The beginning of April marks the start of the long rains in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda), making the weather unpredictable. The coastal areas of Kenya and Tanzania are wet and thundery while inland areas like southern Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, host herds of wildebeest standing grouped together in the rain showers. Being the ‘green’ season for Kenya and Tanzania, a fly-in safari is certainly the best option in terms of getting around, and if you are wanting to see the landscape in all its ‘green’ glory and lots of newborn wildlife.
In Southern Africa, the rains have passed, along with the heat of Summer. The bush and grasslands are lush and green. This time of year offers lovely scenery and birding. Big game can be, but not always, a little tricky to find because water is plentiful, the wildlife can wander greater distances. This is when a longer safari and more time at each lodge/camp really pays off. Night temperatures start to drop during April (and May), especially in the Kalahari and Makgadikgadi areas. Areas in and around the Okavango Delta tend to have less extreme temperature ranges between day and night, than the drier areas of the Kalahari and Makgadikgadi.
Where to go on an African safari in April?
Most parts of Kenya and Tanzania experience two rainy seasons: the ‘long rains’ falling over an eight to ten-week period between April and June, and the ‘short rains’ over a five-week period between November and December. The rain tends to fall mainly at night and is usually a short and heavy tropical downpour. If it is your first time to Kenya and Tanzania, it is not the best time to travel, but for those who have been to this area previously, visiting in the wet season provides a completely different experience in terms of seeing the landscape lush and green.
Rain can be expected at any time of the year for Uganda and Rwanda with April being considered one of the wettest months. Despite the rain, it is still a good time to track Gorillas and Chimpanzees. Parks are lush and green. It is also an excellent time for birding, especially to spot migratory birds. Heavy rain showers are frequent so the roads can often be in bad condition. As such expect a more 4WD adventure!
April is the perfect time to experience Namibia’s stunning landscape. April is not peak season, and so the crowds are yet to arrive. Typically, the rains have passed, leaving behind gorgeous coloured vistas. Like Botswana, the Summer heat has dissipated, and the cold of winter is a month or two away. Expect warm days with fluffy clouds in a dry blue sky.
Similar to Botswana and Namibia, April is a lovely month to visit to view the infamous Victoria Falls at full power. For areas in northern Zambia, such as South Luangwa National Park, April is still wet for this area, drying out more as you move into May and June.
April (and May) is/are our favourite month(s) of the year for Botswana. Being Autumn, it is what we feel is a ‘secret season, as it is just before the cool winter months of June/July. The Okavango Delta has started to flood, and the landscape is lush and beautiful. April is not peak season for game viewing, so attention needs to be focused on picking the right camps to provide the best possible best game.