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South African Safaris for First Timers

Paul Campbell - August 30, 2012

Like many other people, you may well have dreamt of experiencing a South African safari; at least once in your life. Fortunately, the multitude of options and locations now makes this dream far more achievable than it once was. Of course, if you are new to the world of safari holidays then there may well be a few aspects which you are likely to be a little unsure of. Indeed, factors like when the best time of year is to go and which part of the country you should visit are just some of the key aspects which you may naturally want to find out more about.

Thankfully, we here at Travel Butlers know more than a thing or two about organising enjoyable safaris to South Africa so we thought it would only be right to provide you with a few helpful pointers.

When to go

Although South Africa as a country is a great year-round destination, winter (June to September) is generally the best time to visit when it comes to wildlife watching. The reason for this is that many trees and shrubs are leafless in the winter; therefore you will find it much easier to spot animals. In addition, food and water are also more limited in the winter so the animals will be out in the open more often, foraging and hunting for food and drinking at waterholes. It should be noted that South Africa’s countryside is beautiful and lush in the summer (December to February); however, it can be harder to spot animals at this time of year as they can often become obscured by dense shadows.

Where to go

South Africa has over 600 parks and reserves so you can rest assured that you will be able to find one that will meet your requirements. Even so, when it comes to South Africa safaris for first-timers, there are two parks which stand out as being particularly good options:

Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is known throughout the world for the quality of the safari experiences it is able to provide. All of the most iconic African animals can be found here so you can rest assured that you will not go home disappointed. The park has accommodation which ranges from isolated campsites to bungalows and cottages in busy compounds, whilst the surrounding towns offer hotels, hostels and resorts for all budgets.


Located in the heart of Zululand, the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park combines lush scenery with all of the awe-inspiring wildlife you would expect to see on a South African safari. The beautiful beaches which are located along the nearby Elephant Coast are amongst the finest in the country so you can look forward to enjoying a refreshing dip after an eventful day of animal spotting.

If the above information has whetted your appetite for South African safaris then why not take a few moments to explore our pages further. Who knows, your dream safari may be even closer than you think?

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