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Best Time To Visit Africa On Safari

What’s the best time to visit Africa on safari? 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.


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


A common misconception is that game viewing outside of the classic ‘best time to visit Africa’ 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.


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


To help you decide on the best time to visit Africa on safari, we’ve created the following guide:

Best time African safari


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African Safari Packages

Whilst the best safaris are always tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we've pre-packaged a selection of excellent value African safaris to show you what's possible.


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