Hunting in Winter, or Hunting in Summer – When is the Best Season to Hunt in Africa?

By Dylan Love – Professional Hunter

It seems the hunting industry put a spin on traditional time to hunt. The last two years saw the world rocked by world wide lockdowns and travel bans by a pandemic that has changed our lives forever. 

The pandemic’s effect on hunting seasons

Some will argue in the hunting industry that this disruption might have been a good thing for the wildlife. 

However it has been difficult for those in the tourism and Safari industries. In my opinion and experience as a professional hunter (PH), we can definitely see a positive shift in that it has opened up new possibilities. One of which is a shift away from the “traditional” time of year to hunt.

Hunting in winter

For decades, hunting in Africa has been a winter experience, and for decades people and businesses alike have aligned their activities around the belief that winter is the best season to hunt. 

hunting winter hunting summer

Why winter has traditionally be the favorite season for game hunting: 

  • Improved visibility. The thick African brush and long grasses thin out a bit in winter due to lack of rain. It also fades in color, making it easier to spot game. 
  • Watering hotspots. Game tends to congregate more around waterholes and rivers in the dry winter seasons. This makes spotting them so much easier. 

Hunting in summer

Winter has some clear benefits when it comes to hunting. So why would one consider coming to hunt or join a safari in the summer months? 

hunting winter hunting summer

Here are some reasons why we find our guests choose summer as the best season for hunting. 

  • Amazing weather. Expect extraordinary, rolling thunder storms sweeping across the wide savannah, warm evenings sipping cocktails that stretch into “Lion King” sunsets, surrounded by breathtaking scenery only experienced in Africa. 
  • Holiday escape with the whole family. Hunting in summer is more conducive as a joint holiday-and-hunting experience. Bring the whole family, and do a bit of hunting on the side. Imagine family-friendly accommodation, fun by the pool, game drives, upclose conservation, and lapa meals under the stars. 
  • Best kept secret. As summer is not the traditional hunting season, it is the best season to break away from the madding crowd, and relax in a more private, intimate setting with your loved one. 

The new best season to hunt in Africa: all year round on a well-managed hunting lodge

hunting winter hunting summer

Over the past year outfitters and hunters have tried to fit two hunting seasons into one in a bid to meet the demand post-lockdown. Some companies and land owners have been too busy or fully booked to accommodate all hunters that would like to hunt that piece of property or that company. 

In South Africa we have three ways you can hunt on properties

  1. CAE certificate of adequate enclosure. This allows hunters to hunt animals all year round when they hunt on properties with this certificate.
  2. Conservancy. Hunters have a predefined stock of game that they can hunt based on a quota of species that can be hunted through the year.
  3. Non-Proclamation species. Species that are not on the Proclamation and can be hunted all year round.

What does that mean for you?

When booking your next hunting safari, look out for safari companies that have the first two options at their disposal – like Huntershill Safaris. They can accept and take clients on hunting safaris all year round if their numbers are monitored and correctly managed. This means you can choose to do your hunting in winter or in summer!

This opens up new possibilities for you and your family to come and experience hunting in the traditional winter season, or at a time of year that for decades has never been considered.

What does this mean for the PH?

Well, it’s important to understand that your PH’s have a really important role to play when it comes to the ‘new’ option of hunting in summer

  • The animals need to be managed well in order to maintain lodge certifications. So whether you are on a cull hunt or trophy hunt the PH’s job is to pick out the old, weak and vulnerable, as well as consider genetics, breeding and herd numbers. 
  • Good client management is also extremely important. Too many hours out in the hot sun can lead to heat stroke as well as client fatigue. Comfort factors should be considered, such as making sure tick repellents are added and that there is always a second change of clothes in case of a surprise thunder storm. Hunting early mornings and late evenings will most likely be the order of events.

Final thoughts

You have an open invitation to hunt in the summer months! We’ve already experienced positive feedback from clients who have opted to hunt in summer, so why not come and experience what they are raving about. 

Break away this summer at Huntershill Safaris

Want to try a hunting safari in summer? We strongly encourage it as a great way to experience South Africa in a way that you would never have in winter.

Contact us today for your reservation!