Travelling to Africa in November can be challenging. However, if you choose your destination wisely, this month has the potential to be one of the best. Due to low visitor numbers in both East Africa and Southern Africa, lodges and camps reduce their rates to encourage business – the value on offer is excellent.
November is the season of change in Southern and East Africa. In Southern Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa), it is the start of the wet (green) season, which typically runs from November to March. Temperatures are high and there is a chance of afternoon thundershowers.
In East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda), there are two wet seasons; a short one and a long one. The short wet season is in November, while the long wet season stretches over April and May.
Traditionally, it was thought that the wet season is not a great time to go on safari and for various practical and logistical reasons; however it is always amazing to see how rain transforms the parched landscape of high season into a place of lush grazing, plentiful water, breathtakingly beautiful sunsets and dramatic afternoon thunderstorms.
We love Green Season not only for the excellent pricing but also because there are fewer crowds. Both wet and dry spells occur throughout the green season. Typically, short, spectacular afternoon showers offer a welcome relief from the heat of the day and make for great photographic opportunities. However, periods of heavy rain, low cloud cover and drizzle can occur.
In Tanzania, many of the country’s lodges and camps reduce their rates in November. It’s important to remember that light rain is to be expected during this time, but that’s no reason not to visit the country. However, towards the end of the month, we would recommend Northern Tanzania over Southern Tanzania because the rains affect the game down south, whereas the Great Migration, Ngorongoro and Serengeti remain outstanding.
Throughout the month of November, South Africa is a great place to visit. This is a beautiful time of year, particularly on the Cape. Spring is giving way to summer, and the weather is getting warmer.
In November, a few thunderstorms are common across Botswana. However, don’t let this deter you from travelling during this time of year – the dramatic storms are breathtaking! Temperatures are still high, but the country is known for its dry heat, so travelling during the hottest season is tolerable. The decrease in rates is a big incentive to travel.
Kenya’s short rains typically begin in mid to late November and last a few weeks. However, this does not detract much from a great game experience, and Kenya remains a good safari destination. Rain usually falls in the late afternoon and evening, and daytime temperatures range from 24 to 30 degrees Celsius, with cooler mornings and evenings. November is also an excellent month for birding.
November in Namibia is a very unpredictable month. The weather has been hot and dry for the most part, with the onset of occasional thundershowers building up towards the end of the month. During the day, temperatures can rise above 30°C . This is also the start of the calving season, which means more predator activity.