Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve - Elephants at Sunset Safari

Month By Month in the Kruger Bushveld, South Africa

Looking forward to some great game viewing in Kruger National Park on your next South Africa vacation? You may wonder when the best time of the year is to experience a safari and see a certain game or experience a certain climate. Below is a guide from Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve which may help provide tips on what you’ll see, what to look for, and even what to wear.

Situated in the game-rich Sabi Sand Reserve, which borders Kruger National Park, Sabi Sabi has earned a reputation for offering warm and excellent service and personalized attention at all four of their lodges. The ethos of the lodges is based on the theme of “yesterday, today, and tomorrow,” and each lodge embraces a particular point in time. Selati Camp is themed around yesterday, where guests can step back in time to an African safari of olden days, Bush Lodge and Little Bush Camp focus on today and offer a more contemporary experience, whereas Earth Lodge captures tomorrow, in its sleek and modern design.

Selati Camp Ivory Suite at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sands, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Selati Camp’s Ivory Suite

We are always asked when is the best time to visit Sabi Sabi and our answer is – any time. The bushveld is wonderful the whole year, each month having its own special characteristics and beauty.

The bush is usually lush, green and bursting with colour. There is the constant sound of birdsong and frogs croaking. Long hot days are followed by fiery sunsets and balmy evenings. The animals are sleek and well fed, and there is an abundance of water in pools and puddles and the perennial rivers.

The days remain long with very slightly cooler temperatures and the odd short-lived, exciting thunderstorm. Warm daybreaks are ideal for morning safaris, birds are still abundant and the latest crop of animal babies are a bit older and bolder and are much more visible.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve - Rhino and Baby
Rhino and baby

Subtle changes start occurring; a hint of autumn is in the air and rainfall is experienced less frequently. Large herds of plains animals make the most of the still-green vegetation… and where there is prey there are always predators in close proximity!

Autumn makes its appearance. The trees start changing to vibrant colours as the leaves become hues of red, brown and yellow. The rutting season begins and the animals prepare for winter. The days are shorter, and mornings and evenings are still comfortably warm. With little or no rain the skies are clear and bright.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve - Nyala

The dry winter months have started. Water is becoming scarcer and as the grasses get drier and shorter, animal viewing is abundant. The migratory bird species start their long journeys northward – some travelling as far as India and China.

Winter is in full swing but in this region the mild climate makes for comfortably warm days with chilly early mornings and nights. Game viewing is superb as the animals venture out in search of water, gathering around the pans and watering holes.

Midday temperatures are still warm, but it is now necessary to layer clothing in the mornings and evenings. Dry conditions prevail and the big herds break up into smaller groups. The bare winter trees make exquisite silhouettes against the endless blue skies – any photographer’s dream.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve - Buffalo and Wild Dog
Buffalo and wild dogs

There is a promise of Spring in the air as the days begin to lengthen. It is now a little warmer, but it is still dry and the vegetation is sparse. Wildlife is still easy to find as animals frequent the dams, pans and waterholes, which are by now the only water sources.

Spring arrives full of potential. The bushveld seems to hold its breath waiting for early rains. The days are noticeably longer, some green shoots appear in the dry bush and the dawn chorus of birds and insects escalates. Some of the female animals are showing signs of pregnancy.

The environment is bursting with colour, myriad shades of green. The first animal babies are born and a few species of migratory birds arrive backfilling the air with new sounds.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve - Lion and Cub
Lion and cub

Summer rainfall starts with the onset of magnificent afternoon thunderstorms soaking the bushveld for a short time – then disappearing. The temperatures are much warmer, day and night. There are newborn animals everywhere. The vegetation is lusher and denser, bushveld flowers burst into bloom, dotting the landscape with their magnificent colours. With all the youngsters filling the reserve, predators abound to take their opportunities.

A festive air is evident as the year draws to a close. The long hot days of summer are here, and the fresh mornings and warm evenings are a welcome relief. The green bushveld teems with life and all the migrant birds are back. With an abundance of wildlife and predators on the prowl, game viewing is spectacular.

Month by month, year by year, the cycle of life continues in this unspoilt paradise in South Africa, which is the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve.

View of Sunset from Selati Camp at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sands, Kruger National Park, South Africa
View of sunset from Selati Camp

Suggested Itineraries:
3-Day Sabi Sabi Game Reserve – Bush Lodge
3-Day Sabi Sabi Game Reserve – Earth Lodge
3-Day Sabi Sabi Game Reserve – Little Bush Camp

For more information on all four Sabi Sabi lodges, please contact us by phone at 1-800-245-0920, or by email at [email protected].

Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge - Deck, Sabi Sands, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Lounge Deck at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, South Africa
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge suite

For more information on other safari ideas in South Africa, please visit us at

Related Articles:
Sabi Sands Game Reserve in Kruger, South Africa
The Remarkable Kruger National Park in South Africa

Kruger National Park Turns 90!

Share with friends and family
Globetrotting Editor
Globetrotting Editor
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get the latest travel trends & hear about the best deals on vacations around the world.

If you’re a Globetrotter, these are the newsletters for you!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x