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When to travel to Africa

When to travel to Africa

Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are prime safari locations in January. The reason for this is that it is summer and therefore normally quite dry which means the animals tend to gather in substantial numbers around familiar and established water holes and sources.  This is also the time when gnu, zebra and the impressive wildebeest migrate and can be found in the northern parks of Tanzania. 

One of the best months to visit the northern parks of Tanzania for safari is February.   This is the time of year when the wildebeest produce many, many offspring!  Normally, within a short three week period.   Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are all great destinations in February if you are looking to see a variety of new born wildlife.

The best safari experience for visitors to East Africa is early March. The reason is that Tanzania Uganda and Kenya are still in their dry season so animals are very visible. The sheer volume and diversity of animals on offer cannot be beaten in this month.  Most importantly, visitors should note that March is NOT the month to see Gorillas in Uganda.

The month of April is a good month for visitors looking for discounted safaris. The rains normally start in East Africa before heading down to Southern Africa meaning animals have far more choice of water holes so do not tend to congregate as in the dry season making animal viewings more challenging.  The normally abundant rainfall means the vegetation can quickly become much denser making it even more difficult to spot animals whilst on safari.  More importantly guests should note that due to ferocity of some of these rainfalls the national parks dirt roads can be washed out and not possible to travel along.  However in the northern parks of Tanzania guests can enjoy an excellent safari experience with limited crowds.  As the cooler drier weather takes place the southern African countries of Namibia and Botswana become an attractive proposition in April.  The heavy rains in April also mean that the Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe) are at their spectacular best and can be combined as part of your trip with a visit to any of the Southern African safari destinations.

Zambia is probably the best country to visit in May.  Offering a truly wild African safari experience, Zambia also has one of the best walking safaris on the continent. May is one of the few months the parks operate at full capacity. As the dry season is well on its way the rest of Southern Africa is well worth a visit.  Those visitors who are very keen to go an East African safari will be disappointed to hear that May is not the best month to visit. However visitors will still see lots of animals with Tanzania offering the best opportunities. It is important for visitors to check that there desired camps and lodges are actually open in May.

The month of June is the month where Southern Africa offers its best safari experiences. It is the high season in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia. Visitors should not be fooled by the warm or hot days as the nightime can be chilly so a jacket is pre-requisite, also useful for your early morning safari drives.

July - September
From July to September visitors can take there pick of safari destinations, as all are open for business. The amazing migration of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest in Kenya’s Masai Mara offers a truly eye opening experience.  The wildebeest have to make several river crossings so many crocodiles lie in deadly wait for the more vulnerable or week wildebeest. The parks in Southern Africa are dry and packed with a huge and diverse selection of animals congregating around various water holes which you can enjoy from the comfort of your lodge bar.

Safari in October is best served in the destinations of Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The game viewing is normally very good as these countries' short rainy season makes viewing of animals easier.

Although the rainy season in Southern Africa is accompanied by significant heat and humidity, safari in Zambia is an excellent destination especially in the Liuwa Plain National Park. Another great migration takes place at this time of year which is smaller than the great East African migration but still very exciting to witness. A trip to Northern Tanzania is the best place for safari in the month of November as herds of animals migrate back to Serengeti Plains.  If its birds that you want to watch the Okavango Delta in Botswana  is the place to visit. Migrating birds descend upon the Okavango Delta in preparation for their breeding season which lasts right up to March.

December is dominated by the East African countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. The dry weather offers visitors excellent and often uninterrupted game viewing and the ultimate Christmas bush experience!

For further information and to start planning your tailor made African safari experience, contact the Southern Africa Travel team today!

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