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Africa’s Finest Wildlife Pictures Places and When to Go to Them


When photographers start to plan for a safari journey in Africa, the primary query they may ask will typically be crucial: “The place in Africa ought to I am going, and when?”

The reply to those questions might be primarily based on various elements. What kind of untamed animals are you, the photographer, trying to seize? Is your free time versatile or are you able to select when to go?


This text is dropped at you by Wild Eye Locations and Photographic.


Photographers typically base their journey selections on seasonality to present themselves the most effective probabilities of seeing and photographing the wildlife and landscapes that attraction to them.

Totally different safari seasons may give photographers a totally totally different expertise. There isn’t a unhealthy time to go on a safari, however sure areas in Africa have a tendency to achieve their peak pictures potential at totally different occasions of the yr. There’ll all the time be distinctive wildlife experiences, however the forms of experiences, and the frequency, can rely on whenever you go to.

Wild Eye Locations and Photographic was based in 2011, and over the last decade that we now have been main pictures excursions within the area, we now have recognized the most effective occasions for photographers to go to our African locations. Having over 50 years of mixed pictures and guiding expertise within the area, our tour leaders have the data to present photographers the most effective probability to get the shot, in any season.

To make use of this information, click on on the months beneath that you simply wish to journey to see the place the most effective safari locations are throughout that point of the yr. If you’re unsure the place you need to go, or whenever you need to journey, hold studying and maybe a selected vacation spot will catch your eye.

When Do You Need to Journey?

January – March

South Africa

January via to March is taken into account to be the peak of the wet season in South Africa, however this shouldn’t cease you from occurring safari. The early mornings have nice temperatures earlier than heating up in mid day, with excessive temperatures ranging between 82-95 levels Fahrenheit (28-35 levels Celsius.) Thunderstorms will typically arrive late within the afternoons, which might result in dramatic skies and lighting in the course of the golden hour earlier than sundown.

Throughout this vibrant time of the yr, some antelope species reminiscent of impala will begin lambing, which means that scores of child impala will dot the panorama. In flip, which means that the opportunistic predators are usually not too far behind. Migratory chook species are current for his or her summer season breeding rituals, providing a nice daybreak and night refrain. The vegetation can be lush and inexperienced, providing stunning, colourful contrasts.

That is thought of the “Inexperienced Season” amongst South African lodges and tour operators, which suggests it’s not as busy as afterward within the yr. Typically, guests can discover decrease costs and the chance to go to many unimaginable reserves and lodges with out the crowds that include the busy season.

Uganda & Rwanda

Uganda and Rwanda see little or no rainfall from January via March, making this season one of many driest of the yr. This dry climate is right for photographers to doc the go-to exercise in Uganda and Rwanda: gorilla trekking.

Being a largely tropical local weather, these areas usually have two wet seasons per yr. The primary is March via Could, and the second is September to December. June, July and August are usually the height trekking seasons in Uganda and Rwanda, which ends up in larger allow charges and extra competitors for the restricted variety of permits granted.

Visiting this area from January to March will result in unimaginable photographs and experiences whereas spending much less cash and saving time.

Tanzania

Nationwide Parks in Tanzania, particularly the Southern areas of the Serengeti, are in a league of their very own in the course of the months of February and March. Throughout this time of the yr, the Nice Migration strikes southward to the plains of Ndutu for the annual calving season. Plains stuffed with a whole bunch of 1000’s of Wildebeest and their younger make for a thoughts blowing bucket listing expertise.

With the presence of the migratory herds, predators on this space change into very energetic. Cheetah make use of the huge open plains to achieve fascinating dash speeds whereas they hunt smaller antelope species reminiscent of Gazelle and younger Wildebeest. The area is doubtless probably the greatest locations on the planet to see cheetahs within the wild.
Day time temperatures are heat however snug, with common every day temperatures ranging between 80-85 levels Fahrenheit (26-30 levels Celsius) and dropping right down to 55-60 levels Fahrenheit (14-16 levels Celsius) within the evenings.

If predators are what you like to {photograph}, that is for sure the vacation spot for you early on within the yr!

April – June

South Africa

As autumn turns in South Africa , bushes begin to lose their leaves and the seasonal waterholes begin to dry out, forcing wildlife to drink at extra everlasting water sources. Sport viewing turns into a bit simpler throughout this era given the thinning vegetation and considerably predictable actions of water-dependent animal species.

As darkness arrives earlier within the evenings and evening time temperatures start to plummet, sightings of usually nocturnal species change into extra frequent in the course of the day. Nature reserves reminiscent of Tswalu are an absolute must-visit over this time if you want to come across a few of these uncommon specie

The mornings and evenings are a lot cooler with temperatures ranging between 50-59 levels Fahrenheit (10-15 levels Celsius) however warming as much as a cushty 80-84 levels Fahrenheit (25-28 levels Celsius) late within the afternoon.

The southwestern area in South Africa, the place Cape City is located, begins its wet season in June, with days typically chilly and wet. Photographers come out to courageous the rain, nonetheless, as June marks the beginning of the Cape Whale migration. Many guests add just a few days after their safari to witness this spectacle in Cape City earlier than returning residence.

Botswana

The month of April is a unbelievable time to go to Botswana because the annual floods from the rainfall within the Angolan highlands begins to achieve the famed Okavango Delta floodplain. That is nonetheless thought of to be Botswana’s off-season which suggests that you could get an unimaginable expertise at a lowered price.

Relying on the rainfall, the vegetation would possibly nonetheless be fairly thick, however sport viewing in most areas continues to be excellent.

The arrival of the floods imply that a wide range of actions change into out there reminiscent of boat journeys via the slim channels in addition to the favored Mokoro (dugout canoe) journeys. Each choices are a unbelievable solution to expertise the waterways of the Okavango Delta whereas capturing photographs of the luxurious panorama and distinctive wildlife.

Throughout the month of Could, the Okavango must be in full flood which ends up in unimaginable pictures alternatives. The vegetation begins to open up and seasonal waterholes begin to dry out, making sport viewing a bit simpler.

The temperatures in the course of the winter months additionally change into very nice, warming up properly after chilly mornings and evenings. This offers photographers the chance to do full days out within the discipline, maximizing their sport viewing time.

Uganda

Whereas Could continues to be thought of a rain-filled month in Uganda“>Uganda, late within the month and into early June are unbelievable occasions to go gorilla trekking as Uganda’s second dry season approaches.

Not solely does Uganda’s Bwindi Forest provide a life altering expertise seeing gorillas up shut within the wild, however there are additionally a wide range of different Nationwide Parks that may be explored on this stunning nation reminiscent of Queen Elizabeth Nationwide Park, Murchison Falls and Kibale.

Zimbabwe

Many of the camps in Zimbabwe’s Mana Swimming pools Nationwide Park begin opening after the nation’s wet season earlier within the yr. The drier winter months from Could to August are a unbelievable time to do longer strolling safaris in Mana Swimming pools, throughout nice day time temperatures.

Additionally it is a good time of the yr to mix any southern African safari itineraries with Victoria Falls, which is normally filled with water and at peak movement throughout this era.

Zambia

Like Zimbabwe, many camps in Zambia’s South Luangwa and Decrease Zambezi Nationwide Parks begin to open in April/Could after the wet season.

It is a unbelievable time of the yr to go to each these parks, because the temperatures are snug, sport viewing is sweet and the height vacationer season has but to reach, leaving photographers loads of house to benefit from the parks and wildlife.

Namibia

Namibia can be a really perfect vacation spot to go to in Could, because the nation is lush, rain is a uncommon incidence, and the temperatures are snug as winter has not but set in.


The nation’s otherworldly landscapes present wonderful backdrops to wildlife photographs. However even with out the wildlife in place, Namabia is a photographer’s dreamland. As with Botswana, the nation is in its off-season, resulting in decrease costs and fewer vacationers.

July – September

South Africa

July to September are winter months in South Africa, and that is thought of the height safari interval. As winter right here is the dry season, little to no rain is predicted throughout many of the nation, aside from Cape City.

The vegetation is dry and sparse this time of the yr providing simpler sport viewing. Water dependent animals have a tendency to pay attention round waterholes, so sport drive methods are adjusted accordingly. The cooler days enable photographers to expertise prolonged sport drives, maximizing their trip within the discipline with wildlife. Animals additionally are typically energetic all through the day because the temperatures by no means get overly sizzling, which is useful for cat viewing specifically.

The Cape Whale Migration continues to be in full swing and is a unbelievable spectacle to witness after a safari, though bringing a rain coat is really helpful. In September, the rains within the Cape begin easing up a bit, with clearer days, making it a good time of the yr to go to the attractive wine nation in addition to expertise the Whale Migration alongside the well-known Backyard Route, a 300-kilometer stretch of coastal highway in southwest South Africa. This area is thought to be essentially the most stunning in South Africa, and is very really helpful along with a safari journey.

Kenya

July to September are arguably among the finest months to go to Kenya’s Masai Mara Nationwide Reserve because the migratory herds begin to transfer in from the Serengeti.

Large herds of wildebeest and zebras cross the well-known Mara River seeking extra palatable grassland. This migration attracts a wide range of predators together with lions, cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas, who are sometimes properly hidden across the thickets ready for any younger or injured wildebeest. The hazard to the wildebeest doesn’t finish there, nonetheless, prehistoric-looking crocodiles lay in wait underwater for unsuspecting prey. Safaris to the Masai Mara are action-packed throughout these months and are an absolute must-do exercise for wildlife photographers.

With the migratory herds shifting into the Masai Mara, additionally it is a unbelievable time of the yr to witness the Mara from the air. Scorching air balloon rides might be taken throughout this season, letting photographers get a novel and never typically photographed view of the Nice Migration.

The Masai Mara can be mixed with different unbelievable parks in Kenya such because the well-known Amboseli Nationwide Park which boast among the finest elephant viewing in Africa, in addition to Samburu Nationwide Park and Lake Nakuru.

Uganda

June via August is taken into account Uganda’s “excessive season” and is a unbelievable time to go gorilla trekking.

Not solely does Uganda’s Bwindi Forest provide the life altering expertise of seeing gorillas within the wild, however there are additionally a wide range of different nationwide parks with their very own assortment of wildlife that may be explored on this stunning nation. Queen Elizabeth Nationwide Park, Murchison Falls, and Kibale are only a few of the numerous unimaginable wildlife viewing areas in Uganda.

As July and August are the height occasions for each gorilla trekking in Uganda in addition to witnessing the Nice Migration in Kenya, many photographers will {photograph} each areas throughout the identical journey.

Botswana

July via September are thought of the height sport viewing intervals in

Botswana

. The Okavango Delta continues to be in full flood, whereas the vegetation is dry and open. Seasonal waterholes have dried up throughout this time, forcing normal sport in direction of the everlasting water sources, which in flip attracts the predators.

Morning and night safaris might be chilly, but in addition result in among the finest picture alternatives. Most photographers will take heat jackets with them throughout this season, and blankets and sizzling water bottles are offered to assist hold photographers’ fingers heat on these chilly sport drives.

As a result of these are the height months in Botswana, charges are larger than in the course of the inexperienced season, and availability turns into harder. Usually, reservations for this time of the yr should be made no less than a yr upfront.

Zambia

Camps in Zambia are fully open throughout this time of the yr and the months of July via September are thought of to be the height time for safari in Zambia. Temperatures are chilly in the course of the morning and evenings, however the days are very snug.

The delicate noon temperatures make this season the proper time of the yr to do strolling pictures safaris. The snug climate additionally makes it potential to do full day safaris, maximizing photographers time within the discipline.

South Luangwa stays probably the greatest parks in Zambia to journey to throughout this time of the yr, with the Luangwa River attracting all kinds of normal sport. Additionally it is thought of probably the greatest areas to view and {photograph} African wild canine and leopards.

Zimbabwe

Because of cooler days, July via September is a perfect time for photographers to do longer strolling safaris in Zimbabwe’s Mana Swimming pools Nationwide Park.

Like in Zambia’s South Luangwa Nationwide Park, July and August are additionally thought of to be probably the greatest months to view African Wild Canine in Mana Swimming pools, with the puppies normally roaming free and away from the den websites.

The month of August brings the seasonal pods on the Albida bushes which offer nice dietary worth to most of the animals, particularly the elephants. Some might be photographed standing on their hind legs to achieve these pods, whereas others will push their trunks in opposition to the tree, shaking it vigorously to launch these sought-after pods.

Seasonal waterholes are dry throughout this time of the yr, forcing animals to maneuver to the everlasting water sources such because the Zambezi River and among the well-known swimming pools within the space.

Mana Swimming pools is a good vacation spot throughout these months and might simply be mixed with South Luangwa, South Africa and even Kenya.

October – December

South Africa

Nonetheless thought of to be the dry season throughout South Africa, October is among the finest months to go to. The every day temperatures throughout the nation are nice with little to no rain throughout the nation.

There’s nice sport viewing in any respect the parks, and additionally it is a good time of the yr to mix a safari expertise with the winelands in Cape City and the Backyard Route.

November and December see the rains return within the northern a part of the nation, which might result in the occasional wet safari expedition. Summer season is in full swing with sizzling days and probabilities of thunderstorms constructing late within the afternoons.

The bush begins to get its vibrant inexperienced colours again on account of the early rains, and seasonal waterholes begin filling up as soon as once more.

Photographers will typically deliver their households out in the course of the Christmas and New Years holidays, as the mixture of a safari expertise with South Africa’s stunning shoreline makes for a really perfect household trip.

Botswana

If you happen to can deal with the warmth, Botswana is nice presently of yr. The warmth drives the sport in direction of the watering holes, making life simpler for the predators as they wait for his or her prey across the lakes and rivers.

Chobe and the Linyanti Nationwide Parks see huge herds of elephant, whereas the Okavango Delta gives the herds a everlasting supply of water. Chitabe Reserve within the southern Delta and the herds within the Linyanti are unimaginable to witness, whereas the Boteti River space south of Maun sees a big build-up of sport on its banks.

The rains normally begin arriving in November and December, bringing a substantial amount of reduction to the wildlife with seasonal waterholes filling up once more.

Botswana is a good vacation spot to mix with South Africa throughout this time of the yr.

Zambia

October to December is arguably probably the greatest occasions to go to Zambia’s South Luangwa Nationwide Park. As with Botswana, the every day temperatures are very excessive throughout this time of the yr, however for those who don’t thoughts the warmth, they are going to be rewarded with some unbelievable sport viewing.

Water is extraordinarily scarce throughout this season, with the Luangwa normally being the one water supply which attracts unimaginable numbers. Lions are likely to take down bigger prey species, lots of which have misplaced power because of the lack of meals and water. It’s a really wild vacation spot throughout October.

Because the rains begin arriving in November, most of the camps will start to shut in the course of the second week, solely opening once more as soon as the rains let up in April and Could.

Kenya

The Masai Mara in Kenya continues to be an excellent vacation spot to go to throughout October and November, with most of the Migratory herds nonetheless grazing across the plains.

The grass tends to be very brief throughout this time of the yr because the herds proceed to maneuver via the area, making it simpler to seek out most of the predators that decision Masai Mara residence. Though it’s not thought of peak season within the Masai Mara, sport viewing continues to be extremely good, with much less autos current than in the course of the peak occasions, resulting in extra outgoing wildlife.

The Masai Mara tends to get their brief rain season in November and December, and though that is nonetheless a good time of the yr to view predators, most of the migratory herds would have began to go away the Masai Mara by the tip of November.

Zimbabwe

As with Zambia, Zimbabwe is a unbelievable vacation spot throughout October, regardless of the warmth.

Mana Swimming pools and Hwange Nationwide Park have unimaginable wildlife viewing throughout this time of the yr. Mana Swimming pools could be very dusty, which retains the golden glow within the Albida forest for a bit longer. It’s spectacular to witness and makes for unimaginable images.

Lions round Hwange Nationwide Park are additionally recognized to take down massive prey in the course of the dry months. Their targets are younger elephants and buffalo who’ve misplaced power because of the lack of meals and water.

Somalisa Camp, specifically, is a good camp to remain at in the course of the dry months. A very fashionable waterhole in entrance of camp attracts a whole bunch of elephants daily, giving photographers the luxurious of sitting at camp whereas watching the herds move by all through the day.

Because the rains arrive throughout November and December, most of the camps in Mana Swimming pools will start to shut till the rains have handed in March and April.

Any Time of 12 months is a Good Time For a Safari

Whereas every season and placement delivers distinctive wildlife pictures experiences, there isn’t a unhealthy time to go on safari in Africa. You probably have ever dreamed of photographing the Large 5, it’s potential in lots of of those safari areas, irrespective of the time of yr. There’s nothing fairly like experiencing a wildlife safari in Africa’s most stunning areas.

Author Brian Jackman mentioned it finest:

Every thing in Africa bites, however the safari bug is the worst of all.


Wild Eye Vacation spot and Photographic is a South African firm specializing in wildlife safari pictures expeditions. Wild Eye’s vacation spot choices span six out of seven continents and 25 international locations. Whether or not via group excursions, customized itineraries, or privately guided safaris, their journeys attraction to nature lovers, photographers, adventurers, and journey lovers.

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