Africa Safari Adventure Seasons
Safaris are available year-round, but seasonal climate changes and other factors can affect game viewing and personal comfort. Today we’ll cover what you need to consider in choosing your ideal time to travel in the East Africa Safari destinations.
The best time for game-viewing is typically during the dry season, which varies from country to country as detailed below. During this season, temperatures are mild, animal populations are concentrated at rivers, pools and other water sources, and there is less vegetation to obstruct your view. However, the rainy season can have special draws as well, such as an influx of migrating birds.
Tanzania Safari Adventure Seasons
Tanzania has two wet seasons each year, short rains that come intermittently in November and December, and long rains that fall roughly from February to May. Generally, the dryer months of June to October are best for wildlife viewing. Tanzania from early June is warm, sunny days and comfortable nights and ideal game viewing not only in the world-famous Serengeti National Park but throughout the country.
During rainy periods in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which boasts a terrific density of wildlife, animals congregate on the short-grass plains to have their young. At nearby Lake Manyara National Park, bird populations peak during the rainy seasons. You’ll find large numbers of flamingos, storks, herons, cormorants, pelicans and geese, among others.
Kenya Safari Adventure Seasons
Kenya’s best game-viewing periods are during the dry winter months of May through August and the warmer spring months of September and October.
Tanzania and Kenya share one of nature’s most amazing spectacles, the annual movement of nearly 2 million wildebeest and zebras and other animals across open savannahs in both countries, known as the great Migration .
Seasonal rains and droughts drive the migration, so the timing varies a little every year but there is a general pattern, described below. If you schedule your visit correctly, you’ll be treated to ideal weather and extraordinary wildlife viewing.
Wildebeests and zebras typically spend December to April nursing newborn calves in Tanzania. The slow-moving calves lure lions, cheetahs and hyenas, and the resulting mix of predator and prey offers prime viewing opportunities in Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.
When the rains end, usually in May, the animals head north in search of food. This is the start of the Great Migration, a steady stream of animals in columns that stretch for miles, heading toward the western and northern Serengeti. June and July are the best months for witnessing the migration in Tanzania.
By August or September, the herds begin to cross into Kenya to graze amid the lush greenery of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Some naturalists claim that the Masai Mara contains the largest concentration of predators along the migratory route. The animals will stay here until October or November. Most safaris visit the area before fall brings another rainy season to the plains and the herds turn south, back to Tanzania.
For more information on the Great Migration, and to book a safari see http://www.natureboundafrica.com
Uganda Safari Adventure Seasons
Most travelers to Uganda want to trek through the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to spend time with mountain gorillas. The best times for this are during the dry months of June through early September and late December through February. The rainy seasons are from mid-September to November and from March to May, and gorilla tracking during these times is more difficult. Daytime temperatures in most parts of the country are consistently warm all year, but it can get much cooler in the higher altitudes of Uganda’s mountains, especially at night.
Uganda’s traditional game-viewing preserves, like Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale National Park, also are best visited during the dry months noted above. Routes through the parks can become impassable during the rains.
Rwanda Safari Adventure Seasons
Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is another key destination for gorilla encounters. Like Uganda, the best periods to track the primates are June through early September and late December through January, the region’s two dry seasons. The tiny country’s high altitude keeps temperatures relatively low here as well.
Independent travel is a liberating experience – but it can be daunting, too. Observing a few common-sense rules of the road can keep you safe on your journey
Is 2015 the year you want to head out on the open road alone? Even if you’re looking forward to the total freedom of travelling solo, there are sure to be some doubts as you face what could be a daunting prospect. Employ a spot of Fixology, though, and you can enjoy the freedom and flexibility of travelling solo, safely.
Consider your destination
There are some geopolitical hotspots, such as various destinations in the Middle East, that are currently best avoided. Be aware of any issues by checking the Foreign Office website. Beyond this, there are some countries that are easier to travel around alone; most European destinations present few issues, for example. Longer haul, consider places that travellers tend to congregate, such as Thailand, where infrastructure is good and you might meet others in the same situation. Australia and New Zealand are even easier, with no language barrier and excellent infrastructure.
Join a group
One halfway house for nervous first-timers is to join a guided group trip for “solo” travellers. Yes, you do lose a bit of your independence, but you gain the necessary backup to build confidence for your next truly solo trip. It need not be the old cliched Club 18-30 holiday (which are actually often a lot of fun for those in that age group), with a wide choice of operators today targeting different ages and tastes.
Keep your belongings safe
Minimise the potential stress of losing your passport or cash hoard and having to sort it out alone by keeping your luggage and key belongings safe. Buy a subtle travel pouch or belt to keep things tucked away out of sight and plan to carry a minimum of cash by packing bank cards and credit cards instead – but keep them separate so they can’t be lost all at once. Use a tagging service such as idtagit to ensure that if you do lose something, anyone who finds it will know how to return it.
When you are out on the road alone, use traveller common sense. Blend in by wearing what the locals do: avoid wearing your favourite sports top or any clothing that may offend local customs, such as sleeveless tops or short skirts. Be wary and remember that you don’t have the benefit of safety in numbers, so keep your belongings close and avoid attracting attention, especially at potential flashpoints like bars, clubs and transport hubs.
Keep in touch
Checking in with others is a great way to stay safe when travelling solo. Let your social media friends know how often you will be updating your status so they can keep an eye on you. It’s safer to bore them with daily photos of the Taj Mahal than disappear off the radar. Use social media, email, texts, calls and any other communications you can to let people you trust know where you will be and when, so they can watch out for you and alert someone if they are concerned.
Curacao started with a blast
Romantic days near the Beach
How to cope with jetlag
Why do we get jetlag?
Adjust your body clock
Five tips for coping with jetlag
- Walk around during your flight to exercise
- Eat in-flight meals to mirror the time at your destination
- Drink plenty of water – at least one glass every hour will keep you regularly hydrated
- Eat carbohydrates and greens before your flight to help build up your body’s defences
- Don’t drink alcohol and coffee before or during your flight – this causes dehydration which contributes to jetlag
Don't see the perfect trip on the list? No worries! We'd be happy to make a custom itinerary for you, so you can get exactly what you want out of your African adventure. Just give us a call!
East Africa: +255.784.737.413 - USA: +1.315.675.4325 - Australia: +61.28.006.8085