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
Zanzibar Beaches | Zanzibar | Tanzania Zanzibar to Zimbabwe - 16 days Map
01 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Zanzibar to Zimbabwe - 16 days
AUD $943
was $1,885
Dune 45 | Sossusvlei | Namibia An African Adventure Southbound - 37 days Map
01 Nov 2019  2-for-1
An African Adventure Southbound - 37 days
AUD $1,698
was $3,395
Lioness | African Safari | Africa Wildlife Express Northbound - 22 days Map
02 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Wildlife Express Northbound - 22 days
AUD $1,148
was $2,295
Rhinos | African Safaris | Africa Zimbabwe to Zanzibar - 16 days Map
02 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Zimbabwe to Zanzibar - 16 days
AUD $943
was $1,885
Western Cape Beach | South Africa | Africa Falls to Cape - 22 days Map
02 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Falls to Cape - 22 days
AUD $943
was $1,885
San Bushmen | Botswana | Africa Falls to Namibia - 10 days Map
02 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Falls to Namibia - 10 days
AUD $548
was $1,095
Victoria Falls | Zimbabwe & Zambia | Africa Falls to Joburg - 12 days Map
02 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Falls to Joburg - 12 days
AUD $698
was $1,395
Elephants | Africa Overland Safaris | Africa Big Five Explorer Safari Northbound - 36 days Map
02 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Big Five Explorer Safari Northbound - 36 days
AUD $1,898
was $3,795
Leopard | African Safaris | Africa Best of Kenya & Tanzania - 11 days Map
04 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Best of Kenya & Tanzania - 11 days
AUD $1,298
was $2,595
Masai men under Acacia trees | Kenya East Africa Encompassed - 16 days Map
04 Nov 2019  2-for-1
East Africa Encompassed - 16 days
AUD $1,698
was $3,395
Lioness and Cub | Safari | Africa Wildlife, Falls and Beaches - 27 days Map
04 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Wildlife, Falls and Beaches - 27 days
AUD $2,173
was $4,345
Discover the best time to visit Botswana and the Okavango Delta with our guide Namibia to Falls - 10 days Map
07 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Namibia to Falls - 10 days
AUD $548
was $1,095
Running Cheetah | African Safaris | Africa Wildlife Express - 22 days Map
09 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Wildlife Express - 22 days
AUD $1,148
was $2,295
Leopard in a tree | African Safaris | Africa Kenya to Kruger - 33 days Map
09 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Kenya to Kruger - 33 days
AUD $1,598
was $3,195
Nungwi Beach | Zanzibar | Africa Zebras & Zanzibar - 11 days Map
09 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Zebras & Zanzibar - 11 days
AUD $823
was $1,645
Table Mountain | Cape Town | South Africa | Africa Kenya to Cape - 43 days Map
09 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Kenya to Cape - 43 days
AUD $1,973
was $3,945
Oryx in Sossuslvlei | Namibia Cape to Namibia - 14 days Map
09 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Cape to Namibia - 14 days
AUD $673
was $1,345
Giraffes in Etosha | Namibia | On The Go Tours Namibia to Cape - 14 days Map
10 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Namibia to Cape - 14 days
AUD $673
was $1,345
Gorilla | Uganda | Africa Gorilla Trek & Tanzania Northbound - 25 days Map
13 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Gorilla Trek & Tanzania Northbound - 25 days
AUD $1,598
was $3,195
Gorilla with her baby | Uganda | On The Go Tours The Big Overlander Northbound - 47 days Map
19 Nov 2019  2-for-1
The Big Overlander Northbound - 47 days
AUD $2,448
was $4,895
Lions Resting | Tanzania | On The Go Tours Kruger to Kenya - 33 days Map
19 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Kruger to Kenya - 33 days
AUD $1,598
was $3,195
Young Leopard in Hwange | Zimbabwe | On The Go Tours Jo'burg to Falls - 12 Days Map
19 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Jo'burg to Falls - 12 Days
AUD $698
was $1,395
Herd of Elephants | Africa Safaris | Africa Big Five Safari Explorer - 36 days Map
23 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Big Five Safari Explorer - 36 days
AUD $1,948
was $3,895
Mountain Gorilla | Uganda | Africa Gorilla and Game Trek - 15 days Map
23 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Gorilla and Game Trek - 15 days
AUD $948
was $1,895
Samburu Tribe | Kenya | Africa Great African Expedition North - 57 days Map
23 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Great African Expedition North - 57 days
AUD $2,773
was $5,545
Gorillas | Uganda | Africa Gorilla Trek and Tanzania - 25 days Map
23 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Gorilla Trek and Tanzania - 25 days
AUD $1,598
was $3,195
Hippo in Chobe | Botswana | On The Go Tours Cape to Kenya -  43 days Map
23 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Cape to Kenya - 43 days
AUD $1,973
was $3,945
Lions in Samburu National Park | Kenya | Africa Great African Expedition - 57 days Map
23 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Great African Expedition - 57 days
AUD $2,773
was $5,545
Zebras drinking | African Safaris | Africa Cape to Falls - 22 days Map
23 Nov 2019  2-for-1
Cape to Falls - 22 days
AUD $943
was $1,885
Okavango Delta | Botswana | Africa An African Adventure - 37 days Map
23 Nov 2019  2-for-1
An African Adventure - 37 days
AUD $1,698
was $3,395
Zebras | African Safaris | Africa The Big Overlander - 47 days Map
23 Nov 2019  2-for-1
The Big Overlander - 47 days
AUD $2,473
was $4,945
Green Point | Cape Town | South Africa World in One Country - 20 days Map
30 Oct 2019  10% off
World in One Country - 20 days
AUD $5,036
was $5,595
Ring tailed lemurs | Madagascar 1000 Views of Madagascar - 12 days Map
01 Nov 2019  10% off
1000 Views of Madagascar - 12 days
AUD $3,596
was $3,995
The Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa is characterised by dramatic coastal scenery Wonders of the Garden Route - 8 days Map
04 Nov 2019  10% off
Wonders of the Garden Route - 8 days
AUD $2,291
was $2,545
The Migration | Kenya & Tanzania | Africa Kenya Wildlife Week - 7 days Map
10 Nov 2019  10% off
Kenya Wildlife Week - 7 days
AUD $3,416
was $3,795
Zebras | African Safaris | Africa Kenya & Tanzania Trails - 13 days Map
10 Nov 2019  10% off
Kenya & Tanzania Trails - 13 days
AUD $8,888
was $9,875
Fish River Canyon | Namibia Cape, Namibia & Falls - 24 Days Map
15 Nov 2019  10% off
Cape, Namibia & Falls - 24 Days
AUD $7,736
was $8,595
Giraffe | African Safaris | Africa Tanzania Wildlife Week - 7 days Map
16 Nov 2019  10% off
Tanzania Wildlife Week - 7 days
AUD $5,216
was $5,795
Baby Elephant Running | Namibia | On The Go Tours Namibia, Botswana and Falls - 15 days Map
24 Nov 2019  10% off
Namibia, Botswana and Falls - 15 days
AUD $6,071
was $6,745
Botswana Lodge Explorer - 11 days Map
02 Dec 2019  10% off
Botswana Lodge Explorer - 11 days
AUD $4,496
was $4,995
Kruger, Botswana and Falls - 12 days Map
07 Dec 2019  10% off
Kruger, Botswana and Falls - 12 days
AUD $3,506
was $3,895
Victoria Falls Bridge | Zimbabwe | On The Go Tours Falls, Botswana and Namibia - 15 days Map
09 Dec 2019  10% off
Falls, Botswana and Namibia - 15 days
AUD $6,071
was $6,745
The Kalahari in Namibia | Africa Falls, Namibia & Cape - 24 Days Map
09 Dec 2019  10% off
Falls, Namibia & Cape - 24 Days
AUD $7,736
was $8,595
Chobe Boat Cruise | Botswana | Africa Botswana Untouched - 13 days Map
17 Dec 2019  10% off
Botswana Untouched - 13 days
AUD $5,936
was $6,595
Elephants in Etosha | Namibia | Africa Cape Town to Windhoek - 13 days Map
29 Mar 2020  10% off
Cape Town to Windhoek - 13 days
AUD $3,371
was $3,745
Dunes, Deltas and Falls - 22 days Map
31 Mar 2020  10% off
Dunes, Deltas and Falls - 22 days
AUD $5,531
was $6,145
Leopard in Okavango | Botswana | Africa Windhoek, Okavango & Falls - 10 days Map
12 Apr 2020  10% off
Windhoek, Okavango & Falls - 10 days
AUD $2,606
was $2,895
Falls, Botswana and Kruger - 12 days Map
21 Apr 2020  10% off
Falls, Botswana and Kruger - 12 days
AUD $2,651
was $2,945
Falls, Deltas and Dunes - 22 days Map
22 Apr 2020  10% off
Falls, Deltas and Dunes - 22 days
AUD $5,531
was $6,145
Lion Cub in Chobe | Botswana | Africa Falls, Okavango & Windhoek - 10 days Map
22 Apr 2020  10% off
Falls, Okavango & Windhoek - 10 days
AUD $2,606
was $2,895
Deadvlei | Namibia | Africa Windhoek to Cape Town - 13 days Map
01 May 2020  10% off
Windhoek to Cape Town - 13 days
AUD $3,371
was $3,745