Inspire by Month

Africa is a vast and diverse continent with a wide range of climates and habitats. When planning your holiday this fact is important to keep in mind, as the time of year you decide to go to a particular destination will dictate the quality and quantity of wildlife that you will be likely to see whilst you are there. To help make things a little bit easier for you, we’ve decided to produce a simple month by month guide to help give you some idea of what to expect from the weather and wildlife throughout the year. However, if you want peace of mind then we recommend giving one of our Africa experts a call on 020 7843 3500. They have years of unparalleled experience and are therefore best placed to advise you on the optimum time to visit a particular destination. We look forward to helping you plan your dream Africa holiday.

*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.

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.

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.

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 some 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.

The long rains in East Africa continue with some safari lodges and 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’s Etosha National Park starts to improve and the beginning 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.

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. Those coastal properties in Kenya & Tanzania that closed for the rains are starting to open again for the season.

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.

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.

September marks the blooming of the wildflower 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.

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.

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.

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.

First Time to Africa

No experience can quite compare to your very first safari. Whether it’s starting out at the crack of dawn or just as the sun begins to set, the excitement that builds as you wait to spot your very first animal is truly one of the greatest feelings one can have. More than just viewing some of the most majestic creatures to grace the planet in their natural habitat, hearing the stories of your expert guide and taking in the breath-taking scenery will guarantee this is a trip you never forget.

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