Best Time to Go on Safari in the Sabi Sands

Best Time to Go on Safari in the Sabi Sands

Although the Sabi Sands is a great year-round safari destination, there are many benefits to visiting during the dry winter season. Whether you choose an art safari, photographic safari, 4-wheel drive, or bushwalk, this time of year may give you a slight edge on your game viewing adventure.

Seasons and Climate

Southern hemisphere summers fall between November and February, and in the Sabi Sands, this is also the wet season. Peak summer temperatures can reach up to 40˚C (104˚F) with a slight respite from the heat with almost daily afternoon thundershowers. This is also the time in which green vegetation flourishes, making for beautiful landscape and wildlife photography.

During the peak of winter, during June and July, early morning and late evening temperatures fall well below 10˚C (50˚F) but warm up to the mid-twenties (73˚F) by the afternoon. With virtually no rainfall during this time, the air can get dry and very dusty.

Monthly Average Temperatures Sabi Sands

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Min (°C) 21 20 19 16 11 6 7 9 13 16 18 20
Max (°C) 32 32 31 29 28 26 26 27 29 30 30 32
Min (°F) 70 68 66 61 52 43 45 48 55 61 64 68
Max (°F) 90 90 88 84 82 79 79 81 84 86 86 90


Sabi Sands is renowned for some of the best game-viewing in South Africa.

Best Time to Go on Safari in the Sabi Sands

Although chilly morning and evening game drives will require a snug jacket, winter is one of the best times of the year to take a safari in the Sabi Sands. Here is why you should visit the Sabi Sands between May and September.

  1. The scorching summer temperatures have dropped, and daytime temperatures are pleasantly warm.
  2. There is little rain during this time which means clear cloudless skies, amazing stargazing opportunities, and outdoor dining beside crackling fires.
  3. With little rain, night game drives can be taken with little interference. Enjoy sundowners gazing over panoramic landscapes as you witness the skies turning crimson at dusk. As the sun disappears behind the horizon the calls of the nocturnal wild will come to life and you will experience a safari of a different kind using specialized spotlights in the dark.
  4. As the rain disappears the vegetation across the landscapes becomes sparse and streams dry up. The thinned-out vegetation makes it harder for animals to hide in the bush, and easier for onlookers to spot them.
  5. Dry streams and rivers force animals to head to permanent water sources to drink. This makes for great game viewing at waterholes and riverbeds.
  6. There are fewer mosquitoes around during this time of year, so if you are travelling with children and are worried about malaria, this time of year would be the safest.
  7. You may find game reserves quieter during this time of year and score better pricing as it is low season. Private game reserves however only allow limited vehicle access within their reserves to prevent overcrowding, so no matter the season, your game drives will always be exclusive experiences.


Stargazing at Londolozi Private Game Reserve.

Visiting the Sabi Sands during October and November can get uncomfortably humid, but you will witness many new-born animals as the first rains of the season start to fall. If you are a keen bird watcher, these months will also offer incredible birding as migratory birds flock back to the area. With every season offering its own unique safari experience, a safari in the Sabi Sands promises not to disappoint.

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