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Best Time to Go on Safari

Best Time to Go on Safari

The best time to go on safari can be a challenge to work out, so we share when to go on safari, as well as where to go and the reasons to go.

When organising your African safari, researching the optimal time for your desired experience is essential. Avoiding cyclone seasons for beach holidays and timing migrations ensures fulfilling encounters. Africa generally boasts warm, sunny weather year-round, yet diverse climates across countries and regions require tailored planning to make the most of your journey.

Where to go on safari

Reasons to Plan a Safari Trip

Embarking on a safari trip is a dream for many, and the allure is undeniable. Witnessing animals in their natural habitat is captivating, leaving you with memories to cherish forever. Below, discover more compelling reasons to plan a safari trip.

  • Immersive Wildlife Experience – safaris offer unparalleled opportunities to witness animals in their natural habitats, observing their behaviours and interactions up close.
  • Breathtaking Scenery – from vast savannas to lush forests and majestic mountains, safari destinations boast stunning landscapes that leave lasting impressions.
  • Cultural Encounters – many safari destinations provide insights into indigenous cultures, allowing you to interact with local communities and learn about traditional ways of life.
  • Adventure and Thrills – game drives, bush walks, and other safari activities offer adrenaline-pumping experiences, creating unforgettable memories for adventure enthusiasts.
  • Photographic Opportunities – safari trips offer opportunities to capture stunning images of wildlife and landscapes, with ample opportunities for impressive shots.
  • Educational Experience – knowledgeable guides provide valuable insights into the ecosystems, wildlife, and conservation efforts, fostering a deeper understanding of nature.
  • Relaxation and Disconnecting – safari lodges and camps offer tranquil settings where you can unwind, disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and reconnect with nature.
  • Environmental Conservation– many safari operators prioritise sustainable practices and contribute to wildlife conservation efforts, offering a chance for participants to support initiatives while enjoying a safari experience.
kenya family safari

The Best Places for a Safari 

Several destinations worldwide offer exceptional safari experiences. These places have unique landscapes and offer fascinating wildlife encounters. If you need ideas, here are some options when looking at where to go on Safari.

  • Uganda – There are incredible gorilla safaris in Uganda. Visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to encounter these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. The dry seasons from December to February and June to September are ideal to visit, especially for gorilla trekking.
  • Kenya – Best visited during the Great Wildebeest Migration from July to October, where you can witness millions of wildebeest and other animals crossing the Mara River, creating an awe-inspiring spectacle. A Kenya family safari trip is a great option for first time safari goers!
  • Tanzania – like Kenya, it’s ideal to visit Tanzania during the Great Migration season. From December to March, witness the calving season with new-born animals or from June to October, observe river crossings.
  • South Africa – South Africa’s Kruger National Park is open all year round and offers incredible wildlife sightings. The dry winter months from May to September are excellent for game viewing due to sparse vegetation and concentrated water sources.
  • Botswana – visit from June to October, the dry season when wildlife congregates around water sources, making for exceptional game viewing. Alternatively, visit during the wet season from November to April for lush landscapes and birdwatching.
Where to go on safari

Best Time to Go on Safari

The best time to go on a safari varies depending on the destination and the experiences you seek. Knowing the different seasons can help you plan your trip accordingly. 

  • Dry season – the best time for wildlife viewing is the dry season due to sparse vegetation and animals gathering around water sources. Dry seasons vary by region but generally occur during winter in the Southern Hemisphere (May to October) and during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer (December to March). Countries like Botswana, South Africa, and Kenya offer prime safari experiences during this time.
  • Wet season – enjoy lush landscapes, baby animals, and fewer tourists in the wet season. While wildlife may be difficult to spot due to denser vegetation, the wet season allows unique opportunities for birdwatching and witnessing animal births. Wet seasons vary by region but generally occur during summer in the Southern Hemisphere (November to April) and winter in the Northern Hemisphere (April to November).
  • Migration season – witnessing the Great Migration in East Africa is a bucket-list experience, occurring from July to October in the Maasai Mara (Kenya) and from December to March in the Serengeti (Tanzania), as millions of wildebeest and other animals migrate in search of food and water.
  • Shoulder seasons – these transitional periods between wet and dry seasons offer a balance of wildlife sightings and fewer crowds. Consider visiting during shoulder seasons for a more intimate safari experience with pleasant weather.
 Best Time to Go on Safari

The Different Types of Safaris

When people think of safaris, they immediately associate it with game drives. However, beyond the traditional game drives, there are many other ways to explore the wilderness for thrilling animal encounters. Each type of safari offers distinct advantages and experiences, catering to different interests and preferences.

  • Walking Safaris – for a more intimate and immersive experience, why not try a walking safari in Africa, exploring the bush on foot, accompanied by knowledgeable guides? Walking safaris allow you to appreciate the finer details of the ecosystem, from tracking animal footprints to identifying bird calls.
  • Canoe Safaris – in regions with waterways, such as the Okavango Delta in Botswana or the Zambezi River in Zambia, canoe safaris are popular. As your canoe glides silently along the water’s surface, enjoy a unique perspective on wildlife and close encounters with aquatic species like hippos and crocodiles.
  • Hot Air Balloon Safaris – for a bird’s-eye view of the landscape and wildlife, hot air balloon safaris offer a thrilling and unforgettable experience. Drifting silently above the savannah at sunrise or sunset, enjoy panoramic views of the wilderness and witness the beauty of the African landscape from above.
  • Horseback Safaris – this combines the thrill of horse riding with wildlife viewing, allowing you to explore the bush in a unique and adventurous way. As you ride a horse through the wilderness, spot wildlife from a different perspective while enjoying the freedom and exhilaration of horseback riding.
  • Gorilla Trekking – offers a thrilling and intimate encounter with endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Led by experienced guides, you will trek through dense forests to observe these majestic creatures up close in destinations like Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Game Drives – the most common safari activity involves traversing the savannah in a safari vehicle led by experienced guides. Game drives offer the opportunity to spot a wide range of wildlife, including lions, elephants, and giraffes while enjoying the comfort and safety of a vehicle.

In conclusion, the best time for your safari adventure depends on various factors, including your destination preferences and safari activities. Whether you’re drawn to witnessing the Great Migration in East Africa, embarking on a walking safari in Botswana, or trekking to see mountain gorillas in Uganda, careful consideration and proper research are crucial to guarantee a memorable and rewarding experience.

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