As the dry season really sets in across East and Southern Africa, September is a popular choice for wildlife viewing. South Luangwa in Zambia is known for its walking safaris and prolific sightings of leopard, which are even easier to spot in the parched land at this time. Mornings are chilly, so we recommend getting out in the bush early before the temperatures rise and wildlife seeks out shade.
In Southern Africa, winter’s crisp conditions are replaced by perfect ‘not-too-hot-not-too-cold’ weather. Namibia and Botswana are excellent destinations for a safari in September. Waterholes and riverbanks are crowded with animals and destinations such as BwaBatwa National Park and the Chobe River deliver very close sightings of elephants. You will also see plenty of alert, swivel-eared antelope at the water’s edge - these large concentrations of game attract predators and your chances of seeing big cats and wild dogs in action are high.
Over in East Africa, the Wildebeest Migration’s herds are enjoying a well-deserved temporary stay in Kenya after surviving their treacherous river crossings, which makes the Masai Mara one of the best places to visit in Africa in September. Tanzania’s lesser-known parks and reserves see much less visitors so if you’re looking for uncrowded game viewing in supreme wilderness areas, destinations like Ruaha and Selous are great options for a safari in September. Tarangire National Park in northern Tanzania has its own elephant migration at this time of year.
Choosing the best places to visit in Africa in September depends entirely on what you’d like to see and experience. To make your decision a little easier, here are our best recommendations for where to go in September.
The Zebra Migration returns to the Chobe River and floodplains surrounding. Black maned lions can be seen in the Kalahari Desert.
This is the South African spring season and wild flowers bloom in a riot of colour. Fybos in the western cape region is beautiful from mid-August to late September. Namaqualand is carpeted in blooms in September and October too.
Chimpanzee and gorilla safaris are still good in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, Bwindi in Uganda and Odzala in the Republic of Congo through to October.
Excellent wildlife can be seen in September when the undergrowth is the least dense due to the dry season. The elephant migration in Tarangire is a wonderful spectacle, too.
There is excellent game viewing across southern Africa in September. Visibility is excellent as undergrowth has died back in the summer and wildlife gathers close to permanent water sources in high densities.
Migratory carmine bee eaters arrive in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe in September and October to nest. Best place to see is the South Luangwa, where many camps have hides you can watch them from. Skimmers arrive in Botswana in the Panhandle at this time too, to November.
The flood waters cover most of the Delta at this time, and September is an excellent time to game-view by mokoro (canoe) or take boat safaris through this water paradise. (May until September).
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.
July to November is a good time to see whales migrating around the coasts of South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, São Tomé and Príncipe and the Seychelles. We recommend staying in a private beachside villa or a private island for the most extraordinary experiences.