Tanzania | Little Chem Chem | tarangire

The Best Times To Visit Africa On Safari

What’s the best time to go on safari in Africa? It’s a question we’re often asked, and the answer is, well … it depends, and whilst there are periods that are said to offer the best safari experiences in Africa, there are other times that offer better value.

We believe that no two safaris should be the same, and to determine what’s best for you, and your particular dream, we recommend a thorough consultation with Art of Safari, and you can CLICK HERE to schedule a personal safari consultation.

That said, it is possible to split the year into sections, each of which has its pros and cons for safari travel, so here’s our breakdown of what to consider when deciding on the best time to visit Africa on safari.

BEST TIME

We believe your classic ‘best time to visit Africa on safari’ is when there’s a good mix of:

  • Excellent game viewing
  • Comfortable weather conditions
  • The opportunity to witness truly iconic African events, like the Great Wildebeest Migration river crossings, the Okavango Delta in flood or the Zambezi River plunging over Victoria Falls at its fullest, sending plumes of mist high into the air.

The compromises:

  • These peak-season periods come with the highest prices
  • Some of the more popular destinations can get crowded

BEST VALUE FOR MONEY

A common misconception is that game viewing outside of the classic ‘best time’ isn’t good, the weather’s terrible, and there’s really no good reason to go. This simply isn’t true. Your ‘best value’ periods have the following attractions:

  • Good, or even excellent, game viewing, as is the case in a destination like the Masai Mara during early December.
  • Mid- and low-season pricing, often significantly lower than peak season
  • The opportunity to visit Africa’s finest safari destinations and have them all to yourself (well, almost…)

The compromises:

  • You might miss out on some of the really iconic wildlife and wilderness experiences
  • The weather’s less likely to be perfect from sunrise to sunset, but it will still be pleasant enough.

BEST ADVENTURE

For the truly adventurous, we’ve characterised a period especially for you. This essentially covers the rainy seasons in East Africa: the long rains of April and May, and the short rains of November. While the rain can set in for a few days, you can generally expect bursts of heavy showers interspersed with clear weather. Here are the advantages of travel during these times:

  • Low-season prices are often up to 50% lower than peak season, and many lodges offer further special offers, so you get truly excellent value
  • Game viewing is pretty good, and with a bit of luck it can be excellent
  • You’ll almost certainly have vast tracts of wildernesses such as the Serengeti all to yourself … a genuinely unique experience

The compromises:

  • Due to wet and muddy roads, travel can be tricky, and you can often get stuck … however, the guides know how to deal with it, plus getting unstuck is always fun
  • You might get caught in the rain when game viewing. However, open vehicles carry ponchos and pop-top vehicles can simply close the roof and carry on

HANDY INFOGRAPHIC

To help you decide ‘where to go when’ and why we’ve created the following guide:

Best time African safari

Got a particular destination in mind?

Best time to visit Kenya on safari | Art Of Safari

The Best Time To Visit Kenya On Safari

Conventional wisdom dictates that the best time to visit Kenya on safari is during the long dry season, when the climate is at its mildest and the animal action atContinue Exploring…...

Continue Exploring
The best time to visit Zambia on safari | Art Of Safari

The Best Time To Visit Zambia On Safari

Zambia largely (but not entirely) fits into the classic Southern African schedule, with the cooler, drier winter months generally reckoned to be the best time to visit Zambia on safari.Continue Exploring…...

Continue Exploring
The best time to visit Tanzania on safari | Art Of Safari

The Best Times To Visit Tanzania On Safari

Tanzania’s safari seasons march to the tattoo of the hooves of migrating wildebeest, but a country this large and diverse has more than one ace up the sleeve of itsContinue Exploring…...

Continue Exploring
The best time to visit Botswana on safari | Art Of Safari

The Best Time To Visit Botswana On Safari

Botswana essentially has two seasons: a hot, wetter summer and a cooler, dry winter, with no real transition period between them. The presence or absence of water largely governs theContinue Exploring…...

Continue Exploring
The best time to visit Zimbabwe on safari | Art Of Safari

The Best Time To Visit Zimbabwe On Safari

Zimbabwe is a location with multiple safari-experience accolades – it’s a place where you’ll never be short of fun and fascinating things to do, regardless of the season. Your onlyContinue Exploring…...

Continue Exploring
The best time to visit South Africa on safari | Art Of Safari

The Best Time To Visit South Africa On Safari

South Africa offers an almost infinite variety of safari experiences, from classic game drives and walking safaris to ocean adventures. It’s a true year-round destination, and any time is theContinue Exploring…...

Continue Exploring

The Best Time To Visit Namibia On Safari

There’s a certain timelessness to Namibia – a country where ancient rocks cast long shadows, and the wind sweeps away sandy footprints. Where shipwrecks gracefully rust into obscurity, and desert-adaptedContinue Exploring…...

Continue Exploring
The best time to visit Mozambique on safari | Art Of Safari

The Best Time To Visit Mozambique On A Beach Holiday

Many people don’t look beyond the peak season of June to October when it comes to determining the best time to visit Mozambique on a beach holiday. They’re not wrong,Continue Exploring…...

Continue Exploring
The best time to visit Uganda on safari | Art Of Safari

The Best Time To Visit Uganda On Safari

Uganda’s equatorial location means that the climate is relatively stable throughout the year, although there are distinctly wetter and drier periods. As much as the country itself is a wonderfulContinue Exploring…...

Continue Exploring

READY TO GO?

Get a personalised, expertly planned and obligation-free Africa safari proposal.

Enquire Now

Get an expertly planned safari trip proposal

Enquire Now

Want to get in touch?

Contact Us

Creating your canvas!

By clicking on the heart, you’ve just added your first safari item to your canvas, which is where you can curate your personal collection of luxury safari inspiration. View and save your canvas by clicking here, and you'll be able to access it at any time by tapping on the heart icon in the menu bar.

Got it