AFRICAN SAFARIS BETWEEN DECEMBER & FEBRUARY
December, January and February are the warm summer months in Africa, especially Southern Africa. Seasonal variations in conditions are not as wide in East Africa, due to being closer to the equator.
This means it is also the rainy season for most 'safari' regions - when days are hot and clear, and short afternoon thundershowers common. In general, these rainier months of the summer are not as good as the cooler, drier winter months for viewing big game, when the bush and grass is thinner, and it is thus easier to spot animals.
Early summer - during December and January - is the best time to visit the Savute area if you wish to see the migration of zebras as they move from Linyanti northward through the Savute channel. In addition, the second largest game migration in Africa can be seen on the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans, as wildebeest, zebra and antelope flock toward the greener pans brought by the fresh rains, in search of fresh grazing.
The game reserves of The Kalahari can also be full of life in the summer months, as many antelope give birth at the beginning of summer, which also means a lot of big cat predators on the scene. Likewise, it can be a time of plenty in the Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Thornybush and Klaserie game reserves in South Africa as animals flourish and the impala lambs are born.
The greener season between November and March can also be excellent bird-watching season in the Okavango Delta, Savute and Chobe areas of Botswana, as well as in South Africa.
In Zambia or Zimbabwe, from late February the higher rainfalls bring the impressive sights of much greater water flow over the Victoria Falls.
In East Africa, the Great Migration moves toward the southern Serengeti and through the Ngorongoro Crater at this time of year, so be sure to pay careful attention to the location of your camp if you're looking to see it. It can be a scenic way to experience the migration, but it can also get crowded.
SAFARI AND BEACH COMBINATIONS
Further southward, around the coastal areas of Cape Town and the Western Cape, these summer months are definitely the best time of year to visit, and this is the time to do safari and beach combinations. Whilst it can be windy at the beginning of summer in Cape Town, the fresh mornings, clear blue skies, warm dry sunny days, outdoor beach lifestyle and the bright colours of the Cape wine-lands and surrounding areas are simply not to be missed. This is THE place to be at this time of year. It is also an extremely popular destination for Christmas and New Year's holidays, so we advise trying to miss those peak weeks wherever possible.
Our recommendations at this time of year: