Our Top Picks for October

Whether you are planning to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration in East Africa, experience a Big 5 safari in the Kruger National Park or spend your honeymoon in the Seychelles, timing is important. Our guidelines are based on our expert, on-the-ground knowledge of Africa’s travel seasons.

Etosha National Park - Namibia

SeasonSpring Average Temperature for October 25 Celsius 77 Fahrenheit

What

So many species gathered around one waterhole that you don’t know where to start looking!

Why

Etosha is a largely arid landscape, dominated by brilliant-white Etosha Pan at the centre. By October, after a long, dry winter, smaller water sources have long dried up, leaving only bigger ones and, in camps, pumped water. It’s not unusual to see large numbers of impala, giraffes, warthogs, rhino and elephants call drinking from the same waterhole.

When to book

October is still high season although availability isn’t as under pressure because it is not regional school holidays.

Good to know

How to have a desert adventure or a family road trip in Namibia.

Lower Zambezi National Park - Zambia

SeasonSpring Average Temperature for October 25 Celsius 76 Fahrenheit

What

Classic 4x4 game drives or guided nature walks in the morning; superb boating and canoe safaris in the afternoon.

Why

The Lower Zambezi is blessed by being bordered by the Zambezi River. Unlike the country’s Luangwa River, the Zambezi is easy going, calm and predictable, meaning you can enjoy all sorts of activities on it as the mercury soars. Canoeing with a guide down one of its channels promises a wildlife extravaganza of elephants, water monitors, vervet monkeys and plenty of colourful birds.

When to book

Zambia’s charm is that it is still relatively ‘undiscovered’ so can usually accommodate spontaneous travellers who find they can travel at the last minute or who simply must scratch the safari bug more or less immediately.

Good to know

The Top 5 things to do in Zambia and all about our trip to the Lower Zambezi.

Linyanti, Savute & Chobe - Botswana

SeasonSpring Average Temperature for October 27 Celsius 80 Fahrenheit

What

Botswana, always a sensational game-viewing destination, ramps up the spectacle with unbelievable sightings.

Why

October is one of the hottest (despite not being summer yet) and driest months in Botswana. After a long, dry winter, both water sources and grazing can be scarce so animals don’t venture far from waterholes. This makes them easy to find, for you – and Botswana’s teeming populations of lion, wild dog, hyena, cheetah and leopard. If you can handle the heat (many lodges have swimming pools and air conditioning), then October promises high-octane game viewing.

When to book

Because the game viewing is so good, Botswana in October can be surprisingly busy, despite the heat and areas like Chobe National Park are always popular because of their substantial elephant populations. Definitely don’t leave this until the last minute – chat to your Africa Safari Expert several months in advance to ensure a seamless itinerary.

Good to know

We went mobile camping in Botswana in October – this is what it was like.
A seasonal guide to planning your Botswana safari.
Our full list of the top things to do in Botswana.
How ‘going private’ gives you the best of Botswana.

Odzala National Park - Congo

SeasonSpring Average Temperature for October 23 Celsius 74 Fahrenheit

What

Among the easiest gorilla trekking on the planet.

Why

Congo is home to a significant population of lowland gorillas, meaning you don’t have to trek up mountains at altitude to see them like you do mountain gorillas. And Congo also offers astonishing birding and boating activities to see shy forest elephants, plenty of primates and unusual antelope like bongo.

When to book

Give yourself enough time to get fit. Even though the terrain is fairly flat and not at altitude, the heat and humidity can be high. Also, you may have to walk for several hours to find the gorillas, depending on their overnight movements. Accommodation and flights are also limited so don’t leave this until the last minute of seeing the gorillas is on your bucket list.      

Good to know

Read all about our team’s adventures in Congo and watch our beautiful video series so you can see what to expect.
Brush up on the basics of Gorilla Trekking 101.
See what to pack – including why gardening gloves might be an option!

Samburu National Reserve - Kenya

SeasonSpring Average Temperature for October 28 Celsius 82 Fahrenheit

What

Rocky outcrops that are home to klipspringers and rock hyrax surrounded by green plains that are one of the best places to see gerenuk, the adorable antelope with an unusually long neck that can stand unaided on its hind legs for minutes at a time to feed.

Why

Lying in the north of Kenya, Samburu is one another of those fantastic safari gems that may not be as famous as the Masai Mara but is as rewarding in its own way. The lodges here are often extraordinary: many are built into the rocky hills and boulders that are so characteristic of Samburu.

When to book

Since it’s more an off-the-beaten-track destination, Samburu is ideal for last-minuters or those who can’t book safaris too far in advance.

Good to know

A Kenya safari guide for first-timers.