The 1st of may questions .. when to go???

Mar 30th, 2014, 07:47 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5
The 1st of may questions .. when to go???

Hello everyone,
I would like to start by THANKING everyone. I find forums like this zoo amazingly helpful. I am attempting to plan a trip to South Africa in 2015 as long as i can fit in in my budget. ( questions on how to do that will certainly follow)

The main portion of our trip will include cape town and Kruger National Park. I have heard march may be the best month to travel .. however, as i am trying to plan this trip within a budget i would like more time to research things. I was thinking about sept/october/november.

Are there any expert opinions on travel to these two locations during any of these months? I understand weather is unpredictable... I would like the weather to be NICE while in cape town... esp as i believe we will be spending more time there than on safari.

I really appreciate any insight. I of course will SPEED UP my research if march is deemed to be the best month to travel. Spending all the money for the trip i would like the best odds of nice weather =)

thanks in advance,
much more questions to follow by the way!
Bpell0402 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2014, 03:01 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 184
In Cape Town the best weather is between Dec-March very hot but comfortable with breeze, Dec & Jan it is packed with tourists & locals. April-July end is warm with the odd showers but soon clears up, chilly nights. August can rain heavily continuously for days but once out of the cape inland in the Karoo it's nice & warm. Sept-Nov can still rain but clears up quickly. These months are the best time for whale watching July-Oct.

I can't give any info on Kruger except December malaria is an issue but I read recently elsewhere that its changing, rains are coming earlier so from Sept this needs precautions.

If this puts you off then the 2nd best destination for a safari is in the Eastern Cape & much closer to Cape Town with the Garden Route inbetween.
braaiseason is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2014, 05:47 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 625
If you go in september, you will still be able to see the stunning wildflowers of Namaqualand, which is near Cape Town to the North West. If I were you, I would plan my trip to include this. Have a look at:

and also google: namaqualand wildflowers images

You could do this as a day trip from Cape Town, or you can spend one night in one of the smaller towns at the West Coast. Of course, no one can predict what the flowers will be like in a specific year, but if Nature gets it right it is a very special show.

It is true that you can see good nature reserves nearer Cape Town. However, IMO nothing beats the grandeur of Kruger. Use anti-mosquito stuff and go there!!
kovsie is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2014, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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We just went for the first 10 days of October last year. Cape Town was lovely but a bit chilly (in the 60's) and the Mpumalanga was perfect. Warm enough during the day to lounge outside (high 70's) and cold enough during the early morning and late evening game rides to need a fleece (low 50'). Also, 2 things to note: check to see when school holidays are- we had assumed they followed a standard summers off schedule but, in fact, school is year round with holidays throughout the year and sights got a bit crowded. Also, check to see if you'll need a yellow fever vaccination. We did not but got one just in case the plane was diverted for some unknown reason. We had no issue with mosquitos but made sure to wear long pants, light colors, and to douse ourselves in DEET. Have a wonderful trip! South Africa is an incredible place!
Hobbert is offline  
Apr 11th, 2014, 05:23 PM
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Thank you all so much of your insight and advice...
Bpell0402 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2014, 08:52 AM
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I have not visited Cape Town, but have been to Kruger 4 times in the past 5 years. I have totally fallen in love with it.
From my experience, if you visit in March, which is at the end of the rainy season, there is a lot of water around so you don't get the concentration of animals around the water holes and rivers. Also the grass is very high, making animals difficult to see.
However, August and September have wonderful weather, mid 20s during the day, but a bit cold at night. No rain for 5 months brings larger numbers of game to the waterholes and rivers, and the grass is very low, allowing you to see animals that may be lying down, particularly lions that seem to sleep most of the day away.
Even though there is not a lot of water lying around, I would still take anti malaria medication, Better to be safe than sorry.
AusSue is offline  
Apr 14th, 2014, 09:04 AM
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It's our favorite time for Cape Town and the west coast, for example...

Cape Town and area in late August/early September -

West Coast National Park and Paternoster, a couple of hours up the road on the Atlantic side -
Gardyloo is offline  
Apr 14th, 2014, 09:12 AM
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oh lovely photos Gardyloo!! There is no place like this in the whole wide world. Bpell, if you had any doubts left, you must just look at the links above.
kovsie is offline  
Apr 14th, 2014, 12:21 PM
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If you plan to visit Kruger, then avoid the South African school holidays, when the park will be very crowded. A Google search will give you the dates. Note that the holidays vary from province to province, so make certain that you are looking at the correct calendar. CR
canadian_robin is offline  
Apr 14th, 2014, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 123
We went to SA in March 2013 with a few days in Cape Town. The weather was perfect in the low 20s and very comfortable. The game viewing in Sabi Sands, adjacent to Kruger was absolutely unparalleled. We saw an abundance of game on every game drive, mornings and afternoons/early evenings. The weather on safari was chilly early in the mornings but warmed up by 8:00 a.m. and chilly at dusk. We had no rain at all.

If you're interested, you can read more about our trip here, including lots of planning tips:
Gayle is offline  
Apr 15th, 2014, 09:59 AM
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Thank you all so much!
Bpell0402 is offline  
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