Once you've settled on Africa as the destination for your upcoming holiday, one of the key considerations you'll need to have in mind is when to plan your trip. Making your itinerary work around your commitments at home is one thing, but then comes the challenge of determining the best time of year to see your destination.
At Bench Africa, we have extensive experience in helping Australians to realise their Africa travel dreams. So whether you've got a hunger for an exhilarating safari experience, or you're looking to take a city break in the gorgeous sun-drenched shores of Cape Town, we're here to help you find the ideal departure date for your trip.
Is there a good or a bad time to go to Africa?
The idea that there is a 'good' time to visit Africa isn't quite at straightforward as you'd think. While there is a high and a low season for tourism, each brings its own advantages and disadvantages that you'll have to weigh up before making your decision.
The high season, where many destinations throughout Africa see their highest visitor numbers, usually corresponds to the high season in Europe, when children are on their school holidays and families often travel together. The months spanning from June/July through to September/October encompass the dry and, as a result, high season across most African regions, but there are certain subtleties to be aware of in different countries.
South Africa and Zimbabwe
If you plan on visiting places in South Africa such as Kruger National Park, the dry season falls between May and September, offering good opportunities to see a range of African wildlife gathering along rivers and surrounding watering holes.
However, if one of the main focuses of your trip is to soak up the sun at the Cape, consider heading over to the Mother City around December-January. Cape Town is on the same latitude as Melbourne, so when the latter experiences its glorious summer months, it is an equally fantastic time to see the Cape and the magnificent Table Mountain.
Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is prone to tropical thunderstorms around Christmas time, so when March and April come around, you can see the falls at their fullest.
Keen on Kenya? The Great Wildebeest Migration is an annual occurrence that has to be seen to be believed. This event sees wildebeest in their millions make the journey across the Serengeti and north into Kenya and the Masai Mara, often pursued by predators. While the timing for the migration tends to vary due to the unpredictable nature of the herds, it will usually arrive in the Masai Mara around June/July, remaining there until October.
Don't forget that, like a number of other tourist destinations, prices can fluctuate throughout the year, often peaking in high season. The benefit of travelling in the low season is the potential for fewer tourists and also lower prices, meaning you can use your hard-earned cash exploring other incredible sites on the continent.
There are very distinct seasons in Africa, both in weather and tourism. The major issue is that given the size of Africa the weather does change from one end to the other and can’t be covered with a blanket seasonality. Therefore with a bit of trickery it can be easy to get a basic understanding of what each area will be like at any given time.
This tutorial video covers the seasonality in these areas in more detail:
To start planning your African adventure, be sure to get in touch with the knowledgeable team at Bench Africa today.