EPIC ROAD'S SAFARI BLOG

Entries in best game-viewing africa (2)

Thursday
Oct082015

When to Travel to South Africa

If you're planning a luxury holiday in South Africa, you want to make sure to pick a time that allows you to make the most of your vacation. So first things first, before choosing when to travel to South Africa, start compiling a list of things you want to do during your stay. You can then use this guide to decide when the best time to travel to South Africa is for you. *Northern hemisphere dwellers wanting to know when to travel to South Africa should keep one important fact in mind: seasons are reversed below the equator, so Christmas happens during the summer while July brings occasional snow showers. 

The Best Time to go on a South African Safari 

Kruger National Park is one of Africa's most popular attractions. During the spring and summer holidays, thousands of families flock to this 20,000 square kilometer game reserve with hopes of seeing some of Africa's most famous wildlife including lions, giraffes, zebra, hippos and rhinoceroses. Consequently, the best time to go on a safari in South Africa (i.e. peak season) is June through November - though April & May and December & January are also very good. The weather is beautiful and the low vegetation and plentiful water sources guarantee great game viewing. (Also, you won't have to deal with mosquitoes). And for marine life lovers, the best time for whale watching in South Africa coincides with their migration season - July to September. 

When to go Hiking in South Africa

If you want a clear view of South Africa's majestic mountaintops, late April through early June offers crisp hiking weather in Cape Town. If you dare to hike the mighty Drakensberg, the best time to go hiking South Africa's top tier is anytime other than mid-summer or mid-winter. That being said, be prepared for all types of weather patterns at all times. 

Best Time for a Beach Holiday in South Africa

The warm waters of the Indian Ocean invite people to the city of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal all year round. Cape Town's beaches are most popular between the months of November and April, including Christmas & New Year's. Nightlife and international tourism peak in January, making it the best time to visit Cape Town for those who love to mingle. During late summer and early autumn, beaches are less populated and far more conducive to a quiet getaway. 

When to Visit South Africa's Winelands

South Africa's wineries are well stocked all year long. For nature lovers, the best time to visit the South African winelands is during autumn and spring as you'll get to see the lush flora fill the sweeping hillsides. For foodies, the best time to go to the winelands is during the cooler months between June and August. You'll have an easy time getting reservations at Cape Town's five star restaurants, and you'll get to enjoy winter events such as the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, a 10-day celebration of South African dance, theatre, film and music. 

RECAP: When to Travel to South Africa

There are dozens of seasonal attractions that bring different types of travelers from all over the globe. For example, the world renowned Namaqualand daisies bloom in September, which also happens to be the month of the famous Zulu reed dance festival. If you want to go scuba diving, the annual sardine run between May and July is the best time to swim with South Africa's sharks and dolphins. So, as you can see, the best time to travel to South Africa widely depends on how you want to spend your time. 

Thursday
Aug062015

When to See the Great Migration by Epic Road

The greatest migration of mammals on the planet, one of the most spectacular sights in the world and a MUST on any true traveler's bucket list. Each year, millions of zebra, gazelle, giraffe and wildebeest move across the vast plains of East Africa in search of food and water as the seasons change and the drought takes over - from the Serengeti in northern Tanzania to the Maasai Mara in south-western Kenya. 

A frenzy of territorial conquests and mating, grazers and predators alike, Darwin's survival of the fittest at play - let the games begin. As the grazers move, the predators follow and with roughly 18,000 miles to cover year after year, many will fail to reach the finish line. The Great Migration is arguably the most thrilling game-viewing on the continent, not to mention the breathtaking landscape that is the Serengeti - the entire experience is recognized as 1 of the 7 Natural Wonders of Africa, and rightfully so. So whether you're partaking from an open 4x4, hot air ballon or on foot, you will undoubtedly witness some of the greatest species on the planet; lions, wildebeest, elephants, giraffes, hippos, cheetahs, leopards, zebras, crocodiles and more.

And lucky for you, this phenomenon lasts the entire year. Read on for a full breakdown of the best ways to experience the Great Migration according to season (and according to us). So pick your season and choose from our favorite award-winning luxury lodges built along the path of the Great Migration, guaranteeing you won't miss a thing.

WHEN: January, February, March - WHERE: Ndutu, southern Serengeti  

A 3-week period in the southern region of the Serengeti marks the birthing season for the wildebeest. The herds remain here until they recuperate and their newborns develop enough strength to make the trip north. Wildebeest babies are literally born to run, they can stand within minutes of being born and run alongside the herd within a single hour, and you have first row seats to the show. As nature would have it, the abundance of young calves renders this prime feeding season for predators - making it very likely that you will also witness a lion, cheetah or hyena kill. 

* We recommend the following luxury safari lodges: Serian (Serengeti South), Olakira Ndutu, and Mwiba Lodge

 

WHEN: April, May - WHERE: Seronera, central Serengeti 

As spring comes to an end and with the start of the rainy season, the herds continue to move north into the central Serengeti. Seronera, located at the heart of the Serengeti National Park, tends to be a cumbersome and less seemingly personal experience due to a high volume of tourists. The onset of the rainy season also more than likely means that many camps will be closed. In short, not our favorite time to go, but if camps are open it's a different story and the surroundings are extra beautiful as heavy rains cover the land with endless flower fields - so make sure to ask us before totally crossing it off your list. 

* We recommend the following luxury safari lodges: Dunia, Serengeti Under Canvas, Four Seasons Serengeti

 

WHEN: June, July - WHERE: Grumeti River, western Serengeti

June and July are possibly the most exciting months out of the year when it comes to the Great Migration. The region implicated is home to the Grumeti River aka the 1st major challenge that the herds will inevitably face. Attempting to cross the river, exhausted from the journey and up against hunting crocodiles hoping to take advantage of distressed zebra and wildebeest, is no easy feat. Understandably not ideal for the herds, but the Grumeti River crossing happens to be one of our favorite moments and places to witness the Great Migration. The surrounding natural beauty is particularly breathtaking and the luxury lodges in the area are truly phenomenal. 

* We recommend the following luxury safari lodges: Faru Faru, Sabora Tented Camp, Sasakwa Lodge and Singita Explore

 

WHEN: August, September, October - WHERE: Lamai Wedge, Mara River & Maasai Mara

Following the strenuous river crossing and with the arrival of fall, the herds move towards the Mara River and settle for a short while in the Maasai Mara. Behold panoramic rolling hills and savannah bordered by deep green forest and acacia woodlands - the ultimate wildlife habitat and well worth the trek (both for you and the animals). It's picturesque and beautiful and with with few visitors, it's also one of the most remote and unspoiled parts of the Serengeti. Not without action however as the Mara River too, is filled with crocs chomping at the bit. 

* We recommend the following luxury safari lodges: Lamai Serengeti, Singita Mara River Camp, Serengeti Bushtops, and Mara Plains Camp

 

WHEN: November, December - WHERE: Lobo & Seronera

Rains begin to dissipate and the herds move south through the Loliondo area (vast last owned by the Maasai, an ethnic group of semi-nomadic people) and back into the Serengeti National Park to birth their young and begin the cycle anew. December is particularly great as it's essentially an end of year migration/ gathering and you have the privilege of seeing a huge variety of game including big cats, always cast in the shadow of their prey. 

* We recommend the following lodges: &Beyond Klein's Camp, Serengeti Under Canvas, and Dunia Camp.

 

Click here to learn about our signature travel for the Great Migration.