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.
Bontebok is a year-round destination. Weather is more predictable with little rainfall from October until March. The chance of increasing precipitation starts in May and lasts until September. Nights can be very cold in winter. In summer canoeing or a refreshing bath in the Breede River is another highlight.
The best time for wildlife viewing is in southern winter from May to September. The game concentration at waterholes is high, vegetation is low, and animals are easier to spot.
Crowds and Climate
Southern winter, the dry season (May to September) is the best time for wildlife spotting. Days are sunny with low humidity and nights are cold. Fewer mosquito. It's also the low season with viewer crowds, except for school holiday: It’s less busy in camps and on the roads.
The busiest months with most tourists in the main camps are in the southern summer (November to March). The rain starts end of October. The scenery gets lush and green, but during summer it’s also hot and humid and heavy rainfalls occur. Wildlife game viewing is not as good as in southern winter, but birding is excellent. Our favorite month is September: still dry, even more game to spot and temperatures rise.
In the dry season from June to September: Great for wildlife watching and photography but more crowds then.
Dry season December until April, Semi-Dry Season June, July and August
The best time for traveling to this part of South Africa is the dry and mild winter from May to September. During December to February, thunderstorms and showers can occur.
The best time for hippo and wildlife spotting is in southern winter from May to September. In winter the day temperature is pleasant and not too hot. The reason hippos feed not only at night like in summer at day time as well. The game is more active at this time of the year.
Guided tours are offered to see Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles in the night from November to March and hatchlings emerge after about 70 days from January to March. More information and booking
Crowds and Weather
Southern winter (May to September) is the best time for wildlife, and it's likewise the low season with fewer tourists, except for school holiday. It’s the dry season: Days are sunny with low humidity and nights are cold. Fewer mosquito occur.
The busiest months with most tourists are in southern summer (November to March). The rain starts end of October. The scenery gets lush and green, but during summer it’s also hot and humid and heavy rainfalls occur. Cape Vidal is incredibly popular the reason that vehicle access is limited to 120 vehicles per day. Either you enter the gate early in the day, or you already made a booking for a stay. Evenings are tranquil, and beaches are peaceful.
April-September: mostly 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. October-March: mostly 5 or 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. depending on the park
Our favorite month is September: still dry, even more game to spot and temperatures rise.
Migration time is from mid-July to mid-October. However, due to varying rainfall patterns, the exact timing varies each year. The highest chances to watch the dramatic river crossings in Masai Mara is in AUGUST and SEPTEMBER.
All this happens during the dry season (June to October) with great weather. There is little to no rainfall.
July to October is also busiest time at Masai Mara with higher prices and loads of tourists in jeeps during the peak months in Aug/Sept. This is a downside but it's worth it. You may book a private concession to stay away from the crowds in the main reserve.