Barefoot in Africa Logo Wildlife Safari Encounters - Share the 'Big Game' experience

Designing your Barefoot safari

The Nitty Gritty Stuff

Ok, let’s get into some detail for those of you who are ready to start thinking seriously of a Barefoot in Africa adventure.  Here are some things you may need to think of.

You can get us to create a tailor-made itinerary for you or you can join a group tour with set departure dates and a set itinerary. If you want a special itinerary just for your group/family, you might need to consider things like:

  • How many nights you’d like to be on safari
  • How big your group will be (4-9 people is a perfect size)
  • How fit and adventurous you are (that will affect whether we do lots of walking or game drives)
  • When your arriving and departing international flights are so we can plan the itinerary (we can help you with cheapest flights too through our travel partners)
  • Do you want to see any other parts of southern Africa?  For example, Cape Town, Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years), Victoria Falls, Sun City, The Garden Route, Stellenbosch (wine region) or The Okavango Delta.  We can help you or advise you on some options that fit into the itinerary.
  • Do you want to be escorted all the way from Australia or from Johannesburg?  Or do  you fancy self-driving and meeting us at our first safari lodge?
  • Do you want to spend a little bit extra and fly directly from a major city (eg: Johannesburg) to the safari lodge?  Or do you prefer a longer but more scenic road trip?  You’ll need to allow more time for a drive through the country and it might be more tiring but it will be cheaper and you’ll see a bit of the country.
  • What level of luxury are you looking for?  You can spend upto $2000 per person per night but to be honest, we think that’s ‘overkill’.  Most of the lodges we use are luxurious, comfortable and authentic.  But the choice is yours. When’s the best time of year to go on safari?

The most important question is…when is it most convenient for you?  That’s the crucial factor.  Each season has plus points and negatives so if you can only make it a certain time of year, we can make it work for you.

Generally speaking, weather patterns are a bit like Australia’s.  Similar seasons and temperatures.  Here’s what you can expect from a safari perspective.

Summer: Dec, Jan & Feb -  This is usually the wet season and you can expect heavy rainfall at times.  As the summer progresses, the bush becomes thicker and there is more water available deep in the bush which means animals do not need to come to rivers and waterholes to drink, therefore game spotting can be tougher.  The lush vegetation can also make the bush more dense but the upside is that most of the herbivores (impala, zebra, wildebeest etc) tend to have their babies during this period, in turn, attracting predators too.  It’s as good a time as any time to get lucky and see a ‘kill’. It can be quite warm (upto 40 degrees centigrade) but it’s generally a dry heat.  All the lodges we use have fans or airconditioners.

Autumn & Winter: March through to August - The start of the season can still be quite warm and wet but can be  a great time for game viewing, especially during the spectacular impala rutting season.  As winter approaches, the weather is usually dry and it can get very chilly at night.  This is often the best time for spotting animals because the bush is usually very ‘thin’ and waterholes tend to be heavily used by all species.  Daytime temperatures are extremely pleasant but the nights tend to get quite cold, especially in open 4WD vehicles.  Don’t be fooled into thinking it doesn’t get cold in Africa – you’ll need to be rugged up to enjoy the magnificent game viewing at this time of year.

Spring: Sept, Oct & Nov - Arguably the best time of year to be on safari. The bush is extremely dry and vegetation sparse which means visibility tends to be good.  The temperatures are extremely comfortable and you will be guaranteed some excellent game viewing.  Many young will be born towards the end of this period which can be an amazing spectacle.  Early rains might start threatening towards the end of spring – you might see some unbelievable African thunderstorms if you are lucky.