The arrival of May in the northern hemisphere promises for long, warm and sometimes sunny days of summer. South of the equator, however, things are heading in the opposite direction. Days are shortening and chairs are getting pulled a little closer to the campfire.
Africa’s cooler temperatures coincide with drier weather as summer’s great rain-clouds wring themselves out and fade into winter’s empty blue sky. Kruger National Park is in its dry season. As the vegetation thins out, the bush starts to reveal the wildlife previously hidden by dense foliage. As the season changes, the chilly mornings are ideal for a walking safari in one of the private game reserves that encircle the Kruger. Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia are now also drying out quickly. Game viewing is becoming easier as summer’s generous greenery fades and big herds of zebra, elephant and buffalo move from rainy-season pastures to dry-season wetlands, their stragglers attracting the attention of predators.
But May’s fine weather is confined to Southern Africa’s parks and reserves as this is the main rainy season in East Africa. Much of South Africa basks in some of the year’s best weather and it’s a clever month to take a trip to the Indian Ocean too. Considering that May is a pleasant combination of almost-peak-but-certainly-not-low season – travelling to Africa you will also benefit from more room availability and no high-season crowds.
This is one of the best times to snorkel and dive off Mozambique as the seas are calm and clear and the weather is warm. The beaches of the Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos are glorious now. May is also the start of the Fishing Run.
May is in the period between the two seasons of trade winds, so there are beautifully clear and calm waters perfect for scuba diving. Stay at a private island paradise for ultimate freedom and flexibility.
Coming out of the rainy season, Zambia is lush and green with plenty of water in the wetlands, yet fewer tourists visiting as it is before the prime dry season. Shoebill stork and black lechwe can be seen in the Kasanka Wetlands, Bangweulu Swamps and South Luangwa National Park, and there's wonderful birdlife in Liuwa Plains.
The flood waters cover most of the Delta from May. This is an excellent time to game-view by mokoro (canoe) or take boat safaris through this water paradise. (May until September).