When To Go

Africa is an inspirational land. Regardless of the month in which you travel, we’re sure you’ll have the holiday of a lifetime. If you’re looking for some guidance, here are our suggestions on where to go when:

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

January

Turtles hatching in South Africa & Mozambique

January through to February is when the leatherback and loggerhead turtle eggs start hatching. We recommend you stay at Rocktail Beach or Thonga Beach Lodge on the Natal Coast of South Africa or the southern shores of Mozambique.

Migration in the Serengeti, Tanzania

Many animals have their young during the wildebeest migration in the southern Serengeti. It’s a beautiful thing to see and coincides with the rainy season, when the spring flowers come into bloom.

Whale sharks off the coast of Zanzibar

Swimming with whale sharks off Mafia Island is a magical experience. Despite being the world’s largest fish, the whale sharks are gentle giants and do not harm humans.

Green season in Botswana

The rainy season in Botswana is a birdwatcher’s paradise. You’ll be treated to a variety of species from colourful flamingos and ostriches to the kori bustard and the red-billed quelea.

Places to avoid

This is cyclone season in Mauritius and Madagascar, and rainy season in the Seychelles and Mozambique. Zambia can also be quite wet during this period.

February

Evening picnics in the winelands, South Africa

With its long warm evenings, February is the best time to explore South Africa’s winelands and enjoy evening picnics on its stunning estates. Visit the Kirstenbosch Summer Festival, which offers great music alongside great food and is set in the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens.

Calving in Botswana

The migration continues here through February. Watch the young animals being born and enjoy the beautiful scenery that the wet season brings to the Maasai Mara and Serengeti.

Sun seeking in Zanzibar

The February spell of hot weather and very little rain provides the perfect excuse to relax on the white sandy beaches of Zanzibar and go snorkelling or scuba diving in the calm waters.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

February is the best time of year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The weather conditions are good and the skies typically clear so that reaching the summit is much easier than in other less predictable months.

Places to avoid

There is a risk of cyclones in Madagascar, southern Mozambique and Mauritius. Namibia is affected by flash flooding and is uncomfortably hot. It’s rainy season in Zambia and most of the camps close during February.

March

River safaris on the Luangwa, Zambia

The Luangwa River is an exciting place to visit as it plays host to lions, elephants, buffalo, hippos and over 450 species of birds. Explore the woodlands and plains around the river to find the animals and be sure to bring your wet gear.

Diving in the Seychelles

March is the best time for diving and snorkelling in the Seychelles as the sea is calm and the water visibility is excellent.

Fly fishing on the western Cape, South Africa

The fishing season, which runs until May, provides a great opportunity to try fly fishing for the first time. For the more experienced angler, it’s a chance to catch some rarer breeds of fish.

Places to avoid

Cyclone season is still in full swing, affecting Madagascar, Mauritius and Mozambique. Namibia may also suffer the occasional flood.

April

Beaches of the Indian Ocean islands

As the cyclone season comes to an end, the seas calm, the waters go clear and you can finally take advantage of the white sandy beaches. Mauritius, the Seychelles and Mozambique are particularly beautiful at this time.

Green season in Zambia

The rainy season is when Zambia is at its brightest. The water levels at Victoria Falls are at their peak, making this landmark more stunning then ever. Fewer tourists mean that it’s cheaper and less busy than in other months and yet there is still excellent game viewing to be had.

Places to avoid

The heavy rains affect Tanzania right through until June, with many of the lodges closing over this period. The same is true for Kenya.

May

Fishing in Cuta Bay, Mozambique

The tranquil waters of Cuta Bay in Southern Mozambique make for excellent fishing. Among the species to be caught are 4 variations of kingfish, king mackerel, barracuda, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, bonito, sailfish, marlin and dorado.

Bird watching in the Seychelles

Bird Island in the Seychelles is home to over 800,000 pairs of sooty terns. Visit in May when they arrive for the breeding season and nest on the northern tip of the island. It’s an amazing sight to behold whether or not you are a bird lover.

Running the Comrades in South Africa

Natal is the venue for the world famous Comrades double marathon, which takes place on the last Sunday in May. As the official UK operator for Comrades, Safari Sun can offer advice on where to go and what to see following this fantastic event.

June

Sardine run in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

From May to July every year billions of sardines swim northwards along the east coast of Southern Africa. It’s been called the “greatest marine spectacle on earth”. The sardines lay their eggs in the sea and the currents carry them to the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a fisherman’s dream and people come from all around to fish in the waters of KwaZulu-Natal.

Safari in southern Africa

This is the best time for game viewing in southern Africa as the climate is cooler and the vegetation becomes sparser. Walking safaris begin in Zambia and abundant wildlife can be seen in Kenya and Tanzania.

The Okavango Delta in Botswana

In June the floods arrive, immersing the plains and deepening the lagoons. The clear blue skies, warm days and thinner bush mean spotting game is easier than usual.

June is a good time to visit Africa generally as it’s slightly cooler than in the summer months. The game viewing is superb and the school holiday crowds have yet to arrive.

July

Knysna Oyster Festival, South Africa

Located on South Africa’s Garden Route, Knysna is set in a beautiful coastal area. Its annual oyster festival is one of the country’s most popular events. Over a two week period “oyster hotspots” cater for a variety of tastes. There’s also a half marathon and cycling event, making it fun for all the family.

Migration in Tanzania

The migration continues in June with the zebra and wildebeest crossing the Grumeti River in the western corridor. This is the best time to visit the Mahale Mountains, home to endangered wild chimpanzees.

Whale watching in Mozambique

From the comfort of your sand dune hotel in Tofo, watch humpback whales breaching, as they pass through the waters with their young in June and July.

August

The great migration in Kenya

The spectacle of over 2 million wildebeest charging across the plains of the Serengeti through the Mara River to the grasslands of the Maasai Mara is truly amazing. The river is the perfect viewing spot.

Explore Madagascar’s rainforests

With the rainy season lasting from November until spring, it’s best to visit Madagascar during the summer months. The warm weather makes all activities possible, whether you fancy lying on a beach or trekking in one of the beautiful national parks.

September

Wildflowers in South Africa

As the temperatures rise in September, the wildflowers of the northern Cape come out in full bloom. The Namaqualand Flower Route lies 5 hours north of Cape Town and is home to over 4,000 different floral species.

Game viewing at Lake Malawi, Mozambique

During the hotter months of September and October, the waterholes dry up. It’s an excellent time for game viewing as animals collect by the river banks in search of water. Large quantities of game and numerous different species can be seen in a single area.

Nesting period in Botswana

If you are a bird lover, the best time to visit the Okavango Delta is in October when colonies of herons flock to the area to breed and nest.

Fishing on the Lower Zambezi, Zambia

The lower Zambezi offers beautiful surroundings and fantastic fishing, especially of tigerfish. However, it’s essential that you travel with a guide, as it’s not only fish that lurk amongst these waters!

October

Carmine bee-eaters nesting in Zambia

October is the nesting season for the beautiful red and green carmine bee-eaters. They liven up the banks of the Luangwa River when they arrive, filling the skies - a vision to rival any big game sighting.

Elephant migration in Tanzania

From July to October you can witness the largest congregation of elephants in the world as they migrate through Tanzania. As many as 4,000 elephants make the arduous journey.

Hawksbills turtles nesting in the Seychelles

From October to December the islands become the nesting ground for hundreds of hawksbill turtles. The sight of so many turtles all in one place, laying their eggs, is not to be missed.

November

Whale watching in South Africa

There are fantastic whale watching opportunities in South Africa all year round but November is a particularly good time. The weather is warm, it’s low season and therefore less crowded. Head to Hermanus or Walker Bay for the best viewpoints.

Birding in Zambia

Zambia is a birdwatcher’s paradise with over 750 different bird species. November marks the beginning of the hot rainy season when the birds are easiest to find.

Turtles nesting in Mozambique

The beaches of Mozambique are largely unexplored and unspoilt, providing the perfect environment for sea turtles to lay their eggs. Five species of marine turtle nest along the coast during November, all of them threatened worldwide, yet they have been protected in Mozambique for the last 45 years.

Migration in Tanzania

The zebra and wildebeest migration in northern and central Serengeti is a beautiful sight. The warm November weather and the lack of tourists provide the perfect conditions for observing game.

Birding in Kenya

The short rains in November make for fantastic birding in Kenya. The country boasts 11% of the world’s species – some 1,089 different varieties.

December

Franschhoek Champagne Festival, South Africa

In a region renowned for its wine, the Franschhoek Champagne Festival allows you to taste some of France’s best champagne alongside the best of South Africa’s wine. Restaurants in the area get involved, designing special menus to accompany the drinks.

Sandy beaches in South Africa

With the hot weather that December brings there is no better time to hit the beach in South Africa. Bring a net to go fishing in the rock pools or learn to surf the waves. There is something for everyone along the South African coastline.

Herds calving in the Serengeti, Tanzania

On a December safari in the Serengeti, you’ll witness plains full of baby wildebeest, zebra and gazelles. December is a beautiful time to visit Tanzania, promising clear skies and a deliciously warm breeze.

Snorkelling on the Mafia Islands, Tanzania

The unspoilt barrier reefs surrounding the Mafia Islands provide a plethora of wonderful diving spots. The islands are home to turtles, rays and dolphins.