Many people think Africa is hot year-round; however, spanning two hemispheres, Africa is a continent of extremes.
As with other places in the world, the weather in Africa depends on many factors and differs not only from country to country but from region to region.
For many African countries, the seasons do not follow the same pattern they do in New Zealand or Australia. Instead of Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring, most countries in East Africa and Southern Africa have a wet season(s) and a dry season. The wet season, in particular, is at different times of the year, depending on the country/region.
Deciding when to travel to Africa is a great starting point for planning your safari. Knowing when you want to travel can narrow down your options in terms of the best areas to visit.
In Southern Africa, summer is typically wet, and winter is typically dry. The wet and dry seasons have a significant effect on game conditions.
For most safari destinations in Southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and South Africa), the dry season coincides with the southern hemisphere winter, which typically lasts from April to October. During this time, the weather is typically sunny and cool, warming up as you move into the months of September/October. The wet season typically runs from November to March, which is also the hottest and most humid time of year.
In East Africa (Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania) the dry season is from late June to September. The region typically experiences two wet seasons. The main wet season lasts from April to early June, and there is a more sporadic wet season from October to December.
Generally speaking, the dry season is best for game-viewing, while the wet season is often better for birding and baby animals.