Our Top Picks for May

Whether you are planning to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration in East Africa, experience a Big 5 safari in the Kruger National Park or spend your honeymoon in the Seychelles, timing is important. Our guidelines are based on our expert, on-the-ground knowledge of Africa’s travel seasons.

kwaZulu-Natal - South Africa

SeasonAutumn Average Temperature for May 23 Celsius 73 Fahrenheit

What

A ‘bush, beach, berg and battlefields’ self-drive road trip.

Why

kwaZulu-Natal is one of South Africa’s smallest provinces but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for with an absorbing mix of big game safaris in private reserves and national parks, sandy sub-tropical beaches, the impressive Drakensberg mountain range for hiking and an array of famous historical landmarks including significant battlefields and the site where Nelson Mandela was ultimately captured by the police.

When to book

May is a great month to visit KZN because the South African school holidays are over. Book as soon as you want to go because game viewing in places like Phinda Private Game Reserve and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park is starting to ramp up with the onset of the cooler, drier weather.

Good to know

Check out our expert look at a berg, bush and battlefields holiday.

The Seychelles

SeasonAutumn Average Temperature for May 28 Celsius 83 Fahrenheit

What

Astonishing underwater visibility of up to 30 metres or 90 feet for divers and snorkelers.

Why

The dry weather means calm water, making the Seychelles a haven for underwater explorers.

When to book

The Seychelles is always a popular honeymoon destination for international travellers and, with the northern hemisphere summer wedding season kicking off in about May, we suggest booking as soon as you know you want to go for the best deals.

Good to know

Be inspired by our 10-day adventure in the Seychelles.

Bazaruto & Quirimbas Archipelagos - Mozambique

SeasonAutumn Average Temperature for May 23 Celsius 73 Fahrenheit

What

Excellent visibility for snorkelers and divers.

Why

With the annual cyclone season and the intense heat of summer now long past, the cooler weather and calmer water conditions means spectacular diving. Bazaruto is good for families as it has bigger resorts and boutique hotels while the Quirimbas maintains an exclusive ‘desert island’ feeling with a sprinkling of upscale beach lodges

When to book

Mozambique is still under the radar but is becoming more and more popular as travellers discover its incredible beaches, laidback culture and wonderful reefs. We suggest booking as soon as you decide to go to get your first choice of the small selection of top beach lodges.

Good to know

How to combine Mozambique with the Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Eastern Cape - South Africa

SeasonAutumn Average Temperature for May 17 Celsius 62 Fahrenheit

What

Spot the ‘Big 7’ at Addo Elephant National Park. In addition to the classic Big 5 – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino – the third-largest national park in the country has a protected marine section where you can see great white sharks and southern right whales, in season.

Why

The Eastern Cape province is a great place to end a Garden Route self-drive or go on a ‘beginner’s safari’. The climate is temperate and the whole area is malaria-free – ideal if you’re travelling with young children or older travellers.

When to book

May is a sweet spot – peak safari season is just starting, heralding cooler and drier weather. Because of its ‘secret gem’ status, Addo isn’t as jam-packed as the Kruger National Park so you can probably book two or three months before you want to travel to secure your first choice of accommodation.

Good to know

Read about what to expect on a safari to Addo and a visit to the Eastern Cape.

Okavango Delta - Botswana

SeasonAutumn Average Temperature for May 21 Celsius 69 Fahrenheit

What

A water-based safari in the world’s biggest inland delta.

Why

Although the rainy season has largely passed by May, the Okavango Delta is slowly filling up with all the water that has fallen in the past few months, much of it trickling down from the Angolan highlands. As the rest of the country starts drying up, the Delta’s surging waters start plenty of game who will pass winter here, with ample water supply. The higher water levels also mean you can enjoy mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe) rides and spells on high-speed motor boats.

When to book

Botswana is almost always in demand because of its fantastic game viewing and premium lodges. Although May isn’t quite peak season yet, it’s worth booking as early in the year as possible to secure your first choice of accommodation.

Good to know

Take your pick of the 24 best things to do in Botswana or learn how having a private guide can help you get the best out of this incredible destination.