That, is a very typical question that the Mpala team gets all the time from their international friends, family members and also the Danish owners from up north. It is hard to say why everyone is so interested in the South African weather but when you look at the differences between Denmark where the owners are living and the South African temperature, we might find an answer.
As we all know Denmark is placed in the northern hemisphere and South Africa is placed in the southern hemisphere. Approximately one third of Africa is part of the southern hemisphere and it means that the winter time at Mpala Safari Lodge is from June to September and the summer time is from December to March. When looking at Denmark and the northern hemisphere we see the exact opposite. The winter time is from December to February and summer from June to September.
A few days ago (January 2016), Mpala Safari Lodge experienced 40 degrees C while some friends of the lodge were trying to keep themselves warm in Denmark where it was minus 5 degrees C outside. That is one of the extreme examples, but it is important to remember that the Danes are experiencing low temperatures because of wintertime and the Mpala people are experiencing high temperatures because of summer time at the moment.
But winter I not what you would expect at Mpala, because it is almost like a Danish summer !
Mpala Safari Lodge is beautiful and nicely tempered in both seasons and there are good reasons to go to this area in both winter and summer time.
The summertime is sometimes very hot and can call for a relaxing day at the pool with cold drinks. It is a good chance to get some color but the use of sunscreen is important because the South African sun can be very strong to the skin. The rainy season is during the summer months but rain is not predictable like in the more humid areas like at the Far East fx Thailand. Rain may come or may only rarely occur – mostly less than we hope for and as such, it is not right to talk about rainy season. The rainfalls come mostly in the summer months, which results in beautiful flowers and plants sprouting everywhere. When it rain, it is likely to do so during the nights. Thunderstorms may occur because of heavy rainfall and are a spectacular sight to be experienced. The wildlife have easier hide in the thick vegetation and they are full of nutrition because they can enjoy the many food and water sources that are to be found in this season.
The wintertime is the dry season. Temperatures during the day times are mostly around 23 degrees C, varying between 17-28 in the coldest months of June and July. During the nights the temperature drop to 1-2 degree C. August and September are commonly warmer and especially during the nights. The vegetation become less as the grass dry out and the trees and bushes lose their leaves and become fantastic silhouettes in the evenings. The sunsets are beautiful with reddish light on the sky in spectacular colorations. The animals cluster together and are easy to find especially close to the riverine areas where they can still find water and food. During this season, you see much more animals because of the thin vegetation and small number of hiding spots.
There are no high season or low season but all the seasons are beautiful and spectacular in their different ways and it is worth experiencing both. Do not worry if you have to choose, because regardless what the result will be, you will definitely be amazed by exciting experiences.