When to go where
If you are visiting Africa, most of the time you can come visit any country all year around. However, knowing when the rainy seasonsstarts and how bad it gets helps determine the best time to go, depending on the activities you want to do. On safari the best time to go in generally during the dry season because game in very concentrated around water holes and the grass is low, enabling good visibility. However some places like Ngorongoro or Tsavo Eastwill have an amazing green and lushlandscape and it can be worth the rain and mud to see the baby cubs, or the best bird sitting. Reading through this page will help you plan properly.
In Kenya there are two rainy seasons: you get long rains from May to June and short rains in November and December.However even the long rains can be summed up to only one week of heavy rain in some places like Mombasa. Around Nairobi during this time of year it does get quite chilly. The rains can become a problem if you want to go diving: often expeditions are interrupted during this time of year, and some safari lodges close because of muddy roads take make transportation in these regions almost impossible. The high season for safaris is from December to March, during the dry season, because animals gather around waterholes and are easy to spot.The Great Migration in the Maasai Mara lasts between end of July and October, going from the western side of the park, up to Mara North Conservancy end of August and down to the eastern side, near Mara Naibosho Conservency..
The rainy season in Tanzaniais between April and March, with also a bit of rain in November and December. To see the Great Migration, that rushes through Tanzania from end of October till July, at it’s best you should come in February and March when the wildebeest and zebras have their young and the predators are the highest number. June to October is dry season and is the best time to visit all the parks, because the animals congregate around waterholes and are easy to spot in the low grass. Trekking in Kilimanjaro and Meru is best from January to March and in September and October, during dry season, when the weather is a little warmer.
If you are going to Zanzibar and Pemba Island, be sure to be there in August or September to catch a sight of the whales that come around every year! The other great time to go visit is during the festivals that take place in Zanzibar: Sauti za Busara in February and the International Film Festival in June. From March to May and in November you get some rain, which is never nice on a beach holiday so it’s not realy worth coming during this time of year.
Botswana offers exceptional wildlife and game viewing all year round but birding season is from November to March, botanical season is from December to May when the vegetation is lush and green and that most plants are in flower and fromMay to July, during the dry season, you will experience the largest migration on earth if you are in Okovango.During the high season from July to October it is essential that you book well in advance
Uganda has a cool climate. Trekking is considered a year round activity but you’ll find the easiest trekking conditions are during the dry season: in January and February and from June to September.
In Rwanda, gorilla trekking is also easier during the dry season from December to February and June till September. However if you chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe, the apes will be easier to locate during the rainy seasons from March to June and mid-September to mid-December.
The climate in Madagascar between the east and west coast various significantly. There are 2 seasons in Madagascar: the warm (actually hot), rainy season between December and April, and the dry season (generally cooler) between May and October.
In Ethiopiawet season is from May to September.
Mozambique April to September is the best time to visit Mozambique during the winter months. Best fishing months are during the summer from October - March.
Zambiahas a distinctive season for visiting parks. Most lodges and camps are open between April and November (with a few exceptions). The one that do stay open during the rainy season offer exceptional birding safaris and spectacular scenery.Another important factor to keep in mind is the Victoria Falls that is spectacular in April and May after the rainy season, although the thick spray may obscure your view. At the end of the dry season, October to December, the water levels are low and one can see the magnificent rock formation of the falls. This is also when river rafting is most exciting.
Zimbabwe. Birding season is from Nov - March when the waterways of the Zambezi and Lake Kariba are home to the many migratory birds during their breeding season. Botanical season is from Dec - May when the vegetation is lush and green, and also when most plants are in flower. As for we said earlier, the moment where it is most impressive to see the Victoria Falls in in May and April after the rainy season, even though the thick spray may obscure your view. But if you come at the end of dry season, around November you can see the magnificent rock formation of the falls and do some great rafting.
The northern parts of South Africa (Kruger, Gauteng, Limpopo) are best during the winter months (May to September) with wildlife and game viewing at its best. It guests quite chilly – around 20ºC during the day. The South of the countryis best during the summer months from October to March. A ‘must-see’ for those who enjoy spectacular scenery, be sure to diaries a visit to the floral extravaganza in Namaqualand when the desert-like terrain is transformed into a carpet of flowers and draws thousands of visitors takes place from mid-August to mid-September.Sardine run in June / July. An underwater version of the Great Migration. Coincides with the humpback whale.
In Namibia certain seasons are ideal for special interest travelers: birding is best between November and April because of the greater variety of species to be found and the botanical season is from December to May when most plants are in flower