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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…