best time of year to travel to africa for safari

African SafariSource:

Planning a safari trip to Africa can be both exciting and daunting. With so many countries to choose from and a plethora of wildlife experiences to be had, it can be overwhelming to decide when to visit.

Factors to Consider When Planning Your Africa Safari

African WildlifeSource:

Before we dive into the best time of year to travel to Africa for safari, it’s important to consider a few factors that will impact your overall experience:

  • Wildlife sightings: Different seasons and regions in Africa offer different opportunities for wildlife sightings. Depending on the species you hope to see, you may want to plan your visit accordingly.
  • Crowds: Safari destinations can get crowded during peak tourist season, which can impact the quality of your experience. If you prefer a more secluded and intimate experience, you may want to consider visiting during the shoulder or low season.
  • Weather: Africa’s climate can vary widely depending on the region and time of year. While some travelers prefer the heat and humidity of the summer months, others may prefer cooler temperatures.

Best Time of Year to Travel to Africa for Safari

East Africa

East Africa SafariSource:

East Africa, which includes countries like Kenya and Tanzania, is known for its stunning wildlife reserves and wide variety of species. The best time to visit depends on what you hope to see:

Season Best For Weather
January – March Great wildebeest migration in Tanzania’s Serengeti Warm and dry
June – October Wildlife sightings in Kenya’s Maasai Mara Cool and dry
November – December Bird watching in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park Short rains and lush vegetation

Southern Africa

Southern Africa SafariSource:

Southern Africa, which includes countries like South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, boasts a diverse range of landscapes and wildlife. The best time to visit depends on your interests:

Season Best For Weather
May – October Dry season for wildlife sightings in Botswana’s Okavango Delta Cool and dry
July – September Big game viewing in South Africa’s Kruger National Park Cool and dry
November – April Green season for bird watching and lush scenery in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park Hot and humid

West Africa

West Africa SafariSource:

West Africa, which includes countries like Ghana and Senegal, offers a unique wildlife experience that is often overlooked by travelers. The best time to visit depends on the region:

Season Best For Weather
December – April Turtle nesting season in Ghana’s coastal regions Hot and dry
November – April Primate sightings in Senegal’s Niokolo-Koba National Park Hot and dry


When is the best time for a safari in Africa?

Africa SafariSource:

The best time for a safari in Africa depends on the region and the wildlife you hope to see. Generally, the dry season (May – October) offers the best opportunities for wildlife sightings, especially in Southern and East Africa. However, the green season (November – April) can also be a great time to visit for lush scenery and bird watching.

What should I pack for a safari in Africa?

When packing for a safari in Africa, it’s important to prioritize comfort and functionality. Some essentials to consider include:

  • Comfortable, breathable clothing
  • Sturdy closed-toe shoes
  • A hat and sunglasses
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent
  • A camera and binoculars

How long should I plan for a safari in Africa?

The length of your safari trip will depend on your interests and budget. However, we generally recommend planning for at least 5-7 days in order to fully immerse yourself in the wildlife experience.