“This is your wakeup call!”. There is a crisp bite to the air, it is still dark outside, you slip out of your warm bed and your anticipation for the morning game drive begins to grow. The knowledge that the day gets better as it evolves is just one of the reasons that winter safaris are so popular.
You clamber onto the vehicle, adjust your scarf, and pleasantly surprised by the hot water, you snuggle under the blanket. In white puffs, your warm breath leaves your body, and the golden light starts to spread her fingers across the wild spaces of the Timbavati, creating a wonderland of ice-crystal clad grasses and gilded spider webs.
Warm days, cool nights
Winter months have always been professed as the best time of year to go on safari in the Greater Kruger, even though summer has its own set of admirable merits. In this Greater Kruger region winters are renowned for their incredibly warm temperatures, so a safari from May through to August really does claim the most fabulous climate. Morning and evening safaris can get rather chilly (we are talking gloves, beanies, fleece jackets), but equally in the middle of the day you could be lying on a sun lounger at the pool, sipping a G&T and catching a few rays.
During the winter months the lush, green grasses of summer have died back, and replaced with short, blond savannas, creating the perfect environment for sweeping vistas and a glorious golden light. The sky takes on a deep sapphire hue without a cloud in sight, while the dormant trees create that iconic “safari” look, and don’t get us started on the sunsets! The colder months deliver the most dramatic African sunsets, dust particles hanging in the air make these natural phenomena last for longer, forming a band of astonishing colours on the horizon, until the night sky takes over boasting a truly magnificent galaxy of stars.
The open grasslands allow clearer visuals, the camouflage the big cats rely on in summer has become sparse and these animals are now easier to find and visible for long distances, leopards and lions can no longer “disappear” behind a bush in front of your very eyes.
The dry, dusty roads and pathways means that tracking is much easier, allowing your guiding team to really show off their skills as they follow up on tracks in the bush, reading the signs and scripts that go unnoticed to most of us mere mortals.
The lack of rainy downpours means dissipating waterholes and so the big dams become incredibly active with a hive of thirsty animal searching for reprieve. The muddy wallows left behind also create great spots to locate buffalo and elephant who love a clay reservoir.
Chance to indulge
Not that we need any excuses, but somehow a frosty start to the day means more justified opportunities to indulge in decadent kitchen treats. What better than one of Chef Ryan’s homemade rusks to dunk into an Amarula coffee after an epic morning safari?
Our incredible kitchen runs with a winter themed menu and provides a glorious selection throughout the day of delicious, heartwarming meals, including fireside dinners of slow roast oxtail, rich creamy sauces accompanying locally sourced dishes and yummy, sticky, hot desserts.
So, if you are planning your next safari remember these are just a few of the wonders that the winter months provide and here are a few tips and tricks to make it an even experience!
Rates are quoted in South African Rand (ZAR) and include VAT. Rates are reviewed quarterly and are subject to change.
Bookings can be held as provisional for up to 14 days, after which the booking is required to release or confirm. A 20% refundable deposit is required to confirm the booking.
Once confirmed with a 20% deposit, the booking is held on a status of ‘confirmed with refundable deposit’ until any of the following becomes true:
Final payment is due 60 days prior to arrival. Any outstanding balance on the total reservation value shall be required to be settled at 60 days prior to arrival.
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Tanda Tula will allow postponement of a booking for up to 12 months, if travel is cancelled with a commitment fee or 60 days or less prior to arrival due to a WHO-recognised pandemic directly impacting the guests’ ability to travel (e.g. lockdown, no flights, guest not allowed to board a flight, guest falls ill due to a pandemic and unable to travel).
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