October is typically the last month of the dry season, in both East Africa and Southern Africa.
In East Africa, the herds of the Wildebeest are still fairly well spread out over Kenya’s Maasai Mara and Tanzania’s northern Serengeti National Park. The short rains usually arrive towards the end of the month the short rains, triggering the herds to start moving south again.
In Southern Africa, October is typically the hottest month of the year. Although being the hottest month of the year, safaris can be very rewarding as it is probably the best wildlife viewing of the year for Southern Africa.
KENYA AND TANZANIA
Kenya and Tanzania’s main wildlife areas are still in their peak seasons. It is not as hot as it is in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia for this time of year. October is a great time to visit Southern Tanzania, especially Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park, which received a fraction of the visitors the Northern Circuit (Serengeti, Tarangire, Ngogorongo and Lake Manyara receive. This is the time of year when Ruaha National park is renowned for large herds of elephant.
RWANDA AND UGANDA
October can be a mixed month in Rwanda and Uganda, as it can be dry, but also wet should the short rainy season start early.
October is the last month of the dry season. With no rain for nearly 6 months, the landscape is extremely dry, dusty and hot. If you are lucky, there might be a few drops of rain towards the end of the month, as the heat builds up. October is a great month to see some of the more gregarious migratory birds, such as Carmine bee-eater in large numbers on the Chobe riverbank. They can also be seen on certain riverbanks in Zambia and Zimbabwe, such as the riverbanks of the South Luangwa River and Zambezi Valley.
Again, October is the height of the dry season in Namibia, and one of the hottest months of the year. This is one of the best times for game viewing in Etosha National Park, where wildlife focuses on the waterholes. Being an arid country, temperatures during the day can reach 30°C and often hotter in the Namib Naukluft desert.
South Africa is a year round destination, but the best months are the dry season, which includes October. Temperatures start to heat up throughout the country but the rains are yet to come in the north. Flowers can still be found in bloom until the end of spring. This is one of the best months to combine regions of Cape Town with a safari to Kruger National Park.
ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE
Similar to its’ neighbour, Botswana, October is very hot in Zambia and Zimbabwe. If you can manage the heat, this is a great time of year to travel to wildlife areas such as South Lugangwa and the Lower Zambezi National Park as the majority of animals will be congregating round waterholes or along the edge of river beds making them much easier to spot.