When Is the Best Time for a Safari in Africa?

When Is the Best Time for a Safari in Africa? The optimum time to go on safari in Africa is between May and September. This coincides to the dry season in the major safari nations. Wildlife is more likely to be seen at this time of year since the foliage thins down and the animals congregate near remaining water sources. It is also cooler, and the likelihood of rain disrupting your safari is quite minimal.

Best Time for a Safari in Africa.

Various African safari destinations are best visited at specific seasons of the year. When arranging a vacation for a given month, research where the greatest spots to visit are. To help you plan your vacation, we’ve included a month-by-month breakdown of safari highlights.

January Safari in Africa

Most safari destinations in Africa get some rain in January. This comes with rich greenery, breathtaking views, and few people. Because of the rains, animals in certain parks may be spread, but now is an excellent time to explore Tanzania’s Southern Serengeti.

The calving season here in late January marks the start of the wildebeest migration. The gathering of millions of wildebeest also attracts a large number of predators. Similarly, in Botswana, zebras migrate in lesser numbers across the Makgadikgadi Pans. Despite being a wet nation, Uganda has a drier season from January to February, which allows for optimal gorilla trekking conditions.

February Safari in Africa.

The wildebeest calving season peaks in February. The Southern Serengeti is the place to be to witness the migration and intense predator activity. Botswana’s salt pans fill up, attracting an increasing number of animals.

January and February are typically dry months between East Africa’s lengthy and brief rainy seasons. This makes it an ideal time for gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda or Congo’s Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park; and general wildlife viewing in the region. Be prepared for a cuteness overload with so many baby animals around.

March Safari in Africa.

Late March is an excellent time to watch wildebeest migrate north from their breeding sites in the Southern Serengeti. You could witness large herds of wildebeest strolling in single line, their newborn offspring in tow. March brings heavy rains to most of southern Africa. However, it is a wonderful time to visit South Africa, with pleasant weather and excellent wildlife watching in locations like Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

April Safari in Africa.

The Okavango Delta in Botswana comes to life with the annual arrival of floods in April. This creates opportunity to explore this aquatic beauty via mokoro (dugout canoe). Furthermore, as water levels rise, most of the wildlife migrates to Chief’s Island, making it ideal for walking safaris and game drives. Victoria Falls, located between Zambia and Zimbabwe, is currently reaching its peak volume. There may be too much spray to see anything, but standing in front of the world’s biggest sheet of water as it falls at full power is a sobering experience.

May Safaris in Africa.

May marks the start of the dry winter season in southern Africa. The combination of better animal viewing and milder weather (compared to midwinter) makes this shoulder month an excellent choice for a safari in the area. The transitional month also marks the end of the rainy season in East Africa, presenting opportunities for low-season discounts.

June Safaris in Africa.

Most parks and reserves in East and Southern Africa provide the finest animal viewing during the dry season, which lasts from June to September. June and July are ideal months to watch the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti’s Western Corridor. If you’re lucky, you could spot the creatures crossing the Grumeti River. It is also the ideal month to watch the sardine run off the east coast of South Africa. This maritime extravaganza, which involves billions of sardines migrating with sharks, dolphins, whales, and birds, is breathtaking.

July Safaris in Africa.

July is a wonderful month for visiting the Okavango Delta. Despite the fact that it is the midst of the dry season, water levels are high enough for dugout canoe voyages. These perfect circumstances last until October.

Meanwhile, you’ll be able to capture beautiful shots of Victoria Falls while the water volume is moderate to low and the spray does not obscure the view. Most parks provide good wildlife watching opportunities. Large elephant herds congregate in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park and Botswana’s Chobe River.

August Safaris in Africa.

August offers excellent wildlife watching opportunities throughout Africa. The hiking conditions for gorillas and chimps in Rwanda and Uganda are perfect. Thousands of elephants congregate in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, while the end of the dry season is ideal for walking safaris in Mana Pools National Park. Further south, during August and September, the rains turn South Africa’s semi-desert Namaqualand region into a sea of flowers.

September Safaris in Africa.

September, which marks the conclusion of the dry season in most parts of Africa, is often a wonderful month for wildlife watching in parts of East and Southern Africa. The famed Mara River crossings in northern Tanzania and Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve mark the most dramatic part of the wildebeest migration. Whales may be spotted along South Africa’s southern coast from June to November, with September being the busiest month. And the finest site to witness these monsters is Hermanus, which hosts the annual whale festival in September.

October Safaris in Africa.

Though October may be quite hot in southern Africa, wildlife viewing is as superb as it gets. Everywhere, animals are hunting for water. Huge elephant herds congregate near the Chobe River. In Namibia’s Etosha National Park, several diverse animals may be seen drinking together in waterholes. Thousands of hippos dominate the final surviving river basins in Tanzania’s Katavi National Park, while the wildebeest migration moves over the Masai Mara.

When Is the Best Time for a Safari in Africa?
When Is the Best Time for a Safari in Africa?

November Safaris in Africa.

In November, the rains had reached most African safari sites, and the drabness of the dry winter months was gradually fading. The birding is great, with migrants coming in and numerous species displaying their breeding plumage. From November to March, sea turtles lay eggs on South Africa’s sandy beaches, and a midnight turtle-spotting excursion is a highlight of any vacation to the area.

December Safaris in Africa.

Botswana’s ‘Emerald season’ (another term for the Wet season) lasts from December to March. During this season, the desert’s fresh green grass and filled-up pans attract a large number of animals. Most remarkable is Africa’s longest animal migration. Rain triggers the yearly migration of over 20,000 zebras from the Chobe River floodplains south to Nxai Pan National Park. This is also a good time for gorilla trekking tours in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo as this period marks the low season and you can always get a good bargain for your gorilla trekking safari.

To sum it up; Africa has seasons, much like the rest of the globe. Summer and winter in Southern Africa occur at different periods than in the northern hemisphere. It is not always warm in Africa; during the (usually dry) winter months, most parks may be rather cool in the early mornings and nights. East Africa has no winters or summers since it is so near to the equator. Instead, the seasons are dominated by rain. In certain regions, traveling during the wet season might be difficult. The dry season, with its bright days, is often good for a safari trip.

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