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Where and when to go on safari to Africa – A country by country guide

Anthea Graham By Anthea Graham
25 Aug 2017
Africa - When to Go on Safari Chart.jpg

Thinking of going on safari? With so many choices and so much to see, here is a useful table with best time to travel to Africa on safari - at a glance.

For more detailed advice on when to visit Africa



  • Africa - Kenya - Elephant Watch Camp - by Albee Yeend.jpg


One of the main purposes of a safari is to see the wildlife – but with the rapid decrease of natural habitat and merciless poaching occurring, now is the time to go – before it is too late! The best months for game viewing in East Africa are all year around, apart from May which is when the heavy rains usually fall.  In southern Africa, the best months are June to December, and the Cape area - January to June, as well as September.


  • Africa - Botswana - Okavango - Motswiri - game viewing by mokoro.jpg

Delta and Desert:

With almost 30% of Botswana given over to wildlife, and a caring leader who has banned hunting, this is the place to enjoy a truly wonderful safari - either walking, four wheel drive, in a boat or canoe, or on horseback. To enjoy the delta and desert fauna of Botswana - our favourite months are February, April and May. Central Botswana is at its best in Africa’s summer, when the region’s desert and salt pans turn green and lush. However this privilege comes at a cost, being one of the more expensive areas in Africa.


  • Africa - Uganda - Murchison Falls National Park - Crowned Cranes by Kate Pirie.jpg

Bird Watching:

For bird watchers, Africa’s vast range of environments make for an incredibly diverse bird population. From the stunning coasts on the Atlantic and Indian oceans, deserts, mountain forests and marshlands, giving a huge variety of African and country-specific endemics, as well as migrant birds here to breed and ‘summer’ in the southern hemisphere. We can advise you on the best lodges and areas for your birding interests, with September to March being the best months to visit. Migrant species return in November.


  • Africa - Tanzania - Selous - Sand Rivers - walking.jpg


The thrill of being connected to the dusty earth; the thumping heart when close to an elephant or watching an army of Matabele ants swarm over prey – appreciating the minutiae of life being played on the ground. Walking safaris are best in the dry months when the grass is shorter for better visibility. In most countries your best bet is going in June to October, although this can be extended in East Africa in the Selous and Katavi areas.


  • Africa - Tanzania - Mount Kilimanjaro - Tanzania Tourism.jpg

Mountain Climbing:

If you want to experience walking from the equator to the North Pole in six days, climb Kilimanjaro - a snow covered mountain on the equator, with forested foothills rising out of the savannah like a Christmas pudding. In the higher reaches are strange life forms found only on a few other peaks worldwide. From these mountain tops feel inspired with the vision of new beginnings. January/February & August/September are excellent for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Meru and Mount Kenya.


  • Africa - Uganda - Gorilla by Kate Pirie.jpg

Gorilla Trekking:

To see these amazingly docile and gentle creatures is one of life’s privileges, and something you will NEVER forget. The last remaining groups can be found in Rwanda, the Congo and Uganda – and the best time to go Gorilla Trekking is in the drier times of the year avoiding April/May and mid-October to November.

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