July through October is the best time for an African safari. This is when the animals are easy to find and in substantial numbers. Generally, African safaris can be done all year round but your choice of travel date could be determined by whether you can stand the rain in the wet season or enjoy the scorching sun in the dry season. Let’s take a look at patterns by the East African Countries where our safaris go.
The annual migration is the main attraction in Kenya and the best time to go on safari and experience this vast density and diversity of wildlife is in July through October when the millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gnu descend on the Mara plains with predators close behind. January through March and July through October is a dry season when there little or no rain. An excellent time to visit wild Kenya savanna wildlife drama.
With the scarcity of water during the dry seasons, the animals tend to gather in more concentrated numbers around permanent waterholes, rivers, and lakes, so they are easier to find. The vegetation is also less lush which means that viewing animals from a distance is easier.
Tanzania’s northern parks, Serengeti and Ngorongoro, are excellent to view the annual migration birthed and the best time to witness the this exhilarating nature drama is probably February through March when the wildebeest and zebra have their young. This is the time when predators gather around in highest numbers for an easy meal. We recommend you plan your wildlife viewing in the south of Serengeti because that’s where the herds concentrate most.
The dry season (June to November) is the best time to visit all the parks in Tanzania, though the Southern game parks will give you a more satisfying game drive because during this time the animals tend to congregate around permanent water where it’s not so hot and humid.
Tanzania’s Parks generally receive rains from March to May in the North, and November to May in the South and West. Roads get washed out and given the sheer size of Tanzania’s parks, the animals tend to spread out which makes wildlife viewing less satisfying (if you’re looking for sheer numbers of animals).
December through March can get quite hot and humid, especially in Western and Southern Tanzania which makes it a little uncomfortable to spend a lot of time in the bush.
Meal time: Mountain Gorilla in Uganda
How About Uganda?
Uganda’s magnificent Parks are best visited in December through March or June through September when it is predominantly dry. Of course most people will chose a Uganda safari because of the Mountain Gorillas but I would say Uganda may not have all the massive animal numbers but it’s got small parks that make the animals concentrate in smaller places easy to find to find them. Plus, there are fewer safari trucks to destruct you from a private quiet drive. Imagine driving for hours without meeting another truck—that’s a Uganda safari for you.
Although rain is likely all year round in the tropical mountain forest (where the primates call home), the rainy seasons make the trek up to the gorillas particularly tricky, so avoid the months of March and April or October and November.
Gorilla Trekking Tours
- 3 Day Gorilla Tracking Safari
- 5 Days Gorillas & Wildlife Safari
- 4 Day Gorillas & Golden Monkey Safari
- View more safaris
So, gorilla trekking can actually be done all-year-round and since the gorilla habitat has been reduced so significantly, they couldn’t roam far even if they wanted to. However, tracking gorillas is hard at the best of times, and during the rainy season, the steep paths and mud can make it almost impossible to manage. Very heavy rain also makes it more difficult to take good photos, and since you only have an hour with the gorillas, it would be a shame not to get a good snapshot or two. The main rainy seasons in Rwanda, Uganda, and the DRC are from March to April and October to November.
When to go on an African safari greatly depends on your calendar, when you can take a vacation. East Africa is a great place to see all creatures from the gentle giants in the tropical mountain forest down to the savanna plains of the Serengeti, you can visit any time of the year. Your sensitivity to the weather patterns will determine your choice of trip date. You can talk to K-Safaris consultants to help you plan a great trip. Replying your email or call costs us nothing, we enjoy talking to travellers you know.