When is the best time of year to visit Londolozi? This is a question we often get asked by guests but there’s no one answer or time that is better than another. Each month offers something different that can only be experienced at that time of the year. This means that you’ll have to visit the reserve more than once and preferably at different times of the year!

We love that every month of the year offers something unique for visitors and it’s for this reason that we’ve compiled a calendar that includes the very best of each month.

January:

Why you should visit:
It’s the height of summer during January and it’s at this time that you can expect hot days, often resulting in spectacular thunderstorms. The scent of rain on dry earth is a highlight of the summer months and the land comes alive in variegated greens from the lush grasses to leafy treetops that provide a delicious feast for tall browsers such as elephants and giraffes.

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A dramatic summer thunderstorm.

Photography: During summer you will have the opportunity to photograph dramatic thunderstorms, vibrant colours and wildlife in extremely good condition. Come and speak to us at the Londolozi Studio for  photographic advice, canvas printing or camera rentals to enhance your safari experience.

A lone bull giraffe enjoys some attention from a pair of red-billed oxpeckers while feeding on a knobthorn tree.

A lone bull giraffe enjoys some attention from a pair of red-billed oxpeckers while feeding on the summer blooms of a Knobthorn tree. Photograph by James Tyrrell.

February:

Why you should visit: 
It’s the month of love and as you’ll come to experience during your stay, there is plenty of love going around. I have visited many romantic destinations but Londolozi still comes out tops. Honeymoon couples can enjoy a romantic safari and even have a private game vehicle customised for two! Enjoy windless nights around the campfire, a game drive, and dinner under a sea of stars surrounded by the soft glow of candlelight.

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The Private Granite Suites at Londolozi.

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The Londolozi honeymoon vehicle for two.

March:

Why you should visit: The summer rains mostly fall between November to February each year, however the bushveld remains alive with flowering plants as the progression towards Autumn begins.  It is not uncommon to see many beautiful blooms attracting antelopes that take advantage of the plentiful food sources. While the Big Five often attract the most attention, there’s a world at your feet to marvel at.

Clumps of mauve/blue bluebell barleria (Baleria spa); the bunched head of bright scarlet firecracker flowers (Crossandra spp) and the mauve indigo flowers (Indigofera sp) with small bean pods are all part of an array of smaller flowering plants to admire. Days are mild during March making game drives pleasant at any time of the day.

The Pride of the Cape is a spectacular March bloomer

The Pride of the Cape is a spectacular March bloomer.

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Look at your feet, there’s another world that awaits exploration, one that is sometimes more fascinating than watching sleeping lions! Photograph by Mike Sutherland.

April:

Why you should visit: April is a wonderful time with warm, sunny days and crisp evenings. The beginning of Autumn’s chill starts to creep in and is noticeable in the drop in temperature during the evenings. During this time, the landscape is still wonderfully lush owing to summer rains, however big breeding herds of elephants begin to spend more time in and around the Sand River. April is also the month of the impala rut and many interesting sightings of these animals interacting, fighting and mating with each other are possible.

April 2013 - a glorious evening in an open clearing. Photograph by James Tyrrell.

April 2013 – a glorious evening in an open clearing. Photograph by James Tyrrell.

If you’re at Londolozi during Easter then you’ll be treated to a bush breakfast under a canopy of trees where  you might even catch a glimpse of the Easter bunny bearing hot cross buns and chocolate eggs!  This is always a special day for the Londolozi Family and guests alike…

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The Easter celebration at Londolozi is always a memorable occasion. Photograph by Rich Laburn

A herd of impala on the run. Photograph by James Tyrrell

A herd of impala run from the advances of a rutting male. Photograph by James Tyrrell

 May: 

Why you should visit: May marks the beginning of the Winter Calendar at Londolozi. It’s during this time that the reserve offers a variety of activities best suited to the winter months. Think tracking, bush breakfasts, wine tasting and stargazing. Huddle around a fire while enjoying some of South Africa’s finest wines under star-studded skies. The benefit of this time is that the insects of summer have left and you need not worry about bugs!

Photography: Winter skies in South Africa are at their clearest during the months of May, June, July and August. Londolozi is one of the best places to see stars without the pollution and lights that limit stargazing in cities and areas where there are large populations of people. Take along your camera and practice your night photography capturing the African skies at their brightest. Ask your guide to tell you a bit more about the constellations and to advise you on the correct settings for capturing night scenes like this:

Starry skies. Photograph by Kate Neill

Starry skies. Winter is the best time to take starscapes as the night sky is at its clearest. Photograph by Kate Neill

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A great night of music and sing-alongs in the Varty Camp Boma.

June:

Why you should visit: In winter the sacred coral tree steals the show with its conspicuous red flower spikes. These tube-like flowers appear from June through to October. It’s also aloe flowering season making for attractive displays. The nectar is a magnet for a variety of bird species such as starlings, weavers, orioles and butterflies. Despite the early morning chill, the days are balmy and grasses are short making your morning game drive longer and easier to spot wildlife.

A White-bellied Sunbird feeds on nectar from an aloe flower.  This beautiful little bird is a common site in the winter months when the Aloes flower in abundance throughout the Lowveld of South Africa. Photograph by James Tyrrell

A white-bellied sunbird feeds on nectar from an aloe flower. This beautiful little bird is a common sight in the winter months when aloes flower in abundance throughout the Lowveld of South Africa. Photograph by James Tyrrell

Tip: Bring along your binoculars and bird books to identify the sightings that you see. June is a wonderful time for bird viewing – remember to bring along your telephoto lenses for getting close-up images or hire a lens/binoculars at the Londolozi Studio.

A sunbird feasts on the flower of the sacred coral tree. Photograph by Kate Neill.

A sunbird feasts on the flower of the sacred coral tree. Photograph by Kate Neill.

Wild Dog viewing can often be more productive in the winter.  Should a pack of wild dogs choose a den-site on Londolozi or the surrounding properties, the likelihood of regular sightings is greatly enhanced as the dogs localise their vast movements and hunt almost daily.

Wild Dog on the move. Photograph by: Rich Laburn

A wild dog runs along the river road in search of her pack.

July: 

Why you should visit: It is now the height of winter where the days are cool and the animals are a lot more active during the daytime. This means that your chances of seeing a lot more action taking place are increased. The summer rains have dried up but for a few pans, dams and rivers where animals congregate and interactions play out.

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The Vomba young male seen at a waterhole.

The male cheetah as he begins accelerating after a fleeing impala herd. Photograph by James Tyrrell

After resting at a waterhole, a hungry male cheetah begins chasing after a fleeing impala herd. Photograph by James Tyrrell

August:

Why you should visit: The pans have dried up and large breeding herds of elephants are frequently seen throughout the Sand River and often from camp. This localisation of water, also makes predator viewing spectacular as the big cats spend time around water points ambushing their prey.

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Elephants congregate around waterholes during the dry months. Photograph by Elsa Young.

A herd of elephants drinks at Shingalana Dam. The dry season is upon us, and elephants, who have to drink everyday, are forced to focus their movements around the major waterholes and rivers. Photograph by James Tyrrell

A herd of elephants drinks at Shingalana Dam. The dry season is upon us, and elephants, who have to drink everyday, are forced to focus their movements around the major waterholes and rivers. Photograph by James Tyrrell.

September: 

Why you should visit: September is the start of spring in South Africa, however the bush remains golden brown, with dusty sunsets owing to the long winter. The spring rain has not yet arrived, however the first glimpses of green shoots and leaves start to appear.

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Magnificent winter sunsets continue into September.

This female and male lion take a rest between mating! The first green grasses of spring can be seen. Photograph by Talley Smith.

This female and male lion take a rest between mating! The first green grasses of spring can be seen. Photograph by Talley Smith.

October:

Why you should visit: During this time plants and grasses begin to resurface attracting sunbirds, sugarbirds and insect pollinators. It’s the end of the dry season and days start to become warmer as we head into the summer months. Birding at this time of the year is at its best with the return of summer migrants. Look out for the red-chested cuckoo, carmine, white-fronted and little bee-eaters as well as the many other fancy feathered birds that make the long trek from the cold northern hemisphere to the much warmer south.

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A carmine bee-eater. Summer is a wonderful time to be in the bush if you are a birder, as the migrants add a whole new dimension of colour and interest to an already fascinating environment. Photograph by James Tyrrell.

White-bellied sunbird. Photograph by Anthony Goldman.

White-bellied sunbird. Photograph by Anthony Goldman.

 November: 

Why you should visit: This is the start of lambing season when impalas give birth to their young. There is nothing as exciting as seeing young newborns springing up in all corners of the reserve. The lambs are very skittish being vulnerable to predators and tend to stay close to their mom at all times for protection.

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One of the fist impala lambs of the season that stood still for long enough to capture a picture. These new born lambs are extremely vulnerable, so it is understandable that they are quite skittish for the first few weeks of their lives.

Towards the last week of November, a mass of wildebeest calves are born.  Many survive these initial weeks on earth, however there are a few which are hunted by lions and leopards. Their small size and lack of experience make them easy targets for big cats.

A newborn wildebeest calf takes its first steps at Londolozi

A newborn wildebeest calf takes its first steps at Londolozi. Photograph by James Tyrrell.

December: 

Why you should visit: The Londolozi choir arrives in full force. Frogs of all sorts ring out beautiful melodies that harmonise with the sounds of  crickets chirping. Along with frogs, summer time brings great tortoise and butterfly sightings. It’s also at this time that you can experience long fiery sunsets and windless evenings.

The evening chorus of frogs is one of the highlights of summer. The males vocalise to try and win the attentions of the females.

The evening chorus of frogs is one of the highlights of summer. The males vocalise to try and win the attention of females. Photograph by James Tyrrell.

Join us on New Year’s eve as we  say goodbye to the year that has been. The Londolozi team know how to put on a party that will have you in high spirits as you dance out the old year!

A fine dining party is guaranteed with a set up like this. Photograph by Richard Laburn

A fine dining party is guaranteed. Photograph by Richard Laburn

What time of year do you most enjoy visiting the bush? Please share your thoughts and reasons with us below! If you have any questions about what time of the year to visit Londolozi, please ask it below and we will answer it for you…

Filed under Life Travel

29 Comments

on When is the Best Time to Visit Londolozi?
    Arden Zalman says:

    First time was September. Second time was March. Third time will be September. Each day was spectacular-especially when a rhino was sighted. However, if it was up to me, I would be in Londolozi every day of the year, forever!

    Kate Collins says:

    Hi Arden, thanks so much, we look look forward to your return visit in September!

    Cynthia says:

    After experiencing the magic of Londolozi last April during our 10th anniversary, the right answer is “anytime” is the right time to be at Londolozi. We cannot wait to plan a trip back in the future 🙂

    Kate Collins says:

    Hi Cynthia, you’re 100% right, Londolozi is beautiful no matter what time of year. We look forward to having you visit us again.

    Kim Davel says:

    what a beautiful blog… cant wait to visit Londolozi!

    Dobby says:

    Wow nice great blog Kate Collins well done

    Kate Collins says:

    Thank you Dobby. It’s great to have you next to me, giving inspiration at all times!

    Monica says:

    Lucky me, my birthday month of August is the best time for predator viewing! Hmmm. . .now just must hint to folks where I want to spend my birthday 😉

    Kate Collins says:

    Sounds like a good plan! We’d love you to visit us , let’s make it happen! 🙂

    Kim Drake says:

    I can’t pick a particular time which I’d say is best, I love winter as game viewing is great, I love spring when everything starts turning green and all the migratory birds come back, I love summer when everything is lush and beautiful (and gin and tonics flow freely) and I love autumn when the bush starts turning, the evenings start cooling and red wine becomes more palatable in the scorching hot Lowveld.

    Lovely blog.

    Kate Collins says:

    Thank you Kim, I need to book a wine tasting session with you soon!

    Karin MacLarty says:

    Lovely blog Kate. I love March, April, May anywhere in SA but particularly at Londoz.

    Kate Collins says:

    Thank you Karin, it is gorgeous at this time, we had some wonderful rains in March this year and now spectacular sunny days!

    chris Smith says:

    I have been in March. August, September and November. Hot in March but mating leopards and all kinds of activity near the river. The climate is gorgeous in Aug/Sep and in Sep we had had a couple of rainshowers which meant the bush had greened up a bit. But November!….wow. The Impala were carpet bombing the bush with their young and the predators were extremely active. The bush was green but not too high so we could see the game. The weather can be an issue; we went out on a cold, rainy horrible day…indeed I think only about 4 vehicles were out in the whole camp. We saw very little for a couple of hours and then big well done to Lucian Beaumont as he got us onto a live wild dog hunt….absolutely the best sighting in 4 visits to Londolozi and a great reward for braving the weather.

    Kate Collins says:

    Amazing to see a wild dog hunt – Lucian gets full points for that! I’m looking forward to the lambing season and to seeing the newborns take their first steps.

    Anna says:

    Great blog Kate! Aren’t we so lucky!

    Kate Collins says:

    We wake up to this amazing place everyday. So exquisite and privileged!

    John Wilson says:

    It sounds like any time to visit is a good time, for me October was amazing.

    TinaGreeff says:

    The bush is always very nice no matter when you go.There is always something special in every month !!!

    Kate Collins says:

    Absolutely!

    Kristine Dong says:

    Love this! If I had one final day to live and it was a rainy, cold, dark day – I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else other than Londolozi!

    Kate Collins says:

    I would join you! Thanks Kristine, I hope to meet you on your next visit.

    Judy Guffey says:

    Borrowing from Arden: ” However, if it was up to me, I would be in Londolozi every day of the year, forever!”

    I have thought it would be great to be there in July and celebrate our wedding anniversary (we were married in Evander in 1981) but I know I wouldn’t like the winter weather so I return in November (for a birthday trip) as often as possible. But, yes, I would be in Londolozi every single day of the year if I could.

    Kate Collins says:

    November is going to be a special month not only with the impala lambs springing up but also with your birthday! I hope to meet you in November.

    Jeff Carter says:

    I reckon the best time to visit Londolozi is always the next time!

    Carrie Mandala says:

    Trying to determine either a late June or late December trip. Any advice?

    Carrie Mandala says:

    Typically how many rainy days do you have during December?

    Gulgun Sazak says:

    We would like to visit Londolozi in March it is our wedding anniversary! is it a good time to see the cats ? How is the weather ?

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