Best time to visit Africa

Africa typically experiences two seasons: wet and dry. The climate during these seasons can vary greatly according to a country’s topography, altitude and proximity to the coastline. This can have a huge impact on what travellers will be able to see and do during their vacation. Wildlife behaviour, park accessibility, temperature and appeal of beach hotspots are all dramatically affected by the rainfall or lack of it that accompanies Africa’s wet and dry seasons. Our destinations focus mainly on southern and east Africa so read on to learn about the pros and cons of visiting these regions in each season.

Giraffe in Masai Mara - East Africa safaris - On The Go Tours
The Masai Mara reserve in East Africa is considered a year-round destination

East Africa

In east Africa you'll find superb game viewing opportunities in Kenya and Tanzania with the world-famous Masai Mara reserve, the Serengeti and UNESCO-listed Ngorongoro Crater. Off the coast of Tanzania lies the Zanzibar archipelago, which makes the perfect beach addition to a safari adventure, while next door to Kenya lies Uganda and the critically endangered mountain gorillas.

Thinking of visiting Africa? Download a copy of our Africa brochure for inspiration.

Seasons

When is the wet season in East Africa?

Normally, east Africa experiences two rainy seasons. The first of these occurs between March and May and the second happens from mid-October to mid-December. Although wildlife is usually harder to spot during the rainy seasons, the landscape during this time takes on a vivid green colour thanks to the hydrated plant life, making it the most beautiful time to visit. Another benefit of travelling during this time is that the parks will be much less crowded and the experience will be significantly cheaper.

When is the dry season in East Africa?

The periods between June and October and December to February are considered the best times to go on safari in this part of Africa if you are hoping to see as much wildlife as possible. The lack of water means that the remaining water holes become much more crowded as animals have fewer drinking options. The temperatures during the dry season are also much more bearable with the days warm and sunny and the evenings cooling off.

Top Africa Deals
Discover the best time to visit Botswana and the Okavango Delta with our guide Namibia to Falls - 10 days Map
27 Feb 2020  2-for-1
Namibia to Falls - 10 days
USD $473
was $945
Zebras drinking | African Safaris | Africa Cape to Falls - 22 days Map
29 Feb 2020  2-for-1
Cape to Falls - 22 days
USD $748
was $1,495
Oryx in Sossuslvlei | Namibia Cape to Namibia - 14 days Map
29 Feb 2020  2-for-1
Cape to Namibia - 14 days
USD $598
was $1,195
Giraffes in Etosha | Namibia | On The Go Tours Namibia to Cape - 14 days Map
01 Mar 2020  2-for-1
Namibia to Cape - 14 days
USD $598
was $1,195
Western Cape Beach | South Africa | Africa Falls to Cape - 22 days Map
07 Mar 2020  2-for-1
Falls to Cape - 22 days
USD $748
was $1,495
San Bushmen | Botswana | Africa Falls to Namibia - 10 days Map
07 Mar 2020  2-for-1
Falls to Namibia - 10 days
USD $473
was $945
Dune 45 | Sossusvlei | Namibia An African Adventure Southbound - 37 days Map
20 Mar 2020  2-for-1
An African Adventure Southbound - 37 days
USD $1,348
was $2,695
Victoria Falls | Zimbabwe & Zambia | Africa Falls to Joburg - 12 days Map
21 Mar 2020  2-for-1
Falls to Joburg - 12 days
USD $598
was $1,195
Herd of Elephants | Africa Safaris | Africa Big Five Safari Explorer - 36 days Map
28 Mar 2020  2-for-1
Big Five Safari Explorer - 36 days
USD $1,548
was $3,095
Mountain Gorilla | Uganda | Africa Gorilla and Game Trek - 15 days Map
28 Mar 2020  2-for-1
Gorilla and Game Trek - 15 days
USD $798
was $1,595
Gorillas | Uganda | Africa Gorilla Trek and Tanzania - 25 days Map
28 Mar 2020  2-for-1
Gorilla Trek and Tanzania - 25 days
USD $1,298
was $2,595
Masai men under Acacia trees | Kenya East Africa Encompassed - 16 days Map
06 Apr 2020  2-for-1
East Africa Encompassed - 16 days
USD $1,398
was $2,795
Lioness and Cub | Safari | Africa Wildlife, Falls and Beaches - 27 days Map
06 Apr 2020  2-for-1
Wildlife, Falls and Beaches - 27 days
USD $1,748
was $3,495
Leopard | African Safaris | Africa Best of Kenya & Tanzania - 11 days Map
06 Apr 2020  2-for-1
Best of Kenya & Tanzania - 11 days
USD $1,098
was $2,195
Running Cheetah | African Safaris | Africa Wildlife Express - 22 days Map
11 Apr 2020  2-for-1
Wildlife Express - 22 days
USD $948
was $1,895
Nungwi Beach | Zanzibar | Africa Zebras & Zanzibar - 11 days Map
11 Apr 2020  2-for-1
Zebras & Zanzibar - 11 days
USD $698
was $1,395
Zanzibar Beaches | Zanzibar | Tanzania Zanzibar to Zimbabwe - 16 days Map
17 Apr 2020  2-for-1
Zanzibar to Zimbabwe - 16 days
USD $748
was $1,495
Hippo in Chobe | Botswana | On The Go Tours Cape to Kenya -  43 days Map
25 Apr 2020  2-for-1
Cape to Kenya - 43 days
USD $1,548
was $3,095
Okavango Delta | Botswana | Africa An African Adventure - 37 days Map
25 Apr 2020  2-for-1
An African Adventure - 37 days
USD $1,348
was $2,695
Samburu Tribe | Kenya | Africa Great African Expedition North - 57 days Map
25 Apr 2020  2-for-1
Great African Expedition North - 57 days
USD $2,198
was $4,395
Lions Resting | Tanzania | On The Go Tours Kruger to Kenya - 33 days Map
05 May 2020  2-for-1
Kruger to Kenya - 33 days
USD $1,248
was $2,495
Young Leopard in Hwange | Zimbabwe | On The Go Tours Jo'burg to Falls - 12 Days Map
05 May 2020  2-for-1
Jo'burg to Falls - 12 Days
USD $598
was $1,195
Gorilla with her baby | Uganda | On The Go Tours The Big Overlander Northbound - 47 days Map
05 May 2020  2-for-1
The Big Overlander Northbound - 47 days
USD $1,948
was $3,895
Table Mountain | Cape Town | South Africa | Africa Kenya to Cape - 43 days Map
09 May 2020  2-for-1
Kenya to Cape - 43 days
USD $1,548
was $3,095
Elephants | Africa Overland Safaris | Africa Big Five Explorer Safari Northbound - 36 days Map
16 May 2020  2-for-1
Big Five Explorer Safari Northbound - 36 days
USD $1,548
was $3,095
Lion Cubs | Africa Zimbabwe to Zanzibar - 16 days Map
16 May 2020  2-for-1
Zimbabwe to Zanzibar - 16 days
USD $748
was $1,495
Lioness | African Safari | Africa Wildlife Express Northbound - 22 days Map
16 May 2020  2-for-1
Wildlife Express Northbound - 22 days
USD $948
was $1,895
Lions in Samburu National Park | Kenya | Africa Great African Expedition - 57 days Map
23 May 2020  2-for-1
Great African Expedition - 57 days
USD $2,198
was $4,395
Gorilla | Uganda | Africa Gorilla Trek & Tanzania Northbound - 25 days Map
27 May 2020  2-for-1
Gorilla Trek & Tanzania Northbound - 25 days
USD $1,298
was $2,595
Zebras | African Safaris | Africa The Big Overlander - 47 days Map
06 Jun 2020  2-for-1
The Big Overlander - 47 days
USD $1,948
was $3,895
Leopard in a tree | African Safaris | Africa Kenya to Kruger - 33 days Map
04 Jul 2020  2-for-1
Kenya to Kruger - 33 days
USD $1,298
was $2,595