If you are looking for a warm winter escape, KwaZulu Natal is definitely the place to be. A fabulous year-round destination, KwaZulu Natal lies on South Africa’s east coast along the edge of the warm Indian ocean, spanning inland to the heights of the Drakensberg escarpment. With such vast landscapes and territory, comes a big difference in climate. So when is the best time to go on Safari in KwaZulu Natal?
Seasons and Climate
With summers from November to February, the coastal regions of KwaZulu Natal can get extremely hot and humid averaging afternoon temperatures close to 29˚C (84˚F). Summer rains bring some relief from the heat, but the humidity can be intense. Inland, however, the temperatures are slightly cooler averaging a less humid 27˚C (80˚F) in the summer months. Winters pose a slightly more drastic change from the coastal regions to the inland mountain ranges. The coast is wonderful for a winter beach getaway averaging daytime temperatures in the mid to low twenties (70˚F). The Battlefields region however gets much colder. Mornings and evenings drop below 5˚C (41˚F). Afternoons do warm up to daily highs reaching 19˚C – 24˚C. (66˚F – 75˚F).
Monthly Average Temperatures Hluhluwe Imfolozi ( KwaZulu Natal Northern Coast)
Monthly Average Temperatures Lady Smith (Inland – Nambiti Private Game Reserve)
Best Time to Go on Safari in KwaZulu Natal
The dry winter months are best for a KwaZulu Natal safari, however, should you be visiting one of the inland reserves such as Nambiti Private Game Reserve, you may want to avoid the coldest months and visit during April, May, September, or October. Here are the reasons why the dry winter season is the best time for a KwaZulu Natal safari.
- As just mentioned, the weather is great. Towards the coast, the temperatures are mild to warm, with clear skies and little rain. Inland daytime temperatures are also comfortably warm although warm clothing is necessary for early mornings and evenings.
- With clear skies at night, you can enjoy magnificent stargazing.
- Rain in KwaZulu Natal can be unpredictable during the summer months, but you don’t have to worry about changing plans, or getting soaked on your safari during the dry winter months.
- Due to drying rivers and streams animals congregate at permanent watering holes for a drink. This is great for effortless game viewing, especially if your lodge deck overlooks a watering hole.
- Vegetation is sparse during winter making it harder for animals to hide in tall grass and bushes, and easier for onlookers to find them.
- Although there is more dust in the air during this time of year, it does make for spectacular sunsets.
- Cloudless skies mean you can enjoy dinners under the starry skies and cozy nights next to crackling fires.
- Winter is the quieter time of year for travellers so you could likely get a better package rate than during the peak summer months.
- If you visit during the spring months of September and October, you will witness the return of many migratory birds and new-born animals are a special sight. As the first rains start to fall landscapes start transforming from dreary browns to magnificent greens.
Although summers are hot and very humid, they still make for the busiest time of year in KwaZulu Natal. Great for a year-round beach and bush combination, there is however no need to wait for summer to embark on a breath-taking safari combo in KwaZulu Natal.