From the Journal

Best time to visit Africa


Travel Tips

Africa has a perfect destination for any month of the year. 


Whether you’re looking for adventure, barefoot luxury or the ultimate comfort and relaxation, there’s an ideal destination for your once-in-a-life-time journey together. Here are our general recommendations as to the best time to visit Africa as a starting point for planning your LuxVenture® with us.

January

The Christmas to New Year summer holiday period introduces many visitors (both domestic and International) to Cape Town, Mauritius, Zanzibar and the beach resorts of Kenya and Mozambique. The inland parts of South Africa, where some of the country’s top safari destinations are based, is experiencing a downpour in summer rains and is generally avoided by visitors during this time.

Best Time to visit Africa: Cape Town
Photo credit | Marcelo Novais, Ker & Downey Africa's most seasoned Adventurist

Summer rains continues in South Africa, but it is the perfect time for bird-watching and peak season for turtles laying eggs on the shores of Durban and the rest of Kwazulu Natal. Game viewing in Botswana, the Kalahari and Makgadikgadi is at its best, while in East-Africa’s southern Serengeti, the wildebeest herds are calving. The Indian Ocean islands (Mauritius, Madagascar and Mozambique) are to be avoided as the wet and windy weather creates probable conditions for cyclones.

March

The rain subdues in southern Africa’s main safari destinations, towards the interior, allowing for longer and clearer days. Towards the coast of South Africa, autumn is slowly approaching with the first leaves starting to fall in the picturesque Winelands and cooler temperatures settling in. Fantastic game viewing opportunities are ahead in the southern Serengeti, as wildebeest herds welcome new born calves with predators darting across the plains. The waterflow over the Victoria Falls increases – the perfect time for high-water river rafting.

Best time to visit Africa: Victoria Falls

The waterflow over the Victoria Falls increases – the perfect time for high-water river rafting.

April

The Cape’s autumn season is in full swing in South Africa’s coastal areas, making it an ideal time to visit the Winelands and outdoor activities such as wine tours and shark cage diving. You can also plan your LuxVenture® around the inland game viewing opportunities, which improve with the drop in temperatures and rainfall. This would therefore be close to the best time to visit Africa if you want a purely Southern Africa experience. 

Elephant spotted on Walking Safari

Conversely in East Africa, the rains start to fall and the wildebeest herds move towards the north-west, indicating the start of the region’s wet season. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a possibility, but may prove challenging. Many safari camps are closed during this period as well as beach hotels on the Kenya/Zanzibar coast. In Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park, the season’s first flights to the airport have begun.

May

In Namibia, it is becoming easier to spot a variety of animals as they seek waterholes in Namibia and the Etosha National Parl, signaling the dry winter weather. The first flood waters have reached the Okavango Delta in Botswana making this the region’s peak travel season, with the Victoria Falls also showcasing a spectacular increase in water flow. Long rains continue in East Africa, while the Cape’s Mediterranean climate brings the first of wet cold-fronts over Table Mountain from the Atlantic Ocean.

Etosha national park

June

Those in Cape Town brace the chill as skeleton vineyards are revealed throughout the wine regions, however locals are never fazed as the period brings with it the first sightings of Southern Right whales along the Southern coastline. In contrast, East African vacation hideaways in Kenya and Tanzania are opening for the season with a drop in rainfall. Game viewing activities spike throughout southern and East Africa, with walking safaris welcoming its first guests in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. 

...first sightings of Southern Right whales along the Southern coastline.

Best Time Whale Watching


The wildebeest herds in the Serengeti are now making their way through treacherous waters in the Grumeti River, braving the crocodiles and other predators. If wildlife is what you’re after June could well be the best time to visit Africa.

Wildebeest Migration

If wildlife is what you’re after June could well be the best time to visit Africa.

July

Large herds of wildebeest gather along the Okavango Delta in Botswana, due to increased flood waters filling the channels. In the Serengeti, the wildebeest migration is now heading towards Kenya’s Masai Mara. It’s an excellent time to explore the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, to head out on a self-drive or flying safari in Namibia or brave gorilla trekking in Rwanda. If you’re looking to do the Botswana, Victoria Falls and South Africa circuit, July would be a great time to visit Africa.

August

Best Time To Visit Kruger National Park
Male lions spotted in Kruger National Park, South Africa

The Okavango Delta flood has now reached its peak continuing an excellent time for game viewing in Southern and East Africa, especially in South Africa’s well known Kruger National Park. The wildebeest crossing the Mara River in the Northern Serengeti ensures for some great photographic opportunities during this time period. The resorts in Zanzibar experience their busiest month, as they welcome travellers advised to steer clear of Mauritius’ strong east coast winds.

September

Whale watching season on the southern coastline of South Africa appeals to many visitors, making this many people’s best time to visit Africa. Not forgetting the Annual Whale Festival hosted by the coastal town of Hermanus as another well-known attraction. Spring marks the blooming of the wild flower season in South Africa’s Northern Cape region of Namaqualand. 


This is an opportune time to watch diverse wildlife, with the dry season continuing throughout the lower half of Africa promising ideal game viewing conditions. The great migration in the Serengeti persists across the Masai Mara with the weather also allowing for gorilla trekking in Rwanda.

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking

October

Temperatures start to rise again in the Cape and Garden Route, with longer and brighter days returning. Whales make their way back to Antarctica, while early summer rains are expected in the popular game viewing areas of Southern Africa. This is also prime time for beach holidays to Mozambique, with the Indian Ocean Islands shifting to their busiest months which peak till year’s end. Back in East Africa, the wildebeest herds are returning from the Masai Marai in Kenya to the Serengeti.

This is also prime time for beach holidays

Indian Ocean Mozambique
Indian Ocean coastline

November

Thunderstorms have returned to South Africa’s main game viewing areas but are short-lived, while migratory birds have left and camps in Zambia have now closed for the season – particularly the Lower Zambezi National Park as charted flights have halted. This period ends peak season accommodation rates for game viewing areas. However, with summer returning, the Cape region’s peak season rates take effect. 


For most schools, colleges and universities the summer holidays are just around the corner, the locals look forward to their vacations in the Cape, Garden Route and the East Coast – typically planned months in advance. If you prefer beach and city styled holidays over pure wildlife experiences, this is the best time to visit Africa for you.

Shutterstock 654027277

December

Thunderstorms start to feature during southern Africa’s green season within its main safari destinations. Temperatures are high overall, with KwaZulu Natal experiencing great humidity in particular. In East Africa, the wildebeest herds now feature in the southern Serengeti – a good time to view the wilderness. 


The Christmas and New Year holiday period ensures for an extremely busy season in the coastal regions of southern Africa, the Indian Ocean islands as well as the beach resorts of Kenya and Mozambique.

Our Adventurists are here to help you choose the best time to visit Africa. Get in touch and start planning your trip to Africa today. 

Joey Cameron
Written by
Joseph Cameron

NYC based, South African transplant, Joey Cameron, is a freelance writer, travel-nerd, natural food enthusiast, personal trainer and brand owner. Characterised by an insatiable hunger for passport stamps and a somewhat strange (non)sense of humour, he can found regularly scanning the skies for ways to up, up and getaway.


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