WHEN TO TRAVEL

When To Travel

In the western world, we’re accustomed to the four season cycle — spring, summer, fall, winter. Africa, on the other hand, experiences long dry seasons punctuated by brief wet seasons.

Africa’s Two Seasons: When is the Best Time to Travel

In East Africa, the dry seasons run from mid-June through October and mid-December through February. During these periods, roads are easily passable, animals prioritize their search for water and green grass — and as such, wildlife is as abundant as tourists.

The wet seasons — November through mid-December and mid-March through early June — bring green grasses, plentiful water, and difficult travel. Roads are hard to navigate at this time and animals can be more difficult to spot.

If you’re having trouble deciding which time of year is best for your visit, contact our Safari Specialists. They’re happy to discuss your options and direct you to the best African experience imaginable.

When To Visit Kenya

The best times to visit Kenya on safari are during the two dry seasons, mid-June to October and Mid-December to mid-March, although there are opportunities throughout the year depending on your preferences. The Great Migration is typically best seen in Kenya from August to October.

  • The best wildlife viewing months are during the Long Dry Season from late June to October which also coincides not coincidentally with the high season. The Great Wildebeest happens between August and October. While there are greater crowds, the wildlife is easier to view as animals gather around water and the bush is thinner. You can expect cool mornings and evenings. The days are sunny. Some parks can get very crowded especially in Masai Mara and Amboseli.
  • November to mid-December are the time of the “Short Rains”
  • Mid-December to Mid-March are the Short Dry Season are also considered high season and the game viewing is good.
  • Mid-March through May are the wet season or “Long Rains.” Some of the lodges and tented camps close down although it can be very peaceful, the scenery is green and beautiful, it is a good time to see newborn animals, and it is the less expensive time to safari in the game parks.

When To Visit Tanzania

The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater offer great wildlife viewing throughout the year. June and July are typically viewed as the best months for seeing the great migration and February is the best month for the wildebeest calving. Tarangire is best visited from June through October in the dry season when the elephants have migrated to the park in search of water.

  • The best wildlife viewing months are during the Long Dry Season from late June to October which also coincides not coincidentally with the high season. The Great Wildebeest Migration, a highlight of any safari in Tanzania, is a continuous process and animals move in a huge circuitous route clockwise around the Serengeti ecosystem. By August the migratory herds are moved out of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania into Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya. While there are greater crowds, the wildlife is easier to view as animals gather around water and the bush is thinner. You can expect cool mornings and evenings. The days are sunny.
  • November to mid-December are the time of the “Short Rains.” The animals graze on the green grass.
  • Mid-December to March are the Short Dry Season are also considered high season and the game viewing is good. February is the warmest month. Late-January to February is the time to see the wildebeest calving and probably the biggest concentration of predators in the world during this time.
  • March through May are the wet season or “Long Rains.” By April many lodges and tented camps shut down because the rains make the roads impassable in the western and southern circuit parks while the northern circuit parks still get plenty of visitors. The scenery is green and beautiful and it is the least expensive time to safari in the game parks.

When To Visit Rwanda

The small country of Rwanda is a breathtaking country and there is a lot to experience. Most people come to Rwanda for a gorilla trek. While it is considered a year-round activity, the best times to go are during the dry seasons from mid-December to early February and from June to September. Rwanda safaris and gorilla treks are possible during the rainy seasons but there can be a lot of mud and enough rain to make it a difficult trek. Conversely, going to visit the chimpanzees in Nyungwe is best when during the rains as the chimps are easier to locate in the forest.

  • The optimal gorilla trekking is during the Dry Season from late June to September. The forest trails are not as slippery and there is more sunshine.
  • Gorilla trekking during the Wet Season from October to May is more difficult due to the rains making the slopes slippery and more exhausting to climb. Gorilla treks are however possible even in the wet season. April is the wettest month and should probably be avoided.

When To Visit Kilimanjaro

Safari direct is fully committed to do everything in our power to help you realize your dream and your great story. That includes making sure you are aware how the time of year you choose affects your experience and, possibly, your chance of success.

January-February: Starting around the middle of January through early March is the “Short Dry Season” and an ideal time for the best Kilimanjaro safaris. The Short Dry Season is colder than the June-October “Long Dry Season” and you have a higher chance of experiencing snow conditions at the upper reaches of the mountain. February is a warmer month and another great month to consider climbing although you will need to be prepared for dust and high winds which can be an issue.

March-May: March, April and May are the wettest months and not recommended for climbing Kilimanjaro. Besides being wet possibly the entire time due to the fact that it is nearly impossible to dry your clothes, the visibility is generally bad which greatly hampers the experience.

June-October: The “Long Dry” Season lasts from mid-June through to October and is the busiest time of the year on the mountain. Your chances of encountering rain or snow are minimal although the rains can linger in June. The mountain is busier for obvious reasons. The month of September is an especially pleasant month because of usually having very favorable weather conditions and fewer climbing groups on the mountain.

November-December: November is especially wet with the start of the “Short Rains” and not recommended. December is usually a decent month to climb if the cold and snow are not an issue for you. The holiday season into early January is becoming a more popular time to climb Kili. The weather can be quite unpredictable during December and into the first part of January.

 

  • The best wildlife viewing months are during the Long Dry Season from late June to October which also coincides not coincidentally with the high season. The Great Wildebeest happens between August and October. While there are greater crowds, the wildlife is easier to view as animals gather around water and the bush is thinner. You can expect cool mornings and evenings. The days are sunny. Some parks can get very crowded especially in Masai Mara and Amboseli.
  • November to mid-December are the time of the “Short Rains”
  • Mid-December to Mid-March are the Short Dry Season are also considered high season and the game viewing is good.
  • Mid-March through May are the wet season or “Long Rains.” Some of the lodges and tented camps close down although it can be very peaceful, the scenery is green and beautiful, it is a good time to see newborn animals, and it is the less expensive time to safari in the game parks.

The best times to visit Kenya on safari are during the two dry seasons, mid-June to October and Mid-December to mid-March, although there are opportunities throughout the year depending on your preferences. The Great Migration is typically best seen in Kenya from August to October.

  • The best wildlife viewing months are during the Long Dry Season from late June to October which also coincides not coincidentally with the high season. The Great Wildebeest happens between August and October. While there are greater crowds, the wildlife is easier to view as animals gather around water and the bush is thinner. You can expect cool mornings and evenings. The days are sunny. Some parks can get very crowded especially in Masai Mara and Amboseli.
  • November to mid-December are the time of the “Short Rains”
  • Mid-December to Mid-March are the Short Dry Season are also considered high season and the game viewing is good.
  • Mid-March through May are the wet season or “Long Rains.” Some of the lodges and tented camps close down although it can be very peaceful, the scenery is green and beautiful, it is a good time to see newborn animals, and it is the less expensive time to safari in the game parks.