What to expect - a monthly breakdown
Best time to travel for Safari: all year round! For less boggier conditions the dry seasons are favoured in July to September & December to February. Wild animals can be see all year round, however, it is during some seasons when they are most abundant and easier to spot. Here is a guide to help maximise your chances of seeing your big 5!
Climate – Kenya
Kenya boasts one of the best climates in the world, averaging a comfortable 25-30 degrees Centigrade (77 – 86 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day. Variations occur according to altitude and terrain, with the lower temperatures experienced in the highlands and higher humidity classically in the coastal areas. Most of the country experiences two rainy seasons over the year with the long rains during April and May, and the short rains in November.
Even during the rains, however, the weather can be pleasant with rain typically occurring in the early morning and again later in the afternoon or evening. But it can be quite chilly both in the early morning and evening, hence visitors are encouraged to pack a sweater. Kenya being a blend of high altitudes and tropical sun makes for a unique and variable climate. Both temperatures and climate vary drastically, from region to region and throughout a single day. In short, a traveller should come prepared for hot, cold, wet and dusty conditions.
Climate – Tanzania
The southern circuit is best experienced between July and November. It is recommended that young families & disabled travellers should avoid the months of April to June, when several lodges are known to close in anticipation of the peak rainy season. The dry months of March and September are generally rated best for trekking on Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru, though both mountains can be climbed at any time of year.
The coast and offshore islands are best avoided over the high rainfall months of March to May. This hot and humid part of the country is most pleasant during the relatively cool and dry months of June to October, which is also when the risk of malaria is at its lowest.
Climate – Uganda
Uganda can be visited at any time. Mountain hikes, gorilla trekking and other forest walks, however, are more challenging during the rains which generally peak over mid-September to November and March to May.
Climate - Mauritius - Seychelles - Zanzibar
There are 2 seasons: a warm humid summer from November to April with a mean temperature of 24.7 °C (76.5 °F), and a relatively cool dry winter from June to September. The warmest months are January and February with average day maximum temperature reaching 29.2 °C (84.6 °F) and the coolest months are July and August with average overnight minimum temperatures of 16.4 °C (61.5 °F).
The Great Migration Guide
The annual movement of grazing herbivores across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is one of the greatest spectacles in the natural world. Originating on Tanzania’s short grass plains of the southeastern Serengeti, 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra, 18,000 eland and 500,000 Thompson’s gazelle, begin their movement north in search of greener pastures.. dont miss it, start planning here
Wildebeest migrating through the domains of Africa's carnivorous beasts. However, catching sight of big cats hunting is possible all year round. It is the crossing of the Grummeti and Mara river which provide the most thrilling spectacle of all. During the migration wildebeest calves are born and this is the second reason why spectacular cheetah chases across the savanna, leopard kills on river banks and bush land, lion hunts in the vicinity of watering holes/salt licks are the place to be!
The migration is rarely ever the same in terms of precise timing and direction, as local conditions influence grass growth. The wildebeest may therefore move off the open plains earlier in some years and remain in the northern woodlands for longer in others. No one safari is ever the same!.. Don’t share your friends safari pictures, create your own safari album now..
A little after the short rains begin on the serengetti in November, the herds of the wildebeest begin migration towards these short-grass plains (i.e south and east of Seronera, around Ndutu and include the north of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area )- OFFER. Don’t forget the zebras and various antelope/gazelle break up these herds in much smaller numbers.
November to February
The wildebeest give birth between January and March on the short grass plains. Most wildebeest calves born in a short window around February. Gradually they spread west across these plains, then
around April they start their great migration north.
March – May
By May the Serengeti's wildebeest all seem to be moving north, migrating to seek fresh grazing and water. New location: Moru Kopjes and west of Seronera is then hectic with a series of moving columns, often containing hundreds of thousands of animals. Some of the migration then head due north of Seronera, but most are usually further west.
June - Grumetti river Halt
Around June the wildebeest migration is often halted on the south side of the Grumeti River, which has some channels which block or slow their migration north. The wildebeest then congregate there, in the Western Corridor, often building up to a high density before crossing the river. The river here is normally a series of pools and channels, but it's not continuous – and so whilst they always represent an annual feast for the Grumeti River's large crocodiles, these aren't usually quite as spectacular as the crossings of the Mara River, further north.
July & August
Some heading through Grumeti Reserve and Ikorongo, others north through the heart of the Serengeti National Park.
September – Mara river (in recent years August)
River provides the migration with its most serious obstacle. This river gushes through the northern Serengeti from Kenya's adjacent Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Watching the frantic herds of the wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River can be very spectacular; there are often scenes of great panic and confusion. It's common to see herds cross the Mara River north on one day, and then back south a few days later.
October – southward bound
The wildebeest herds are migrating again with more accord: all are heading south, through western Loliondo and the Serengeti National Park's Lobo area, returning to the green shoots which follow the rains on the short-grass plains of the southern Serengeti in October - November
For those number crunchers, parents/travel organisers amongst your travelling party, for all of you…
here is your guide $ £ € ¥
Peak season - 01 January – 01 February / 01 June - 30 October / 10 December – 31 December
High season - 01 March – 30 March / 01 November – 09 December
Low season - 01 April – 30 May