Temperatures are dropping and the night sky is visible for longer. If this time of change can’t be felt, it most definitely can be seen. Although some late rains have produced a last flush into winter, leaves are now falling and the luminescent green of the landscape has begun shifting to shades of brown, gold and yellow.

Mist-filled valleys, shades of yellow, brown and gold. A lone zebra stallion absorbs the first morning rays of a fast-approaching winter.

People often ask what season or time of year is best to visit and quite frankly there isn’t one. Every season holds different elements of attraction and fascination. There are aspects of summer I love equally in comparison to winter. Summer is becoming a thing of the past though and winter is fast approaching. There are multiple things I so look forward to and I can assure you you should too:

Early morning game drives, wrapped in layers of warmth as we embark on the morning’s adventure to discover what stories there are to be told from the night before. Valleys filled with mist set the scene and mystery.

Elephant Mist Jt

It’s a time of straw yellows, golden light and mottled shades of brown. A perfect blend of a leopard’s rosettes and the tawny coat of a lion.

Winter is a time for leopards. The late Piva male. Photograph by James Tyrrell

Cooler temperatures allow for longer game viewing as animals will stay active for a good part of the morning only seeking shade near midday.

It’s a time where the night sky lights up the land and the starry spectacle is one that leaves you speechless. A time for star photography and tales of the flickering lights above us.

Star trail - AJ

With not a cloud in the winter night sky, it allows for the perfect opportunity of capturing star trails. A rotation of stars around celestial south.

The cold air allows for the lion’s roar to travel further. The steam filled bellows reverberate through the vehicle and fill the evening’s atmosphere, setting the tone for the night ahead.

Evening air is filled with the smell of the potatobush. A near identical smell to that of roasting potatoes. A smell that increases our hunger in anticipation for the warm, fire-filled boma and hearty dinners.

It’s a time of light. Sunsets and sunrises have never been so spectacular and its warmth never more pleasing when it breaks the horizon at dawn.

Sunrise Jt1

Vegetation thins and the Sand River becomes a life-line; its importance to this diverse landscape becomes evident, often providing a spectacle of drinking and playing activity with herds of elephants.

Elephants Dust Sand River Jt

The Sand River is about to become centre stage for the Londolozi…

There are simply too many things to look forward to in the winter. Keep following the Londolozi blog over the next few months for just a taste…

Sunrise AJ

The rising sun heats the land on a cool misty morning. A blanket of orange wraps the surrounds in warmth.

The roar of a male lion travels further with the cool morning and evening air. Dry grass and steam is enough to note which season we are moving into.

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Drying plume chloris grass atop a termite mound provides a different silhouette at sunrise.

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A Birmingham male listens out on a cool, dew-filled morning. Their hearing is far more acute than ours. Is he listening for any responsive roar in the distance?

The jaw dropping scene of a winter nights sky reflected in a waterhole. Never is the sky as bright and clear as it is over these next few months.

About the Author

Alex Jordan

Field Guide

Born in Cape Town, Alex grew up on a family wine estate in Stellenbosch. Spending much of his young life outdoors, Alex went on many a holiday into Southern Africa’s national parks and wild areas. After finishing high school, he completed a number ...

View Alex's profile

8 Comments

on Things I Look Forward to in Winter

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Marinda Drake

Beautiful writing and stunning images Alex. Winter in the bush is a special time. The best time to visit is in our experience each season. Or each month if it is possible. Each season has got its own charm and it is wonderful to see the difference. We love it year round.

Callum Evans

The way you described a bushveld winter is just magical, and those photos are so spectacular! It’s stuff like this that makes me long for a chance to visit Londolozi (and I don’t care what time of year either!)

Penny Tainton

What a beautiful blog to read on Africa Day, bringing home how blessed we are and how majestic is our land! Thank you.

Denise Vouri

Well, your beautiful blog convinces me that winter is a special season. The foggy mornings and starlit nights are a photographer’s dream. So, how about late February or mid-March?

James Tyrrell

Hi Denise,
Also a fantastic season. Quite warm, but as its the end of summer we still have a lot of the migratory birds here and the bush is still green and lush after the rains.

Best
James

Dina Petridis

great picture and lovely petry !

Dina Petridis

great pictures and lovely poetry , that is what I wanted to say!

Malavika Gupta

The winter lighting, and consequently photos, is straight out of a fairytale!

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