The question of the best time to go on safari is frequently asked by visitors to any game lodge, and the truth is, there is no single “best” time. The wildlife is abundant throughout the year, and it largely comes down to personal preference. It also depends on the rest of your travel itinerary, as South Africa is a vast country with diverse climates and temperatures. This article focuses on safaris around the Kruger National Park, where Ximuwu Safari Lodge is located.


Year-Round Wildlife

At Kruger National Park, animal activity is plentiful year-round, and much depends on what kind of experience you prefer. Some guests like to combine their safari with visits to cities like Cape Town, which doesn’t always guarantee good weather at both locations simultaneously.


Summer Rainy Season (November – March)

Our summer, from the end of November to March, is the rainy season, with an average annual rainfall of 450mm. The bushveld looks lush, and rivers and waterholes fill up. The first summer rains bring the arrival of hundreds of newborn impala lambs, making it a great time for spotting wildlife and capturing photographs. This period also attracts predators like cheetahs, leopards, lions, African wild dogs, and hyenas, providing many exciting sightings.

Migratory birds, such as the woodland kingfisher, Wahlberg eagle, red-crested cuckoo, and Amur falcon, return during this season. However, the grass is long and trees are full of foliage, which can make spotting animals a bit more challenging.

The temperatures can reach up to the high 30s in Celsius, so we advise planning game drives early in the morning and late in the afternoon to avoid the heat.


Winter Dry Season (April – October)

While many guests prefer to escape the northern hemisphere’s winter by coming to Africa during our summer, the best time for wildlife observation is actually during our winter. The bushveld is open, grass is low, and animals migrate towards waterholes and non-perennial rivers due to the dry conditions. The waterhole in front of our lodge becomes a hive of activity, offering excellent wildlife viewing from the comfort of our deck.

Although the days are pleasant and warm, early mornings and late afternoons can be chilly. We provide warm water bottles and blankets for morning game drives, and you can warm up with a hot cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate during our coffee stops. Afternoon drives often start when it’s still warm, with drink stops at sunset featuring a selection of wines, gin and tonic, beers, or your preferred beverages. After sunset, the temperatures drop again, and fireplaces in both the general area and your room are lit to keep you warm.

Nights are cool, and post-dinner drinks around the campfire—either in the bush after a bush dinner or in our unique round sit Boma with views of the waterhole—offer a perfect end to the day.


Cape Town Weather

For those combining their safari with a trip to Cape Town, it’s helpful to know that Cape Town experiences most of its rainfall in June, July, and August, while the Klaserie region’s rains occur in the summer months of November to March. Understanding these different weather patterns can help you plan a more seamless and enjoyable trip.



So, when is the best time to go on safari? It ultimately comes down to personal preference and when you can find the time to travel. Rest assured, a trip to South Africa is worth it any time of the year. At Ximuwu Safari Lodge, we are ready to provide you with unforgettable experiences and help you make the most of your safari adventure, regardless of the season.

When is the Best Time to Go on Safari

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO ON SAFARI. The question of the best time to go on safari is frequently asked by visitors to any game lodge, and the truth is, there is no...

What photo equipment to take on a safari

What photo equipment to take on safari   As an amateur photographer with seven years of experience in the bush, I’ve learned a few things about the best photo equipment...

Cathay Pacific Press Article

Cathay Pacific   Introduction: We’re thrilled to announce Cathay Pacific has featured Ximuwu Safari Lodge in their piece on accessible travel. As the first fully...

On safari in a wheelchair, yes you can!

Safari regardless of my mobility issues CAN I GO ON A SAFARI IN A WHEELCHAIR? YES YOU CAN! Planning a safari is exciting. Once plans start, destinations are discussed...

Early Morning Drive at Ximuwu Lodge

Early Morning Drive at Ximuwu Lodge This is how a day starts at the Savana The call of a Crested Francolin signals a new day. The horizon lightens, and the air is crisp...

Sourdough Bread Recipe

Sourdough Bread Recipe Making Sourdough Bread at home The Ximuwu kitchen offers a journey of flavors during your stay. Our chefs create mouthwatering delights from around...

Sark pride on the move

A TALE OF SURVIVAL AND RESILIENCE In the heart of the Greater Kruger, amidst the untamed wilderness, resides a remarkable pride of lions known as the Sark Pride. With a...

What to pack for a safari?

IT BOILS DOWN TO PERSONAL PREFERENCE What to pack on a safari? You’ve made the decision—you’re going on a safari! If Ximuwu Safari Lodge is your only destination...

Our life in the bush

Our Life in the Bush Over the past few weeks, Ximuwu has been buzzing with exciting wildlife sightings. A lioness and her four adorable cubs have been seen regularly...

social media

The Latest from Instagram

  • A leopard may hide, but its piercing eyes never miss a thing.

#leopard #safari #luxurytravel #luxurytraveller #vacation #southafrica #krugernationalpark #greaterkruger #bigfive #privategamereserve #hoedspruit #klaserieprivatenaturereserve #ximuwu #ximuwulodge #accessibletravel #accessibility #accessibleholidays
  • At Ximuwu, it’s not just about the incredible animals you’ll see on your safari. We believe that great food is a key part of an unforgettable adventure. Our talented chefs craft delicious meals that pair perfectly with a fine glass of wine.Join us for a safari experience where every moment, from the stunning wildlife to the delightful dining, becomes a cherished memory.
  • Our latest game drives have been nothing short of spectacular. We’ve spotted young male lions, wild dogs on the move, and hyenas busy finishing off a recent kill. And that’s not all. The waterhole near the lodge has been bustling with activity, offering close encounters with various wildlife. 

Come join us and witness the magic of the wild.
  • Just another beautiful day at Ximuwu! A herd of elephants are having a blast enjoying their mud bath. There’s nothing quite like watching these gentle giants cooling off and playing in the mud. Come experience the magic with us!
  • Welcome to our Zebra Suite! Each of our four unique suites has its own distinct theme, and today we’re excited to show you around the Zebra Room. With its chic black-and-white decor and cozy ambiance, who wouldn’t want to stay here?

📸 @thesafariexpert

#luxurysafari #luxurytravel #privategamereserve #privategamelodge #klaserieprivatenaturereserve #ximuwu #lowveld #hoedspruit #greaterkruger #exclusivewildlife #exclusivetravel
  • A few days ago, we discovered five lions—three young males and two females—feeding on a recently taken-down giraffe. It’s not our usual Sark Pride, making this sighting even more special. These lions have been feasting on the carcass for four days now, much to the delight of our guests. Nature’s raw power and beauty on full display!

#bigfive #lion #naturewildlifephotography #canonphotography #natgeoyourshot #safari #luxurytravel #privatesafari #accessibletravel #accessibletourism #bigcats #africansafari #southafrica