Summer or Winter?
In the last few month quite a few people have asked me about the difference between Summer (Rainy Season) and Winter (Dry Season) at Thanda. And most often the question was: When is the best time to visit Thanda and South Africa?
Well, there is no simple answer to this question, but here is my opinion:
SUMMER (RAINY SEASON)
If you are looking for very warm (hot) weather (30C+ /90F+), if you want to enjoy the beach, if you want to see most of the country (Cape Town, the wine growing areas, the Garden Route), if you do not mind the occasional rain and if wildlife viewing is not your major priority than I think that the Summer (Rainy Season) is the right time for you.
The rainy season normally starts in October and ends in March (but it can be as early as September and as late as April).
WINTER (DRY SEASON)
If your priority is wildlife viewing (short grass, good visiblity and many animals at waterholes), if you do not mind cool nights (around 5-10 C / around 40-50F) and mild days (around 20-25C / around 70F) than I think you should come in the Winter (Dry Season).
The best dry season month for wildlife viewing are June, July and August.
If you look for a compromise between the two weather extremes you may want to try September or April/May. It is a bit of a gamble but you might have good weather (warm with not too much rain) and quite good wildlife viewing.
I think today’s picture collage helps to illustrate the game viewing difference between summer and winter: Zebras in the rainy season (top) and Zebras in the dry season (bottom).