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Africa’s Greatest Wildlife Images Places and When to Go to Them

When photographers start to plan for a safari journey in Africa, the primary query they may ask will usually be an important: “The place in Africa ought to I’m going, and when?”

The reply to those questions will likely be primarily based on a variety of components. What sort of untamed animals are you, the photographer, seeking to seize? Is your free time versatile or are you able to select when to go?

This text is dropped at you by Wild Eye Locations and Photographic.

Photographers usually base their journey selections on seasonality to offer themselves the very best possibilities of seeing and photographing the wildlife and landscapes that attraction to them.

Totally different safari seasons may give photographers a totally totally different expertise. There isn’t a dangerous time to go on a safari, however sure areas in Africa have a tendency to succeed in their peak pictures potential at totally different instances of the yr. There’ll at all times be distinctive wildlife experiences, however the sorts of experiences, and the frequency, can rely on if you go to.

Wild Eye Locations and Photographic was based in 2011, and over the last decade that now we have been main pictures excursions within the area, now we have recognized the very best instances for photographers to go to our African locations. Having over 50 years of mixed pictures and guiding expertise within the area, our tour leaders have the information to offer photographers the very best likelihood to get the shot, in any season.

To make use of this information, click on on the months beneath that you simply want to journey to see the place the very best safari locations are throughout that point of the yr. If you’re unsure the place you need to go, or if you need to journey, maintain studying and maybe a selected vacation spot will catch your eye.

When Do You Wish to Journey?

January – March

South Africa

January by way of to March is taken into account to be the peak of the wet season in South Africa, however this shouldn’t cease you from occurring safari. The early mornings have nice temperatures earlier than heating up in mid day, with excessive temperatures ranging between 82-95 levels Fahrenheit (28-35 levels Celsius.) Thunderstorms will usually arrive late within the afternoons, which might result in dramatic skies and lighting throughout the golden hour earlier than sundown.

Throughout this vibrant time of the yr, some antelope species similar to impala will begin lambing, which means that scores of child impala will dot the panorama. In flip, because of this the opportunistic predators aren’t too far behind. Migratory hen species are current for his or her summer time breeding rituals, providing a nice daybreak and night refrain. The vegetation can also be lush and inexperienced, providing lovely, colourful contrasts.

That is thought-about the “Inexperienced Season” amongst South African lodges and tour operators, which suggests it isn’t as busy as afterward within the yr. Usually, guests can discover decrease costs and the chance to go to many unimaginable reserves and lodges with out the crowds that include the busy season.

Uganda & Rwanda

Uganda and Rwanda see little or no rainfall from January by way of March, making this season one of many driest of the yr. This dry climate is good for photographers to doc the go-to exercise in Uganda and Rwanda: gorilla trekking.

Being a largely tropical local weather, these areas usually have two wet seasons per yr. The primary is March by way of Might, and the second is September to December. June, July and August are usually the height trekking seasons in Uganda and Rwanda, which ends up in increased allow charges and extra competitors for the restricted variety of permits granted.

Visiting this area from January to March will result in unimaginable pictures and experiences whereas spending much less cash and saving time.


Nationwide Parks in Tanzania, particularly the Southern areas of the Serengeti, are in a league of their very own throughout the months of February and March. Throughout this time of the yr, the Nice Migration strikes southward to the plains of Ndutu for the annual calving season. Plains stuffed with a whole bunch of 1000’s of Wildebeest and their younger make for a thoughts blowing bucket record expertise.

With the presence of the migratory herds, predators on this space develop into very lively. Cheetah make use of the huge open plains to succeed in fascinating dash speeds whereas they hunt smaller antelope species similar to Gazelle and younger Wildebeest. The area is no doubt top-of-the-line locations on the planet to see cheetahs within the wild.
Day time temperatures are heat however comfy, with common day by day temperatures ranging between 80-85 levels Fahrenheit (26-30 levels Celsius) and dropping right down to 55-60 levels Fahrenheit (14-16 levels Celsius) within the evenings.

If predators are what you like to {photograph}, that is indisputably the vacation spot for you early on within the yr!

April – June

South Africa

As autumn turns in South Africa , timber begin to lose their leaves and the seasonal waterholes begin to dry out, forcing wildlife to drink at extra everlasting water sources. Sport viewing turns into a bit simpler throughout this era given the thinning vegetation and considerably predictable actions of water-dependent animal species.

As darkness arrives earlier within the evenings and night time time temperatures start to plummet, sightings of usually nocturnal species develop into extra widespread throughout the day. Nature reserves similar to Tswalu are an absolute must-visit over this time if you need to come across a few of these uncommon specie

The mornings and evenings are a lot cooler with temperatures ranging between 50-59 levels Fahrenheit (10-15 levels Celsius) however warming as much as a cushty 80-84 levels Fahrenheit (25-28 levels Celsius) late within the afternoon.

The southwestern area in South Africa, the place Cape City is located, begins its wet season in June, with days usually chilly and wet. Photographers come out to courageous the rain, nonetheless, as June marks the beginning of the Cape Whale migration. Many guests add a number of days after their safari to witness this spectacle in Cape City earlier than returning house.


The month of April is a implausible time to go to Botswana because the annual floods from the rainfall within the Angolan highlands begins to succeed in the famed Okavango Delta floodplain. That is nonetheless thought-about to be Botswana’s off-season which suggests which you can get an unimaginable expertise at a diminished fee.

Relying on the rainfall, the vegetation would possibly nonetheless be fairly thick, however recreation viewing in most areas continues to be superb.

The arrival of the floods imply that a wide range of actions develop into obtainable similar to boat journeys by way of the slim channels in addition to the favored Mokoro (dugout canoe) journeys. Each choices are a implausible method to expertise the waterways of the Okavango Delta whereas capturing pictures of the plush panorama and distinctive wildlife.

In the course of the month of Might, the Okavango ought to be in full flood which ends up in unimaginable pictures alternatives. The vegetation begins to open up and seasonal waterholes begin to dry out, making recreation viewing a bit simpler.

The temperatures throughout the winter months additionally develop into very nice, warming up properly after chilly mornings and evenings. This provides photographers the chance to do full days out within the area, maximizing their recreation viewing time.


Whereas Might continues to be thought-about a rain-filled month in Uganda“>Uganda, late within the month and into early June are implausible instances to go gorilla trekking as Uganda’s second dry season approaches.

Not solely does Uganda’s Bwindi Forest provide a life altering expertise seeing gorillas up shut within the wild, however there are additionally a wide range of different Nationwide Parks that may be explored on this lovely nation similar to Queen Elizabeth Nationwide Park, Murchison Falls and Kibale.


A lot of the camps in Zimbabwe’s Mana Swimming pools Nationwide Park begin opening after the nation’s wet season earlier within the yr. The drier winter months from Might to August are a implausible time to do longer strolling safaris in Mana Swimming pools, throughout nice day time temperatures.

It’s also a good time of the yr to mix any southern African safari itineraries with Victoria Falls, which is often stuffed with water and at peak stream throughout this era.


Like Zimbabwe, many camps in Zambia’s South Luangwa and Decrease Zambezi Nationwide Parks begin to open in April/Might after the wet season.

It is a implausible time of the yr to go to each these parks, because the temperatures are comfy, recreation viewing is nice and the height vacationer season has but to reach, leaving photographers loads of area to benefit from the parks and wildlife.


Namibia can also be a great vacation spot to go to in Might, because the nation is lush, rain is a uncommon incidence, and the temperatures are comfy as winter has not but set in.

The nation’s otherworldly landscapes present superb backdrops to wildlife pictures. However even with out the wildlife in place, Namabia is a photographer’s dreamland. As with Botswana, the nation is in its off-season, resulting in decrease costs and fewer vacationers.

July – September

South Africa

July to September are winter months in South Africa, and that is thought-about the height safari interval. As winter right here is the dry season, little to no rain is anticipated throughout a lot of the nation, except Cape City.

The vegetation is dry and sparse this time of the yr providing simpler recreation viewing. Water dependent animals have a tendency to pay attention round waterholes, so recreation drive methods are adjusted accordingly. The cooler days enable photographers to expertise prolonged recreation drives, maximizing their day trip within the area with wildlife. Animals additionally are typically lively all through the day because the temperatures by no means get overly sizzling, which is useful for cat viewing specifically.

The Cape Whale Migration continues to be in full swing and is a implausible spectacle to witness after a safari, though bringing a rain coat is really helpful. In September, the rains within the Cape begin easing up a bit, with clearer days, making it a good time of the yr to go to the attractive wine nation in addition to expertise the Whale Migration alongside the well-known Backyard Route, a 300-kilometer stretch of coastal street in southwest South Africa. This area is thought to be essentially the most lovely in South Africa, and is extremely really helpful along with a safari journey.


July to September are arguably a number of the greatest months to go to Kenya’s Masai Mara Nationwide Reserve because the migratory herds begin to transfer in from the Serengeti.

Large herds of wildebeest and zebras cross the well-known Mara River in quest of extra palatable grassland. This migration attracts a wide range of predators together with lions, cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas, who are sometimes properly hidden across the thickets ready for any younger or injured wildebeest. The hazard to the wildebeest doesn’t finish there, nonetheless, prehistoric-looking crocodiles lay in wait underwater for unsuspecting prey. Safaris to the Masai Mara are action-packed throughout these months and are an absolute must-do exercise for wildlife photographers.

With the migratory herds transferring into the Masai Mara, additionally it is a implausible time of the yr to witness the Mara from the air. Scorching air balloon rides might be taken throughout this season, letting photographers get a singular and never usually photographed view of the Nice Migration.

The Masai Mara will also be mixed with different implausible parks in Kenya such because the well-known Amboseli Nationwide Park which boast a number of the greatest elephant viewing in Africa, in addition to Samburu Nationwide Park and Lake Nakuru.


June by way of August is taken into account Uganda’s “excessive season” and is a implausible time to go gorilla trekking.

Not solely does Uganda’s Bwindi Forest provide the life altering expertise of seeing gorillas within the wild, however there are additionally a wide range of different nationwide parks with their very own assortment of wildlife that may be explored on this lovely nation. Queen Elizabeth Nationwide Park, Murchison Falls, and Kibale are only a few of the various unimaginable wildlife viewing areas in Uganda.

As July and August are the height instances for each gorilla trekking in Uganda in addition to witnessing the Nice Migration in Kenya, many photographers will {photograph} each areas throughout the identical journey.


July by way of September are thought-about the height recreation viewing durations in


. The Okavango Delta continues to be in full flood, whereas the vegetation is dry and open. Seasonal waterholes have dried up throughout this time, forcing basic recreation in the direction of the everlasting water sources, which in flip attracts the predators.

Morning and night safaris might be chilly, but additionally result in a number of the greatest picture alternatives. Most photographers will take heat jackets with them throughout this season, and blankets and sizzling water bottles are supplied to assist maintain photographers’ fingers heat on these chilly recreation drives.

As a result of these are the height months in Botswana, charges are increased than throughout the inexperienced season, and availability turns into harder. Usually, reservations for this time of the yr must be made not less than a yr prematurely.


Camps in Zambia are fully open throughout this time of the yr and the months of July by way of September are thought-about to be the height time for safari in Zambia. Temperatures are chilly throughout the morning and evenings, however the days are very comfy.

The delicate noon temperatures make this season the right time of the yr to do strolling pictures safaris. The comfy climate additionally makes it potential to do full day safaris, maximizing photographers time within the area.

South Luangwa stays top-of-the-line parks in Zambia to journey to throughout this time of the yr, with the Luangwa River attracting all kinds of basic recreation. It’s also thought-about top-of-the-line areas to view and {photograph} African wild canine and leopards.


Due to cooler days, July by way of September is a perfect time for photographers to do longer strolling safaris in Zimbabwe’s Mana Swimming pools Nationwide Park.

Like in Zambia’s South Luangwa Nationwide Park, July and August are additionally thought-about to be top-of-the-line months to view African Wild Canines in Mana Swimming pools, with the puppies often roaming free and away from the den websites.

The month of August brings the seasonal pods on the Albida timber which offer nice dietary worth to lots of the animals, particularly the elephants. Some might be photographed standing on their hind legs to succeed in these pods, whereas others will push their trunks in opposition to the tree, shaking it vigorously to launch these sought-after pods.

Seasonal waterholes are dry throughout this time of the yr, forcing animals to maneuver to the everlasting water sources such because the Zambezi River and a number of the well-known swimming pools within the space.

Mana Swimming pools is a superb vacation spot throughout these months and might simply be mixed with South Luangwa, South Africa and even Kenya.

October – December

South Africa

Nonetheless thought-about to be the dry season throughout South Africa, October is likely one of the greatest months to go to. The day by day temperatures throughout the nation are nice with little to no rain throughout the nation.

There’s nice recreation viewing in any respect the parks, and additionally it is a good time of the yr to mix a safari expertise with the winelands in Cape City and the Backyard Route.

November and December see the rains return within the northern a part of the nation, which might result in the occasional wet safari expedition. Summer season is in full swing with sizzling days and possibilities of thunderstorms constructing late within the afternoons.

The bush begins to get its vibrant inexperienced colours again because of the early rains, and seasonal waterholes begin filling up as soon as once more.

Photographers will usually deliver their households out throughout the Christmas and New Years holidays, as the mix of a safari expertise with South Africa’s lovely shoreline makes for a great household trip.


For those who can deal with the warmth, Botswana is nice right now of yr. The warmth drives the sport in the direction of the watering holes, making life simpler for the predators as they wait for his or her prey across the lakes and rivers.

Chobe and the Linyanti Nationwide Parks see huge herds of elephant, whereas the Okavango Delta gives the herds a everlasting supply of water. Chitabe Reserve within the southern Delta and the herds within the Linyanti are unimaginable to witness, whereas the Boteti River space south of Maun sees a big build-up of recreation on its banks.

The rains often begin arriving in November and December, bringing quite a lot of aid to the wildlife with seasonal waterholes filling up once more.

Botswana is a superb vacation spot to mix with South Africa throughout this time of the yr.


October to December is arguably top-of-the-line instances to go to Zambia’s South Luangwa Nationwide Park. As with Botswana, the day by day temperatures are very excessive throughout this time of the yr, however for those who don’t thoughts the warmth, they are going to be rewarded with some implausible recreation viewing.

Water is extraordinarily scarce throughout this season, with the Luangwa often being the one water supply which attracts unimaginable numbers. Lions are likely to take down bigger prey species, lots of which have misplaced energy as a result of lack of meals and water. It’s a very wild vacation spot throughout October.

Because the rains begin arriving in November, lots of the camps will start to shut throughout the second week, solely opening once more as soon as the rains let up in April and Might.


The Masai Mara in Kenya continues to be an awesome vacation spot to go to throughout October and November, with lots of the Migratory herds nonetheless grazing across the plains.

The grass tends to be very brief throughout this time of the yr because the herds proceed to maneuver by way of the area, making it simpler to search out lots of the predators that decision Masai Mara house. Though it isn’t thought-about peak season within the Masai Mara, recreation viewing continues to be extremely good, with much less autos current than throughout the peak instances, resulting in extra outgoing wildlife.

The Masai Mara tends to get their brief rain season in November and December, and though that is nonetheless a good time of the yr to view predators, lots of the migratory herds would have began to go away the Masai Mara by the top of November.


As with Zambia, Zimbabwe is a implausible vacation spot throughout October, regardless of the warmth.

Mana Swimming pools and Hwange Nationwide Park have unimaginable wildlife viewing throughout this time of the yr. Mana Swimming pools could be very dusty, which retains the golden glow within the Albida forest for a bit longer. It’s spectacular to witness and makes for unimaginable images.

Lions round Hwange Nationwide Park are additionally identified to take down massive prey throughout the dry months. Their targets are younger elephants and buffalo who’ve misplaced energy as a result of lack of meals and water.

Somalisa Camp, specifically, is a superb camp to remain at throughout the dry months. A highly regarded waterhole in entrance of camp attracts a whole bunch of elephants daily, giving photographers the posh of sitting at camp whereas watching the herds go by all through the day.

Because the rains arrive throughout November and December, lots of the camps in Mana Swimming pools will start to shut till the rains have handed in March and April.

Any Time of 12 months is a Good Time For a Safari

Whereas every season and placement delivers distinctive wildlife pictures experiences, there isn’t any dangerous time to go on safari in Africa. In case you have ever dreamed of photographing the Large 5, it’s potential in lots of of those safari areas, irrespective of the time of yr. There’s nothing fairly like experiencing a wildlife safari in Africa’s most lovely areas.

Author Brian Jackman mentioned it greatest:

All the pieces in Africa bites, however the safari bug is the worst of all.

Wild Eye Vacation spot and Photographic is a South African firm specializing in wildlife safari pictures expeditions. Wild Eye’s vacation spot choices span six out of seven continents and 25 international locations. Whether or not by way of group excursions, customized itineraries, or privately guided safaris, their journeys attraction to nature lovers, photographers, adventurers, and journey fanatics.

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