Seasonal Ideas and Inspiration

SEASONAL IDEAS AND INSPIRATION

JANUARY

1

South Africa is quieter now after the Christmas rush, the weather generally good especially along the Cape coast and a perfect time for a holiday to Arniston, Knysna or Plettenberg Bay.

The southern Serengeti in Tanzania is alive with plains game activity, as the wildebeest and zebra move into the short grass, calving from mid January through to February. A rewarding time to watch mother nature at work.

This is also one of the better months to climb Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, and rest afterwards with a few days safari in the Serengeti with some quality game viewing.

FEBRUARY

2

Love is in the air with new born in the Masai Mara in Kenya, and elephants galore in Tarangire in Tanzania. The warm summer weather continues in Cape Town and along the Garden Route.

Botswana’s magical green season is tempting with low prices and superb photo opportunities. Pitch your photographic skills against the best, with an entry for the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Entries normally close mid-February, in the UK.

Dreamy Valentine holidays in Zanzibar and the Seychelles, idyllic islands with picture-perfect settings, make good for a short getaway holiday.

MARCH

3

This is the last month of the Emerald Season in Zambia with perfect light and lush vistas for photography. The green season teems with wildlife, busy migratory birds and blue skies filled with crystal-clear air above a carpet of rich green landscape.

The Zambezi River is in full flow as the rainy season comes to an end in Botswana and Zimbabwe. The waters thunder down to the gorge at the base of Victoria Falls, creating a drenching spray. A spectacular sight from above by helicopter.

A month to catch the last of the summer safari season in Kenya, followed by a few days at Diani Beach.

APRIL

4

The rains start in Tanzania and Kenya, bringing much needed water for the sweet grass growth essential for herbivore grazing during winter. Some safari camps choose to take a break during the rains and get ready for the next season, while others stay open, with special rates.

April is a busy time for Spring break holidays. South Africa, Victoria Falls and Namibia are at the top of the list, followed by fly-in safaris to camps and lodges that stay open in April, in Tanzania and Kenya.

For the energetic, clear skies and fresh air in the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa set the pace for some spectacular hiking.

MAY

5

The whales are back in Walker Bay.

Southern Right Whales move into this scenic bay in South Africa to mate, calve and leave us in awe of their gentle grace as they play in this weather protected bay. Magnificent giants of the ocean not to be missed. The Whales are here until September.

May is generally the last low season safari month in Kenya and Tanzania before the peak season starts. A clever combination of an East African Safari with a beach holiday in Mauritius or the Seychelles should work well on the pocket.

JUNE

6

Winter seeps into Southern Africa, a refreshing change from the summer heat in the GCC countries. Time for a top value holiday to South Africa at the beginning of the low season months, with plenty of safari choices, self-drive meanders and cosy evenings around a log fire.

For the fearless, a hike through the Fish River Canyon in Namibia, Africa’s largest canyon, will reward the brave. This is one of Africa’s toughest wilderness hikes to notch up on your hiking list, and only possible to do during the cooler winter months.

The Comrades Marathon between Durban and Pietermaritzburg in South Africa is a must do for goal setting marathon runners. This is the world’s oldest ultra marathon race.

JULY

7

Let the show begin. School’s out. Holidays are in. Plan ahead for your part on the safari stage.

The annual wildebeest migration into the Masai Mara in Kenya is one of the world’s greatest natural events. Hundreds of thousands of plains game trundle towards the sweet grass of the Mara, with predators lurking in the bush and crocodile waiting at the river crossings.

The water levels rise in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, creating a haven for birdlife. Quiet mokoro excursions through reeded rivers and narrow channels set the pace for water safaris, or, opt for open 4×4 safari drives on land.

AUGUST

8

August is the busiest safari month of the year, and understandably so, with warm days, crisp skies, cool evenings and abundant wildlife. Get your camera and sketch pad ready to capture the moment.

The walking safari season starts in Zambia. Learn about the smaller things in life, and how insects make the world go round. Plants, seeds, and insects all have a larger meaning after a safari on foot.

Elusive leopards add the to adventure of wildlife sighting in the Sabi Sands area in South Africa, also known for its lion, cheetah and packs of wild dog.

SEPTEMBER

9

Safaris continue while the flowers in Namaqualand burst through the arid earth surface after the winter rains, creating carpets of vibrant colour. A sight to behold.

A holiday along the Cape West Coast, Cedarberg and Namaqualand will open your eyes to nature’s wild flowers, of colours richer than any palette. The two-day Darling Flower show in mid-September is a must for a wholesome local experience, along with a tractor ride to a private field to see flowers in situ.

World Tourism Day on 27 September brings a reminder to protect our planet for the future. Choose your holidays with care.

OCTOBER

10

October is the end of the dry season in Tanzania, and despite being a good month for a safari, it is a quietly known fact. Visitor numbers are few. A flight to Dar es Salaam, a safari to Ruaha and Selous, followed by a beach break on the coast or in Zanzibar, makes for a tempting holiday after the rush.

Mountain biking bliss in the Drakensberg and KwaZulu Natal. MTB fans flock to the popular multistage Berg & Bush bike race held this month in South Africa.

The calm waters in the Seychelles in October are appealing for a long weekend away, with scuba diving by day, creole cuisine and sega dancing by night.

NOVEMBER

11

It’s time for high adrenalin white water rafting on the Zambezi river as the water levels sink towards their year-round low, and the Grade 3-5 rapids are exposed, giving a bumpier ride with large drop-offs. Set off is from the Boiling Point, right below Victoria Falls. Be prepared.

The golf tournament season starts in South Africa. Book your holiday early to see the big names on South Africa’s finest greens, competing to clinch their title in Africa

Across the border, Botswana eases into the tempo of the green season, and further afield, Namibia begins the transition into summer.

DECEMBER

12

A busy month all round.

Book early for your first choice of where you want to spend your holiday, especially for travel between mid December to the beginning of January. Flights and accommodation are at a premium.

This is South Africa’s festive season, East Africa’s holiday time and super peak season on the islands of Mauritius, Seychelles and Zanzibar.

Warm weather, lazy days and fun evenings. Africa welcomes in the New Year with great celebration, and our warmest wishes to you as you enjoy your year-end holiday.