When planning your African safari or holiday, it's important to know when the best time is for the experience you desire. You don't want to start your beach holiday in cyclone season or find that the migrating herds you've arrived to see have moved on.

The key point to remember about the weather when you're planning an African safari is the difference between each region’s dry and green seasons:

Southern Africa East Africa
Safari Destinations
  • South Africa
  • Botswana
  • Namibia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Zambia
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Rwanda
Dry Seasons May to October January to March and June to October
Green Seasons Around November to April Around April to June and November to December

Get in touch with one of our award-winning Africa Safari Experts who can guide you on the optimal timing for your safari.

Best Time to Visit Southern Africa

Choosing the best time to visit Southern Africa depends entirely on what you want to see and do:

Experience Best Time
Safari in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia May to October
Cape Town beach holiday November to March
Victoria Falls in full flood February to July
Zebra migration in Botswana November to February
Whale watching in South Africa July to November
Mozambique beach holiday May to November
More Southern Africa Travel Advice

 

Best Time to Visit East Africa

Most safari areas in East Africa enjoy warm days, cool evenings and excellent game viewing year-round.

Experience Best Time
Safari in Kenya and Tanzania January to March and June to October
Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti January to September
Wildebeest Migration in Masai Mara June to November
Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda January to February and June to September
Tanzania beach holiday June to March
Seychelles beach holiday March to December
Mauritius beach holiday April to December

Just as the Wildebeest Migration is dependent on the rains, so too can your safari be influenced by the weather. Which is why it is important to take note of Kenya and Tanzania's two distinct rainy seasons:

  • April to May (the ‘long rains’)
  • November to December (the ‘short rains’)

Generally, the main rainy season (the long rains) produces tropical downpours in the afternoons and some safari camps close. The short rains season sees the occasional brief shower, but safari camps stay open, game viewing is good, rates are low, and the safari crowds are absent.

More East Africa Travel Advice