Summer in the Karoo can be very hot, with temperatures reaching over 35ºC. The height of summer is the period December-February. Expect hot sunny days with the occasional afternoon thunderstorm, which makes for stunning light and great photographic opportunities. Waterproof ponchos are provided on game drives in case of showers. In summer, T-shirts, vests and shorts are de rigeur, but don’t forget a hat and suncream – the African sun can be very harsh. Since the Karoo is a semi-arid area, the temperature drops off significantly once the sun goes down, so we recommend a fleece and light jacket once dusk has fallen and for night drives.
The Karoo experiences winter during the months of June, July and August. Temperatures fall significantly and it is not unusual for there to be snow on the highest mountain peaks. Daytime temperatures are mostly mild and balmy, though evenings and early mornings are cold. Fleece ponchos and hot water bottles are provided on all game drives, however we do recommend that you bring your own thick jacket, gloves, scarf and beanie to ward off the chill. Winter days tend to be sunny (max 20ºC around midday) so light clothing and T-shirts are also advisable. The winter months are often the best for game-viewing and the early afternoon sunlight coming in at a lower angle in the sky is simply spectacular. What’s more, generally clear skies at night mean excellent stargazing.
The transition months are some of the most beautiful and underrated, both in terms of weather and game-viewing. The end of March, April and May fall into South Africa’s autumnal ‘Secret Season’ – a time of year when the hordes of tourists have departed yet the weather remains beautifully temperate. Daytime temperatures are typically milder than in summer, although the mercury begins to drop at sunset. We recommend a combination of warm-weather clothing and long-sleeved layers for the evenings.
Spring time is from September to November, and the weather is similar to that of Autumn, except that the days start to get longer and the temperatures warmer as Summer approaches. This is an ideal time for game-viewing, as many antelope have their young and the rains return. There are few smells more evocative than the fragrant bush after the first rains.