C / 50°F - 59°F. The rest of the year temps are around 30°C / 86°F. Inside the canyons, it's cooler while hiking through the savanna without any shelter is pretty hot and strenuous. The hottest months with higher humidity are November to March.


Average Monthly Temperature and Rainfall for MDG at location (-22.5,45.41) from 1991-2015; source. worldbank.org

The Best Hotels Close to Isalo

Hotel close to Isalo

Some of the best lodges of Madagascar are located next to the Isalo National Park entrance. Usually, the available hotels have a lower standard and rating. Advanced booking is recommended to ensure having an excellent stay.

  • The Isalo Rock Lodge has truly a spectacular location; embedded into the rocky landscape. The staff is super professional and the management perfect; that is rare to experience in Madagascar.
  • Le Jardin du Roy is also excellently located surrounded by huge rocks. It's an incredible view from the terrace or balcony. It's a high standard hotel with a gorgeous restaurant. Take your breakfast outside and enjoy the scenery.
MG Madagascar

You may have the best game viewing experiences in September and October before the rainy season starts. These months are the hottest with day temps around 34°C to 38°C. More pleasant temps in the peak season from June to August, but nights are pretty chilly with one digit temps. Continue reading to get all information for each season. 

Giraffes in the Chobe National Park in Botsuana

May - June (sweet spot months)

Lower prices and fewer tourists than in high season. Cold nights. Especially in May, the landscape is still green with thicker bushes. Thus animal sightings are a little harder than during the dry season. However, sightings are often good already. If you like more privacy during the safaris, these months could be for you.

July - October (Dry Season)

High season with increasing prices. Mornings can still be chilly in July and August. Fewer mosquito. Highest animal concentration along the riverfront and waterholes. This is the best game viewing time. Particularly in the hottest and driest months of September and October the sightings are sensational. However, it can be crowded: You’ll see many other jeeps at hot spots like Chobe’s riverfront.

November - March/April (Wet Season)

Lower prices, fewer tourists. Higher humidity, more mosquito. Rain sometimes starts in November. The wet season is incredible for bird watching. Game viewing is still possible but not as stunning as in the peak months. The worst weather usually occurs in January / February with a possibility of rain for days and thunderstorms. 

Temperature and monthly rainfall overview.

BW Botswana

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

Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most beautiful places on earth for wildlife viewing. You can spot wildlife throughout the year. Because of its unique ecosystem, the animals don't leave the crater. If you want to combine Ngorongoro with other major National Parks in Tanzania and the Serengeti, June through September/October may be the best choice. However, every season is slightly different:

June - October: Dry season. The best months for game viewing / to spot wildlife. Animals gather around water holes. Fewer mosquitoes. Downside: Most crowds, highest rates, very busy. Jeeps and spots need to be shared with many others.

November - May: Wet season. Lush and green scenery. Not as good as the dry season for wildlife but still great. Special months within the wet season are January and February: You might see baby zebra, baby wildebeest and other newborn. Bird watching is also fantastic in January and February. In general, rain is limited and usually not that bad during the wet season. Except for March and April, where heavier rainfall can occur.


Avoiding Crowds 

Go in March or April. Highest possibility of rain but least visitors and lower rates. Sometimes it can get difficult to use the roads during or after heavy rain. In other seasons you should definitely start your safari tour early in the morning and leave around 6:00 AM. Use the earliest safari possible. You'll avoid heavy crowds by being the first on the floor.

TZ Tanzania