Where and When to Go on Safari in Africa

18 Apr Where and When to Go on Safari in Africa

It is always disappointing to plan the trip of a lifetime only to have the weather be less than cooperative…

While the weather isn’t always predictable, you can plan your trip at the best time of year and location to give you the best chance at having a beautiful trip.

Just like you don’t want to visit the beach during hurricane season or the zoo in the middle of the summer; you want to make sure to plan your safari for the right place at the right time.

So exactly when and where should you go on safari in Africa?

Well, that can be a little tricky since each country has a different climate, terrain and variety of wildlife to offer but here’s the inside scoop:

 

The Places to Go:

 

Kenya
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72h in Kenya, '12

The Maasai Mara National Reserve is where you can find Kenya’s most abundant wildlife. This is where massive herds of animals make an annual migration across the plains through July and August.

If you go beyond the Masai Mara and Serengeti you can find plenty more quality parks with abundant wildlife include the soda lakes of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Bogoria, where thousands of colourful flamingos reside. In the North of the country is the Laikipia Plateau, a vast rangeland with the backdrop of Mount Kenya and home to a vast diversity of wildlife. Kenya is also a land of tribes and the bright colours of the Maasai and the Samburu are just as much a part of your holiday as the wildlife.

 

Tanzania
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Safari in Tanzania

The best months to visit Tanzania are from June until October and then again from December through until the rains break in March. The wildebeest migration moves in a clockwise direction are in the Serengeti and apart from August and september when the main herds will be in Kenya it is usually possible predict roughly where they are. Ngorongoro Conservation and Serengeti plains of northern region.

April and May tend to not the best time to go because of heavy rains causing many smaller camps to close due to the road conditions.

In addition to the migrations there are a many noteworthy sites including Mount Kilimanjaro, marine parks off the coast and the Olduvai Gorge which is also known as the Cradle of Mankind.

On top of all that there is The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the largest volcanic craters on earth. Over 30,000 animals live in the crater and it has the densest lion population in the world.

 

Botswana
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Botswana

Although it is the most expensive, Botswana gets booked up more rapidly than almost any other safari destination. It’s extraordinary variety of landscape takes most of the credit for this popularity.

There is so much to see; from the arid Central Kalahari Desert to the vast expanses of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, the labyrinthine waters of the Okavango Delta and lush floodplains and woodland of the Chobe.

If you want to take a Botswana safari, the cooler months of June and August is what many experts regard as the best time of year. There is little rain, game viewing is extremely good and the waters of the Delta allow mokoru trips through the channels.

 

Namibia
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NAMIBIA

This destination tends to fly under the radar for many safari travellers, which makes it a great destination if you are looking for somewhere different and less well-developed.

The country is dotted with incredible natural wonders including the Fish River Canyon, Namib and Kalahari Deserts and the diverse, game-rich area of the Etosha Pan.

Namibia is a captivating country that offers a unique sense of space and freedom that is sure to give you a profound experience.

 

Zambia
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Time Lapses shot in Zambia

Home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Zambia is a wonderful country to visit. It appears to have it all; from assorted stunning scenery to exceptional National Parks.

June through September is a great time to visit Victoria Falls, but anytime between May and September makes for an excellent safari trip.

The grasslands of the North tend to flood due to the tropical climate, which is a extraordinary sight as it becomes the home to thousands of hippos, birdlife and other lagoon inhabitants.

 

South Africa
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South Africa Wildlife

With remarkable scenery, history and culture, South Africa is much more than an excellent safari destination. Cape Town is a vibrant cosmopolitan city with incredible restaurants and a buzzing art scene. Travel along the beautiful Garden Route or head to Hermanus for incredible marine sightings including whales and sharks.

You can also enjoy world-class wine from the many vineyards and visit Kruger National Park to view an impressive variety of African game.

 

Malawi
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Lake Malawi

Many regard Malawi as the most beautiful country in Africa. It boasts every environment from sandy beaches to thick evergreen forests and mountain peaks. Rolling hills and green pastures surround the dazzling Lake Malawi. There are many alluring species of wildflowers and whilst not a big game destination there is a good scattering of interesting species.

Even better is that the Malawians themselves are some of the most friendly people you could ever hope to meet.

 

Uganda & Rwanda
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Rwanda & Uganda teaser

Since Uganda and Rwanda are both mountainous regions, the game viewing is mainly focused around the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees that dwell in the forest regions.

The climates there also support exceptional birdlife and dazzling wild flowers and the rivers and forests are home to crocodiles, hippos and the thundering water of Murchison Falls on the Nile River.

 

Coasts and Islands

Pristine beaches and clear seas offer a perfect place to relax and unwind.

Coastal destinations include Zanzibar, Pemba and the Seychelles as well as locations dotted along the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania. There are a number of islands just beyond the coastal regions including the Bazaruto Archipelago of Mozambique, Mauritius and Madagascar.

 

Mozambique
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Mozambique 2015

Along the East coast of Africa lies the treasure of Mozambique’s vast and opulent 1500-mile coastline.

With its white beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters and untouched coral reefs, the Bazaruto Archipelago is one of the most beautiful coastal destinations in Africa, and its diving opportunities are hard to beat.

 

Madagascar
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Madagascar - A Time Lapse

In the Indian Ocean to the east of Mozambique is the fourth largest island in the world.

Madagascar is home to a huge variety of wildlife including lemurs who are unique to the island.

It also boasts contrasting landscapes with wonderful beaches, reefs, amazing rainforests and mangrove swamps.

 

The Time to Travel:

The weather in Africa is no more guaranteed than any other place in the world.

Rain can come along at any time or not at all. The amount of rain, sun, and heat can vary a great deal from year to year and region to region (particularly in Kenya and South Africa).

The main season for safaris is from May to October when there is less chance of rain.

Would you like to learn more about taking an African safari? Contact Migration Safaris for a free consultation and our friendly and helpful team will contact you as soon as they can.

Image: flickrphoto by Wajahat Mahmoud licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

Ben Nelson

Ben Nelson

Ben is an Africa lover who will do anything to get himself out to this wondrous continent. Having self driven in Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, South Africa, and parts of Botswana, his knowledge of the roads in Africa is extensive. Self driving aside he’s also been to Zanzibar, where he likes to kite surf, and he often finds himself in Kenya’s Laikipia, as one of his closest friend manages Sosian Camp there. Keen and always excited, he looks forward to enlightening you about self drive safaris.
Ben Nelson
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