Wouldn’t it be great to know for sure when is the best time to embark on your next African safari? In this guide, I will help you make that decision and plan accordingly. Just like any activity we engage in; going on a safari also requires some planning and knowing the right times of the year that your schedule allows.
Considering that you could only be having an empty time slot during the year; knowing when the best time is to visit a destination can be time saving. Also, this ensures you get the most out of your adventure. I will point out that different seasons of the year play a major role on the most ideal time to engage in tour activities.
Also, different destinations have different seasons across the year. Thus, this makes it important to have the knowledge while you are planning.
I will break down the best times for engaging in a specific safari tour across various countries in Africa. And I hope by this, you will have a perfect time slot for when you can embark on this amazing adventure.
So, lets dive in;
Safari in January to February
In this time of the year Tanzania shines among all other destinations. The reason for this is because, the great migration of the wildebeests from Tanzania’s Serengeti to Kenya’s Masai Mara.
The whole movement of these animals is just perfect to watch and experience. In addition to experiencing this wonder of the world, you will also have a chance to view the Africa’s most famous predator, lions.
This is the best time to see the full wild action as you’ve probably seen it on videos, only that this time round you will be witnessing these moments as they unfold. You will also have a chance to spot other animals like Cheetahs, hyenas, and wild dogs.
This is a hunting period and you will be treated to the most intense and captivating wild food chain of animals trying to take down each other for survival and food.
On top of that, you will have a chance to see wild animals like zebras welcome their newborns to the world. The whole experience is just hard to describe unless you see it for yourself. All the fighting going on to get food and protecting one’s young ones.
It’s a mixture of emotions as you watch this annual movement unfold right before your eyes and I can promise you will have great memories for your visit.
Safari in March to April
At this time of the year South Africa is best choice to consider. At time south Africa packs everything you will interested in your safari tour. This is also the perfect time if you want to avoid large crowds and you like to have a nice personal time while enjoying the nature and the beautiful nature.
Also, in this time of the year, the weather is very friendly since summer months fall between these months. Another tip for undertaking your safari not only at time of the year; is because south Africa has very nice exchange rates thus you will save on your budget which is a good thing.
Some of the interesting destinations include Kruger national park. This place is packed to the fullest with the big five. You will also have a chance to experience the culture and other services in the city of Johannesburg.
Another destination to consider is Ethiopia. At this period, the weather is perfect for your vacation. Some of the interesting places you might want to visit include the Simien mountains national park.
You will be treated with park’s sweeping mountains and deep valleys covered in the deep green of alpine forests. Some of the animals you should expect to see include (leopards, the jackals, hyenas, caracals) and many more.
You also have an opportunity to view the rare Simien fox.
Safari in May to June
There is no better place to be at this time of the year than in Madagascar. Although, at this time it’s with months, but it’s close proximity to equator makes the temperatures perfect for the adventure.
You will experience islands uniqueness and richness in wildlife with hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals.
Another place to consider is Zimbabwe. This is the peak season for safaris at this destination. The reason for this is that in May there is a transition from wet and dry seasons. The days are warm and pleasant, while the nights are chilly.
The dry weather makes the animals to gather along country’s rivers and watering holes; thus, a great opportunity for viewing. It’s also the perfect time for avoiding overcrowding which is common in other months of the year.
Zimbabwe also has the wondrous Victoria falls which you will have a chance engage in various water games and generally having a great relaxation time.
Safari in July to August
At this time Kenya has something to offer; those of the wildebeests who survive the Grumeti river crossing gradually make their way north to the Masai Mara in Kenya. The animals still have to cross another river which runs along the Tanzanian and Kenya border, and separates the Serengeti from the Masai Mara.
This is a great opportunity to witness the second crossing as it happens, and you are guaranteed viewing. It’s one of those awe-inspiring events that, once witnessed, its positively life changing.
This is also a perfect period for visiting Rwanda to see mountain gorillas since the season is dry, clear, sunny skies makes it easier to view these amazing creatures.
Safari in September to October
This is the best time to visit Rwanda if you are interested in chimpanzee trekking. The reason you want to plan for this period is because it’s when the rainy seasons begins.
And thus, food will be abundant compared to dry season, so chimpanzees will be easier to find. One of the best places for chimpanzee trekking is Nyungwe National park. This destination is packed with 13 different species of primates including the beautiful blue monkeys that live in the treetops.
There are also lots of forest lodge where you can see the amazing views of the forest from the comfort of your bedroom window.
Another prime destination around this time is Kenya. This is because the exhausted wildebeests and zebras finally reach their destination, the Masai Mara plains followed closely by their predators.
Also, since the season is normally dry and cooler; it’s the perfect time for cheetah and lion spotting. The dry season makes it easier to view animals as they normally gather near waterholes, rivers and lakes.
Another popular destination is Zimbabwe’s Hwange national game reserve. You will have the best opportunity for engaging in white water rafting adventure on the Zambezi river. This is because the water levels are low, and rapids are fast; thus, providing the ideal rafting conditions for those wanting something extra apart from wildlife viewing.
Safari in November to December
Towards the end of the year in Namibia it’s the wet season which is the best time for an avid bird watcher. This makes this destination idea at this time of the year. You will also have a chance to experience the greatest spectacles of flocks of pink flamingos that gather on the saltpans of Etosha national park.
Other interesting viewing opportunities include; parrots, bare-cheeked babblers, swallow-tailed bee eaters and migrating birds from the northern hemisphere.
If you would like to witness the wildebeests making their way back south to Serengeti plains, Tanzania is the best place for that. Also, being in close proximity with holidays you have a chance to have a relaxation experience at the Christmas beach holiday at Zanzibar.
And lastly, this is also a great time to visit Kenya; though you would argue the great action is long gone; but this is a great time and you will certainly enjoy more since it would be less crowded.
On top of that, since it’s a low peak, you have a chance to get better deals for your safari tour.
These are my recommendations for best time to plan for your next safari adventure. I hope you find something that fits your time and schedule and finally make that dream vacation come true.
Let me know in the comments below how you’re planning on undertaking this life changing adventure.