What time of year is best for a safari?
A safari can be taken at anytime of the year, but! It depends on which country you are aiming for...
Due to the seasonal weather across Africa some of the more remote countries, parks and camps can be inaccessible for some months of the year. Which camps and where will vary but in the context of Zambia, where Classic Zambia Safaris operates, small bush-camps like ours (see Kutali and Chula Island Camp and Musekese and Ntemwa-Busanga Camp), are generally only open from May until November.
That helps as a starting point of course, but we are often asked ‘what time of year is best?’ – now this is an impossible question to answer as each month has its own charm and characteristics.
Generally speaking Zambia has 3 seasons, a hot/dry season from September to November, a cold/dry season from June to August and a hot/wet season from December to May. With the wet season being too difficult to access the more remote bush-camps (some larger lodges with better access to tar roads and all-weather airstrips do exist too) that leaves us the cooler months of May/June/July and the hotter months of August/September/October/November.
Game viewing is good all-year around! The major difference is in the activity period of the wildlife and the density of wildlife. In the cooler months wildlife can be more active for longer as it is cooler, in hotter months wildlife seeks refuge from the heat a little earlier in the day and only becomes more active again a little alter in the day than in the cooler months.
Remember though; In Zambian national parks night-drives are permitted. This means that even in the hottest months, when the sun drops and the predators become more active we are able to continue the excitement of a safari, using the spotlight, expertly, opening up a nocturnal world of wonder not often seen in other destinations…