Dry Season Safari in South Africa

dry season safari south africa

Winter, or the ‘dry season’, in South Africa is widely regarded as the best time of the year to go on a safari. Here are our top 4 reasons to do a dry season safari in South Africa:

1. Abundance of Wildlife

One of the primary reasons to go on a safari is to see wildlife, and there is no better time to see wildlife in South Africa than during the dry season. As the winter months progress, the bush dies back and thins out dramatically. With less vegetation obstructing your view, it much easier to spot animals that could usually hide in the thickets.

Photo © Rhino River Lodge/Claire Birtwhistle

2. Predator-Prey Action

As water sources begin to diminish, wildlife tends to congregate around the remaining waterholes. Animals that would usually keep a healthy distance from each other come into closer range, and the likelihood of witnessing some predator-prey action increases significantly. Whether it be a crocodile grabbing an antelope at the water’s edge, or a pride of lions stalking a warthog wallowing in the mud; you never know when you might witness a ‘Discovery Channel’ moment while at the watering holes in winter.

Photo © Rhino River Lodge/Claire Birtwhistle

3. Wonderful Weather

Most of South Africa enjoys a very moderate winter, and it is considered the country’s sunniest season. Depending on where about in South Africa you are, daytime temperatures can average between 16°C – 23°C. The evenings are quite a bit cooler and allow you the perfect opportunity to snuggle up next to a blazing campfire. There are also fewer mosquitoes during the dry season which is always a bonus!

Photo © Rhino Sands Safari Camp/Claire Birtwhistle

4.More Intimate Safari

Despite this time of year being the best time for game viewing, it is regarded as the ‘low season’ for tourism in South Africa. Having said that though, destinations like Kruger National Park can still get crowded during this time. To make the best of the uncrowded low season, we suggest visiting private game reserves that limit the number of people and vehicles allowed in the reserve at any time. Lodges also often run specials during this time so it’s worth keeping an eye-out for those last-minute discounts that could pop up.

Where to Stay for a Safari in South Africa:

Rhino Sands Safari Camp

Situated within Manyoni Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, this relatively new tented safari lodge has quickly gained a reputation for providing an outstanding safari experience. Accommodating a maximum of eight guests at a time, in four private luxury tented suites, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more intimate safari lodge. From gourmet meals, to guided game drives, and world-class service, guests at Rhino Sands are guaranteed a very special safari.

Find out more about Rhino Sands Safari Camp

Rhino River Lodge

Also situated within Manyoni Private Game Reserve, Rhino River Lodge is the sister lodge to Rhino Sands and offers a slightly more affordable and family-friendly safari experience. With a variety of traditional safari accommodation available, guests can choose the option that best suits their individual needs. Guests can also expect warm hospitality and tasty meals made from local, seasonal ingredients. Cosy, comfortable, and welcoming, Rhino River Lodge is like a bush-home-away-from-home!

Find out more about Rhino River Lodge

Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill Bush Homes

For travelers wanting to add a bit more adventure to their safari experience, Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill Bush Homes is an excellent option. Specialising in horseback safaris, these two lodges are located within a private game reserve in the Waterberg region, right at the top of South Africa. Horseback safaris are a fun and exciting way to explore the bush in a different manner, and Ant’s welcomes travellers of all ages and riding abilities. In addition to the horse riding, they also offer game drives, guided walks, mountain biking and more. Each day is tailored to your preferences, making it impossible to be bored while staying at Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill Bush Homes.

Find out more about Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill Bush Homes