When is the Best Time to Visit Africa? We Break it Down For You

by Sandy Salle on May 21, 2013

visit Africa

So many travelers come to us, asking when the best time to visit Africa is. Unfortunately, Africa is a HUGE continent, so we can’t respond with a simple answer. Rather, many countries and regions throughout Africa have high and low seasons, which means that some months are more popular to visit than others. But for the most part, most countries in southern, eastern, and central Africa are great to visit all year long.

TIP: If you’re looking to save a bit during your travels, consider visiting during the low seasons—accommodations and activity rates are usually lower. 

Below I’ve outlined the best times to visit various countries throughout southern, eastern, and central Africa, depending on what you’re looking to see and experience:

Best Time to Visit South Africa:

Summer months in South Africa are between September and April (these are the United States’ winter months) with days ranging in temperature from 75-degrees to 90-degrees Fahrenheit. In my opinion, this is the best time to take a trip to South Africa. You can enjoy leisurely walks throughout Cape Town and Cape Winelands with wonderful temperatures.

Thanks to the summer rains, South Africa is flourishing with vegetation and wildlife during the months of September – April. This is also the breeding season for most wildlife.

But winter has its perks, as well! During the winter months, which are between May and August, there is excellent whale watching opportunities in the Cape region, and large game can be spotted in larger concentrations in the wildlife reserves. Temperatures in the winter range from 46-degrees to 75-degrees Fahrenheit.

Best Time to Visit Zimbabwe:

Depending on your particular interests, some months are better than others to take a Zimbabwe safari vacation. For example, if you’re an avid fisherman, consider visiting Zimbabwe during the months of September through October—this is when there are plentiful amounts of fish in the Zambezi River.

Some of the best times to visit Zimbabwe for bird watching and game viewing is from November through April. This is also the time when Victoria Falls’ water levels are at their highest—which makes for an exciting experience at the Falls!

Best Time to Visit Botswana:

Due to its varying eco-systems, Botswana ranges in terms of the best times to visit. If you’re interested in witnessing the winding waterways and lagoons of the Okavango Delta, then the months from June to August and November to March are the best. Most travelers prefer the months between November and March, though, as newborn animals are plentiful.

For those interested in visiting the Chobe National Park, drier months (between June and August) are known for plentiful wildlife gathering by watering holes. The scenery isn’t as beautiful as the rainy season (November through March), but there are still lots of game to witness!

Best Time to Visit Tanzania:

Tanzania is by far one of the best destinations to visit year-round. There is always something amazing to see!

The summer months (between November and March) are considered the high season, and boast a spectacular array of wildlife sightings. These months are when baby animals are born, and when droves of flamingo can be seen in Lake Manyara!

One of the most spectacular times to visit Tanzania is from June to August. During this time frame, MILLIONS of wildebeest, zebra, and predators cross the Grumeti River as part of one of the world’s most riveting natural phenomenon: the Great Migration.

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