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Winter Sun Holiday in South Africa 2017

Home > Guide to visiting South Africa during their winter

Usually when I talk of a winter sun holiday, what I mean is traveling to somewhere nice and warm when home is cold and wet, but have you ever thought of leaving behind summer in the UK and traveling to South Africa in their winter? Before you leave this page thinking that I am mad, let me explain why it can be a great idea!

The Winter Sun in South Africa

I have traveled to and lived in different locations in South Africa during their summer and winter, there are advantages to both seasons, but this is why I feel that a holiday in South Africa during the winter could be just right for you.

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Why a Holiday in South Africa?

First off it is important to establish why you want to go on a holiday in South Africa as not all reasons are ideal during the winter. South Africa is a very large country and has many different types of environment (biomes) and so whilst some places like around Johannesburg can be absolutely freezing (literally) during winter other places like Durban on the Kwa-Zulu Natal coastline can be relatively mild, so here are the main reasons for a holiday in South Africa and here are where I feel are great places you can achieve this during their winter (June, July and August)

Zebras: Safari Holiday South AfricaWinter Sun Safari Holiday in South Africa
Probably the main reason most people come to south Africa is to go on safari and to view the big five, as well as all the other fantastic wildlife that this part of Africa has to offer. I have worked as a safari guide in South Africa, and it always struck me how during the summer months most of our guests would come from Europe and America whilst during the winter the majority of guests would be South Africans. Traditionally the main Safari holiday destination is the Kruger National Park and the surrounding private game reserves. During winter this location can get cold mostly during the evenings and early mornings, but it is important to remember that during summer the temperature can get unbearingly hot and summer is also when the rain falls in this area. So whilst the nights may get pretty cold in winter during the day you are more than often presented with a comfortably warm day with clear blue skies.

Other good reasons to go on Safari during winter months include the fact that it is actually easier to spot game in the winter, because winter is the dry season, the grass is generally shorter and the bush less thick so many wild life species are much easier to find. On top of this during because there is less water about in the bush many of the water dependent wildlife will not move far from permanent water sources and this will include many of the predators like Lions, so making it much easier for your safari guide to know where to find the animals you are looking for. Ok so what other benefits are there for going on a winter sun safari holiday in South africa? Well for me there are many economic benefits, winter is generally viewed as the off season in the safari lodge industry, making it much easier to get a cheap deal on accommodation, flights to will be cheaper. Another advantage is that there will probably be less people sharing the lodge with you, who knows you may even end up having your own private lodge and going on your own private game drives where you will see more wildlife at a cheaper price than you would pay during the summer months!

Safari Holiday South AfricaOne last reason I can think of going on safari during winter would be one many people may not think of: Mosquito's. Lions, Elephants, Buffalo, Rhino, Leopard, Crocodiles, Hippos and even snakes like the black mamba, adders and the cobra's are all the dangers that most people think of whilst being on Safari in the African bush, but it is actually malaria that is the biggest killer in Africa, and the mosquito's that cause malaria are mostly active during the warm rainy months of summer. Even if you are planning on going on safari in a malaria free area, there will still be the very annoying “malaria free” mosquito's, that combined with the heat can make it almost impossible to sleep at night, during the winter months in many places you will probably never hear the annoying hum of the mosquito during your entire safari holiday.

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Top reasons to go on a Winter Sun Safari Holiday:

  • Cheaper flights to South Africa
  • Cheaper Accommodation at Safari Lodges
  • Easier to spot may African wildlife species
  • Much less chance of rain
  • Often clear blue skies during the day
  • Temperatures not unbearably hot during the day
  • Fewer Mosquito's and chances of catching Malaria

 

Disadvantages of going on a winter safari holiday in South Africa:

  • Can get cold at night and early morning
  • The days are shorter, giving you less time to enjoy the African bush
  • Some bird species migrate north during winter
  • Less flowers bloom in the bush 5. Fewer butterfly species on displays

 

So as you can see from the list above there are also a few reasons that I can think of why you may not want to go on a safari holiday during winter in South Africa, but there are also plenty of benefits as well, the choice is yours!

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