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A Subtropical Climate with Warm, Wet Summers and Cool, Dry Winters

As with much of South Africa, the Madikwe Game Reserve boasts some of the highest total hours of sunshine annually. Spring and summer give way to green, lush and thick bush. It is the time of the year where there are many newborn animals. Autumn and winter can be dry, the bush being less dense and waterholes frequented more often due to the lack of water.

The Reserve experiences summer rainfall with the bulk of the rain falling between November and March. Months of no or very little rainfall are May to August. The southern area, just north of the Dwarsberg range, normally receives over 600mm of rain per annum. The annual rainfall average is less in the northern section of Madikwe with the north-eastern corner receiving less than 500mm per annum. The varied rainfall naturally has an impact on the vegetation and fauna in the various regions of the Reserve. Generally the summer days are hot and the evenings mild with the winter days being mild and evenings cold.

 

Seasons in the Madikwe Game Reserve

Summer: November - March

This is the rainy season with beautiful thunderstorms that can last anything from 10 minutes to 2 hours. Since our yearly rainfall is only about 500mm, it does not rain every day; sometimes only once in two or three weeks. The days are hot, anything between 25°C and 40°C making the private plunge pools a welcome retreat. The bush starts off brown and bare in November and then soon turns into lush greenery with beautiful wild flowers. Loads of antelopes have their young during this period.

Autumn: April - May

The days are still warm, between 20°C and 35°C. No rain is expected in Autumn. No rain means very few bugs and insects. The bush is still beautifully green. Autumn is great for photography, the light is not as harsh as in summer time.

Winter: June – August

Day time temperatures are comfortable, between 15°C and 25°C. You will not be enjoying your plunge pool during these months unless you don’t mind ice cold water! It gets quite cold on game drive in the early morning and evening. Night time temperatures can be anything between 0°C and 15°C. The bush turns brown and bare, the trees lose their leaves, making it easier to see the animals. Animals also tend to visit the waterholes more often (the smaller water holes dry up during winter). There is no rain and no bugs in winter – not even dung beetles.

Spring: September – October

In Spring the days start to warm up again but probably not enough for you to enjoy your plunge pool. Temperatures will range from 20°C to 30°C, but early morning and late afternoon game drives will still be cold (wind chill factor). The bush is at its driest, almost no leaves on the trees, brown grass everywhere making game spotting much easier. Spring is great for photography! Especially the beautiful sunrises and sunsets.