Africa does not experience the four seasons like we do. There are only two major seasons experienced across the continent – the wet season and the dry season.
The only exceptions are regions found in the extreme north and south of the continent which experience a Mediterranean climate.
The seasons can influence your choice of safari destination in Africa, as they dictate the weather conditions, migration patterns, and composition of wildlife in a particular region.
However, there is always an activity for you in Africa regardless of the season, so it’s all a matter of choosing what floats your boat.
Scorching Hot Attractions: When Is Summer in Africa?
In southern Africa, the summer months are between November and March and are characterized by increased rainfall, along with high temperatures and high humidity. This is the time of the year when the vegetation is most lush and, therefore, herds of herbivores can be found in most game reserves.
Places such as the Okavango Delta experience a total transformation by blooming with life and attracting hundreds of thousands of wild animals during this season.
The only undoing the vegetation has is perhaps limiting the visibility at the game parks and preventing you from witnessing some exciting predator-prey action. However, a pair of quality binoculars and professional guides will offer a solution to this problem.
You should carry insect repellants when traveling to southern African regions as bugs (like mosquitoes) increase during this season. Also, remember to have vaccines and medication against tropical diseases which are most prevalent during the summer.
Eastern Africa shares some climatic characteristics with southern Africa as far as summer is concerned. But in this case, the summer is known as the dry season, lasting from July to September.
Nonetheless, a major difference between these two regions is the wildlife bloom. In eastern Africa, the dry season is when rainfall is at its lowest which means less wild animals
However, this is the best time to get the best views of the African wild because there’s little vegetation.
North Africa experiences the highest temperatures in Africa from September to October, with temperatures as high as 104F.
If you are intending to visit this region during this time of the year, ensure that you are checking in at lodges situated along the coast with air conditioning and/or a swimming pool to cool off.
The summer in this region also presents the best time to scale up the heights of the Atlas Mountains since they have the lowest levels of snowfall during this period.
Cool Attractions: What to Do and See
Southern Africa experiences a winter dry season between April and October.
If you love the mountains, this is the best time to visit the Eastern Cape mountains since there is little snow, making mountaineering easier and you get the opportunity to take in the scenic views from better angles.
Furthermore, the winter dry season is arguably the best time to visit the world-famous Kruger National Park. With the low rainfall limiting the growth of vegetation, you get perfect visibility of the African wildlife. You can easily spot wild animals around the watering holes and riverbanks.
In northern Africa, winter lasts between November and March and is characterized by minimal rainfall and relatively low temperatures. However, the rainfall is only experienced along the coastal regions or around high altitude areas, with most of the inland regions remaining dry.
This is the best time to visit northern Africa since the decrease in temperatures makes it possible for you to comfortably sample great attractions such as the Giza pyramids in Egypt.
It is also the only time of year when you can go on a camel safari across the desert. However, winter wouldn’t be the best time to go to a night camp as the temperatures drop to extreme lows.
When Is the Rainy Season in Africa?
Eastern Africa has the rainy season instead of a winter season, where temperatures plunge to their lowest (but nowhere close to the freezing temperatures experienced in Europe’s and America’s winter), while rainfall is at its highest.
And there are two rainy seasons in this part of the continent. One lasts from March to June, and the other one lasts from October to December.
It is during the rainy season that huge herds of wild animals can be seen in the plains of the Mara. If you want to get a spectacular view of the Great Migration (where millions of grazers make an annual trek in search of pasture), this is the best time.