SAFARI REGIONS OF AFRICA
PLANNING YOUR EXCEPTIONAL AFRICAN SAFARI
Deciding the best time for your African Safari, depends on the type of holiday you would like to have, specific wildlife / wish list animals to see, or the activity you would like to partake in.
Certain game reserves and national parks have good game viewing all year round but others will have particularly good elephant sightings or other migratory animals at different times of the year.
UGANDA - Home to the mountain Gorillas
KENYA - Home of the SAFARI, Masai people, Masai Mara,
TANZANIA - Home of famous game reserves as the Ruaha, the Selous, the Rufiji River and more.the Serengeti and the phenomenon of the Wildebeest migration
When to travel : Spring: September – November
This period offers comfortable temperatures and is a popular time for travel because of summer holidays in the northern hemisphere.
It can get very busy, so be sure to book well in advance. If you want to climb Kilimanjaro, September is the time to do it.
Summer: December – March
Game viewing in the Serengeti and diving in Zanzibar are excellent now though it can be very humid. Summer in East Africa means pleasant warm
temperatures with an average high of 28C and an average low of 15C. The short rains occur from early November to late March are sporadic and
don't last long.
Heavier rain might start in late March. January, February and early to mid March are good months for climbing Kilimanjaro.
Fall / Autumn : April – June
The long rains are from early April through early June, however, don't be put off: safaris are still good in the Serengeti, Lake Manyara and the
Wildlife concentrations are at their highest in the Southern Serengeti, and the landscape is a lush green. With less crowding, lower prices and
abundant wildlife, this can be the best time to go on safari.
Winter: July – August
The weather is cool and dry. It is generally the best months for game viewing, especially in the Masai Mara Game Reserve.
This is also the busiest time of the year in east Africa as July & August coincide with holidays in the Northern Hemisphere.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is also superb during this season.
Weather plays a role in certain destinations as some camps close in the rainy season(s) and in some countries such as Botswana and Zambia offer a “green season” due to the rains that cause the animals to disperse over wider areas and not around the water holes. It also causes some roads to be inaccessible due to the seasonal high waters of the Okavango Delta where the only access to some camps is by air.
Central/southern Africa, the African winter ( March/April through to September/ October) is the best for a safari, as the grass is dry and vegetation sparse making game viewing easier, and water more scarce that the animals are forced to the larger waterholes which will also offer grazing.
There really is no defined spring or autumn.
Winter weather for central and southern Africa is beautiful, days are sunny, warm with clear crisp blue skies and can reach into the 24/25*c even higher, but
become considerably cooler in the evening, so pack multiple layers of clothing to ensure you stay comfortable on afternoon game drives and walks.
Evening and early morning game drives can be quite cold when you add the wind chill factor of driving in an open safari vehicle.
We will discuss what to pack later.
CENTRAL / SOUTHERN AFRICA - Southern Africa's diverse destinations have two clear climatic regions - summer rainfall and winterfall.
When to travel. South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, may include Zambia and Zimbabwe, whose weather may be influenced by weather from Angola and
Mozambique being affected by weather coming in from the Indian ocean.
These countries receive the majority of their rain during the summer from October to March.
The winter rains occur only in the south western part of South Africa. The Cape.
Rains in southern Africa are mainly thunder showers and does not last much longer than a few hours (with exceptions here and there).
The southern Hemisphere summer is the best time to travel for :
birding as migratory birds from Europe escape the winter chill of the northern hemisphere,
fishing, especially sport fishing along the east coast and the warm Indian Ocean, the best fishing is at the hottest time of the year from October
through to March.
If you decide to travel with commercial airlines, you will be met and greeted at the international airport of entry into the country and transferred to the air charter aircraft, in flight drinks and snacks are supplied. Travelling to the reserves by private air charter, enables you to travel at your own pace.
Most reserves can take up to 15 seater King Air, some of the bigger reserves have dirt strips which can accommodate a larger plane such as a Dakota. The Dakota is a great way to travel, slower but flies at a lower altitude.
Landing on bush strips is always an exciting experience. The final transfer to the lodge is by open game drive vehicle or depending on the size of the group, a people carrier.
Road transfers and self drive enable you to travel at your own pace taking in the scenery and meeting the people along the way. However, do be prepared for long hours of in the bus or vehicle as the distances between points can be very long.
MIXING IT UP
Dependant on your time allocated for your vacation, you may think about mixing your safari with another type of African destination., there are plenty of options available, ie.
Bush and beach break, take in a 4 day bush safari and add a 4 day sub topical Mozambican island beach break to it.
Or add a city of choice, one very popular one is a 4 to 5 day safari in the Kruger National Park area followed by a 5 day
Cape experience, retail therapy, some shark cage diving, and of course a couple of nights in a working vineyard.
Or whilst in southern Africa, take in one of the seven wonders of the world at Victoria Falls. The options are there for you.
If you are an avid golfer or fishing person, South Africa is the place for you!
SHORT ON TIME take a helicopter safari - start early with an early morning game drive in a ‘Big Five’ Reserve, enjoy champagne and a seafood lunch on an
unspoilt beach, spend the afternoon at a health spa or fly-fish for wild trout in crystal clear waters, then end the day with sundowners on a remote
mountain peak… your personal luxury day safari in Southern Africa.
Time not an issue - how about a luxury train journey, an elephant interactive safari and a luxury cruise along the east coast of the African continent and then view the Serengeti from a hot air balloon., or a Desert & Delta safari flying the south west coast in private air charter mixed in with a gracious early morning hot air balloon ride.
TAKE what ever time you need for an EXCEPTIONAL AFRICAN SAFARI!