When to go where

Africa is a vast and diverse continent with a range of climates and habitats. The guide below will give you some idea of what to expect from the weather and wildlife throughout the year.
Please note that due to the unpredictable nature of weather and animal movements this information should be viewed only as a guide.

The rainy, or green, season continues in Southern Africa's main safari destinations - it is a great period to visit as it is the time of new-born wildlife, with accommodation costs reduced by up-to 50%. It is the height of the summer peak season in Cape Town and the Garden Route, with hotel reservations often at a premium. There is good game viewing in East Africa and the wildebeest herds are in the short grass plains of the southern Serengeti. The next couple of months are a great time for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and for gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda.

 

South Africa

FLIGHT TIME: 11 hours (Johannesburg) - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - A golden country which has everything to offer the traveller – vast empty spaces, wilderness, glorious beaches, dramatic scenery and scorched plains. It is a country where two oceans – the Atlantic and the Indian – meet and converge t...
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Garden Route & Klein Karoo - South Africa

FLIGHT TIME: 11 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - A 200km kilometre stretch of coastline from Mossel Bay in the west to Tsitsikamma in the east, the famed Garden Route is a highlight on most visitors’ itineraries. Two vastly different geographical areas running parallel together, contrasting yet complim...
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Mauritius

FLIGHT TIME: 12 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +4 - Exquisite and exotic, Mauritius is an island for all seasons, all weathers and all tastes. With its idyllic white sandy beaches opening out onto crystal-clear blue seas, Mauritius is simply the definitive luxury beach holiday destination. Mauritius will en...
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Green season continues in Southern Africa's safari destinations, where the bird-watching is at its best, and costs are still low. In Botswana it is peak game viewing time in the Kalahari and Makgadikgadi. In East Africa the wildebeest herds are now calving in the southern Serengeti, whilst across in the Indian Ocean Mauritius, Madagascar and Mozambique are best avoided at this time due to the possibility of cyclones bringing wet and windy weather. This month is the peak season for turtles laying their eggs on the shores of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.

Botswana

FLIGHT TIME: 14 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - Botswana is a true wilderness, where twenty percent of the country is a protected national park. Often thought to be Africa’s best-kept secret, it houses amazing areas like the Okavango Delta, the Chobe National Park and the Moremi Game Reserve – all w...
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KwaZulu Natal - South Africa

FLIGHT TIME: 11 hours (Johannesburg) - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - Affectionately referred to as KZN is often overlooked as a destination, however is a "world in one country” in itself! This subtropical province is flanked by the majestic Drakensberg Mountains to the west, lapped by the warm Indian Ocean...
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Serengeti - Tanzania

FLIGHT TIME: 12 hours (via Nairobi) - TIME ZONE: UTC +3 - Tanzania's iconic Serengeti National Park covers nearly 6,000 square miles of Northern Tanzania up to the border with Kenya's Masai Mara. The topography of the park is generally flat, characterised by huge open grassland plains where the herd...
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The wildebeest herds are still in the Southern Serengeti, and with young borne amongst the herds at this time of year the number of predators is high. Rain clouds are starting to gather in Kenya & Tanzania towards the end of this month but conversely the rains in Southern Africa's main safari areas are finally diminishing, heralding longer and brighter days. At this time the Victoria Falls is getting more spectacular as the rate of water flowing over the falls increases - this is perfect for high-water river rafting, but expect a soaking when viewing them.

Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe

FLIGHT TIME: 13 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 -One of the natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls truly are a remarkable sight. At over 1.5 kilometres wide and over 100 metres tall, this is the largest falling curtain of water in the world. Not only does it provide spectacular views but the th...
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Zimbabwe

FLIGHT TIME: 13 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - A landlocked country which is often described as the most beautiful in all of Southern Africa. Bordered in the north west by the great Zambezi and in the south west by the Limpopo, it is home to the awesome majesty of Victoria Falls, to swathes of wild s...
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South Africa - Cape Town

FLIGHT TIME: 11 hours (Johannesburg) - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - Cape Town is consistently ranked among the Top 10 cities in the world to visit by the likes of Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure Magazine. The ‘Mother City’, as it is affectionately known, is a colourful and vibrant city surround...
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Game viewing in Southern Africa improves as both rainfall and temperatures start to drop. In East Africa the wildebeest herds start to move north and west as the rains start to fall, heralding the beginning of the main wet season. Some safari camps close as roads become difficult to negotiate and beach hotels on the Kenyan coast and on Zanzibar start to close for a couple of months. Climbs of Mount Kilimanjaro and gorilla trekking and Rwanda are both possible but can be hard work. The first flights of the season begin into Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park.

Southern Africa

A golden region which has everything to offer the traveller – vast empty spaces, wilderness, glorious beaches, dramatic scenery and scorched plains. It is a region where two oceans – the Atlantic and the Indian – meet and converge to provide a spectacular coastline, a country so rich in soil t...
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Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Based in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in all of Africa, and for that reason it is also one of the most popular climbing destinations. Standing at over 16,000ft from its base point, and over 19,000ft above sea level, climbing the mountain is no easy feat. Despite this, every ye...
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Rwanda

FLIGHT TIME: 11hours (via Nairobi) - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - Known as the land of a thousand hills, for wherever you look you will find hills, mountains and volcanoes towering above, it is also the place where Dian Fossey fought off poachers and politicians to save the deeply endangered African Mountai...
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Gorilla trekking in Uganda

FLIGHT TIME: 8 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +3 - Dian Fossey gave her life protecting these gentle animals and as I sit amongst them, observing the way they play, interact, eat and take power naps between the trees, I have a strong sense that I would do the same. I’m in Uganda’s Impenetrable Bwindi N...
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The long rains in East Africa continue with some safari lodges and the majority of beach hotels remaining closed. The first flood waters start to reach the Okavango Delta in Botswana, announcing the beginning of high season, and the water flow over the Victoria Falls is reaching its peak. Game viewing in Namibia in the Etosha National Park begins and the start of the dry winter weather in Malawi makes it perfect for a safari or beach stay. May also heralds the start of the dry season in the Republic of Congo, where the more adventurous can track lowland gorillas in this little visited country.

Namibia

FLIGHT TIME: 12 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - One of the oldest places on earth and one of the youngest nations – Namibia gained independence only in 1990. An extraordinary place – magnificent, magical and mysterious, Namibia is a land of two deserts, the Namib and the Kalahari, acres of nothingn...
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Malawi

FLIGHT TIME: 12 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - Famed and loved for its lake – the ninth largest in the world, and dubbed the lake of stars by David Livingstone. The country also offers magnificent scenery – forests, mountains, vast plains – as well as well as a number of archaeological and anthr...
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Victoria Falls

One of the natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls truly are a remarkable sight. At over 1.5 kilometres wide and over 100 metres tall, this is the largest falling curtain of water in the world. Not only does it provide spectacular views but the thunderous sound of up to half a million cubi....
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The main game viewing season starts throughout East and Southern Africa. Walking safaris in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park start operating again this month, and combine brilliantly with a stay on the shores of Lake Malawi, whilst the Victoria Falls are at their thunderous peak. The first Southern Right whales are starting to appear off the Cape Town coast and the wildebeest herds in the Serengeti are braving the crocodiles of the Grumeti River. Coastal properties in Kenya & Tanzania are starting to open again for the season.

Luangwa National Park - Zambia

FLIGHT TIME: 13 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - Whether you are an experienced safari-goer or on your first adventure to Africa, you will be blown away by the majesty of the South Luangwa National Park, which is fast becoming the place to go for the best game viewing on the continent. The park takes its...
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Malawi

FLIGHT TIME: 12 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - Lake Malawi sits at the southern end of the Rift Valley and provides a fantastic playground for all with its superb beaches and great fishing. Also home to some 500 varieties of the tropical cichlid fish, at night everyone can see what Livingstone meant a...
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The Great Migration Tour - Tanzania

FLIGHT TIME: 11 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +3 - Africa Travel and The Telegraph have joined forces and created a magnificent escorted tour, travelling from Tarangire National Park, via the unique Ngorongoro Crater and into the heart of the Serengeti, staying in Tanzania’s finest private camps and lodg...
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July is one of the premium months for game viewing throughout East and Southern Africa. The channels of the Okavango Delta in Botswana continue to fill with flood waters, with huge herds congregating, and the first of the wildebeest migratory herds start to arrive in Kenya's Masai Mara. Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is at its best during this time, and it is also a good month for gorilla trekking in Rwanda and for exploring Namibia's amazing scenery on a self drive or flying safari. Winter is arriving in Cape Town, bringing with it cooler temperatures and some wind & rain.

Okavango Delta - Botswana

FLIGHT TIME: 14 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - The Okavango Delta inspires images of herds of dainty antelope dashing through floodwaters, of lion hunting large herds of Cape buffalo, leopards lazily surveying the terrain from the branches of a tree and of elephant standing waist deep in the floodwater...
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Kenya

FLIGHT TIME: 8 hours (Nairobi) - TIME ZONE: UTC +3 - Kenya is the country which almost invented the safari holiday, as it was one of the first to embrace this extraordinary and exciting experience, showing the wonders of the wild. It was also the first to introduce the concept of the Big Five – el...
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Hwange National Park - Zimbabwe

FLIGHT TIME: 13 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - Zimbabwe's largest National Park is home to one of Africa's biggest elephant populations and covers 14,600 square kilometres of sandy Kalahari soil, grassland and woodland. Once the royal hunting grounds, today a network of manmade and natural waterholes ...
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Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

FLIGHT TIME: 11 hours (via Nairobi) - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - Just a few degrees south of the equator, Rwanda is a jewel of a land, from the deep emerald of its forests to the brilliant sapphire of its lakes. Known as the land of a thousand hills, for wherever you look you will find hills, mountains and...
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The excellent game viewing in East and Southern Africa continues with the Okavango Delta flood at its peak. The wildebeest migration is in Kenya's Masai Mara and the northern Serengeti in Tanzania, with spectacular crossings of the Mara River the norm during this period. It is one of the busiest months for beach resorts on Zanzibar, with those heading for Mauritius in August advised to head for the north and west coasts to avoid the winds which often blow onto the east coast. Viewing wildlife in the Kruger National Park is superb at this time.

Kenya's Masai Mara

FLIGHT TIME: 8 hours (Nairobi) - TIME ZONE: UTC +3 - Kenya is the country which almost invented the safari holiday, as it was one of the first to embrace this extraordinary and exciting experience, showing the wonders of the wild. It was also the first to introduce the concept of the Big Five – el...
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Tanzania

FLIGHT TIME: 12 hours (via Nairobi) - TIME ZONE: UTC +3 - An extraordinary mix of vast open plains stocked with great game and a land of spices, souks, pristine beaches and bazaars. Tanzania provides some of the greatest game experiences in Africa and the wildlife here is considered by many to be t...
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Zanzibar - Tanzania

FLIGHT TIME: 11 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +3 - What better way to round off a safari adventure through Tanzania than to spend some time relaxing on one of its beautiful white sand beaches. Zanzibar is traditionally the destination that most people go for, but the Tanzanian mainland has an increasing nu...
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Madagascar

FLIGHT TIME: 12 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +3 - The world’s fourth largest island, Madagascar is a vast magical land just waiting to be discovered.Rich in flora and fauna, much of which is found nowhere else on earth, a typical trip can include the lemurs of the Perinet Reserve, the baobabs of Moronda...
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September marks the blooming of the wild flower season in South Africa's Northern Cape region of Namaqualand - a very unique and photogenic occurrence. The dry season continues throughout the lower half of Africa and temperatures start to rise with fantastic game viewing on offer. The migration is still in the Masai Mara and in northern Tanzania. There are good conditions for gorilla trekking and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, with the whale watching season in full flow in South Africa. A great month all round for watching wildlife.

Whale watching - South Africa

FLIGHT TIME: 11 hours (Johannesburg) - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - Whale watching in South Africa offers unrivalled viewing of one of the earth’s largest mammal, the Southern Right whale. Returning to mate every year between July and December, it’s something not to be missed.
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The Seychelles

FLIGHT TIME: 13 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +4 - A wonderful description of these tiny islands, just over one hundred of them and spread across 455 square kilometres of the Indian Ocean, as they are indeed a thousand miles from the African mainland, with the Indian sub-continent twice the distance in the...
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Kruger National Park - South Africa

FLIGHT TIME: 11 hours (Johannesburg) - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - One of Africa’s most renowned National Parks, offering superb game viewing and varied topography as one moves from North to South. Whilst visiting the National Park itself, with it’s rest camps and self drive routes remains the preserve ...
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Temperatures continue to rise as the dry season nears its end and game viewing remains superb in most regions. The migration is returning from the Masai Mara in Kenya to Tanzania's Serengeti and turtles are coming ashore in KwaZulu Natal province to lay their eggs. Resorts in The Seychelles and Mauritius are busy from now until the end of the year and spring is well underway in South Africa, bringing bright, fresh days to the Garden Route and Cape Town. Beach holidays in Mozambique are arguably at their best in October.

Mozambique

FLIGHT TIME: 13 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - Mozambique is renowned for the magnificence of its white sand and pristine beaches which edge the Indian Ocean. A true Robinson Crusoe hideaway, it is the ideal holiday combination with a safari. Hedonists will simply enjoy soaking up the sun on the beache...
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The Seychelles

FLIGHT TIME: 13 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +4 - A wonderful description of these tiny islands, just over one hundred of them and spread across 455 square kilometers of the Indian Ocean, as they are indeed a thousand miles from the African mainland, with the Indian sub-continent twice the distance in the...
Find out more

Mauritius

FLIGHT TIME: 12 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +4 - Exquisite and exotic, Mauritius is an island for all seasons, all weathers and all tastes. With its idyllic white sandy beaches opening out onto crystal-clear blue seas, Mauritius is simply the definitive luxury beach holiday destination. Mauritius will en...
Find out more

Summer arrives and the rains start in the main game viewing areas in Southern Africa. Lush vegetation appears, young animals are born and migratory birds arrive. Some camps in Zambia close for the rainy season, particularly in the Lower Zambezi National Park as flights cease. The whale watching season in South Africa starts coming to an end and as the short rains arrive in East Africa, the wildebeest herds start their journey south from the Masai Mara through the Serengeti. The arrival of the rain brings an end to peak season accommodation prices as rates start to drop.

Botswana

FLIGHT TIME: 13 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - May-Nov: Dry season so grasses are low and animals congregate at water sources. Botswana is a true wilderness, where twenty percent of the country is a protected national park. Often thought to be Africa’s best-kept secret, it houses amazing areas like t...
Find out more

Kenya

FLIGHT TIME: 8 hours (Nairobi) - TIME ZONE: UTC +3 - Kenya is the country which almost invented the safari holiday, as it was one of the first to embrace this extraordinary and exciting experience, showing the wonders of the wild. It was also the first to introduce the concept of the Big Five – el...
Find out more

South Africa

FLIGHT TIME: 11 hours (Johannesburg) - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - A golden country which has everything to offer the traveller – vast empty spaces, wilderness, glorious beaches, dramatic scenery and scorched plains. It is a country where two oceans – the Atlantic and the Indian – meet and converge t....
Find out more

The rainy, or green season continues in Southern Africa's main safari destinations with the possibility of spectacular thunderstorms, although temperatures are still high. In East Africa there is good game viewing throughout and the wildebeest herds are in the southern Serengeti. The Christmas and New Year holiday period brings many to the region with some areas extremely busy, amongst them Cape Town, the Kruger, Mauritius, Zanzibar and the beach resorts of Kenya & Mozambique. Those wishing to travel over this period are advised to book well in advance.

South Africa

FLIGHT TIME: 11 hours (Johannesburg) - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - The diversity of South Africa as a destination is unrivalled, from magnificent safari holidays to luxurious beach getaways. It is a country where two oceans – the Atlantic and the Indian – meet and converge to provide a spectacular coas...
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Botswana

FLIGHT TIME: 13 hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - May-Nov: Dry season so grasses are low and animals congregate at water sources. Botswana is a true wilderness, where twenty percent of the country is a protected national park. Often thought to be Africa’s best-kept secret, it houses amazing areas like t...
Find out more

Rwanda

FLIGHT TIME: 11hours - TIME ZONE: UTC +2 - Rwanda is a jewel of a land, from the deep emerald of its forests to the brilliant sapphire of its lakes. Known as the land of a thousand hills, for wherever you look you will find hills, mountains and volcanoes towering above, it is also the place where D...
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