This is just a small sample of the amazing destinations that are available to you on your African adventure.
Travelling to Africa can be enjoyed throughout the year but certain regions and areas tend to offer a better experience during specific seasons in the year. Below are some suggestions to help you decide where to go during a specific time of year when travelling to Southern Africa...
Spring as we all know is that time of year where new life flourishes.
This applies in both the plant and animal kingdom. Migratory bird species arrive to certain regions and an explosion of colour and excited displaying ensues. Many animals “drop” their young at this time and it’s a joyous time to the year, as celebratory in the animal kingdom as it is in the human world.
Many beach destinations in Africa have not gone into the peak season price range but still offer a sunny, relaxing time spent by the sea. Cape Town is not too busy in Spring and offers warm days with cool evenings while the East Coast of South Africa is warm and tropical but without too much humidity.
NAMIBIA & DAMARALAND
This region of the southern Kunene in North West Namibia is one of the remotest parts on the planet. Unique desert adapted wildlife like oryx, desert elephant, endemic Hartmann’s mountain zebra and desert black rhino live side by side with ancient tribal cultures. With very little rain year round, the ephemeral river systems support a plethora of incredible creatures in a vast and shockingly beautiful landscape.
Prime accommodation options.Desert Rhino Camp Doro Nawas Camp
LESOTHO & THE MOUNTAIN KINGDOMS
Land locked inside South Africa and with the lowest point being over 1000m (3280 feet) above sea level, this mountain kingdom surrounded by a barrier of peaks, offers the more adventurous traveller breath taking scenery and epic cultural interactions with the native Basotho People.
SOUTH AFRICA & HERMANUS
Locals know Spring has arrived with the distinctive cry of the whale caller. As the weather starts to warm, massive pods of southern right whales congregate in the beautiful Hermanus Bay to calf. Exquisite guest houses with breath taking views and the whales are what attracts visitors to one of South Africa’s best kept secrets. If you need your adrenaline fix, one of the highest densities of Great White Sharks in the world lies just around the corner from Hermanus and here you can get your heart rate going with some of the world’s best shark diving!
Prime accommodation options.Grootbos Birkenhead House
MALAWI & NYIKA
The remote isolated ridges and mountain peaks of this seldom experienced northern region of Malawi offers birders and botanists one of Africa’s most exquisite Afro montane eco systems. Evergreen forests, uniquely endemic fauna and flora and heart stopping vistas make this a naturalists dream destination.
ZAMBIA & SOUTH LUANGWA
Crescent ox-bows heaving with hippos and carmine bee eaters erupting from the river banks, while the chainsaw massacre of a leopard calls at night: the sights and sounds of South Luangwa are among Africa’s most evocative. The home of walking safaris, where back to the basics of bush lore allows you to get closer to nature then you had ever imagined.
Prime accommodation options.Puku Ridge Kakuli Bush Camp
Characterised by hot, sunny weather with an earthy, uniquely African smell in the air.
Many parts of Southern Africa become a productive paradise at this time of year and predator sightings on safari become a highlight as their hunting goes into overdrive with the advent of many baby animals on the scene.
Summer mornings are a great temperate time to go on game drives as the slowly rising sun heats up the beautiful mornings. Areas like the Cape, with a Mediterranean climate, are at their peak season in summer and the beach lifestyle is at its best.
BOTSWANA & THE KALAHARI DESERT
The Kalahari Desert is a great arid region stretching through both Namibia, South Africa, Botswana and ending in Zimbabwe. The Central Kalahari in summer becomes a bastion of unique wildlife diversity and uncharted animal experiences. Hues of green grass and colourful wild flowers take advantage of the little bit of moisture they receive over summer and spring forth. This growth encourages massive migrations of various plains game, like springbok into these green valleys to feed and give birth to their young. In quick succession follow the predators to these regions. Unique species like honey badger, bat eared foxes and porcupine and the usually seldom seen brown hyena are common inhabitants of this region. The highest breeding density of cheetahs can be found in these parts of the Kalahari during the summer months and some of Africa’s largest lion in the Kalahari Black Maned Lions.
Prime accommodation options.Kalahari Plains Camp
MALAWI & LAKE MALAWI
Home to more species of fish than any other body of fresh water on the planet, Lake Malawi is the lifeblood for the people from the warm heart of Africa. With over a thousand species of cichlids, likely those colourful fish at home in your aquarium, Lake Malawi is a beach holiday with a twist. Kayaking, snorkelling and even diving in Lake Malawi. Safari Tails will give you the chance to create your own story in your most unique beach holiday to date, in one of the friendliest and most scenically beautiful countries in the Africa.
Prime accommodation options.Mombo Island
SOUTH AFRICA & CAPE TOWN
The Mother City of South Africa comes alive in the summer months. Nightlife, restaurants, shopping, African design, history and an eclectic mix of the rainbow nation’s cultures have made Cape Town one of THE destinations of the world. Safari Tails is based in Cape Town and as locals we know how to avoid the tourist traps of the city and show you its beautiful secret side.
Prime accommodation options.Cape Grace Cape Milner Hotel
SOUTH AFRICA & GARDEN ROUTE
If mankind was born in Africa, then surely The Garden Route was Adam and Eve’s Garden of Eden. This beautiful stretch of coastline that stretches from Mossel Bay – Port Elizabeth offers scenic beauty, quaint boutique guest houses and private beaches. A classic journey is to travel the Garden Route and finish with a safari in one of the Eastern Cape’s many private reserves.
Prime accommodation options.The Plettenberg Laird's Lodge Country Estate
ZIMBABWE AND LAKE KARIBA
A great man-made undertaking fraught with treacherous challenges and one of the greatest animal relocation projects in the world, has resulted in a truly special place where mankind and nature have found common ground. The natural beauty of Kariba, it’s cultural history with the Tonga tribes and its intensely beautiful landscapes have all combined to make this region a must see destination on any Zimbabwean safari. Having spent plenty of time walking the escarpments of Matusadona and surrounding parks and concessions, Safari Tails can plug you in to the ultimate luxury of Lake Kariba.
Prime accommodation options.Changa Safari Camp
African Autumn / Fall
As summer starts to fade and the days get shorter the temperature in many parts of Africa is at its best. Nice cool temperate evenings and warm mornings make for enjoyable safari experiences. The winelands becomes a vibrant display of colour and lends itself to long evenings by the fire with a glass of strong Pinotage.
SOUTH AFRICA & WINELANDS
The modern wine world has greeted South African wines with great aplomb. Majestic mountains interspersed with colourful vineyards and even more colourful characters make the gourmet capital of South Africa, the winelands region, a place not to be missed. Having given birth to great cultivars like our own unique Pinotage and diverse ingredients means South Africa has established itself as a gourmet destination of some repute.
Prime accommodation options.La Residence The Robertson Small Hotel
SWAZILAND & THE HIGHLANDS
The royal heartland of tribal Africa, Swaziland offers an interesting combination of cultural history together with beautiful landscape and some of Africa’s great big game. Generally not a “first timers” destination to Southern Africa, the region is well suited to the more adventurous and self-drivers traversing between Kruger National Park and the beaches of northern KwaZula Natal.
Prime accommodation options.Royal Swazi Spa
ZIMBABWE & VICTORIA FALLS
Mosi –oa – Tunya or “The Smoke that Thunders” is the local name for one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders, Victoria Falls. Where nature and African urbanisation are continually at odds with each other (you can’t have an apple tree in your garden because the elephants will push over your garden walls), this beautiful gateway to deepest Africa, offers both serene experiences in post-colonial luxury and chest pounding adventure with Africa’s greatest concentration of adrenaline fuelled activities.
Prime accommodation options.Victoria Falls Hotel Elephant Camp
BOTSWANA & THE OKAVANGO DELTA
The lifeblood of one of Africa’s great true and last remaining wilderness areas is the Okavango Delta that feeds the greater ecosystem of Botswana. Here one can get truly lost in a vast wilderness, where as a visitor you know that this region has not changed and has gone untainted by man for thousands of years. Understanding this ebb and flow of the false delta system, the varied lodge options and activities that change throughout the year as the water arrives and recedes is a complex undertaking. It is crucial to select your lodges and areas in Botswana carefully and as the seasons change and due to current varying weather patterns this has become an absolute science. Safari Tails knows this science and we will select the perfect lodge at the right time of year for your Botswana safari, that could be one of your most life changing events.
Prime accommodation options.Jacana Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp Stanley’s Camp
NAMIBIA & SOSSUSVLEI
Where the great red dunes meet a brilliant blue sky and metallic ocean, the dunes of southern Namibia are a photographers dream. This region also boasts some very unusual and interesting desert adapted species…Peringuay’s adder that skips and side winds its way over the dunes or the Namib Desert Beetle that climbs the dunes to collect the fog that is its drinking water. Safari Tails knows the best guides here and we will open a treasure chest of discovery for you in one of the most spectacular places on the planet. Access into the Namib Naukluft National Park and the dunes is key when one considers the perfect light for photographing the dunes is fleeting. Safari Tails has a bead on where the closest lodges and best access points are and will make sure you get the shot!
Prime accommodation options.Little Kulala Dunes Lodge
Winter months can often be a great time for a safari in parts of Africa.
During the winter months the weather is cooler, which means that animals tend to be more active throughout the day (and your game drives/safari starts a little later in the morning). It also means that the foliage and underbrush has dried up, thinned out, making it easier to spot animals. Most importantly, because the winter months are dry, animals congregate at whatever water source is available. This applies to certain areas that tend to be dryer during the winter months, but where plains game are still in need of a permanent water source.
If you are on safari, this means you can simply drive to the water hole and watch the different animals coming to drink. Some areas are also inaccessible during summer due to flood plains filling with water or the nasty black cotton soil that can “trap” the lodges landrover or even make the camp completely inaccessible.
MOZAMBIQUE & QUIRIMBAS ARCHIPELAGO
With more moderate temperatures and less humidity, the eastern coastline of Southern Africa becomes a prime beach destination. Places like the Quirimbas Archipelago, a set of over 27 exclusive and private islands off the coast of northern Mozambique, become a primary destination for those wanting to step off the face of the earth and disappear amongst white sandy beaches and turquoise, warm water with some of the best diving in the world.
Prime accommodation options.Azura Quilalea Private Island Villa Santorini
SOUTH AFRICA & KRUGER NATIONAL PARK & SABI SANDS
Some of the highest predator densities in Africa combined with an enormous array of some of the best lodges, means the Sabi Sands region of the Greater Kruger National Park has built a reputation as one of Africa’s greatest wildlife experiences. The Safari Tails knows this area intimately and can bring to life the ultimate Kruger safari experience, pairing “your” unique taste and vision with “your” lodge.
Prime accommodation options.Singita Sweni Lodge Tintswalo Safari Lodge
ZIMBABWE & HWANGE NATIONAL PARK
With some of the greatest elephant and buffalo herds on the continent, the largest National Park in Zimbabwe, is making an incredible safari come back. This area has historically been a legendary wildlife experience and has been dormant during Zimbabwe’s years of political turmoil. Now we are seeing resurgence in safari tourism here that has shown greater growth than any of the safari regions in Africa. The limited water sources in the park mean that as the winter season pushes on, these enormous herds of plains game must seek out the only few permanent borehole pumped water sources in the park. Safari Tails know where these boreholes are located and which lodges will get you into herds of hundreds pf elephant and buffalo all accessing these rare water sources in winter.
Prime accommodation options.Little Makalolo Camp The Hide
ZIMBABWE & MANA POOLS OR ZAMBIA & LOWER ZAMBEZI
The Zambezi River is the lifeblood that feeds the huge amount of biodiversity on either side of the river, in Zimbabwe and Zambia. The National Park on the Zimbabwe side, Mana Pools, is well known for its dramatic backdrops and scenery as well as the diversity of wildlife. On the other side of the great Zambezi River, the Lower Zambezi in Zambia, boasts some of the best walking and historical lodges in all of Zambia. Some of the greatest remaining packs of wild dog occur in these regions.
Prime accommodation options.Ruckomechi Camp Chongwe River Camp
ZAMBIA & KAFUE
The vast flood plains of Busanga in northern Kafue, one of Africa’s and certainly Zambia’s largest national parks, showcase some of the greatest herds and highest concentrations of predators on the continent. Add a protein overdose with the huge buffalo herds and resistance training for the lions who hunt them through the swampy flood plains, and you have a recipe for growing some of the largest lion in Africa! This is one of southern Africa’s misunderstood safari frontiers.