Best Time to Visit Africa | East + West African Safaris, Weather & More

Africa is the second-largest continent in the world and is home to some of the most diverse landscapes, wildlife, and flora. From the lush forests in west-central Africa to the scorching coastal desert in southern Africa, you can find it all when you visit Africa.

Africa is also both south, central, and north of the equator, which makes planning trips a little more complicated. You’ll find yourself pondering about when is the best time to go to Africa and wonder if it’s even still worth it.

Africa is definitely worth it. From grasslands to the desert, each part of Africa is unique in its own way. But when is the best time to travel to Africa?

Continue reading to learn about the best time to travel to Africa, the safaris, and the weather in West and East Africa.

Best Time to Visit East Africa

East Africa Elephant at Mount Kilimanjaro

Eastern Africa is home to countries like Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda and is made up of grasslands, forests, and even a few lakes. Mt. Kilimanjaro, the largest mountain in Africa can be found in Eastern Africa, more specifically, Tanzania.

Tanzania is also home to the Serengeti ecosystem which also has a national park where visitors can experience Africa at its finest. Discover incredible views, crocodile-infested rivers, and the annual Great Migration where you can see and hear all the different cries of a Zebra.

Below is information about the best time to visit Serengeti and what to expect from your Safari.

Best Time for an African Safari

A safari really is a journey of a lifetime. You get to experience the vast landscapes of an area along with witnessing the wildlife in its natural form. Hiking through the deep corners of Africa, discovering breathtaking views and spectacular scenery will leave you in absolute awe.

The wildlife in the Serengeti ranges from many different kinds of animals. If wildlife is what you’re looking to see, the best time to visit Africa for wildlife is from December to June. The climate during this time is wet, seeing as it’s the wet season in Serengeti.

Zebras in the Serengeti

During this time, animals like wildebeest, zebras, gazelles, and various other species migrate to greener pastures. When it comes to The Serengeti, the best time of year to visit Africa is any time other than April and May. These months see the most rainfall and the park is pretty much closed during these months.

Temperatures during the rainy season in Africa can fluctuate, but it tends to stay at an average of 80°F during the day and 59°F at night. The dry season is between June and October and temperatures during this season average around 75°F during the day and 55°F at night.

The summers and winters don’t really have a huge difference in temperatures, which makes it easy to plan for according to the season (dry or rainy). The Serengeti has rather consistent average temperatures all throughout the year. But it can get really cold at night and early mornings, so don’t forget your jackets and scarves.

Best Time for Safari in South Africa

At the very bottom of Africa is a country so rich in culture and vegetation, it has gained world-renowned fame. South Africa is in the Southern parts of Africa, just like the name suggests, neighboring countries like Namibia and Botswana. The country might be small, but it is home to some of the most diverse areas in Africa.

South African Mountain Ranges

Tropical rainforests, mountain ranges covered in snow, hot beaches, and dry deserts are a few of the many landscapes that make up South Africa. The question is, where can you go on safari and when is the best time to visit South Africa?

The Kruger National Park, situated between the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces is one of the best and most authentic African safari experiences.

Best Time to go to Kruger National Park

The park is about 7,523 sq mi large and houses mountains, bush plains, and even tropical forests, among other landscapes. Kruger National Park is perfect for family vacations, romantic honeymoons, or just for experienced safari-goers to enjoy.

One of the most interesting and unique aspects of the park is the vast wildlife it inhabits. There are many different types of birds, reptiles, mammals, and more. Amongst these different kinds of animals is the world-famous Big 5. This well-known group consists of lions, black rhinos, leopards, African buffaloes, and elephants.

Many people visit the Kruger National Park solely to possibly see all 5 of these spectacular animals. This would, of course, take some planning to try and pinpoint a time of year that would be best suited to witness each of them in their splendor.

A Car driving through Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park’s general “best time of year” is from June to September, which is winter in South Africa. This time of year is the area’s dry season, which leaves the park dry and quite open for exploration.

Even though it is winter, the temperatures are pretty mild with an average daytime temperature of 80°F and an average night-time temperature of 51°F. During the summer, the park can experience an average daytime temperature of about 104°F, which can be quite sweltering to those who are not fond of the heat.

However, it is a known fact that the Kruger National Park is open all year round and also doesn’t really have a “best time” to visit. There are different things to see and experience throughout the year.

Your tour guides should have a good understanding of what is going on in the park and can help you figure out what it is that you would like to do.

Final Thoughts on When to Visit Africa

The best times to visit Africa is a very objective view of Africa itself. The continent is full of incredible and diverse wildlife suited for anyone who enjoys animals and their habitats, from birds to big cats.

The various landscapes are awe-inspiring and Africa truly supplies one with the perfect terrain according to their preference. Even the temperatures will vary and according to the desired climate of the visitor, Africa can provide it.

All you need to do is go to Africa.

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