No matter when you travel with Nomad to Southern or East Africa, you can be guaranteed that there will be countless new places and faces to discover. You will be amazed and blown away by the beauty of the landscapes, the generosity of the people and the unpredictability of the wild animals. But, as you put your travel calendar together for 2017/2018, you may like a little guidance regarding when to go where and the best time to do so. This guide will help you make the most of your travel time.
Everyone travels for different reasons – some of you will be booking your family holiday while others may be looking for a romantic getaway or some, just to escape the madness of the world as it is today. There are pro’s and con’s to travelling in traditional “peak” seasons (eg. Serengeti in the migration season) or in the quieter “green” seasons, we’ll give you our best overview for when to visit.
Nomad’s peak season is June to November and this is when you’ll have the most people on tour but also the most departures. We have set rates for all seasons so you have the opportunity of taking advantage of the best kept secrets in green season and not having to pay extortionate rates in peak seasons.
If you’re travelling with your family and have children aged 8 years and older, we would love to have them on tour with us and our child policy explains this in more detail. We do however request that everyone booked on the tour is happy with the fact that there will be kids on the tour so we can’t guarantee it every time. But, the earlier you book, the less people there are to ask so make sure you plan well in advance.
KENYA AND TANZANIA
Home to one of wildlife’s most spectacular shows, the Masai Mara, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park provide dramatic scenes of mass animal migration. The wildebeest travel throughout the year in a clockwise directions, constantly in search of food and water and a safe place to have their babies.
From December to March the Ngorongoro Crater and the Southern Serengeti have vast plains of grazing animals. This is also the calving season which attracts a large amount of predators. This is one of the best times of year to be in these areas.
From July to October the herds gather along the Grumeti and Mara Rivers and cross into the vast plains of the Masai Mara. This is another time of year where game viewing is of epic proportions and you have an opportunity to witness the wildebeest crossing the rivers and falling prey to the crocodiles.
Kenya and Tanzania Tour: East Africa and Gorillas
Uganda can be visited throughout the year however tracking gorillas in the rainforest between the rainy months of March to April may find you getting quite muddy! The best times to travel to Uganda would be between June and October and from December through to March. The temperature averages 25 degrees celcius during the daytime.
Uganda Tour: Gorilla Encounter
KRUGER AND SAFARI IN KWA-ZULU NATAL AND EASTERN CAPE
The best time to experience a safari in South Africa is from June to October when it is dry and the animals move to the waterholes. This is the best time to see game as the grass is low, the weather is temperate and the animals concentrate in areas where they are visible.
August to October is the perfect time to visit the West Coast Spring Flowers. Consider organising a charter tour and we will take you into the heart of this area and you can dance around in the flowers to your heart’s content!
From June to December the whales move closer to the coast and are easier to spot. The main concentration of whales can be seen in Hermanus and False Bay. There are also the smaller bays inbetween which are less accessible but the rewards of spotting a whale without the crowds is a wonderful experience.
Our secret seasons are from September to November and January to March. For those wanting to stay away from the crowds, this is your time to travel! If you’re keen to join in on the holiday festivities and be part of South Africa’s mass migration to the Cape, December is for you! From April to September Cape Town goes crazy with their Winter specials and you can pick up accommodation and an outstanding meal for almost half the price of what you would have paid in Summer.
South African Tour: South African Explorer (North or South)
MOZAMBIQUE, MALAWI AND MADAGASCAR
The dry, Winter months of May to November are the most comfortable times to visit these tropical countries. In December to February there are tropical downpours that may lead to a very hot and steamy holiday. Don’t miss out on these destinations, they are some of the most magical and underrated places in Africa!
Mozambique Tour: Discover Mozambique
THE OKAVANGO DELTA
This is where we centre our focus in Botswana and the activities there are mainly waterbased. The Delta is fed by rains which fall in faraway countries and the area that the water will cover will expand from approximately 9 000 square kilometres to 16 000 square kilometres. The arrival of the water will take place between December and July.
The rains in the Delta are generally between November and April, this is a good time for the Okavango Delta if you are a bird enthusiast or are interested in the vegetation.
When the vegetation in the Delta dries out, the animals start concentrating in areas where there is still water available for them, they are much easier to view and the best time of year for game viewing is May to October.
Botswana Tour: Okavango and Chobe Trail
Namibia is just always amazing! No matter what time of year you visit, the wide open spaces and spectacular big skies and scenery are otherworldly. The cold Benguela Current cools down the coastal areas and the desert bakes inland, this is Mother Nature’s masterpiece! Nights tend to get chilly while the days are warm to hot.
Namibia Tour: Best of Namibia
The dry winter months of May to October are the best times to visit Swaziland in terms of the weather but there are also two festivals that are held in Swaziland which offer a great display of traditional African culture. The Reed Dance which is usually held in August or September and the First Fruits festival which is normally in January, are two events that should be on the top of your bucket list.
Tour to visit Swaziland: Swaziland and Kruger Tour
If you want to see the falls in full force, and the smoke that thunders, make sure you visit Victoria Falls in April or May. Be prepared to don your poncho and witness the world’s largest curtain of falling water. If you visit a little later in the year, usually between September and December, the water is lower and you are able to sit in The Devils Toilet Bowl which is a rock pool at the top and on the edge of the falls.
If you’re keen to try your hand at white water rafting, the water is normally low enough between August and December.
For game viewing in Hwange, the dry Winter months of May to September are optimal.
Tour to visit Zimbabwe: Best of Zimbabwe
If you have any questions about any destinations that aren’t in this guide, please drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, please make sure to read through your Predeparture Information Booklet before travelling with us.
Happy Travel Planning!! We so look forward to experiencing Africa with you!