You’ve done the research, read through every single guide book you can get your hands on, and spent countless hours scouring the internet for that perfect dream vacation. And after long last, you’ve finally reached your decision—you’re going to Africa. You’re so excited you can hardly contain yourself.
Until it dawns on you, the horrible truth staring right back at you from your calendar—it’s peak season. No way you’re getting a ticket now. Everything’s bound to be booked up, forcing you to wait another year before you can even think about going, right? Well, hold on a second. Believe it or not, one of the best times to visit South Africa is smack dab in the middle of winter. Here are the top reasons to rethink low-season travel to Africa.
Avoid the Crowds
One of the best reasons for low-season travel to South Africa is, of course, less crowds. Unlike the jam-packed summer and spring months, there will be fewer people at safari lodges and base camps, allowing for a more peaceful experience and individualized care. Just think about it. No long line ups waiting for the next game drive, no noisy hordes scaring away the wildlife, and no clambering over other guests to gets a seat in the dining area.
Beat the Heat
Summers in South Africa are hot…really hot. Depending on where you are staying, the temperatures can sometimes reach a sweltering 45 degrees Celsius, making you feel sluggish and lazy—the wildlife too. Ahhh…but in the low season, the days are mild and sunny with crisp, cool evenings. Oh, and if you not a big fan of mosquitoes, snakes, and other creepy crawlies, the low season is definitely your time of year to visit South Africa.
Optimal Wildlife Viewing
Let’s settle this once and for all—“low” season does not equal less wildlife. Truth is, it’s the peak time of year for prime game viewing. Grasslands are sparse, vegetation dries up, trees have shed their leaves, and watering holes become hives of activity, allowing for the perfect wildlife spotting opportunities. If you’re worried you might miss out seeing the Big 5—lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino—don’t. Every game drive is guaranteed to deliver a feast for the eyes during the winter months in South Africa.
One of the other great benefits for low season travelers is the savings. Airline fares and lodge rates are usually lower than in the peak season, putting your safari dream vacation within reach. And if you want to treat yourself to some of the best and most luxurious camps South Africa has to offer, now is the time to book your trip.