Songimvelo Game Reserve is one of the most diverse and aesthetically pleasing wilderness areas in South Africa. With its incredible mountain range and volcanic rocks, hidden valleys, cascading waterfalls and grassy savannas, it supports an amazing variety of plant and animal life. This is where guests of Humala River Lodge will experience several their first game drives and bush walks while on the safari portion of our Adventure and Safari Tour. The most common question we hear from our travelers planning their journey is, when is the best time to go?
We chatted with Humala’s resident General Manager, Wessel Roodt, to gain his insights.
Q: When are the best weather conditions at Songimvelo Game Reserve?
Wessel: This is a tough question since South Africa has good weather throughout the year. That being said, summer months are October to March, which are normally the rainy months and humidity is higher than normal (but nothing extreme), while May to August is cold, although the temperature hardly drops below zero degrees (32 degrees Fahrenheit) – it’s mainly the wind chill factor that makes it cold. Daytime, the African sun will heat up the day. With this information, if I can recommend a time to visit Humala based on weather, it will be March to May (rain season ends and day temperatures start to drop, the grass is green and game is mainly on the plains) whilst November is our flower season with the start of the rainy period.
Q: What are the best months for game viewing at Songimvelo Game Reserve?
Wessel: Game is dependent on grazing, and their movement cycles are dictated by the availability of food – mainly grass. At the end of the dry months (also the cold months) – August to the end of September, the plains are overgrazed and all possible food (grass) had disappeared. This is also the period when most of the animals migrated to the mountains to find food – more grass available during this period. As soon as the rain starts – normally October / November the veld turns green and the animals start to move down from the mountains (you still have animals on the open plains but the numbers are smaller). What is important to remember is that animal movements are dictated by weather patterns and the availability of food. During the period of February through May the food is in abundance (peak of the rainy season, thus rain is a regular occurrence on game drives), therefore the possibility is better to see bigger herds of animals on the plains.