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When’s the best time to go on safari?

Safari & Elephants

It sounds like a dream when you think about it: landscapes unrivalled in their diversity, deliciously warm weather, a blistering sunburn or two, and of course herds of majestic animals roaming freely around you. The African safari is part of everyone’s wildest fantasies. But when is the best time to go?

This is a question we get asked a lot by our audience, and the most straightforward answer is to say between June and October. Those months are characterised by Africa’s dry season when rainfall is scarce and animals start to migrate in search of new water sources.

But the real answer depends on what you want your experience to be. Are you after the adrenaline-filled adventure of a lifetime? Do you want to see baby animals popping into existence all over the savannah? Or maybe you have a passion for birds and marine life? The beautiful thing about Africa is that it’s massive and has adventures bursting from the seams!

Contiki East Africa Safari vehicles

Go With the Flow: Catch Animal Migrations

Animals are just like us for real: utterly obsessed with social holidays! Migration is a seasonal expedition for animals, normally in search of new food or water sources as the ecosystems around them change. The fan favourite journey is of course the Great Migration, the biggest and most populous mass movement in Sub-Saharan Africa. For how complex and iconic it is, it deserves its own category, so instead, how about turning your focus to the skies and the seas?

A group of dolphins swimming in the ocean, the best time for observing their playful antics on a safari.

The Miracle of Life: Witness ALL the Babies

Is there anything sweeter than watching a new-born gazelle find its legs and kick about in its first rush of freedom? We didn’t think so. There’s nothing more special than witnessing the birth of innocent creatures lucky enough to call your holiday destination their homes. Wanna be part of the circle of life? Here are the best times to travel.

baby elephant with big ears

Image source:Hu Chen @ Unsplash

Land of the Giants: Meet some really big boys

Feeling in an existential mood? If you really want to reckon with the puniness of human existence, maybe seeking out some of the world’s largest mammals is exactly what you need. Elephants are synonymous with Africa, they wander with heavy thuds through the savannahs, but let’s not forget the biggest mammals of the sea, whales! These bad boys can be spotted splashing around various coasts and make for quite the show. For a trip packed with jumbo-sized fun, both of these behemoths can be found in South Africa! 


Call of the Wild: Keep Active

Can you hear it? It’s shouting your name, demanding that you give in. Feel your lungs rattling with adrenaline, there’s something wild inside you begging to be released. Luckily these destinations have come up with just the perfect adventure safari cocktail.

hippos crossing the Okavango Delta

Image source:Colin Watts @ Unsplash

Head in the Clouds: Spot some birds

Not all safaris have to be about catching a glimpse of the elusive big 5, instead turn your head upwards, the African sky is endless and so very blue. You’ll find some friends there too.

A large group of flamingos in the water, making for the best time for safari.

Great Migration Fanatic: Witness Africa’s Main Attraction

The Great Migration from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya is synonymous with African safari as it comprises two of the world’s biggest animal migrations: wildebeests between parks, and tourists shadowing closely behind. Contrary to popular belief this journey doesn’t occur once a year, rather it takes place over the course of the year as herds follow the food and water sources with the changing of the weather. There isn’t a single right time to travel to see this as events will be happening all year, and if you want you can tag along for the full ride!

great wildebeest migration

Image source:Valerie Rossi @ Unsplash

Brothers from another Genome: Walk with the Apes

We loooove social travel because it’s always great to meet like-minded people that you wouldn’t normally have the occasion to. In that spirit, how about making connections with a group you have more in common with than you know? We’re talking about primates, those playful critters that populate the flourishing rainforests of West and East Africa, and there are so many spots to see them!

gorilla trekking in rwanda

Boundless Beauty: Get all your Insta pics

Generally the first image to pop to mind when the word safari comes up is a big open plain dotted with baobabs and bushwillows, giraffes munching on some leaves, and prides of lions chilling in the shade. And this is true for most popular safari trips. But Africa is such a huge continent and so diverse within, you’d be amazed at what you can find! If a more unique trip sounds good (you don’t want to be just like everyone else) then consider one of these destinations.

Namibia Desert

That’s basically the low-down on safari destinations, the most comprehensive list you’ll find for all kinds of travellers with all kinds of interests. Enjoy your next safari adventure and think of us when you go.

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