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East Africa Travel Guide When To Go On Safari

Our East Africa travel guide is intended for you to use as a guideline as to when it is the best time to visit East Africa's National Parks and Game Reserves. Please contact your consultant for seasonal changes to this calendar.

East Africa is situated on the equator, so there are not large differences between winter and summer temperatures and the days have more or less the same amount of sunlight. The coast can be relatively humid and inland it could get cold due to the high altitude.

There are two traditional rain seasons, the long rains fall during the months of April and May and short rains fall between October and November.

The Serengeti plains are +-2000m above sea level with an temperature ranging from10 to 20 degrees Celsius. During mid winter the evenings and mornings are often chilly, the Ngorongoro Crater at +- 2200 m above sea level could drop to below freezing during June / July.

The closer to the coast you get the hotter and the more humid with Zanzibar experiencing almost unbearable humidity during the summer months, so please bear this in mind when planning your beach holiday and choose a lodge offering fans and air conditioning.

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Highlights and best times to visit the Serengeti National Park:

February-April: Migration on the southern Serengeti plains

August-October: Migration crossing the Mara River

July-January: Good predator sightings

June-July: Migration through the Western corridor

June-March: Best time for general game viewing

April-May: The most affordable time to travel (and still really good)

The Serengeti has a lot more to offer other than the migration, not only would there be less visitors, the sightings of other plains game would generally be better and the big cats are more prolific outside of the migration months too. The excess supply of food leads to the cats becoming lethargic (as they lie and digest their latest feast throughout the day) and you generally do not see them that often except early morning and or late afternoon. The cats would also be outside of their normal structures and or territories because finding food is easy with the migration passing through.

Highlights and best times to visit the Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater has good game viewing all year round because of the resident game and the density of the animals within the Crater.

February and March: Lake Ndutu in the greater Ngorongoro Crater Conservation witness the migration pass through