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When to visit: The Best Time for an East African Safari?

East Africa is generally regarded as an excellent year-round safari destination with its dense wildlife and diverse landscapes. The temperate climate, seasonal migration, and abundant resident wildlife mean there is no one “best time” for a safari in East Africa.

The important thing to keep in mind when planning your East African safari is how the different seasons impact not only your game-viewing experience but also your budget.

If you have determined when you are going on safari, it’s now time to choose where to travel to; if your dates are flexible, the below info may help guide you in understanding East Africa’s seasonal trends.

Nomad Tz Boabab forest in Ruaha
Walking safari in the Boabab forest in Ruaha

Peak Season: July, August, September + October

Peak Season in East Africa offers little to no rainfall and pleasant temperatures making these months a popular time to visit East Africa. It’s advisable to plan your safari well in advance, especially if it’s the Great Migration you want to see – arguably you should be planning at least 6 – 10 months in advance! Visitor numbers peak in August in popular destinations such as Kenya’s Maasai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti and generally special offers only start kicking in from October onwards.

Shoulder Seasons: January, February, March, June, November and early December

The Shoulder Seasons offer quite a few benefits for travellers – generally speaking, the weather is quite stable and wildlife viewing is excellent. These months are some of the best months to go on safari in East Africa in terms of balancing price, optimal game viewing and lower visitor numbers. One important note is that February is quite popular in the Southern Serengeti due to the Migration being there and the herds calving – so higher prices can be expected in this particular region in Feb.

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Migration herds traversing the Serengeti

Festive Season: Christmas and New Years

Spending the Festive Season in the bush is always a great idea! As the year ends and winter snows start to fall in the Northern Hemisphere, the African sun is warming up so why not celebrate the holidays in East Africa where a wildlife wonderland awaits!  Festive Season safaris are perfect for all ages so spend some well-deserved family time in some of our recommended family-friendly properties with amazing activities: an excellent choice for traveling with kids.

Green Season: April + May

Don’t be put off by the long rains… The prices fall dramatically in these months so if you don’t mind the odd rain shower (or sometimes even thunderstorm), it can be a really cost-effective time to go on safari. Many travellers find they can stay for double the length of time that they would normally be able to do so in shoulder or high season.
Safari-goers can still expect excellent Big-5 viewing in Kenya’s Laikipia region which is generally less affected by the rains than other parts of East Africa. One big advantage of travel in April and May is that it’s the least busy time for travellers – so your safari experience will be super exclusive!  

Nomad Tz Zebra wildebeest Green season Serengeti
Zebra & wildebeest captured in Green season – Serengeti, Tanzania

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