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Winter Safari Guide

By Madikwe Hills on May 28, 2020

Winter in South Africa is typically the reverse of the Northern Hemisphere spanning from late May to August and Summer from mid-October to March. Contrary to popular belief, the cooler months can be a great time to visit. Keep reading this winter safari guide to find out why!

walking safari winter in south africa

Summer VS Winter

South Africa is known for having varied landscapes and several unique climatic zones that accompany those places. One of those climes is the North-West Province where Madikwe Game Reserve is located. Given its proximity to the Kalahari Desert, Madikwe is fortunate enough to experience sunshine for most of the year.

Unlike many other places on earth, the North-West Province experiences high temperatures and most of their rainfall in summer and cooler, dry winter months – just one of the reasons safaris at this time of year can be preferable.

Annually, the summer rains bring between 300 and 700mm of water to the area with average temperatures ranging from 22 to 34ºC. and around 13 hours of daylight versus the average 16 ºC and 10 daylight hours in winter. Don’t let this put you off though, temperatures can still ebb into the 20’s and with some sunshine, it’s shorts weather all over again!

madikwe hills game drive with wild dogs

Winter Wildlife

As there is little to no rainfall in winter the usually dense, green vegetation starts to thin out and provides fewer hiding spots and camouflage for wildlife making them easier to spot. The lack of rainfall also takes a toll on resources causing a congregation around permanent water sources – this makes for some truly spectacular sightings!

cheetah on a rock madikwe hills

What To Pack

Winter in South Africa is an odd time as the day can be deceptively pleasant with sunshine and drop almost instantly down to single-digit degrees as the sun goes down. For that reason, we recommend layers.

As part of your layered clothing kit, make sure to include a fleece and a warm jacket – the weather is always unpredictable and can be scorching hot one minute and cold the next so have something warm on hand. If you feel unsure about what should be in your suitcase, consult our safari packing list.

Despite our current lockdown level, we remain hopeful that restrictions will be reduced and guests can return to enjoy the magical Madikwe Game Reserve and our Madikwe Hills hospitality.

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