Best Time to Travel
Southern Africa is an all year round destination. Whatever time of the year you are considering traveling, bear in mind that, because of the small and exclusive nature of the region's best camps, lodges and hotels, it is essential that you book long in advance to avoid the disappointment of not finding vacancies at your favored destinations.
As far as months of the year are concerned the general rule is that the cool, dry winter months (April to October) are best for game viewing safaris to the interior of the region. During this time, a general absence of surface water causes game to concentrate around the few remaining sources of drinking water; the short grass and absence of foliage also make for easier sightings of the animals. During the warmer summer months (November to March), dramatic afternoon thunderstorms transform the bush into a lush green paradise, alive with new-born babies of every species. The animals are, however, more dispersed, and dense green foliage makes them more difficult to see. These months are the ideal time to visit the coastline, especially the south-western Cape coast of South Africa. This area around Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope, quite in contrast to the rest of the region, experiences winter rainfall, and summers are warm and dry.
In addition to these general guidelines, certain specific 'seasons' exist. Three species of whales, for example, visit various points along the coast between June and October to breed and calve in natural bays, providing for some of the best shore-based whale watching in the world. For birders, the summer months, when the region's many migrants return to breed, are most productive. The unique flowering of the desert fynbos in Namaqualand takes place after the meager annual rains, typically during August and September. Rare Leatherback Turtles, the largest species of turtle in the world, visit the north-east coast of South Africa to lay eggs between November and March.