The Best Time Of Year To Go On An African Safari

Imagine waking up in a tent to the sounds of exotic bird calls. You zip open your door to zebras drinking from a nearby watering hole and, in the far distance, a pair of giraffes use their long necks to graze on the highest branches of an acacia tree.

This is just a taste of what your next adventure could be on an African safari. But what is the best time of year to go on an African safari? While most travel guides will advise on what months offer the best weather for sunbathing or snowshoeing at your desired destination, the climate on the African continent will play a major role in the kind of safari experience you will have. African wildlife has specific migration patterns based on the time of year and, depending on where you go, you will see some animals more than others. So, if you're dying to see those iconic stripes and spots, you had better plan ahead!

Best months to travel in Africa

Intrepid Travel says the best time for a safari is during the dry season, between June to October. The dry season is technically winter for the majority of the African continent. This means the weather is milder during the day and chillier at night, making for a more comfortable safari experience for you and your group. According to African Budget Safaris, this is also the best time to spot wildlife. Because of the scarcity of water, animals will gather around watering holes to drink and the bushes and trees will not have as much vegetation, making it physically easier to see them as well.

While these months are the best overall time to go on an African safari, it will also depend on what kind of experience you want to have. One of the most iconic experiences on an African safari is something called the "Great Migration." This event occurs most commonly between July and August and is the result of great herds of wildebeest crossing the Mara River from the Serengeti in Tanzania to Kenya's Masai Mara to reach better food sources. If you've ever watched the iconic series Planet Earth, you may have already heard of the Great Migration and how this event can also attract some of Africa's greatest predators to this famous river crossing. Go2africa says some of the best safari experiences can be found in the Masai Mara reserve.

Best countries to go on an African safari

To say the African continent is big is quite an understatement. With all of the options available, it can be daunting to choose just one country you will spend your precious safari time. While there are so many incredible places to choose from, there are a few that stand out as iconic destinations to go on an African safari.

With over 50 national parks and reserves, Kenya has so much to offer the average safari goer. As mentioned previously, the Masai Mara in Kenya is among the most sought-after destinations in Africa and will surely make for an unforgettable experience. Another icon of the classic safari parks, Krueger National Park in South Africa is an incredible destination where many travelers flock to see "the Big Five": lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and African buffalo. Here you have the option to join guided safaris on a private reserve but it is also possible to do a "self-drive safari" since the park has an extensive network of paved and gravel roads. Lastly, Zambia, also known as "The Real Africa" has many outstanding off-the-beaten-path experiences to offer adventure seekers. Though not as widely publicized as other countries, Zambia happens to be home to the famous Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.