What Time of Year is Safari Africa Best?

So what time of year is Safari Africa best? Well, a safari in Africa is a bucket-list adventure, offering you a chance to witness the continent’s awe-inspiring wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. However, the experience can vary dramatically depending on the time of year you choose to go. Understanding the seasonal changes and their impact on the environment and animal behavior is crucial for planning a memorable safari. Here, we explore the best times of year to embark on a safari across various regions in Africa.

The Dry Season: Prime Safari Time

The dry season, typically from mid-June to late-October, is widely regarded as the best time for a safari in most African countries. During this period, the weather is cooler, and water sources become scarce, causing animals to congregate around rivers and waterholes. This makes wildlife viewing easier and more predictable. Additionally, the sparse vegetation allows for better visibility.

Key Destinations During the Dry Season

  1. Kenya and Tanzania (East Africa)
  • Great Migration: The dry season coincides with the Great Migration in the Serengeti and Maasai Mara. Witnessing millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles crossing the plains and facing predators is a spectacle not to be missed.
  1. Botswana (Southern Africa)
  • Okavango Delta: As the floodwaters recede, the Delta becomes a haven for wildlife. Game viewing is exceptional, and the scenery is stunning.
  1. South Africa (Kruger National Park)
  • Optimal Viewing: Kruger National Park offers excellent game viewing during the dry season. The animals are more easily spotted in the sparse bush, and the weather is pleasant.
  1. Namibia
  • Etosha National Park: The waterholes in Etosha attract large numbers of animals, making it an excellent destination for wildlife photography.

The Green Season: A Different Perspective

The green season, from November to May, is characterized by rainfall, lush landscapes, and abundant birdlife. While wildlife can be more challenging to spot due to dense vegetation, this season offers unique experiences and often lower prices.

Advantages of the Green Season

  1. Lush Landscapes: The scenery is vibrant and green, providing a stunning backdrop for photographs.
  2. Fewer Tourists: Popular parks and lodges are less crowded, allowing for a more intimate safari experience.
  3. Bird Watching: Migratory birds are present in large numbers, making it a paradise for bird enthusiasts.
  4. Newborn Animals: Many animals give birth during the green season, offering a chance to see young wildlife.

Key Destinations During the Green Season

  1. Kenya and Tanzania
  • Calving Season: The Southern Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater are excellent for witnessing the birth of wildebeest calves, attracting predators, and creating dramatic scenes.
  1. Zambia and Zimbabwe
  • Victoria Falls: The falls are at their most spectacular during the green season, with thundering water and lush surroundings.
  1. South Africa
  • Birding in Kruger: The park is a haven for bird watchers, with many species nesting and breeding during this time.

Shoulder Seasons: A Balance of Both Worlds

The shoulder seasons, typically April to June and September to November, offer a blend of the dry and green seasons’ advantages. During these transitional periods, you can enjoy fewer crowds, pleasant weather, and good wildlife viewing opportunities.

Ideal Destinations for Shoulder Seasons

  1. Tanzania
  • Ruaha and Selous: These less-visited parks are excellent during the shoulder seasons, offering a mix of wildlife and scenic beauty.
  1. Botswana
  • Chobe National Park: Known for its large elephant herds, Chobe is accessible and rewarding during these periods.


Choosing the best time for a safari in Africa depends on what you want to experience. For classic wildlife viewing and the Great Migration, the dry season is ideal. For lush landscapes, bird watching, and a quieter experience, the green season is perfect. And if you’re looking for a balance, the shoulder seasons offer the best of both worlds. Regardless of when you go, a safari in Africa promises to be an unforgettable adventure filled with breathtaking moments and unparalleled natural beauty.

Contact Cherish Africa Safaris today, Book your next Adventure!

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