The Best Time of Year to Go on a Safari Tour
When planning a safari tour, it's important to know when the best time of year is. This will help your planner prioritize wildlife-driven factors and weather conditions to create the perfect trip for you.
For the most part, the best time to go on a safari is during the dry season, from June through October in Africa. This is because animals gather around water sources during this period due to their search for water.
Africa is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife and a safari tour is a must for any serious nature lover. Visiting during the dry season, when the grass and natural vegetation are sparse, is the best time of year to spot wildlife in their most natural habitat.
The drier months of June, July, and August are ideal for safari circuits in Kenya and Tanzania, with cooler temperatures enhancing the chances of seeing animals in open plains. This is also a great time to visit the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, one of the country’s most popular game parks.
Traveling to South Africa during the dry season is an excellent choice for a game-viewing trip as animals take advantage of this time to rest before breeding. In addition, the region is home to mighty elephants and other big mammals, as well as hundreds of bird species.
Many smaller camps and lodges are still operational during the low season, so it’s an ideal time to escape the crowds and enjoy some quieter, more authentic wildlife encounters in private African game reserves and concession areas. The cost of a safari will typically drop during this period, too, making it an excellent opportunity to secure last-minute savings.
This is a good time to visit the wilds of Botswana, especially in September and October when the weather is warmer and less rainy, but it’s a good idea to pack an umbrella as the sun can be very strong during these months. It’s also a popular time for safari-goers to see the gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda, as this is when they are most active.
It’s also a good time to spot the endangered black-footed penguins on their migration from Madagascar. This is also a good time to visit the Kruger National Park in South Africa, where the weather is drier than at any other time of year.
During the dry season, Namibia’s landscape changes significantly. The dunes and desert-like conditions can make driving on open-sided safari vehicles a challenge. Additionally, Namibia is a dusty place during this time, so it’s important to have appropriate clothing that will protect you from this. The dry season is also a busy tourism season in Namibia, so be sure to book your safari well in advance.
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Spring is the ideal time to get outdoors, enjoy bold, colorful new adventures and discover amazing wildlife on a safari tour. It's a great time to see the iconic Masai Mara migration in Kenya or take in the spectacular views at Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
During this time of year, the grass is short and dry, and animals are more easily seen. You can also spot zebras and wildebeest pregnant with their baby cubs.
A few key spots - including the Serengeti in Tanzania and Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe - are at their best during this time. Alternatively, visit the Okavango Delta in Botswana for incredible water-based game viewing.
Summer is another fantastic time to go on a safari tour in Africa. It's not only a time of excellent wildlife sightings, but it's a time of great birding too. This is because the dense vegetation thins out and female grazers are waiting for the rain to arrive so they can drop their babies.
In East Africa, the best time to go on a safari is during the Great Migration, when thousands of antelope and zebra move across the region in search of fresh grazing. The peak of the migration is usually December to March, though July and August are also good times to go.
If you're a twitcher (birder), this is one of the best times to visit because it brings more birdlife to the landscape, and the foliage is richer. It's also a good time to visit places where you can see lions and elephants.
This shoulder season is an excellent time to visit South Africa as it offers a good chance of seeing the famous Great Migration and is cheaper than mid-winter. You'll find better weather, fewer crowds, and lower rates in many of the country's top parks such as Shamwari and Phinda.
It's also a great time to explore Botswana on a mokoro, a type of dugout canoe because water levels are low and the passageways are easy to navigate. You can also explore the renowned Garden Route, which is ideal for driving along.
When you think of a safari tour, you probably picture the summer months. Those months are the best for getting out into the bush and seeing the vast array of wildlife that Africa has to offer.
Most of the continent experiences dry season during this time – June to October – and this makes it easier to spot wildlife. This is because animals gather around water sources, like rivers and waterholes, when they need it most, and thinning vegetation means you’ll be able to get closer to them than in the wet season.
You’ll want to take this into account when planning your safari. For example, if you’re after spotting elephants in Tanzania (or any other African country with large populations of these majestic mammals), your planner will recommend a trip in August or September. This is because elephants migrate to graze in the savannah during this period, and the Serengeti National Park is at its peak with constant river crossings.
The dry season also means that temperatures in South Africa’s northern game reserves are much lower, which makes it more comfortable for dawn and dusk drives. There are fewer mosquitoes during this time too, but you’ll still need to wear layers.
Eswatini, meanwhile, is a fairly dry safari destination, which makes it an ideal choice for those who are looking to go on a budget and still see the big game. Hlane Royal National Park and Mkhaya Game Reserve offer excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing, including elephants and rhinos.
For many travelers, a safari is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. So it’s no surprise that most people want to go during the best possible times of year – and the summer is no exception!
While the official dry season is between June and October, in some countries like Uganda, January, and February are considered the dry seasons too. This makes it an ideal time for gorilla trekking and is a great chance to visit some of Africa’s most iconic parks and conservation areas.
This is a time to go on a safari with a group of friends or family, as there will be fewer tourists. For those on a budget, this is also a good option as the prices are generally lower than in the high season. But make sure to ask your travel agent about the reasons for low and mid-season pricing, and give it some thought before booking a trip.
If you want to take a travel deals trip on a budget, there are plenty of ways to cut costs without losing out on the experience. One way is to use travel vouchers or discount travel packages.
Another is to look for coupon codes from Travel Promo Code. These are usually offered more frequently than general sales or flight deals, and they often give you the biggest discounts.
A safari tour is an adventure that is best experienced at a time when the weather is favorable and animals are out in their natural habitat. There are many factors to consider when planning a safari, including what activities you wish to experience, your budget and what time of year is the right time for you.
While it isn’t impossible to enjoy a safari anywhere in Africa, the best times of year vary greatly from region to region and also from one safari destination to another. The fall is the ideal time to go on a safari in southern Africa and Kenya as it is one of the best times of year for game viewing, especially if you are looking to catch some wildebeest migrating across the Serengeti or Masai Mara in Tanzania.
The dry season in South Africa, which runs from May to September, is another ideal time of year to visit as it is often drier than during the rainy season and the vegetation is much thinner, making spotting wildlife easier. Animals are drawn to waterholes and rivers in search of a drink, so the opportunity for a great wildlife viewing experience is increased at this time.
Botswana is one of the best places in Africa for a safari and it is particularly good during the fall, which is a fantastic time to watch huge herds of zebra and wildebeest moving between Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta. It is also a great time of year to see elephants along the Chobe River or at Etosha National Park in Namibia, where they are incredibly easy to spot around watering holes.
For visitors looking for a safari experience on a budget, Zimbabwe is also a fantastic time to go on a safari in February as it is still dry and the prices are lower than during the peak summer months. This is a fantastic time to see wildlife around the most popular waterholes and Victoria Falls is easily accessible.
For those who love the chance to see baby animals, a February safari in Kenya or Tanzania is an excellent choice as it is still a good time to see newborns. During this time, it is also the best time of year to see baby leopards in the Serengeti and other big game parks.
This is also a good time to visit the Kruger National Park in South Africa, where the weather is drier than at any other time of year. The fall is the ideal time to go on a safari in southern Africa and Kenya as it is one of the best times of year for game viewing, especially if you are looking to catch some wildebeest migrating across the Serengeti or Masai Mara in Tanzania. The dry season in South Africa, which runs from May to September, is another ideal time of year to visit as it is often drier than during the rainy season and the vegetation is much thinner, making spotting wildlife easier.