When is a great time to spot wildlife? Wild animals can be found in ecosystems like deserts, forests, rain forests, plains or grasslands. Often wildlife is hidden and difficult to spot. Here you will find the right time and areas where the chance for a wildlife sighting is much higher.
May - June (sweet spot months): Lower prices and less tourists than in high season. Cold nights. Especially in May the landscape is still green with thicker bushes. Thus animal sightings are a little harder than in during dry season. However, sightings are often good already. If you like more privacy during the safaris these months could be for you.
July - early November (Dry Season): High season with increasing prices. Mornings can still be chilly in July and August. Fewer mosquito. Highest animal concentration along the riverfront and waterholes. This is the best game viewing time. Particularly in the hottest and driest months of SEPTEMBER and OCTOBER the sightings are sensational. However, it can be crowded: You’ll see many other jeeps at hot spots like Chobe’s riverfront.
Mid-November - March/April (Wet Season): Lower prices, less tourists. Higher humidity, more mosquito. Rain starts sometimes in November. This the season for sensational bird watching. Game viewing is still possible but not as stunning as in the peak months. The worst weather usually occurs in January / February with a possibility of rain for days and thunderstorms. Great temperature and rainfall monthly overview: https://www.safaribookings.com/botswana/climate
Tangkoko National Park is a year-round destination: Temperatures are usually constant during the year, ranging from 72° to 88°F each month. However, we have some tips for you regarding the best time:
Weather and Tourists
The wet season is usually from October to April/May. The recommended dry season is from June to September. These are also the busiest months with a peak in July / August: Prices are higher and you usually need to book tours in advance. The best combination of dry climate and a little fewer tourists are JUNE and SEPTEMBER.
Birding and Wildlife
Book an early morning birding and wildlife tour. Most birds and a lot of mammals are more active in the morning! They lose energy by noon and are getting active again in the afternoon. However, the mornings seem to be more fascinating here.
Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most beautiful places on earth for wildlife viewing. You can spot wildlife throughout the year. Because of its unique ecosystem, the animals don't leave the crater. If you want to combine Ngorongoro with other major National Parks in Tanzania and the Serengeti, June through September/October may be the best choice. However, every season is slightly different:
June - October: Dry season. The best months for game viewing / to spot wildlife. Animals gather around water holes. Fewer mosquitoes. Downside: Most crowds, highest rates, very busy. Jeeps and spots need to be shared with many others.
November - May: Wet season. Lush and green scenery. Not as good as the dry season for wildlife but still great. Special months within the wet season are January and February: You might see baby zebra, baby wildebeest and other newborn. Bird watching is also fantastic in January and February. In general, rain is limited and usually not that bad during the wet season. Except for March and April, where heavier rainfall can occur.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds:
Go in March or April. Highest possibility of rain but least visitors and lower rates. Sometimes it can get difficult to use the roads during or after heavy rain. In other seasons you should definitely start your safari tour early in the morning and leave around 6:00 AM. Use the earliest safari possible. You'll avoid heavy crowds by being the first on the floor.
Most visitors want to see the leopards at Yala National Park! What is the best time to spot them? Read on for our detailed tips:
The highest chance to spot them is around new moon combined with a safari/tour in the afternoon when it’s also less busy. They are more active around dusk during new moon days.
In general, you can visit Yala year-round. It's never really bad. The dry season runs from May to October. The ‘mild’ rainy season runs from November to January and some more rainfall again in April.
It’s often very busy with many jeeps. Avoid weekends and public holidays. The busiest time of day is before midday. Many people stay one night and leave at noon.
The best time to spot leopards as well as other wildlife such as elephants and wild boar is from May to August. More animals gather around the waterholes during these months. From October to December it’s more likely to spot deer, crocodiles, and birds. The park is often closed in September / October (too aggressive animals after a heavy drought). The best TIME OF DAY to spot wildlife is either early morning or from afternoon till evening. From late morning until afternoon they usually hide under thick foliage.
The best time for wildlife viewing is in southern winter from May to September. The game concentration at waterholes is high, vegetation is low, and animals are easier to spot. Hyenas are night active, and we were lucky to spot two of them close to our camp by night.
Crowds and Weather
Southern winter; the dry season (May to September) is not only the best time for wildlife but also low season with fewer tourists, except for school holiday: It’s less busy in camps and on the roads. Days are sunny with low humidity and nights are cold. Fewer mosquito and a very low risk for malaria.
The busiest months in the main camps are in southern summer (November to March) if possible avoid the Christmas school holidays. The rain starts end of October. The scenery gets lush and green, but during summer it’s also hot and humid and heavy rainfalls occur. If rivers get flooded, you can't pass bridges. Wildlife game viewing is not as good as in southern winter.Our favorite month is September: still dry, even more, game to spot and temps rise.
Best time to visit Rinca (Komodo National Park) is during dry season.
During the wet season from January to March the paths are really muddy and difficult to walk.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds: :
Crowded in July and August and less busy from September to November.