July is a special time for safari, as the dry season is in full swing across East and Southern Africa. In Botswana, a great phenomenon occurs as the rains far away move downstream and flood the Okavango Delta. Scenic flights offer you stunning views over this huge wetland.
Travel to Africa in July and you will enjoy all the advantages that mid-winter brings to the continent. The summer rains are a distant memory, as are their attendant bugs and impenetrable greenery. Days are dry, mild and sunny; nights are cold and clear. In Southern Africa, animals are clustering at rivers and waterholes. In the Masai Mara in Kenya, the drama of the Wildebeest Migration is reaching its peak as two million animals cross the Mara River.
It's a tough call to decide where to go in July – more or less everywhere is good – but if it's heavyweight game viewing you want, in the best conditions, and with a tropical beach holiday to crown your safari, then have a look at our best recommendations.
From July until the end of September, migrating humpback whales can be seen off the coasts of both Madagascar and São Tomé and Príncipe. Stay in a private beachside villa to have the best chance of seeing them.
The Wildebeest Migration can be seen in the Maasai Mara. This is the time to see the dramatic river crossings made famous by wildlife documentaries. Private concessions around the Mara allow more flexibility and privacy.
July is a beautiful time to be on the coast and a good time to see whales.
Chimpanzee and gorilla safaris are excellent through to mid-October. The experience differs from mountainous Rwanda and Uganda to Odzala National Park in the Republic of Congo, which is flatter but the primates are more arboreal.
Game-viewing is phenomenal in Southern and Eastern Africa from June to October.
July is the beginning of the season when the southern right whales migrate from Antarctica to the Cape to calve. There are some outstanding hotels along the coastline that give you the best chances of seeing them both from land and by boat.
Southern Tanzania is fabulous at this time of year and especially in Ruaha where fabulous walking safaris are on offer. There is nothing better than spending time with an expert private guide, walking in the bush and learning so much about the wildlife you see along the way.
Walking safaris in Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe are fabulous at this time of year when the grass is short. Take short walks with your guide from your luxury camp or lodge, or embark upon a longer walking expedition with a private guide and mobile tented camp for the ultimate immersion.
The flood waters cover most of the Delta from May to July. This is an excellent time to game-view by mokoro (canoe) or take boat safaris through this water paradise. (May until September).