UNDERSTANDING THE KALAHARI

SEASONS

There is no ‘best time’ to visit Tswalu: each of our four seasons offers unique viewing opportunities and changing landscapes as the Kalahari responds to the presence or absence of water.

SPRING AT TSWALU

The mercury begins to climb during September and October, although evenings can still be a little bracing, so come prepared.

Thorn bushes are softened by blossoms, and the night echoes to the calls of amorous barking geckos (the quintessential sound of the Kalahari). Meerkat pups venture outside their dens for the first time, and there is a palpable sense of anticipation as we await the summer rains.

SUMMER AT TSWALU

Summer is Tswalu’s longest and most important season. Between November and March, hotter days are punctuated by delightfully mild evenings and spectacular afternoon thunderstorms.

While rain may be a regular inconvenience elsewhere, at Tswalu it is both unpredictable and near miraculous. Consider yourself fortunate if it rains during your time here as you’ll witness the almost instantaneous eruption of colour as the Kalahari transforms into a carpet of golden flowers.

Many species coordinate their reproductive cycles with the reappearance of the rains. New life is evident everywhere, from wobbly young antelope to irrepressibly curious jackal pups. Flocks of migrating birds descend on Tswalu to enjoy summer’s bounty.

AUTUMN AT TSWALU

In the southern Kalahari, the autumn months of April and May are marked by milder days and cooler evenings, as the last of the summer rains peter out.

The savannah remains at its greenest, and shimmers as the breeze carries seeds aloft. The sounds of clashing horns carry across the landscape as the impala rut reaches its peak, while tortoises and other reptiles prepare to hibernate through the winter.

WINTER AT TSWALU

Between June and August, temperatures can dip below freezing overnight (although the days remain pleasantly warm). The contrast between the red earth and white early morning frost is a visual treat.

Winter is our driest season at Tswalu, with dust devils dancing across the sand dunes and exceptional stargazing on cloudless nights. Nocturnal species change their daily routines, tempted above ground by afternoon sunshine. This makes winter a wonderful time and look for aardvark, aardwolf and pangolin.

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